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Can silver Eagles be boring?

The uncirculated version of the 2012 silver American Eagle goes on sale at the  U.S. Mint website at noon Eastern time today.

How many collectors will care enough this year to buy one?

There may be more than a few collectors who have been exhausted by the wave of proof coins, the regular 2012-W proof, the two-coin San Francisco proof set with regular proof and reverse proof, and the soon-to-arrive Bureau of Engraving and Printing set with a regular “S” proof in it.

Sure, today’s Eagle coin offer is not a proof. The “W” mintmarked coin is struck on a burnished blank.

It’s price is cheaper at $45.95 compared to the current $54.95 proof “W” price.

It’s .999 fine silver.

Is your mouth watering yet? No?

With silver sitting at $27 an ounce, it is hard to see a level of excitement building around this issue that would take its sales anywhere near the 297,629 sales number of the 2011 burnished uncirculated issue.

If demand falls short by enough, the Mint will have committed itself to inventing more products with some form of silver Eagle in them only to find that the total number of dollar bills it can extract from collector wallets does not keep up with all of the sales options.

Then what?

Over time many collectors got bored with First Spouse gold coins, commemoratives and standard proof sets. Is it possible for these same collectors to get bored with a multiplicity of collector versions of the silver American Eagle?

We might be about to find out.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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One Response to Can silver Eagles be boring?

  1. billrod says:

    Hi Dave,
    I just read Eric Jordan’s article “Silver Eagle: The Modern Morgan”and it was a fantastic analysis of this series. I think Eric’s article is in contrast to your thoughts that Eagles are boring. I’m sure you remember, as I do, when Morgans were boring. Mr. Jordan’s article highlights many silver Eagles that collectors are eagerly seeking out today. Many of these collectors had the opportunity to get these coins at issue prices but just ignored them. This is very similar to Morgans. Now in hindsight they are seeing that the American Eagle silver dollars are very popular and that there are many scarce issues that are in demand. Morgans were issued from five different mints, althought not all were at the same time. They were issued for circulation and as proofs. Eagles have been as uncirculated, burnished uncirculated, proof and reverse proof and issued by four different mints. If and when they issue a Denver Eagle then that will be another collecting milestone. The Mint says that it has no plans to do so but who knows, just when everyone thinks that the series has become boring maybe we will be surprised again.
    Mr. Jordan’s article brought out several new facts that I did not know about the 2008W/2007 ( ten of which I received directly from the Mint):
    1. Mintage was 46,318 as opposed to the 47,000 estimates normally published.
    2. The West Point Mint had a very high scrap rate in 2008 and the actual mintage could be considerably less than 46,318.
    I love your articles. They show real passion for coin collecting and knowledege that can only be gained through lifelong collecting. You and I have to look at coin collecting today a little differently than we did in the past. It still can be exciting. Maybe there will still be hope for First Spouse coins and 5 ounce ATB’s.
    Bill Rodriguez
    Jacksonville, FL

    To me this is very exciting. Not boring.

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