WSJ on 2008 Silver Eagle Shortage

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article today covering the ongoing shortage of 2008 Silver Eagles.

The article explained that the US Mint has been so overwhelmed with orders for the popular bullion coins that they were forced to stop taking orders.  They recently resumed sales of the coins last month, but are rationing how many each authorized dealer can order.

Overall year to date sales of 2008 Silver Eagles are running at more than double the pace of last years sales.

The article linked the shortage to the “growing love of commodities” and took quotes from some new collectors of the series and silver bullion.  The people interviewed were not coin collectors, but a judge and an accountant seeking an investment alternative to the stock market and real estate.

On the whole, the coverage is factual and pretty balanced.  It ends with a reminder of how the last boom in silver ended.  In the 1980’s speculation pushed the price of silver over $50, only to plunge soon afterwards.  I don’t think the market is anywhere near this kind of speculative peak, but its always good to keep the lessons of the past fresh in our minds.

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