A silver medal is about to be offered by the U.S. Mint without any gimmicks involved.
Will anyone show up to buy tomorrow?
At noon Eastern Daylight Time the U.S.Mint will begin selling a one-ounce 225th Anniversary American Liberty silver medal.
There is no mintage limit.
There is no order limit.
There are no games being played with multiple mintmarks.
It is just a proof silver medal with a Philadelphia ��P” mintmark on it.
Last year the Mint offered another Liberty silver medal design.
However, maximum mintage was set at 25,000.
The Mint put an “S” mintmark on some and a “W” mintmark on others.
It was a 50/50 split, meaning 12,500 apiece.
It sold out in minutes at a price of $34.95 each.
Buyers took 12,176 “S” medals and 12,183 “W.”
Prices soared on the secondary market.
If you were lucky enough to get a medal that grades Proof-70, you can still sell it for triple issue price to a major retailer.
If you want to buy one at full retail, you will have to pay six times issue price.
That is the history.
Now we are in 2017.
The Mint has nearly doubled the medal's issue price to $59.95 from $34.95.
Clearly, the Mint wants a piece of the action.
But will there be any action?
Potential buyers know they can acquire all they want tomorrow.
Will they want any?
If demand tomorrow is as underwhelming as I expect, there is a possibility that the numbers purchased won’t even equal last year’s total.
However, using collector logic, 24,000 “P” mintmark medals if sold would be less than what was sold last year.
However, this would make the medal twice as common as either the 2016 “S” or “W” pieces.
The Mint could even find itself selling significantly fewer pieces overall.
The Mint needs to sell only 14,201 2017 medals to generate more revenue than last year’s offer.
That is the mathematical truth of a higher issue price.
And a 14,201 total is still higher than the number of either 2016 medal sold.
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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