This week’s Numismatic News poll question asks, “Should the Mint strike new silver dimes, quarters and halves for the bullion market?”
At this point those who are in favor are leading 57 percent to 43 percent against.
Poll questions are an interesting exercise. They are like a Rorschach test for coin collectors because poll questions are only a few short words long and they demand an immediate response of participants.
People who read a question might know a lot about the topic, or relate it to something else they know a lot about.
Others express opinions that can create unintended consequences.
It is all very interesting.
That is the point of asking the question each week.
The current silver question was based on a blog I wrote last week pointing out that the Mint could introduce a very successful product to the bullion coin market by striking dimes, quarters and half dollars to the pre-1965 standards.
The Mint already buys silver blanks for these denominations for the silver proof set.
Ask the suppliers to increase output, and voila, we have the basis of a new bullion product.
Some like the idea of buying 90 percent silver coins in quantity with the 2016 date for a standard silver bullion markup.
Others reject the idea as simply another example of Mint product proliferation run wild.
Still others like the idea of the coin but don’t like the idea of it being a bullion coin sold in a bullion coin manner. They want the Mint to sell them directly to collectors. That, of course, would be an example of proliferation in its purest form that would put a much higher price on them.
The possibility of new bullion dimes, quarters and half dollars becoming a reality is slim to none.
But that does not matter with a poll question. A question makes us all think about possibilities even if they always will simply be a mental exercise.
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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