My associates here in the office have been evaluating the response to my blogs this year.
They have determined which were the most popular.
It was almost a tie for the top spot.
Squeaking by to claim the highest honor is my July 5 blog.
It was entitled, “Smart silver Eagle buyers, not so smart Mint?”
In it, I congratulated silver Eagle buyers for dramatically cutting back their purchases as the year went on.
There was no way to know then why this trend began after the usual January monthly sales surge.
However, by the time of my July 5 blog, the price of silver bullion had fallen below its price on the last day of 2016.
If you are not a collector wanting a 2017 date, not buying silver Eagles before a drop in the precious metal price is nothing short of brilliant.
The problem is there is no way to know whether the reluctant Eagle buyers had a better sense of the market’s future price action than the forecasters, or whether they had simply lost interest.
That would mean their not buying helped cause the silver price downturn.
Silver is now just 29 cents higher than it was July 5 at $16.20, up from $15.91.
It is 26.4 cents higher than the point it began the year, which was $15.936.
As of this moment, total silver Eagle sales are down by 52 percent to stand at 18,065,500.
This is below the 19,583,500 figure achieved in 2008, but is above the 9,997,000 of the year 2007.
I opened my July 5 blog with words that still ring true:
“Congratulations are once again in order to all those silver American Eagle bullion coin buyers who stopped or reduced their purchases this year.”
So if buyers who didn’t buy are to be congratulated, why did I criticize the Mint?
Basically, it was for being lazy.
“For too many years, bullion sales at the Mint simply involved handing as many coins as it could produce to its Authorized Purchasers.”
I suggested a major advertising program as a remedy to falling sales.
Did you see such a campaign materialize?
The criticism is still valid.
Perhaps this is why this particular blog resonated with readers.
The blog that nearly beat my silver Eagle blog in popularity was about the surprise use of a “P” mintmark on the Philadelphia cents this year.
I wrote it Jan. 17.
Collectors were scrambling to find the new coins that were celebrating the Mint’s 225th anniversary.
Obviously, I cannot repeat this cent blog success in 2018.
Who is going to get excited about the “P” mintmark disappearing and the Mint returning to its usual custom of having no mintmark on Philadelphia cents?
At least with silver Eagles, I can continue to make observations that might gain reader attention.
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Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."