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Silver Eagle set end game begins

The end game is starting for the two-coin 2013 West Point silver American Eagle set.

Sales by the U.S. Mint as of yesterday afternoon stood at 231,500, which was the first time the quantity has exceeded the sales level of the 2012 two-coin San Francisco set.

The final mintage number for the “S” set came in at 224,981. But this number was not reached in any sort of orderly fashion.

There was a last-minute surge of orders as the sales period closed in early July last year. Then a period of remorse set in where would-be buyers cancelled their purchases.

In consequence, the final sales number was much lower than the 251,302 tally that initially appeared to be the final mintage number.

Will the last two days of sales of the 2013 set see the commencement of a similar end-of-sale pattern?

If there is a sales surge as the fence sitters crowd in, how big will it be?

It is still possible that sales could be as high as 300,000, but that number would likely scare speculators into cancelling any orders that they are able to.

In the present collecting environment, 300,000 is no longer a low figure and is not likely to lead to profits on the secondary market.

Any collector who is interested in this set is doing his figuring.

What is the first enhanced uncirculated silver American Eagle worth?

It is visually distinctive. Beginners should have no difficultly discerning the differences between it and a regular uncirculated coin.

Reverse proofs are still fairly new and novel and have an appeal to long-time collectors.

Price of the set collectors can quibble about – and they have – but $139.95 is not unreasonable.

How will all this end?

Let’s watch and see who acts or doesn’t act between now and 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday.

How many sets do you think will be purchased?

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