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Silver 2011 ATB number 125,000

When sales of the 2011 America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver bullion coins begin in late April with the Gettysburg design, how many will be available to buyers?

125,000, according to the acting Mint director Richard Peterson.

I interviewed him yesterday for an article in Numismatic News. You will be able to read it in full when it is posted on Friday at and

The 125,000 coins, already stored at the Philadelphia Mint, are nearly four times the 33,000 struck for each of the five 2010 designs and the total almost equals the 165,000 number of all five 2010 designs combined.

Will that be enough to satisfy would-be buyers?

It might be, but then again, since the bullion value at today’s $34 price would be just $21.25 million, it is still low enough that Internet enthusiasm could whip up a buying frenzy.

Will that happen?

It could. Certainly it is less likely than it was for the 2010 designs.

What is the magic number that will satisfy the market that they are no longer scarce enough to warrant buyer excitement?

We will have to wait for the market to tell us.

This could be it, because buyers will know that four more will be sold during the rest of the year with the same mintage – and the acting Mint director left the door open for still greater numbers to be produced if the blanks can be found to strike them on and public demand warrants it.

Capacity of the press in Philadelphia is presently 1.25 million a year, Peterson said.

Now the hard part. You have to think about this for roughly another five weeks.