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Platinum sellout a puzzler


The proof platinum American Eagle that went on sale June 30 was already showing it was unavailable the next day on the Mint website.

Do the current frisky markets for precious metals generally have anything to do with it?

Silver is on fire. Gold is moving ahead.

Even platinum, a recent laggard seems to be trying to do a little catching up.

Into this cauldron of demand, the Mint offered 10,000 proof platinum Eagles.

The mintage number does not at first blush seem large. But last year’s sales number was just 3,886.

In 2014, buyers took 4,629.

Looking at either figure prior to June 30 would not have justified a 10,000 coin sellout prediction.

From the collector angle, we can look at the usual suspects.

Design: Is the design particularly attractive this year?

I like it. But I am unaware of any deep expressions of yearning from collectors.

Finishing a set?

This year’s coin is the second in a two-year series with a Liberty portrait.

With last year’s mintage being what it is, 3,886, higher demand for the 2016 issue is not coming from a collector impulse toward completeness.

Collectors also tend to be put off by high prices.

The $1,350 issue price is hefty. But this reluctance to cough up significant money has been swept aside on many prior occasions when bullion was in a strong upswing.

That could be it.

The facts fit.

Even the order limit of 1 per household reinforces the idea that collectors jumped in because the door was shut to any buyer who wanted a large quantity.

Surmising what motivated the buyers is not presenting facts.

If you happen to be a buyer of this platinum issue, let me know. If you have not been a regular buyer of platinum, let me know what attracted you to the 2016-W issue.

My email is

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

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