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Mount Rushmore comes through

The Mount Rushmore 5-ounce silver bullion coin sold out its 35,000 maximum in less than a month. Three of the five designs are now sold out and the Perry’s Victory and Great Basin designs are both near their 30,000 maximum.

Was it the Mount Rushmore theme that caused buyer’s to respond so strongly, the time of the year, or have we reached the sweet spot where gigantic 5-ounce coins with a 25-cent denomination no longer seem to be exotic, but are now normal?

Whatever might be written along these lines on these points, I think the design has something to do with its quick sellout. Americans love Mount Rushmore. The coin has a striking new design.

Time of the year also has to have something to do with it as the Mint is winding down the availability of silver American Eagle coins. Anybody who wants silver might decide to take whatever form it comes in and that would cause a surge in demand for the 5-ounce bullion coins.

Growing familiarity is also a possibility. We will get more proof of this when the 2014 designs go on sale, but I have noted several times this year that I am rapidly warming to the new coins. Others I expect are as well.

Holding a large, 5-ounce silver coin in hand is great fun. It is also the only appropriate way for any collector to evaluate a new issue.

The large diameter of the 5-ounce coin offers a much better canvas for each design to appear on compared to the tiny copper-nickel clad 25-cent coins in circulation.

Whatever the reason might be, it seems the closing weeks of 2013 are being very good to the 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver coin series.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."