Now might just be the best time ever to collect modern commemorative silver dollars that have been issued since 1983 by the U.S. Mint.
A flyer came my way in the mail.
In it was an offering of mixed groups of commemorative silver dollars, both proof and uncirculated.
If you want to buy 10 coins, the price is $18.95 each.
For a group of 50, the individual coin price is $17.50.
When you buy 100, the price is $16.95 per coin.
Checking silver on the Kitco website, I see an ounce is valued at $17.32 today.
Each of these silver dollars has .7734 ounce in it.
The silver value in each dollar is $13.40.
That means the premium on the 10-coin lot is $5.55 per coin, or 41 percent.
For the 50-coin quantity, the premium is $4.10, or 31 percent.
The 100-coin group has an individual markup of $3.55, or 26 percent.
Those are not bad entry-level points for the average collector.
If you want to buy 10 one-ounce 2017 silver American Eagles, the markup is 21 percent,.
It is 20 percent for 50 coins and, for 100, it is 18 percent.
At the 100-coin level, the difference between a markup of 18 percent or 26 percent is not that much.
You are basically paying $1.14 per commemorative dollar above silver value.
That’s a screaming bargain.
If you want to buy the current commemorative silver dollar offerings from the Mint, you will have to pay much more.
Proofs are $52.95, and uncirculateds are $51.95.
This works out to a premium of $39.55 for the proof, or 295 percent over silver value.
The uncirculated is $38.55, or 288 percent over silver value.
There is no comparison.
Why pay a premium for current coins that is going to disappear on the secondary market?
Buy the older coins.
Sure, you will get duplicates in these lots.
You have a hunk of silver that will always be valued based on silver.
Buying these lots of silver commemoratives shows that you as a collector are astute.
I have written a lot of numbers here. I admit it.
The bottom line is you are giving $1.14 per coin to the dealer for the numismatic angle.
If the dealer were a waitress, that $1.14 would make you look like an awful cheapskate.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
• Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.