Today is the big day for collectors interested in buying the four-coin silver Kennedy set for $99.95.
Sales commence at noon Eastern Time on the U.S. Mint website.
I have had a couple of emails expressing surprise that the Mint would wait until Friday before declaring a 300,000 maximum production limit.
“I still think it’s screwy the Mint decides last minute to limit production. I don’t think they’ve done that before. Your memory is probably better than mine,” said one of the emails.
There do seem to be more last minute changes this year than usual.
With a limitation of 300,000 sets the question is whether the Mint announced this number because it feared demand would be even higher.
The alternative question would be did they set a limit to try to create an impression of scarcity and thereby goose sales a little?
It is probably silly to ask this second question, because I don’t think 300,000 is a number that creates an impression of scarcity.
It is probably a number that the Mint can comfortably produce. Already it has 190,000 sets on hand ready to ship.
If this is a case of a comfortable production number, it does make the last-minute nature of the announcement a bit peculiar.
I expect the Mint knew what it could produce a month ago. If it did not – well, I don’t want to travel down that road of thought today.
I will just throw in another quote from the previously cited email in this spot.
“Is the Mint engaging in seat of the pants management here?”
It is a reasonable question given what we know.
I do not have an answer.
The order limitation for the Kennedy set is five per household, but the Mint wrote itself an out in case it wants to lower it as sales are entered by collectors.
“Initially, orders will be limited to five sets per household. The United States Mint will monitor sales and will adjust and/or remove the limit as necessary over the period the product is offered for sale.”
So are you ready to place your orders?
I now will get out of your way to focus on the issue at hand.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."