This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
>> Subscribe today!
Shakespeare said all’s well that ends well, and that is how I felt as I headed out the door at the end of the production process for last week’s Numismatic News.
It went to press a day early on the day before Thanksgiving. Just meeting the requirements of an issue in four days instead of five always feels good, but there was more.
Not long before quarter to 10 o’clock in the morning after I had approved Page 1, I got a call from Tom Jurkowsky at the Mint saying that there was a problem with some orders for proof silver American Eagles.
He said 2,200 online orders had been deleted as well as 500 online orders for other products.
As you might expect, he was apologetic.
The Mint was trying to get in touch with the customers who placed the orders to ask them to resubmit them by telephone. For their trouble, they would be put at the head of the line for delivery and be treated to next day delivery service.
When I had hung up the phone, I knew I had to do something. I wrote a quick squib for my blog to announce the news to readers online. I called production to make a change in the paper, but I could not recall Page 1.
I had to settle for modifying the continuation of the story on Page 24 to work in the order problem information.
I am sure if one of my old journalism professors or my first boss saw the resulting story, they would not have given me high marks for it.
The critical information of the deleted orders was in the middle of it following the information regarding the initial numbers of coins ordered.
The Page 1 headline in a perfect world should have said “Eagle orders lost,” rather than “Proofs in demand.”
Hopefully you read the full story and got the critical information, or saw it on the www.numismaticnews.com website.
Stuff happens when it happens. It doesn’t fall into neat time packages.
Fortunately, in this case, the news happened in time to get it into these pages and online quickly.
If you don’t read all of my online Buzz blogs, I also thanked the individuals who do read it and post comments on it. Comments the Nov. 22 blog were the first indicators that there was a new problem with Mint orders.
This of course occurred not long after the error e-mails sent by the Mint to subscribers saying their Eagle orders had been cancelled even before the sales period had opened.
One other tidbit of information that didn’t make it into the story was that there were 35,000 online orders taken in the first two days of sales. With over 273,000 proof Eagles ordered in that time, even taking into account the phone orders, it would seem that many of the buyers purchased multiple pieces.
Usually when that happens, the buyers try to turn them around and sell them on the secondary market. That could depress the price in the long run.