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No 5-ouncers this week

The Mint might have ended its rationing of the silver American Eagle supply because it can keep up with projected demand for them, but sellouts of the 5-ounce America the Beautiful coins seem to be on their way to becoming the new norm – even if on a temporary basis.

Yesterday the Mint sent word to its Authorized Purchasers that the Blue Ridge Parkway silver bullion coin, the third design of the year, has been temporarily sold out.

Sales will resume when a new supply has been struck.

Naturally, I made a beeline for the Mint’s website to check numbers.

I discovered that no sales figures have even been posted yet for the Blue Ridge Parkway coins.

The sales numbers for the prior two designs are 35,000 for the Homestead National Monument of America bullion coins and 42,000 Kisatchie National Forest bullion coins.

It might be logical to infer that sales of the third bullion coin are already up at a similar level. However, in the fine print at the bottom of the web page is the notation, “Last Updated: May, 7, 2015.”

So at the moment, I don’t know what the numbers might be.

That will probably change later today.

With silver bullion's price sagging again this morning to below the $16 level, the question becomes one of whether buyers will be scared off bullion coins or whether they once again will double down on buying the pieces more cheaply.

Silver coins are popular.

There is probably not a time in recent years when that cannot be written and be true.

Buyer fondness for coins made of the metal is based as much on their affordability as on the case that can be made for their investment and collectible qualities.

The like level for the 5-ounce coins seems to be rising.

Temporary sellouts won’t hurt that trend.

There seems to be little that excites buyers more than the idea that something is in short supply.

Let’s see what happens when they come back on sale.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."