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Silver dollar pace drops by half

I have the latest weekly statistical report from the U.S. Mint and am about to update the Mint Statistics pages for the next issue of Numismatic News.

I have been watching the Girl Scouts commemorative silver dollars. It has not set any records for demand, but it does seem to be following the usual pattern of each successive week of sales being approximately half that of the prior report.

In the first report, the Mint sold 29,331 proofs. The next week was 15,597 and the latest week’s proof number is an additional 8,117. The total so far is 53,045.

For the uncirculated coin, the numbers are 12,293, 5,868 and 2,913 for a total of 21,074.

Next week’s numbers will probably be half of this week’s, but the sales decline might be accelerated by the commencement of sales tomorrow of the three-design set of 5-star general coins.

This set consists of a gold $5, a silver dollar and a clad half dollar.

Collectors can be very independent, but many of us still line up simultaneously to order new issues as they become available even those issues that we know will be plentiful and be available for many months.

This is rational in the case of commemoratives because prices initially are discounted for collectors.

Why delay buying when you can save a little money by paying attention and getting your order in in time to benefit from the discount?

It is also rational to order early for sets that you believe will sell out quickly, or if you believe bullion fluctuations will cause the Mint price to rise over time.

Once you have ordered a coin or a set, you have skin in the game as it were, and many collectors then sit back to analyze sales as they unfold.

On present trend, the Girl Scout proof silver dollars will plateau in the 60,000-70,000 range for proofs and the uncirculated coin will plateau in the 24,000-30,000 area.

Of course, these are individual coin sales numbers. When the Young Collectors set goes on sale, that will be considered a new product, and hobbyists will begin buying, thereby pushing up the uncirculated sales numbers.