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Search for sales increase answer goes on

Jump in sales for tenth-ounce gold bullion coins hard to explain. Two-roll sets of West Virginia quarters go off sale.

I’m terrible at answering mail. It’s always been a problem for me, and it probably always will.

I come by it honestly. My dad’s the same way. He’s retired now, and he’s finally getting better at it. I guess it’s because he finally has time for it.

I imagine that when I’m retired I’ll probably have a pile of mail as tall as Wilt Chamberlain to answer. Some of it will probably date back to high school. That’s how slow my response time is. I mean, I got married over a month ago, and I still haven’t gotten around to writing my thank-you notes.

I’m trying to get better. I really am, especially with e-mail. So to any of you who have written me and have gotten no response, accept my apologies. I’m not trying to avoid writing. It’s just that I’m incredibly absent-minded.

That said, I did get an e-mail this week that caught my attention. It seems that while I was going on and on about “reconciliations” and the Mint’s explanation for a drop in the 2005 uncirculated set sales figures between the Nov. 15 and Nov. 22 issues, I missed a somewhat large sales increase in the 2005 proof American Eagle sales for the tenth-ounce version.

At the time, it didn’t jump out at me or seem unusual, but as the reader pointed out, sales of the tenth-ounce did outpace those for the half-ounce and quarter-ounce significantly.

How much you might be asking? Well, there were 763 sales of the tenth-ounce over that period, compared to 116 for the half-ounce and 153 for the quarter-ounce. The reader asked if I could explain it. All I can say is, I’m stumped.

Between the Nov. 22 issue and this week’s edition, sales for the tenth-ounce Eagle fell to 227. All I can say is, it’s just a statistical oddity I guess. For some reason, there was a run on tenth-ounce specimens. If anybody else has an explanation, I’d love to hear it.

So, if you know why or can even venture a guess, or if you have any questions, please e-mail me at I’ll try to respond in a timely manner. If I don’t, please feel free to e-mail me again and give me a reminder.

With the year 2005 winding down, news from the Mint is sporadic. But we do have something to report this week. The two-roll sets of the West Virginia state quarter are sold out. The Mint’s inventory is exhausted. The last known sales figures for the set are 64,654.

How does that stack up with the other 2005 state quarters? It’s about on par with the Minnesota two-roll sets. A total of 64,654 of the Gopher state’s two-roll sets were sold before they went off sale.

It’s interesting to note that the Mint sold 74,528 Kansas two-roll sets and 71,498 Oregon two-roll sets. It seems the Mint foresaw larger public demand for Kansas’ so-called Buffalo quarter.

Of course, all four pale in comparison to the California quarter two-roll sets. In all, 89,455 of them were sold.