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Mint's wheel of fortune

With the silver Liberty medal sold out on Aug. 23, the next potential collector heart stopper will be the gold Standing Liberty quarter on Sept. 8.

Helping to stoke potential demand for this, which is the second of three Centennial gold coin issues, the Professional Coin Grading Service sent out an email reminder yesterday that arrived in my inbox. It highlights the two Mint issues and tells recipients that its PCGS Collectors Club issues special labels for its plastic slabs.

In its words, “Enhance the presentation of your coins with PCGS Special Labels. But hurry, PCGS eventually retires all Special Labels, adding a limited edition nature to these custom releases.”

If you are inclined to think that the 100,000 gold Standing Liberty quarters that will be offered by the Mint will sell out the same day, you are probably even more stoked by the possibility of gaining a First Strike and a PR70DCAM designation for your prize.

Affixing a special label to a coin in a slab creates a smaller and more valuable niche group amid the overall 100,000 total.

How many coins can earn the top numerical grade remains to be seen, but you know it will be just a fraction of the 100,000 whole.

Such a special slab has engendered great hopes among eBay sellers of the silver Liberty medal that they can garner a retail price of around $500 on eBay.

That is an incredible 14 times the $34.95 issue price if the medals can be sold.

How else can you earn a 1,300 percent profit? I don’t know of anything that could make such a gain. Let me know if you find something else.

Such a drastic gain, if it occurs for the gold Standing Liberty quarter would result in a retail price in a third-party holder of around $7,000.

That probably won’t happen because there are not that many people who would be willing to spend such a sum on this new issue no matter what the label said.

But in the spirit of a fun with math presentation, if every gold Standing Liberty quarter sold by the Mint could earn 14 times its issue price on the secondary market, the total value would be approaching $700 million.

That figure is almost as much value as Heritage Auctions puts on the block in an entire year.

Dreams of lots of zeroes on the secondary market spur new issue buyers on.

They are why some Mint offers sell out quickly electronically and leave collectors who try to order by telephone in the dust.

At a potential issue price of $460 per gold Standing Liberty quarter based on the current price of bullion and the Mint’s pricing grid, collectors will have to pony up roughly $46 million to grab them all initially.

That’s a lot of money, but credit cards make it easy.

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