The end of the Presidential dollar series occurs next year.
Will it be with a bang or a whimper?
We know there will be a Coin and Chronicles set honoring Ronald Reagan with a reverse proof Presidential dollar in it.
Will any of the enthusiasm for this year’s sets remain by the time of the issuance of this final set?
Veteran collectors will smile knowingly and offer a noncomittal answer.
It depends on mintage.
Will the number be set correctly?
For Harry S Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower the 17,000 number set off a sales stampede.
Sellouts were immediate.
Secondary market prices soared.
For John F. Kennedy, sales were massively higher, but it took a while to reach the 50,000 ceiling. It was not an immediate sellout
Secondary markets suffered accordingly.
The Mint recovered with the 25,000 mintage Lyndon B. Johnson.
Knowing this, where would you put the mintage?
If you think you will be able to obtain a set from the Mint, the 17,000 to 25,000 totals hold great allure.
Such numbers likely would assure a profit when sold on eBay.
A 50,000 total is a more reasonable number as the Gipper is probably at least as popular as the hero of P.T. 109.
However, such a high mintage will cause anguish and doubt in speculator circles.
The Mint might even be able to justify a higher mintage.
As a last set, collectors often buy just because it is the last of something.
2016 is an election year. People are grumpy. In the rosy glow of memory when life seemed simpler and safer compared to today, Reagan’s sunny public personality might attract a few more coin buyers.
Even competitive political juices could be flowing to a sufficient degree for some to want the set as a memento.
Such "stroll down memory lane" conditions could justify a sales number of 100,000. That would make the Mint happy. But it would overwhelm any chance of an easy profit on the secondary market.
What's the Mint to do?
Create something different.
How about a Reagan American Eagle set?
After all, the Eagle bullion coins were invented during his administration.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
• Check out the 2016 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.