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Ready or not, here come the 5-ouncers

Are you testing the speed of your Internet connection in anticipation of the rush to buy the collector version of the Hot Springs, Ark., America the Beautiful 5-ounce coin on Thursday?

With only 27,000 pieces available, you know the Mint’s website is going to jam up at noon Eastern Time on Thursday.

One indicator of the potential market out there is the demand for the 5-ounce 2011 Gettysburg and Glacier National Park pieces that the Mint began selling yesterday to its Authorized Purchaser network.

The maximum number of coins that the Mint was making available was 253,000 pieces, or 126,500 each.

The two coins did not sell out in one day.

Demand totaled 153,400 coins, leaving 99,600 remaining. The AP’s have until Friday to get their orders in.

Will the coins sell out by deadline? It sure looks like it, but with the rapidly escalating price of silver, it is taking larger and larger sums of money to accomplish a sellout.

Yesterday’s demand cost the AP’s roughly $37 million. If they buy the rest they have to come up with another $24 million. I am figuring the cost at $46 a troy ounce plus the $9.75 per coin fee the Mint charges. That works out to roughly $240 each in round numbers.

The Mint’s announced issue price for the Hot Springs coin is $279.95, which means collectors collectively need only $7.6 million to acquire them all.

So are you ready?