Here’s the test. What do these numbers have in common? 197, 29, 135, 197 and 23.
Give up? You should.
It is time to be away on vacation like the rest of the coin collecting population.
Those numbers are the latest weekly sales figures from the U.S. Mint for 2016 proof gold American Eagles in 1-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce sizes as well as the full proof gold set.
Not many purchases in the last seven days, were there?
The current sales totals stand at 15,712 for the proof ounce, 3,448 for the proof half ounce, 5,120 for the proof quarter ounce, 14,344 for the proof tenth ounce and 11,191 for the proof four-coin gold American Eagle set.
Most collectors who want these sets bought them many weeks ago. The coins have been available from the U.S. Mint since March 17.
How about -1? Yes, that’s minus 1.
How’s that for a sales number?
That’s the latest change in the sales figure for the 2016-W gold Mercury dime. The Mint says 116,110 were sold of the 125,000 made available April 21. That's down from the 116,111 reported last week. Remember, these coins sold out on the first day. It was exciting then. Today? We as collectors have clearly gone on to other things like backyard barbecues.
Let me give you a larger number, 4,760.
It isn’t large. It isn’t small, either, considering my theme of slow summer sales.
It is the number of 2016 clad proof sets the Mint sold in the past week.
That brings the running tally to 336,981.
Some collectors clearly took some time away from summertime golfing to make sure their 50-year run of proof sets stays complete. Or should I say 49-year run of sets? That’s how many years’ worth you would have if you began buying these sets when I did in 1968.
Are those enough numbers for you? If not, check out the latest sales figures on the Mint Statistics pages of Numismatic News after they are completely updated.
The rest of you? Get back to your summer vacations.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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