A maximum mintage of 200,000 was too many to induce buyers to create an instantaneous sellout July 23 of the San Francisco Mint 2018 Silver Reverse Proof Set.
Yesterday mid-morning, the Mint reported 114,108 sets were taken up since noon Eastern Daylight Time the day before.
A couple of hours later, the figure was revised down to 106,108.
Did sellout speculators start canceling orders as soon as they realized that these sets would continue to be available, probably for the rest of the year?
It wouldn’t be surprising to see this number continue to decline when the next report is made available.
Two days after sales began, buyers have no problem ordering the set on the Mint’s website should they want one.
To be sure, there is a genuine collector interest in reverse proof coins, especially the silver ones.
This set contains seven coins in .900 fine silver. Five are America the Beautiful quarters.
There is also a silver Kennedy half dollar and a silver Roosevelt dime.
Base metal cent, nickel and dollar fill out the 10-coin set.
Price is $54.95. This is just $5 more than the standard silver proof set.
A reverse proof coin has frosted fields and mirror-like high points.
A standard proof has a cameo look where the high points are frosted and the field is mirror-like.
It is possible that lack of a sellout of this set is the turning point where the novelty of reverse proof coins has worn off among modern coin buyers. We’ll see.
These results raise the question of whether the Mint can sell product any longer that doesn’t stampede collectors into thinking they might sell out.
“Can it sell out?” is the first question asked about every new coin issue that isn’t the basic uncirculated and proof sets and rolls and bags of standard coinage.
Yesterday, I wrote about the likely sellout of the proof palladium American Eagle Sept. 6.
A test of the attractiveness of a new modern coin issue that can’t sell out will occur Aug. 14.
On that date, the second proof silver American Eagle of 2018 will be offered.
This one will have an “S” mintmark instead of “W.”
There is no mintage ceiling. The Mint will strike as many as buyers want.
No household order limit will be imposed, either.
Pure collector motives will replace sellout speculation.
Egad, can that possibly work?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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