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Where are silver proof buyers?

Before the 2013-W proof silver American Eagle coins went on sale Jan. 24, I wondered if the rapid depletion of the initial stocks of the bullion version would tempt collectors to rush to buy it.

It doesn’t look that way now.

Sales are respectable, but it doesn’t look like any records will be set by the coin.

As of the Jan. 28 report, buyers had snapped up 258,860 pieces.

The following week, buyers had taken only another 21,592 coins. A more normal response would have been in the 100,00 to 140,000 range for this second number.

Is it the $62.95 price?

Did something happen during the final week of January to cause collectors to put on the brakes?

Are collectors cutting back on this issue to save money for the other American Eagle coins that will follow later in the year?

Have they been distracted by the stock market’s strong opening to the year?

It would be appropriate for any collector to add any thought on this topic here.

Nobody rings a bell when the market becomes saturated. Buyers simply disappear as they pursue other things.

Let’s see what next week will bring.

At the present rate, it will take more than 25 weeks for sales to equal last year’s 819,217.

That’s not bad, but unless sales pick up in the present week, my previous musings about a higher level of demand for the proof coin seems to be clearly off the mark.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."