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Readers respond to editor's question

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper when he asked if they would buy the four-coin proof First Spouse coin sets.
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I have always felt the Mint markup on sets was excessive. This one is ridiculous. I doubt I will be in the market for one at that price.

Robert L. Vandevender II
Jupiter, Fla.

Would I be the first one to suggest that the Mint start selling silver proof sets consisting of JUST the dime, quarters and half dollars? It seems only logical to do that.
John C. Johnson
Payson, Ariz.

As a longtime collector I look upon these as medals, not coins. No desire to collect these or the presidential dollars.

Bob Grant
Geneva, Ill.

This is one of the dumbest ploys the Mint has tried to sell coins to collectors. However, I like dogs so if they had a set of First Dogs I may check it out. (No, not really.)

Perry Levin
Rockville, Md.

I?ll buy the set if I can muster the funds, but I plan on buying each individually as they are released.
On a side note, I bought a 1907 Indian cent on eBay last week for $4 plus a buck for shipping. The auction had two blurry pics taken from a distance. It arrived yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised by a nearly full red MS-63! I couldn?t believe it! I?ve been collecting/dealing for 10 years. Been on eBay for about six years. Sometimes you get lucky.
 Keep up the good work at NN and BNR. I caught the currency bug three years ago so I had to get BNR sub too!

Pat Danisch
Greenhurst, N.Y.

 I feel the four-coin gold proof set of the First Spouse is another way of the Mint making more money from the collectors. A 26 percent mark up is much too much over the issue price.
 It is my feeling the Mint should work with the needs of the U.S. population in mind rather how much they can skim off the collectors.
 The Mint?s approach to the coin market is making big bucks, Not too much thought into many of the coins issued that have not done well for the collectors.

Edward J. Moschetti
World Proof Numismatic Association
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Ouch! Boy, the U.S. Mint puts the hurt on this set. So much for the average collector to get one of these sets. These coins should be sold in individual manner and in a 1/10 or 1/4 ounce so more people can enjoy them. Leave it to the Mint to think of themselves yet again. EBay and home shopping will destroy these sets. They probably will sell them close to $2,500- $3,000. I hope these groups who take advantage get there just LOSES.

Jeff Aberle
Edwardsville, Pa.

If the buying frenzy for last year?s gold and silver anniversary sets is any indication, the demand for the First Spouse coins should be just as brisk. Get thee to a computer with Internet access if you want to participate in this year?s hot item as I predict they will sell out within a couple of days, if not sooner. I wonder what kind of markups will be seen on eBay after their release, since the gold anniversary set is selling for more than double the issued price and the silver anniversary for more than triple.

Jeff and Mary Dunkel
Madison, Wis.

No, I will not be a buyer of these coins. From a sucker standpoint I think it is one of the smartest things the Mint has ever done, and will bring the government a nice profit. Personally, though, I think the idea is stupid.

Griff Carnes
Kerrville, Texas

Who?s to know if this is going to be a good investment. It all depends on the buyers out there.
I think it will sell out just like the anniversary gold eagles did and look at what they are selling for.
But time will tell. I will be buying several hoping they sell out within the week after opening.

Stanley E. Klagenberg
 Sacramento, Calif.

Personally, I do not plan to purchase these coins, For one thing, in order for me to purchase newly minted gold, I really have to love the designs and the subject matter.
Secondly, I wonder will they ever attain any premium beyond their bullion value? I tend to think not.

Charles K. Miller
Havertown, Pa.

The cost is outrageous. Why not use the same base metals as their men? This would be strictly a fund-raiser for the Mint. Seems to me the Presidents have vastly more importance, although I wish they?d skip past a few, including Nixon and our present disaster.
 I.R. Baer
Green Valley, Ariz.

You ask if I will be a buyer of the four-coin proof First Spouse coin set.
Well let me make this as simple as I can. With all the problems I have had in the past with the U.S. Mint with the delays and back orders and date changes, my answer to your question is NO, NO, NO.

James Marotta
 Summitville, N.Y.

With a low mintage, and relatively low markup (by U.S. Mint standards), I?ll bet these new First Spouse gold pieces will be a quick sellout and bring a premium right away. Especially for those who quickly get them in to NGC and PCGS Proof or Mint State 70 holders.
Tom Caldwell
Concord, Mass.

At $1,675. per set, I won?t be in the market. At best, I feel that less than 1 percent of numismatists would bite at that price. What young collector can afford them? How many dealers will purchase more than one or two sets, especially if there is no market? Is the Mint becoming elitist? Thanks for the opportunity to respond!

Mike Ross
Copperas Cove, Texas

NO, I will not buy the wives ?golden? sets. Not sure even if I will collect the Presidents either.

George Arthur Bennett
Plano, Ill.

No, I will not be buying any of these coins ? overpriced or not. What if the Mint decided to issue new coins every day ? Are we collectors expected to be so gullible as to buy them ? A coin?s importance and value, as far as I understand, is based on condition and rarity. Would one say these spouse coins are rare? (Perhaps someday in the future they may be, but I am not going to wait.) Besides, I have better things to do with my money, like investing in other coins or elsewhere.

Hal Braver
Boca Raton, Fla.

Hard to say what the eBayers will do, but at the rate they snap up ?rare? or low mintage issues, I suspect the price of the set is probably OK. We have a small coin shop in Maine and probably won?t buy at that price and I won?t get started on my feelings about the Mint?s pricing practices anyway.
If the set was anywhere near gold price we probably would buy a couple.

Frank Trask
Hallowell, Maine

At those prices, no way man. The Mint?s greed is going to ruin our hobby with too many over priced offerings. What?s next, First Animals? Beware, they will sell these proof and unc sets for a week or two, then announce you can but singles at a cheaper price.

Chris Cooper
Anchorage, Alaska

Your addition is wrong. $672 twice is $1,344. Yes, I will purchase the set from the U.S. Mint.

Anthony Butfiloski
Clark, NJ 07066

$1,344 in gold at $672 per ounce ? Yes, I?ll buy 2 or 3. 40,000 will likely sell out fast .
 I think there will be speculation so I might turn a nice profit.

Jeff Harris
 Boston Mass.

No, I hardly ever buy gold coins.

Virginia Bourke
Lakeside, Calif.