No awards for patience go to buyers of new coin issues from the Mint.
Rapid sellouts have become the norm.
Yesterday’s offer of the two-piece sets pairing a World War I proof dollar with five different medals is the latest case in point.
The medals honor the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Service and Coast Guard.
Each two-piece set was $99.95.
No more than 100,000 of all five options combined will be made.
If demand is evenly spread, there would be 20,000 of each.
The proof dollar alone did not sell out. Nor did the uncirculated. They have a combined mintage total of 350,000.
The proof dollar price is $51.95 by itself.
This means the silver medal has an implied price of $48, which is a sweet deal for the Mint because there are no pesky $10 surcharges to pay on each medal to outside groups.
Mint buyers scrambled to buy the sets, I expect because they believe a 20,000 mintage is low. Speculators are thought likely to bid up their price.
However, as I said at the beginning, Mint product buyers are not patient.
How will they react to the wait for delivery, which is projected to take until May to begin?
In the speculative universe that these buyers live in, four months is longer than eternity.
Last August, the Enhanced Uncirculated Set sold out in hours on the first day, only to be repeatedly re-offered before the month was over.
The upshot is a sellout then turned into an offer that wasn’t a sellout.
The 225,000 limit was reached. Returns reversed the result.
Final sales number ended up being 210,402.
Will the World War I two-piece sellouts be reversed during the long months of waiting?
Credit card orders are easily canceled.
That is almost worth betting on.
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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