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Out of silver Shenandoah bullion

The Mint has temporarily run out of the 2014 Shenandoah National Park 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver bullion coins that it sells to its Authorized Purchasers.

Sales stand at 20,000 pieces.

“We will be striking additional coins and will notify you when they are available for sale,” the Mint message to the Authorized Purchasers said yesterday.

This is the second design of 2014. Sales of the first one, for Great Smoky Mountain National Park, stand at 29,000 and they continue while sales of Arches National Park 5-ounce bullion coins, the third design of the year, are at 18,300, and they also continue.

Collector versions of the Shenandoah coin with the “P” mintmark continue without disruption. Sales of these from last week’s Mint report are at 23,611. The latest weekly sales numbers will go up on the Mint’s website late this afternoon.

For the Shenandoah collector version, there is a maximum projected sales number, which is set at 30,000. There is no such pre-announced maximum for the bullion coins.

The Great Smoky Mountains collector version is already sold out at 24,711 just short of the pre-announced 25,000 limit.

Collectors are waking up to the profit potential of the “P” versions with early release labels and grades at -69 and -70.

The Mint running out of bullion versions, even temporarily, cannot help but create an impression that there is high demand and they might be rare. Certainly compared to the 2011 Gettysburg and Glacier mintages of 126,700, the current bullion issues are scarcer.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Collectors or investors who jump first and ask questions later will help improve sales and make the whole program look healthier.

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."