This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Proof silver American Eagles took a step toward realization Sept. 3 as the Mint ended the rationing of supplies of the 2010 bullion silver American Eagle.
A memo was sent by the program manager to all authorized purchasers of the popular silver bullion coin.
“Effective immediately, the United States Mint is lifting the allocation process for American Eagle one ounce silver bullion coins.
“You may place your orders under the standard ordering procedures. The ordering minimum and incremental quantities apply.
“Thank you for your patience during this past year. We appreciate your continued support.”
A shortage of planchets last year caused the Mint to suspend production of the annual proof silver American Eagle to the consternation of many collectors.
Rationing of bullion silver American Eagle supplies through this year jeopardized the 2010 proof, but that may now be changing as the Mint can meet the bullion coin demand.
However, since market conditions can change on a dime, Mint Director Ed Moy testified July 20 at a congressional hearing where he asked Congress to authorize the diversion of enough blanks to strike proofs this year.
He said the Mint can strike up to 200,000 proofs a month if it can get congressional authorization.
So far, Congress has not acted on the request.
Up to now the Mint has cited its inability to meet the demand for bullion coins as the reason it cannot strike the proof version.
Last year the Mint supplied 28,766,500 bullion silver American Eagles to the market. Already this year the total is approaching 26 million bullion coins.