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When gold coins reappear

Since the immediate sellout of the gold Mercury dime Centennial coin April 21, successive weekly Mint reports have revealed that the actual number of coins sold have been falling further and further way from the 125,000 round number previously announced as the target by the Mint.

Bad credit cards, order cancellations and returns for inferior quality or some other collector dissatisfaction have reduced the number of coins actually sold to 116,111 as of the last set of numbers from the Mint.

That means the Mint has a notional 8,889 pieces that remain.

Will they be offered to collectors?

In the old days, that was a foolish question. When a sellout was declared, that was it.

Nowadays, with the wonders of a Mint website and the Internet to connect us, the Mint repeatedly puts up and takes down coin offers.

I happened to buy one of the cupped National Baseball Hall of Fame silver dollars at the end of 2014 even though the coins had sold out in the prior spring.

It was just good fortune that Connor Falk made me aware that the coins were suddenly available again from the Mint.

With this and other offers as evidence, the gold Mercury dime will likely go back on sale at some point this year. The question is when?

The other question is do you want to buy them when they do reappear? That requires vigilance.

You theoretically can make your purchase when you are on vacation in the south of France. But the odds are that you will think you have other uses for your money at such a time.

Are the 8,889 coins that the Mint could potentially sell a large enough quantity to depress the prices of those coins already on the secondary market?

Probably not.

If you spot a renewed offer, you can buy with confidence on that score.

But what will you do with your purchase?

For me, buying the cupped silver dollar satisfied a collecting impulse. It is the only one I purchased and it is part of my collection.

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