This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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And then there were two.
With less than 1,000 5-ounce silver 2010 America the Beautiful uncirculated collector coins honoring Hot Springs National Park left for sale, the U.S. Mint announced May 4 that the uncirculated collector version of the 2010 Yellowstone National Park 5-ounce silver coin would go on sale May 17.
It is being sold directly by the U.S. Mint at a price of $279.95. That’s the same price it charged for the 2010 Hot Springs uncirculated 5-ounce coin that went on sale April 28.
That price could change, however, as the market price of silver fluctuates, said Mint Director of Public Affairs Tom Jurkowsky.
The five 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce numismatic coins each has a mintage of 27,000. They contain the same .999 fine silver as the bullion version but also have a “P” mintmark and vapor-blasted finish, similar to that on the Mint’s 3-inch bronze medals.
At the close of business May 3, the Mint had sold 26,133 of the 27,000 Hot Springs National Park 5-ounce coins.
Sales started off with a bang April 28 with a total 20,426 coins sold – 16,210 sales made on the website and 4,216 by phone.
The surge of business on the Web cause the Mint’s site to be down for 45 minutes April 28, Jurkowsky said. Once the system was rebooted, sales resumed without any further downtime.
Jurkowsky said the Mint is aware that its online ordering management system needs to be upgraded, but the project is not expected to be completed until mid-2012.
The Mint is staggering the release of the 2010 uncirculated collector coins.
That’s probably a good thing, said John Maben, owner of Modern Coin Mart, the online division of John Maben Rare Coins.
“If they were released all at once it would be hard for the market to handle,” he said.
Maben ventured that some of the coins are already showing up on eBay with asking prices of $500 or more. His advice to collectors is to wait three or four weeks until the supply of coins increases.
“I think these coins will settle into a 10 to 30 percent premium over what the Mint sold them for,” Maben said. “That would be a fair premium to pay for the coin on a retail basis.”