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Precious metal coins the way to go

When you place your order for the 2018-W proof silver American Eagle come Jan. 4, 2018, don’t think you are done. The Mint will not let you off so easily. Why? In the summertime, date not yet set, the Mint will also offer a 2018-S proof silver American Eagle.

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Can annual “P” and “D” proofs be that far behind as new ways to offer silver?

As sales of its other products decline, like standard-issue clad proof sets, or disappear like Presidential dollars, the Mint has little to replace them with. Collectors have treated proof silver Eagles as favorites for many years. Because we like them, the Mint will give us more of them – because it has no alternative if it wants to slow its declining sales.

But at least this particular offering of “S” proof Eagles is a clearly labeled individual coin and is scheduled. Fans of the coin can plan for it. The coin is not hidden in a set with a name like “Congratulations Set,” as occurred in 2017 to the surprise and frustration of many.

But before you feel too exploited, remember that this is another sign that the Mint is turning to more and more silver products over time.

Collectors like silver. Silver holds its value better than clad coins. I do not understand how the habit of buying clad proof sets every year continues so deeply ingrained in so many collectors. How many years of losses, even coupled with an occasional year of gain, will collectors take?

Another of the new silver offerings in 2018 will be a silver Reverse Proof Set in the summer. The coins will bear the “S” mintmark. Recall that in August 2017, we were introduced to the Enhanced Uncirculated Set. It had the magic “S” mintmark on the coins, but it is a clad set.

This 2018 reverse proof set is a step forward. Let’s be excited that the upcoming set is to be made of precious metal.

The new proof one-ounce palladium American Eagle will not be offered by the Mint until autumn, but this might have all the potential of a rapid sellout when it comes.

Also, don’t forget the basic gold American Eagles next year. Imagine calling gold basic. I know gold is expensive. You really have to stretch for it.

However, keep in mind that buyers of gold proof coins in the early days of the commemorative coin program in the 1980s now look like financial geniuses because they picked modern Mint issues that did not lose value.

In all my letters from relatives who inherited collections, I have never seen anyone complain to me about gold coins being left behind.

So don’t overlook the gold American Eagles when they arrive March 1, 2018. Come 2048, you or your heirs will be glad you bought them.

More coins in precious metals from the Mint are to be keenly desired.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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