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Will collectors notice 5-ouncers?

Full disclosure is a good thing. I am in favor of it especially when it is from the U.S. Mint.

On Oct. 8 the collector version of the Bombay Hook 5-ounce silver collector coin with a “P” mintmark goes on sale to collectors.

Issue price will be $149.95, but with silver being frisky, popping up to $15.85 this morning, it probably will soon change.

In addition to the pricing variable that collectors must always be aware of, the mintage now can also fluctuate, the Mint says.

There is a pre-announced limit, but it could change depending on demand for the bullion version.

The Mint explains it this way: “The current authorized limit of both numismatic and bullion America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins for Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is 65,000 across both options. An announced maximum mintage limit of 30,000 has been set for the America the Beautiful Five Ounce Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Uncirculated Coin. However, based on demand, the United States Mint has the flexibility to mint and issue more than the minimum of 35,000 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Silver Bullion Coins as long as the bureau does not exceed the 65,000 coin limit.”

We already know that the Mint has sold 45,000 of the Bombay Hook bullion investor coins.

That means there is room for 20,000 of the collector coins.

Will that be a problem?

Looking at the first three 2015 issues in this America the Beautiful series, we see sales numbers of 19,490 for the Homestead, 17,887 for the Kisatchie and 16,987 for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It looks like 20,000 for Bombay Hook is no sweat for collectors or the Mint.

In recent months demand for the 5-ounce bullion coins has risen strongly, probably as demand overflows from other popular bullion coins.

The Bombay Hook bullion coin sold out immediately at 45,000 pieces.

It seems likely given the state of the market that the Saratoga design will sell out as quickly when it goes on sale at the same number.

Will witnessing this explosive bullion coin demand inspire collectors to place their orders as rapidly?

At some point it could, but recent activity proves the opposite.

The collector versions of the 2015 Homestead, Kisatchie and Blue Ridge coins are still available on the Mint’s website.

Demand for the 2014 collector 5-ounce coins was higher than what has occurred so far in 2015 even as demand for the bullion versions last year was lower.

In 2014 collectors took 22,732 of the Everglades collector coins. This was the low point of the demand range. The high point was 28,451 for the Shenandoah design.

In all five cases, demand was higher than the highest figure of 19,490 achieved so far in 2015.

Demand for the bullion investment coins in 2014 ranged from 22,000 to 34,000, significantly below present demand levels where the low was 35,000 for the Homestead and the high is 45,000 for both Bombay Hook and the prior Blue Ridge issue.

The bullion coins are retailing for $122.55 online today if you just want to buy one.

That is a difference of $27.40 between the collector and bullion coin prices and it could be deterring some possible collector buyers.

In any case, so far this year it has been bullion buyers who have been most willing to put up their cash rather than collectors.

That could change at any time if silver continues to heat up.

If you have an interest in the 2015 collector 5-ounce silver coins, you probably should get what you want now.

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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