Bullion buyers know that the Mint will begin taking orders for one-ounce silver American Eagle coins Jan. 11, 2016.
Collectors of the 2016 proof version do not yet have the certainty of knowing when it will be released. Dates are to be announced for both the proof and the uncirculated collector versions of the coins.
For this we can blame Congress.
It was not until the beginning of December that the Mint was given a mandate to put 30th anniversary lettering on the edges of these two collector coins rather than the standard reeding.
Perhaps this was done in hopes of reviving interest in the collector offerings.
Buyer attention in the proof Eagle coins has been waning.
Sales of the 2015 proof silver Eagle are 23 percent lower than in 2014.
Perhaps a 30th anniversary edge will help stanch the bleeding.
Hobbyists who are looking for certainty can turn their attention to the Mark Twain commemorative gold $5 and silver dollar.
These become available for purchase Jan. 14.
Gold Eagle proofs will go on sale March 17.
On March 24 the second commemorative program of the year commences. Honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, there will be a gold $5, a silver dollar and a clad half dollar.
The three National Park Service commemoratives will go on sale March 24. A clad half dollar joins the $1 and $5.
The proof gold Buffalo is scheduled for March 31.
March is heavy on precious metals offerings. However, for 2016 the big precious metal focus for collectors will be the centennial issues of the Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter and Walking Liberty half dollar in gold.
With nearly an ounce of bullion, .85 ounce to be exact, issue price of the three combined will be well over $1,000.
Issue date or dates for the centennial gold coins are not yet known.
More affordable will be the Ronald Reagan Coin and Chronicles set when it goes on sale.
That date also is yet to be determined.
The Nancy Reagan First Spouse coin is slated for some time in July as are rolls and bags of standard Reagan dollars.
July would seem to be a likely month for the special Coin and Chronicles set as well.
Speculators will be eager to see what mintage will be set for the Reagan set after the rapid sellouts of the Truman, Eisenhower and Johnson sets in 2015.