At what price do coin collectors cry uncle over the price of a Mint offer?
Certainly it varies according to what the item is made of, from base metal to silver to gold.
It probably varies according to whether the offer is of coins or medals as well.
Now that you have your mind focused on this question, how does $199.95 hit you for a set of four silver medals?
You have until Oct. 19 to think about it
That is when the Mint 225th anniversary set goes on sale.
The .999 fine one-ounce silver medals feature the head of Miss Liberty on obverse depicted as an African-American.
Reverse is another new design of an eagle in flight.
But the designs are actually not quite new.
They were first offered June 14.
A proof example made in Philadelphia with a “P” mintmark was sold to collectors on that date.
Since then, buyers have purchased nearly 45,000 of them.
That’s not bad for a medal.
Coin collectors are notoriously picky when the choice is between spending their hard-earned money on coins or on medals.
Medals are usually the losers.
The June offer had no mintage limit.
Now consider the upcoming four-medal set.
The designs are identical to the June offer.
But four times the $59.95 June price is $239.80.
That means there is nearly a $40 price discount when buying in quantity.
What makes this set unique is each medal will have its own finish – four medals, four special finishes.
None of the four will be a “P” mint proof as the June medal is.
There will be a regular proof version, but it will have an “S” mintmark.
The “P” mint will have a reverse proof finish, where the high points are mirror-like and the field is frosted.
There will be an enhanced uncirculated finish with a “W” mintmark from West Point.
The Denver “D” will appear on a medal with a regular uncirculated finish.
These are not American Eagle legal-tender coins.
The Mint has taken that into account by setting a maximum mintage of 50,000.
Also, perhaps as a result of collector appeals after the Enhanced Uncirculated Set offer in August, there will be an order limit.
For this four-medal silver set, the Mint says households will be limited to two sets.
Because the four medals of the set are different from the June offer, collectors who want a complete set will need all five medals.
Sure, the buyer of the single medal and the four-medal set will end up with two regular proofs, but the two carry different mintmarks, “P” and “S.”
Back to my original question: Will the Mint’s customers order the new four-medal set in similar numbers to the June medal offer?
Or will the $199.95 price be too much to bite off at once?
We will see.
What do you plan to do?
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
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