This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Still in the market for a 5-ounce silver America the Beautiful bullion coin set? Your timing may be just right.
A few Authorized Purchasers of the bullion coins still have them available with notices on their websites that they will soon be taking orders or contacting those already on a waiting list.
And those appearing on the secondary market are showing a drop in prices.
“They don’t do a lot for me,” said Marc Watts, president of Gaithersburg Coin Exchange. He keeps one or two bullion sets on hand for customers.
“The market now is about $1,500 a set,” Watts said, “but you can still buy them from Authorized purchasers for $900 and change, which is probably the price they should be at. And that is a sizeable enough price.”
But if you don’t like your chances of getting a set from an Authorized Purchaser, prices on the secondary market like eBay have been receding in recent days.
Mid-January the bullion sets were selling for around $1,800 to $1,900, but a month later they had dropped about $400 in price.
Completed eBay auctions on Feb. 15 saw ungraded sets selling for $1,429 to $1,650. Sets graded MS-69 by NGC sold for $3,650 and $3,550. A month ago those graded sets sold for around $5,000.
“I think if it softens up a little and everybody gets a bit more realistic on price there will be a good two-way market on them,” Watts said. “Now, you have people paying too much and getting stuck with them.”
Allen Rowe of Northern Nevada Coin likes the set.
“They’re beautiful. Like America,” Rowe said. But his company specializes in Carson City dollars. He’s gotten a few requests from customers, but not many.
“We got one or two sets in and had no trouble selling them. We’re not pursuing them,” Rowe said, “but (the Mint) isn’t making it easy for us to get them.
The Mint has distributed 33,000 2010 bullion sets but has not announced when the 27,000 numismatic sets will be sold.
The numismatic coins will have the “P” mintmark with a finish applied through a vapor blasting technique. It’s the same finish used on 3-inch bronze medals.
The process is similar to sand blasting, but with a compressed wet vapor used instead of dry compressed air. The finish is applied after the coin is struck from the same die used for the bullion coin.