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Silver: chicken or the egg?

Even though we live in the age of the 24/7 news cycle, seasonal patterns can still influence behavior in numismatics.

The autumn collector season began with the passing of the Labor Day holiday. Collectors are coming indoors to their favorite hobby.

The result?

I don’t think it is a coincidence that collectors bought 62,623 proof 2012-W silver American Eagles in the past week. That was almost triple the sales of 22,848 the week before, which itself was double the number of the week before that.

Of course, it is just as plausible to ascribe the sudden jump to rising silver prices. An ounce of the precious metal is now nearly $34, up over $6 in five weeks.

An expectation that silver will go higher still might be motivating proof Eagle buyers who had been on the fence to jump off it and get their coins for the current $54.95.

Whether the seasonal pattern is asserting itself, or a strong silver bullion market is drawing collectors back into new issues, the outcome is the same for organized numismatics: autumn 2012 should prove to be a strong period of time for the nation’s coin dealers.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."