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Watch silver Eagles closely

Collectors and investors will have to wait a bit longer in the new year for the first 2014-dated silver American Eagle bullion coins compared to the 2013 schedule.

Orders for the new coins will be accepted by the U.S. Mint from its Authorized Purchasers as of Jan. 13, compared to Jan. 7 in 2013.

The Mint is putting its ducks in a row to try to fill the usual surge in demand as the year opens.

To do so, it will take the last orders for the 2013-dated coins on Dec. 9, compared to Dec. 17 last year.

These date changes give the Mint two more weeks to produce additional coins. That will help. The question is will it help enough.

In January 2013 the Mint had to impose rationing, which it calls allocation, even though it was able to supply 7,498,000 coins in the month.

Rationing will continue in 2014.

The question, of course, even if the Mint is able to supply more silver Eagles in 2014 compared to 2013 is will demand continue to outstrip supply?

We will see.

The supply situation for gold American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins is much better.

The Mint will take orders for 2014-dated pieces on Jan. 2, 2014, the first business day of the new year.

It expects to be able to fulfill all orders, so there will be no rationing of supply.

Precisely when the Mint will run out of 2013-dated coins is unknown. It simply says it will sell them until it runs out.

If you need 2013-dated coins it is probably best not to wait. Premiums tend to rise when supplies are exhausted.

For the 2014 coins we can all watch for the excitement when sales do begin. That is inevitable.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."