American Silver Eagles vs. ATB 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins

Arches While sales for American Silver Eagle bullion coins have been potentially setting up for another record year, sales for the America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver bullion coin series have remained enticingly low. In recent years, the lower mintages for the ATB series have created premiums for some of the coins well above their intrinsic values.

The American Silver Eagle was introduced in 1986 and remains the only one ounce silver bullion coin produced by the United States Mint. The series enjoys broad recognition around the world and continues to remain a preferred method of physical silver investment for many investors. The series also has a broad collector base who pursue the bullion issues by date, with premiums paid for the lower mintage years or top graded certified examples.

The mintage low for the Silver Eagle series occurs for the 1996-dated issue at 3,603,386 pieces. There are four other issues with mintages below the 5 million level. Since 2008, annual mintages have risen sharply to 20 million or more pieces per year. Last year a new annual sales record was established at 42,675,000 coins despite availability being hampered by rationing for the entire year. The US Mint has finally lifted their rationing program this week, potentially setting the stage for an even higher sales total this year.

The America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Coin series was launched in 2010 and represents the only bullion offering from the United States Mint which has a precious metal weight greater than one ounce. The series stands apart from the 5 oz silver coins offered by other world mints due to the wider than typical diameter of 3 inches and the lower than typical denomination of only 25 cents.

The ATB series features five different designs per year, which splits already low annual sales into even lower mintage figures for each individual issue. The current mintage low for a bullion coin is held by the Hawaii Volcanoes and Denali National Park issues at just 20,000 pieces each. In this recent post, I listed the mintage levels for each issue of the series from 2010 to 2013. For 2014 to date, the Great Smoky Mountains design has reached sales of 27,500 pieces, and the Shenandoah National Park design has reached sales of 19,600 pieces. The next design featuring Arches National Park will go on sale to authorized purchasers on Monday June 9, 2014.

Putting Silver Eagle and ATB Silver bullion sales side by side highlights the extreme disparity between the two programs. The graph below indicates the annual sales figures for each program since 2010. The ATB sales (in red) barely register against the massive sales of the Silver Eagles. Keep in mind that the annual ATB sales are split between five different designs.


With mintages in the tens of millions, none of the 2010 to 2014 Silver Eagle bullion coins commands much of a premium above the value of the precious metal content. Since the price of silver was higher in prior years, this would put the value of some bullion purchases under water at the current depressed price of silver.

In contrast, multiple issues from the America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver bullion coin series command premiums above the precious metal content. In several cases, this additional premium outweighs any decline in value related to the precious metal content. Each of the 2010 issues commands a premium, which may be driven by the fragmented distribution for that year, in addition to the mintage levels. All of the 2012 issues commands a premium due to the lower mintages, with significant premiums attached to the Hawaii and Denali issues. Even from last year, the Mount Rushmore design is showing a noticeable premium.

Over the past few years, I have shifted my personal silver bullion purchases from the traditional American Silver Eagles to the ATB series coins as well as some selected lower mintage world silver bullion coins. The additional premiums now attached to some of these coins has outweighed any declines in the intrinsic value of the metal. The strategy will continue to make sense as long as Silver Eagle sales remain high and the ATB series remains under the radar for large scale bullion buyers.

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  1. Boz says

    While I tend to agree personally with you observations, rare does not equal desirable in all cases. Look at the first spouses, what could be more rare in US coins, but nobody cares. The market has failed to respond.

    There was almost a panic when the first five pucks hit, and costs were $300 or more per coin. Doubt that any would recoup their original costs.

    The average accumulator will have to pay sales commissions when it is time to sell. An estate might have to resort to a pawn shop or a storefront “pm buyer” and receive only melt value minus 25-50 cents on the dollar.

    I do not understand the current depressed pm market at all, but we will need massive hikes to everget our money back.

    I just have the pucks for the enjoyment…not expecting to ever make any “profit”

  2. posterhunter says

    I agree 100%, the silver eagles are pure bullion at those mintage levels. I’m surprised more people don’t buy the 5 ouncers as they have nice designs and are easier to see and look at.

  3. Brad says


    I have to disagree. Anyone who was wise enough to buy the ATB 5 oz. coins as their silver bullion purchases are in a much better position to recoup their investment than those who bought ASE’s these past few years.

    Oh, and the First Spouses will not be under-appreciated forever. Just wait until the new mintage lows of 2013 are realized. That will give them a shot in the arm. There’s no way that gold coins with mintages THIS low will not eventually attract some attention. Some of these will make the 1997 Unc Jackie Robinson look like a high-mintage coin by comparison. Some if not all of the 2013 Unc First Spouses will end below 2,000 coins. The psychological appeal of a gold coin with a mintage of 1,9XX will be strong.

  4. Icsopris says

    Due to falling price of silver, will mint readjust pricing on the 5oz like they did gold coins?

  5. gary says

    The ATB 5 ouncers are still the best kept secret in modern U.S. coins. They are odd, but not nearly so much as a “curved coin”. Their debut in late 2010 (all five, all at once!) in bullion issue came at the time of very high silver prices and very limited availability and as a result, prices went stratospheric, especially for slabbed ones. I bought a slabbed set for $979 once prices cooled and began collecting the P-Mint versions but stopped buying from the Mint after the 1st 2 issues of 2010’s. Silver started sliding, but I really love the vapor-blast finish on the P-Mint 5 ouncers. Sold my 2010 slabbed bullion set (just to get my money back) and began buying the rest of the 2010, 2011 & 2012 P-Mints in early 2013 and got quite a few for much less than Mint issue price! I now have a current full set of P-Mint ATB’s and a 2014 ATB subscription. Hopefully, silver will rise again sometime in the future but in any case, displaying these coins to friends & family is an enjoyable event around Christmas time! I would have collected the bullion ATB 5 ouncers but couldn’t budget for it but I’d heartily recommend them to new collectors as many of the relatively low mintage pieces can be obtained at decent prices with the current depressed silver prices!

  6. joe says

    I agree with basically everything said by Brad. The point of the article was to compare the ATB 5 ounce bullion coins with the ASE bullion coins. Ounce for ounce, the ATBs have a much better appreciation potential going forward. And while I also agree the FS gold coins “will not be under-appreciated forever,” I expect that it may take a generation for this to occur.

  7. joe says

    What I would really like to see is a convenient way to store and display both the bullion and collector versions of the ATB 5 ouncers! Unfortunately one has to remove the collector version and re-capsule it to make it work, which bothers me. I guess the assumption is that collectors will leave the mint-purchased coins housed in their OGPs. Heck, I would be happy to have some basic coin tubes that would fit the mint-purchased versions.

  8. KEITHSTER says

    Thanks for the link Steve hope this one takes off but do dought it as it looks more like milky spot left after rim damage and that sounds a little well you know? But you would think someone from NGC.or the Mint would bid this way up sure could be a boom to them. Think of all the different labels they could sell might even get in on one of the baby bat teeth labels or the bloody nose if I can find mine in for sure on the cold sore or lip nick as its known. My zit face one would drive um wild !! Sure some would be kicking themself but the mint would have little returned and the graders overbooked. So someone dig deep and lets get this party started:) Even the brillo pad bullion would take off then just think of all the new labels way to go NGC ! Well have a good weekend and Good Luck To All:>:>:>

  9. fmtransmitter says

    Wish I was retired as I would start work on a nice wooden display for the pucks and sell them to the dealers and vendors for a profit to buy more coins!

  10. says


    You’re right on the mark with your remark about the AtBs being the best kept secret in modern coin collecting.

    The continued failure of the AtB bullion program has always been a hobby horse of mine. For bullion programs to be successful, you really need to advertise the pieces beyond just the traditional coin collecting market. The “hockey pucks” are a great way to stack bullion, but basically no one outside of the small coin collecting community knows about them. The mint should be finding ways to advertise the AtBs to the “investor” types rather than just us collectors.

    Most investors probably don’t even know about the AtBs and just keep stacking silver eagles.

  11. Pittsburgh P says

    Everything stated in this article makes perfect sense… That being said I will always be a sucker for the ASE no matter what the production numbers are. They are my coin of choice for silver investment and collecting. I never got into the ATB pucks that much, I got a few when they were first released, all five in 2013 & have a subscription now. I’ll probably keep getting them with the subscription as long as there’s a discount. I do like the design of the upcoming Arches ATB also. It would be nice if they adjusted the silver prices with the depressed PM market as it is but imo this will not occur…

  12. Jon in CT says

    The Mint charges a $2 per-coin premium (above the price of silver) for the American Silver Eagle bullion coins sold to Authorized Purchasers but charges only a $9.75 per-coin premium for the America the Beautiful bullion coins sold to Authorized Purchasers. So an AP pays the Mint less per ounce of silver when it buys AtB coins compared to ASE coins. So silver dealers ought to be selling AtB coins for less (per ounce) than ASE coins, but that never happens. Why?

  13. fmtransmitter says

    They are now Jon. All my dealer emails are pushing them. They are catching on just now….

  14. Zaz says

    Part of the issue with the 5oz. ATBs is a marketing AND an identity problem. There are two types of finishes that are frequently interchanged because the nomenclature is reversed from the standard understanding of “unc.” and “proof” (or proof-like). Investors tend to like the 1oz coins in tubes for ease of transportability whereas 10 5oz. coins in a fat tube feel bulkier than 2-25 coin rolls. Moreover the changing reverses makes most collectors treat the bullion as coins, which they really aren’t. Finally most world mints 5oz and above offerings are speciality items for collectors with fancy presentation cases, COAs, and very limited mintages. Only Perth’s Lunar series’s oz bullion competes head-to-head with the ATBs, but a 5oz silver is still seen as anomaly by investors. It is slowly starting to change with the upwardly creeping mintages. Still on the ground floor for anyone on a budget discovering these today and needing to backfill, but definitely a best kept secret in the hobby today.

  15. Blair J Tobler says

    So the AP’s are paying $2.00 an ounce premium on ASEs and $1.95 per ounce premium on ATBs? Doesn’t seem like much of a difference to me.

  16. says

    From an artistic standpoint, the upcoming Arches 5 oz ATB is, arguably, the best thus far. I, as an east coast guy, had the opportunity to view Delicate Arch close up, after a pretty good hike to get to it.
    The image of Delicate Arch on the coin really jumps out, with a nice, uncluttered background.

  17. Jon in CT says

    fmtransmitter wrote on June 6, 2014 at 2:14 PM:

    They are now Jon. All my dealer emails are pushing them. They are catching on just now….

    Absolutely not true. Show me an AtB price on any dealer’s website and I’m certain I can find the same amount of silver there sold in the form of ASEs for less.

    All dealers are charging a numismatic premium for AtB silver bullion coins, which makes them a poor bullion investment.

  18. MarkInFlorida says

    The OGP takes up too much space so I put my P-pucks into 3-1/4 coin cardboard boxes (like the 2 x 2 boxes but bigger. The bullion ones in airtites fit nicely in the blue monster boxes they puck tubes ship in.

  19. Jon in CT says

    MarkInFlorida wrote on June 6, 2014 at 4:41 PM:

    The OGP takes up too much space …

    Luckily, that isn’t an issues with the coins under discussion in this thread (i.e. bullion coins).

  20. fmtransmitter says

    you misunderstood Jon, I meant to agree that dealers are buying them to flip them because of the discount you mentioned…

  21. MarkInFlorida says

    @Jon in CT: joe was discussing storage of the collector versions and I was answering his question. You must have missed it while arguing with someone else.

  22. joe says

    @MarkInFlorida – Just to verify, there is room in the blue ATB shipping containers for the airtites? I figured it would be too tight a fit so never bothered to see.

  23. joe says

    Mark – To clarify, I meant to say the blue tubes within the blue shipping boxes.

  24. joseph says

    The bid for silver BHOF keep going down on the bay. not good… I don’t remember I saw this happened for 2006 10th anniv. silver eagle set. it went up to almost $700/set. there were only 250k set .The number for BHOF silver ‘set’ (proof and UNC) is 137909 and is now selling less than 2006 Silver AE set(compare the same period of price movement). not looking good.

  25. Jon in CT says

    As a side note, the document at says:

    The price of the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin is based on the silver content plus a fixed premium per ounce. The premium for this coin will be established in 2010 prior to the launch of this program and is subject to change. United States Mint bullion coin premium changes are posted in the Federal Register.

    As usual, the U.S. Mint treats the U.S. statutes as recommendations instead of requirements. The Mint has NEVER published a notice in the Federal Register which declared its AtB bullion coin premium.

  26. joe says

    @joseph – I think that’s because the silver BHOF coins took a ride with the gold BHOF coins after they sold out. The prices for the silver BHOF coins are still outlandish in my opinion and I expect a PF/MS70 graded coin to settle in the $150 range. Remember, there’s a ton of them that haven’t even shipped yet. When they do, the floor will drop out.

  27. gary says

    @Jon, if I understand your reckoning, the difference in premium between 1 oz. ASE (5 of them) and a single ATB 5 oz. is only a 25 cent savings on the silver content for an ATB. Pretty much a wash unless bought in megaloads. I agree with CaptO that the Mint had not done a good marketing job in 2010 for ATB bullion and the debacle of the 2010 bullion issues crash and burn turned off investors who saw them as numismatic items. When they were minted in great quantity in 2011, quite a few were sold at the prevailing high price of silver. Basically, the launch was botched. But it does make their limited mintages (in most cases) pretty attractive especially now with silver quite depressed.

  28. Larry says

    Does anyone know which shipping date is more accurate, the one on the “track order” on the mints’ website, or the last e-mail the mint sent. On the mint’s website, the shipping date for my silver BHOF is 6/6. The last e-mail I got says 6/21.
    And to think all this insanity will start again in a couple months when the gold Kennedy (hopefully) comes out.

  29. Pittsburgh P says

    @Jon in CT your remarks on bullion AtB vs. ASE make ZERO sense and is only more of your egotistical ranting. I personally would rather stack ASE but your complaining about dealers selling AtB bullion at a huge numismatic premium is unfounded… Where is you data or proof? By your data ASE is a 2$ per oz premium where the AtB is a 1.95$ per oz premium… 5 cents! Here are links to one larger mint dealer:

    @MCM if you buy a roll of 20 2014 ASE at wire price its 1.58$ per coin more over the 2$ premium you state. If you buy 5 AtB puck at wire price its 1.94$ more over the 1.95$ premium. I used 20 ASE since its a roll and 5 AtBs because its a discount level. Monter boxes of each are even closer in price. .36 cents per oz is not a huge numismatic premium! This is only one example… Don’t know where your buyin your silver but either you are getting ripped off, are not doing research, or are clueless.

    Sorry I didn’t copy and paste your remarks then say something witty underneath it in bold italics….

  30. joe says

    Received my gold unc and pf BHOF coins today from the Mint. They both look pretty good.

  31. GoldFishin says

    @gary – really enjoyed your earlier post. I got a set of the 2010 pucks from Amark that were already holdered by PCGS graded BU. They were beautiful coins(probably DMPL) but I flipped the entire set for $1750, my purchase price was around $900. I told myself that I would take the proceeds and begin collecting a 2010 69 DMPL set. I made my last purchase a few months back and got a Grand Canyon PCGS 69 DMPL for a very, very, good price to complete my set. I have begun collecting the 2012 set at current prices. I managed to get a Denali for less than $180 graded 69 DMPL before the HOF coins came on the scene. I know a lot of readers don’t collect the slabs, but in the bullion version I do like to collect the PCGS flag label 69 DMPL First Strike. I feel like if I can buy the coin for about the same premium per ounce that I dealer would charge and add in the cost of PCGS grading currently at$50-54 depending on bulk discount or not, I have made a good purchase. Especially, at what I feel like are artificially depressed silver prices.

    @MNB – thank you for a great write up and giving us a lot of information with which to make investment decisions. I really appreciate your efforts.

  32. Pittsburgh P says

    The claims by a fellow poster that AtBs are being sold at a huge premium by dealers compared to the ASE is incorrected & I disagree. My post with the links and statistics included is awaiting moderation…. Hope it passes judgement and is allowed to be veiwed…

  33. VA Bob says

    I always thought the Mints premium (to authorized sellers) for bullion ASE’s was 3%. Didn’t know it was a fixed price.

  34. Tom P says

    Demand people, demand. If I had money to spend on a half ounce of gold, where would I spend it? First spouse coins would be way down on my list no matter what the mintage. US/Canadian/Mexican bullion half ounce pieces first, American Indian eagles second (or 4th) .

    Silver, these things look like plates. Again 5 ounce ATB’s are way down on my list. They are so far down that so far I have none. I have 5 ounce Mexican, Fiji, and Australian 5 oz pieces. The dealer beginning with A occasionally has pieces for about $125 but never when I put in an order…

  35. fmtransmitter says

    I agree with Tom. The 5 ounce Libertad last year with a 1600 mintage was a stunning addition at a good price! Those coins imo are beautiful and sleepers…

  36. thePhelps says

    While I am kind of late to the ATB bullion game… I tend to agree with Michael’s take here. The long term value will hold and increase – much like a Numismatic release. There are in most years a very limited number of these coins being produced, and as time goes by they and the set will only increase in value as collectors late to the game find the series. When you compare them to the millions of annual ASE bullion coins – it is a near no brainer – you should be adding at least one of these for every 5 ASE you purchase. I actually have stopped buying ASE bullion – how many do I need anyway. The only difference is the annual date change.

    That said – the quality of the ATB bullion coins often is a failure. I’ve been buying them fresh from the major resellers as each is released and nearly all of them have had terrible surface scratches or other very distracting damage. I often end up buying 2 or 3 to find an acceptable coin.

    I prefer the unique intrinsic display a 5 ounce coin gives me over the repetitive annual 1 ounce coin. A group of 5 ounce coins looks much more interesting than a group of 1 ounce coins with the same design… IMO

  37. MarkInFlorida says

    @joe says: If I remember correctly, the airtites fit nicely in the blue monster boxes, in place of the tubes. But I think the Mint’s capsules do not. And there are 2 sizes of airtites, I’m not sure if both fit. I think the early ones were bigger. I’ll check mine this weekend and let you know.

  38. mgm says

    My best grading day of my life! I sent the following coins in to NGC.

    The 2014 buffalo I got straight from the mint. From the second order, item one (2013 gold buffalo) was from the gift shop at the Denver mint. Item 2 and 3, (gold buffalos) were from ebay. Sellers with low number of sales, reported they were the original owers when asked prior to the sale, and observed the pictures the best I could. Item 4 and 5 were from the mint too. Now I have a complete set of proof gold buffalos, all graded pr 70. I’ve started collecting this series since 2006.

    Happy collecting.


    001 2013 W BUFFALO .9999 FINE G$50 PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
    002 2009 W BUFFALO .9999 FINE G$50 PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
    003 2011 W BUFFALO .9999 FINE G$50 PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
    004 2013 W EAGLE S$1 MS 70
    005 2012 S EAGLE S$1 PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO

  39. GoldFishin says

    @mgm…sweet..over how many months or years did you collect the various dates prior to submitting them? Congrats really doesn’t cover it!! Awesome job!

  40. mgm says


    The 2013 buffalo, I read on this site it had sold out, didn’t have the coin yet so I called the phone numberthat I found on this site and they had eleven or so… I got one and told everyone here they had more. I think they were gone in minutes. My big wholes were the other two buffalos (09 & 11) I got both of those over the last 1 1/2 years I’m guessing. The others I bought w/in six months of them going on sale. The 2008 I got from my brother who ordered two or I would of missed out on that one all-to-gether.

  41. Ralph says

    When you guys talk, I listen! Just signed up for a sub for 2 ATB 5 oz’s. Had it ordered before the HOF coins came out and cancelled it to concentrate on the HOF coins.
    My order for the $5 Gold Proof coins will arrive Monday, finally. Still waiting on the $5 UNC and the $1 Silver Unc’s I ordered on release day. The $5 Gold Proof’s I sold very early on ebay . They are now going for twice what I sold them for. My buyers will get the coins at the price they paid. Wonder how many sellers will keep the coins to sell for more.
    What’s amazing is all of my buyers are waiting so patiently for their coins. It’s been over 60 days, and no one is in panic mode yet. Can’t say I’d be the same!
    Love reading all the comments on here. Thanks to everybody!

  42. Jon in CT says

    Pittsburgh P wrote on June 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM:

    @Jon in CT your remarks on bullion AtB vs. ASE make ZERO sense and is only more of your egotistical ranting. I personally would rather stack ASE but your complaining about dealers selling AtB bullion at a huge numismatic premium is unfounded… Where is you data or proof? By your data ASE is a 2$ per oz premium where the AtB is a 1.95$ per oz premium… 5 cents! Here are links to one larger mint dealer:

    @MCM if you buy a roll of 20 2014 ASE at wire price its 1.58$ per coin more over the 2$ premium you state. If you buy 5 AtB puck at wire price its 1.94$ more over the 1.95$ premium. I used 20 ASE since its a roll and 5 AtBs because its a discount level. Monter boxes of each are even closer in price. .36 cents per oz is not a huge numismatic premium! This is only one example… Don’t know where your buyin your silver but either you are getting ripped off, are not doing research, or are clueless.


    My previous posts observed that:
    (1) the Mint ALWAYS charges Authorized Purchasers less per ounce for AtB coins than for ASE coins.
    (2) one can always buy ASE coins from dealers for less per ounce than any AtB coins.

    Thanks for confirming that my second point is true @MCM.

  43. mgm says


    Thanks for the link. I’ve never saw that article before… I never realized there were that many buffs out there.


  44. joe says


    Some are much more affordable than others, but none are as expensive as the ones you’ve already purchased. Please note that the article only references US coins; there are many other nice Buffalo world coins (especially from Canada) if you really want to get carried away.

    Just an interesting twist on collecting Buffaloes.


  45. joe says


    In the spirit of this thread, I forgot to add that need to get the two 2010 Yellowstone 5 Ounce Silver ATB coins (collectible and bullion versions) since they have a Buffalo on the reverse. The article predates these two coins, so they were not included.


  46. MarkInFlorida says

    @joe says: I checked and the unc capsules fit in the blue monster boxes. So a whole set should fit nicely in one box. The current airtite that some dealers are selling the bullion ones in also fit nicely, but with the older airtites that are much thicker you could not fit the whole set into one box. Those boxes can be bought without the tubes pretty cheap from some dealers.

  47. Pittsburgh P says

    Jon in CT I wasn’t saying these dealers aren’t charging a premium for the bullion AtB’s. I was disagreeing with your statement that they are charging a numismatic premium. They are only receiving a 5 cent discount over the ASEs and selling them for 20 cents to a dollar more per oz depending on the amount purchased. Its not a huge amount. Now the Rushmore AtB are being sold at a premium! The non damaged ones are much more. This is due to lower mintage and popularity and IS a numismatic premium. So I agree if your purchasing bullion as an investment only the choice is ASE. Yet quite a few are purchasing the AtB because they like them and feel they will bring a premium over spot in the future or to display along with being an investment. I know the P version are for collecting and bullion is for investing but there are cross over coins and imo the bullion AtB is one of them. I guess buy what you like and you can’t be wrong…

  48. joe says

    @MarkInFlorida – Thanks for checking. I think probably the cheapest place I’ve found to get the blue boxes is from Provident Metals when ordering additional items (to reduce shipping costs). Just to be clear, when you mention a “whole set”, are you referring to a single coin from all 50 states? Thanks.

  49. Leo S. says

    Gold Baseball – Someone just paid $5100 for a Gold Proof Coin 70 on Ebay. Most of the gold coins have not been shipped even to those who ordered on the first day. Is this getting a little crazy??

  50. says


    For me, when I am buying bullion, it’s really about two things: price and credibility.

    When I’m looking for gold my preference is to buy pieces as close to spot price as possible. There have been a lot of instances in the past where, for example, “cheapo” low demand gold commemoratives got you more bang for the buck than an American gold eagle. In that case I usually don’t care what’s on the gold piece as long as it’s cheaper than anything else I can find.

    The other thing to consider is credibility, in other words, how likely is something to recognized as a “real” gold coin having value. An American gold eagle, for example, has the credibility(theoretically) of the US mint behind it, whereas gold bars might not have this same level of credibility.

  51. JOSEPH says

    @Ray, contacted the seller and see if there are GOLD BHOF for $100. if there are, I told the seller I want all of them and would wire the money to him/her. got rejected and the seller put a 0 after my offer… LOL

  52. says

    fmt, I took a look at the Libertad 5 oz. coins last night after you said that there were only 1600 of them minted last year. I can’t find that number anywhere, but did find an indication of around 10,000. I don’t own any Libertad’s of any kind, but have to agree that they’re pretty sweet looking coins. If you have any info to back up that 1600 number, I would appreciate you posting. Thanks.

  53. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    The silver Eagles are probably what’s keeping the Dow below 20,000.
    Since the Great Recession, people have wised up. Silver as well as gold are a lot safer and a lot more solid investment than stocks, land ownership, and housing which also have seen steep declines although albeit recouping some of their values to before the Recession started..

  54. GoldFishin says

    @Captain – I could have wrote your post about bullion. I feel exactly the same way. I try to buy anything, silver or gold, as close to spot as possible, and as you said, if you ever consider having to sell what you own at some point in the future, it better have credibility or you won’t get nearly what the bullion is worth from most dealers. If you consider an economic collapse scenario, where our fiat currency becomes worthless or greatly devalued and ebay may not even be around, you better have something somebody believes is real bullion and worth buying. I am not a doomsayer, but I try to always look at every angle when it comes to investing in anything. I will add that I also try to buy coins that do have the possibility of future premium expansion which makes the investment all the greater. The HOF gold coins were a good example. If you bought them around $420, which a lot of us did, you were getting them for about $100 above melt with the possibility of a nice numismatic premium, which has been more than I expected. Now, if in the future gold goes back to $1650, which is almost a certainty at some point, we are owning them for nearly spot. I like the math of the purchase, just wish I would have bought a few more of them. I feel the exact same way about the unc. 5 oz pucks. You can get them for a very good price and have the possibility of future numismatic premium expansion.

  55. Pittsburgh P says

    Well said @goldfishin… I’m the same way. Do I think an apocalypse will occur… Nope, but I can’t say it hasn’t been in the back of my mind. As with everything its better bein safe than sorry.

  56. says

    GoldFishin, WHEN, the markets crash, and it should be very bad, the only safe havens for money will be PM’s, long term Treasuries, or land. What a good choice I made when I decided to begin collecting coins!

  57. VA Rich says

    Market crash? Look at the S&P and DJIA 1, 5, 10 year charts, AND THEN look at the max chart…, a picture speaks a thousand words. Just say when!

  58. GoldFishin says

    @Dustyroads – You are very right about land, people that owned acreage suitable for farming during the depression were the ones that didn’t have to ask “brother can you spare a dime”. They also were able to lease some of it to others to be able to pay their taxes.
    However, in an apocalyptic collapse I believe treasuries would be at risk of significant losses since they are pegged to the dollar. Hopefully, we will never have to experience anything like that, but it is definitely good to diversify into holdings that can be converted into whatever form of currency may come out of economic reconfiguration.(Precious Metals, Land, Real Estate, Tractors, Generators, Agriculture, Circus Coins, etc.) 🙂

  59. GoldFishin says

    @ Va Rich – The machines are now in control of the stock and commodity markets……until they aren’t! But, I look at any extreme event as opportunity and when everyone is running for the hills, stand and take action! Even if it is in small conservative measured steps.

  60. Eagle One says

    IMO, the ATB pucks are not coins. They are just bullion. Fancy proxies to 5 ounce bars or rounds for people that don’t like to use a loop. Additionally, they are all minted at the same mint. Therefore, grades, mintages, mint marks, and finishes are irrelevant – so is TPG in this case. What cracks me up is the cult following they have. I could never see myself having a complete collection of certified ATBs. I just don’t have the space or the wallet for it. However, I am sure someone does have a complete MS-70 DMPL set somewhere and paid mega bucks for it. I would rather own a number of 1995-W Proof ASEs or several 2008 Rev of 07 specimens instead. I personally believe the ASE is the Morgan Dollar of tomorrow and the entire run [including all of the varieties] has been a collectors challenge to acquire in high grade. In addition, the process consistency and adaptation of modern minting technology can be observed across the entire ASE run since 1986. For me, this is the true impetus of coin collecting – historically analyzing the Mint’s process capability and its commitment to quality. Sort of like a gage or index for the American Government’s manufacturing capability and also the state of the US economy. Our coins are actually, if you look deep enough, national historians [in a hidden sense] of American process ingenuity. In closing, it is far more difficult to produce something that is small and of extreme high quality; then to produce something that is large and blunt. If you are a Silver Bug and love to mass hoard silver, the ATB puck is probably your safest bet. But applying the discipline of numismatics to such a venue, IMO, maybe senseless.

  61. says

    Eagle One, I like your take on the ASE’s and the AtB’s, refreshing, with just a little tart. You should give the AtB’s a chance, I predict that in one year you will write about how much you like them (or not).
    The large AtB’s are innovative to the US Mint, have lots of ever changing designs, are much more affordable than the coins of the same size from other Mints, and have future up side in my opinion.
    Face it, we ALL like to hold a coin this large in our hands, all the while not having to pay two, or three times the amount to another Mint.
    You may not think much of them sir, but there are enough people who do like these coins for their future potential for higher premiums to be added down the road…or not, to each his own.

  62. MarkInFlorida says

    Comparing the ASE to Morgans is just what I was thinking. I always thought coin show tables full of Morgan dollars were BORING! Nothing different but the dates. That’s why I love the pucks. Especially for silver hoarding. Though silver dimes will be better for survival when the economic system collapses.

  63. Eagle One says

    Hi DustyRoads,

    “American Silver Eagles vs. ATB 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins”

    IMO = IMO

    The US Mint obviously monitors this site and I am sure they are looking for some kind of feedback in regards to the longevity of the ATB 5 oz program. Mainly because the mintage (i.e. consumer demand) is dwindling. I agree with you, when held in hand, these things rock. In addition; they are nicely made. However, they are a departure from the numismatic norm. Additionally, foreign mints have become bullion dealers too and are producing pucks as well. This could be the new norm for silver bullion. Our government makes money selling bullion and this is now an American thing to do – Buy US Bullion. Are these entities numismatic products or are they strictly bullion.

    What is your opinion?

  64. G says

    I was at the Long Beach show, and there is a special label commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Long Beach coin show available only for the baseball coins. Whatever my opinion on the grading is, I know value added when I see it.

  65. Mark Rex says

    I only have a tube of the 2013 White Mountain bullion pucks because I got a good deal on them using a 10% off (maxed out @ $100) on eBay and silver was low (not as low as now tho). They were actually MintDirect from APMEX but my wife opened them accidentally so they are just a tube now.

    I do collect the “P” pucks however since I started collecting in late 2012. I am heavily invested into this series spending most of my collecting budget on it. I have bought 5 each of the last 5 releases – the subscription discount helps greatly. I strongly believe this is the best deal offered by the Mint and has an excellent potentail to gain in value. I only have CC and Acaida for 2012 then all the rest for 2013 and 2014. All my “P”ucks from 2013 on are still sealed in the box as received from the Mint. It is my hope to trade the extras I have for those I don’t.

    While I think the bullion pucks will far well in the future with a nusimatic premium I think the ‘P’s will do far better. Would like to hear how you all think these two compare and if anyone’s up for a trade. 🙂

    After Arches release and I finally get a break from these I think I will try to go back and pick up the bullions. With silver low there will not be a time in which it can be done this cheaply. I would pick a bullion ATB over 5x ASE any day. Just don’t know if I should go raw or certified MS69 DMPL.

  66. NATATACK says

    G says

    June 8, 2014 at 1:45 am

    I was at the Long Beach show, and there is a special label commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Long Beach coin show available only for the baseball coins. Whatever my opinion on the grading is, I know value added when I see it.
    G was this NGC or PCGS? I was thinking about bringing some HOF coins to Long Beach but NGC stated that HOF would not be accepted at the LB show.
    By the way for those of you on Twitter Long Beach Expo has a twitter link

  67. hw says

    Off Topic. Anyone receive their GODS OF OLYMPUS – POSEIDON 2014 2OZ SILVER HIGH RELIEF COIN from Perth Mint yet . . .

  68. says

    Eagle One, The AtB 5 oz. coins are purchased by people who are looking for diversity. The truth is, every single person who reads this blog could admit that they like the ASE. It will be interesting to see if the US Mint moves forward with it’s plans to revamp the reverse later this year.

  69. says

    Mark Rex, Denali was my first, I’m sorry now that I didn’t have the appreciation for them then to also buy the Volcanoes. White Mountain was also one that I bought, which is a majestic looking coin. Since then, I have decided that these are worth the comment to, so I will only purchase the bullion versions as a secondary purchase while collecting these. I won’t write the bullion off, but will just give the P’s precedence over them.

  70. GoldFishin says

    @Mark Rex – enjoyed your post and I have a couple of questions and/or comments? First question is….what was the quality of the Mint Direct tube you purchased that was accidentally opened and what is the condition of your wife now? (just kidding) 🙂
    Seriously, I have a couple of Mint Direct tubes I purchased from the same vendor and I have always wondered, do they really give you tubes that are untouched? Since most people would never unseal the tube, you really would never know.
    I have made some individual coin purchases from them before on the bay and it seems they like to dump some of their off quality on there. JMO
    Personally, concerning the ATB, I see only marginal numismatic value collecting the 5 oz bullion issues without being graded at this point. That may change in the future. The main reason is what I mentioned above, the quality with which you can buy them is really a crap shoot IMO. Hands down the PCGS graded pucks perform much better than does NGC, but that is your preference. Just remember when looking for 69dmpl grades(which I prefer) it does cost $54 for an individual to have that coin graded and encapsulated if it is First Strike, $36 for no first strike, so take that into consideration when determining how much you should pay. Right now there are quite a few issues from previous years that you can pick up for less than $200 if you are stingy and determined, graded 69 dmpl. They are beautiful in this grade also.
    All that being said, I see nothing wrong whatsoever buying the bullion 5 oz pucks without being graded with silver prices where they are right now.

  71. GoldFishin says

    @Dustyroads – I agree with you…my primary investing budget for the 5 oz. pucks is now going to the uncirculated version as opposed to the bullion version. It used to be the other way around for me because I didn’t really like the vaporblast finish, but it has grown on me over the years and now I sort of like it better in some ways. I just really like nice shiny silver coins though, so I will still collect the bullion versions when I can afford the graded ones.

  72. Pittsburgh P says

    @goldfishin I have purchased many directmint sealed tubes from that vendor and open a few of them. Every coin has been as expected. I buy directly from them and not off ebay so I don’t know if they are dumping off quality products on there. I have only had one coin come to me from them that had a blemish and wasn’t happy with…

  73. GoldFishin says

    thanks Pitt P. I have bought from there website frequently and have always been happy, but i do purchase mostly graded coins or mint direct tubes

  74. Hidalgo says

    I read the comments above about the “low price” of silver. Yes, silver is at a relatively low price right now (compared to a few years ago). However, prices are nowhere near historic values. From 1984 – 2006, silver prices hovered, for the most part, in the $5 – $10 range. And in the past 2 years, gold and silver prices have been trending downward.

    WIth continued improvements in the US economy, prices for gold and silver have fallen as investors shift their money from precious metals to stocks. I invested money in mutual funds before last year (2013) and I must say that I have done very well.

    With all of that being said, will gold and silver prices continue to trend downward? Or will they rise again in the near future? I cannot predict the future. However, I can say that a few years ago (in 2011), I said that gold and silver prices would not continue their climb. And I’m glad that I followed what I believed was the right course of action.

    If you’re interested in seeing the historical trend for silver prices, check out the link below.

  75. Dave says

    HOF Gold update for ungraded OGP

    5/14-21 average bay sales price $1174
    5/22-29. $1194
    5/30 – 6/6. Proof only $1052

    June 1-6 Proof only $952

    That ‘s about a 20% drop! SUPPLY/ demand takes control until the flippers have exhausted the supply. In a year I expect prices at or above $1200. (Barring a limited edition Kennedy gold.). There won’t be any more made, and I expect demand to increase with exposure and publicity expansion .

  76. G says

    @NATATACK: That was PCGS. Special label that has the 50th anniversary of the long beach show on one side and special baseball label on the other. I was dropping off coins to be graded and didn’t really understand what the lady was telling me about the special label- I thought she meant first strike at first. I haven’t seen it printed anywhere- but I can verify it really happened.

  77. Ray says

    I’m pretty sure we all expected a drop in the gold bhof coins, since none were shipped for weeks. Settling around 900-1000 is still a great success imo. 2013 was a great year for people’s mutual funds, but how has 5 months of 2014 treated you? You would be better off taking a loan out of your 401k (in March) and buying 100 gold coins and 200 silver, and double to tripling your $$. ANyone here investing in the Green Bubble? Definite money to be made (and lost) in it.

  78. GoldFishin says

    @Hildago- the charts you give are inflation adjusted prices. When you consider inflation over the 39 year period since silver was at $5 in 1975 and using U.S. Government data( which is a farse) but some people love, the calculation is as follows.
    In 1975, an item purchased for $5(oz of silver), purchased now in 2014, considering a cumulative inflation rate of 340.7%(government numbers) would cost $22.03. Silver in now trading below that cost which I would say is low.

    Given a simpler example: How many gallons of gas could you buy for $5 in 1975 when silver was at $5? With gas being at .57 cents a gallon you could buy 8.77 gallons. At 2014 prices at around $3.60 per gallon the same amount of gas would cost $31.57.
    A current silver spot price of $19.11 would buy you 5.3 gallons. But the same $5 bill used in 1975 would only buy you 1.38 gallons. Just like gas, everything else has inflated in price and our fiat currency dollars buy less and less all the time. As long as we have U.S. policies that continue to purposefully weaken our dollar by printing massive amount of dollars this imbalance will continue to grow worse.

    If we ever retreat back to $5 to $10(which could happen I might add) we are all in deep trouble, because everyone in the world is taking their gold and silver out of their safes and trying to buy bread with it. Like I have said before, I am not a doomsayer, but I am not pollyannish either. just realistic, and I think silver at current prices represents value and if it did get to $5-$10 would represent extreme value.

    And on a side note, the 34 year chart you provided, which is really a 39 year chart has a long term stock pattern know as a “Cup and Handle”, from which if a break out from the old high prices occurred would most likely result in a price around $95. I quantify this by saying that this is a very long term chart and would take multiple years for this price to potentially develop.

  79. VA Rich says

    GF – I couldn’t agree more! That’s why I went all cash in my 401 earlier this year.., ok, so I may miss out on 6-8% this year.., or risk -20% – just hanging out in standby until the opportunity presents itself! Good luck my friend!

    Ray – exactly and great point! And the rate of return of those BHoF will be far better by year’s end and superior to the S&P for the year.

    Hawkster – don’t know what Michaels is offering and unfortunately don’t have time to go searching, though here’s a couple of options from Pitt and myself below – I’m doing a 6 – BHoF, 5-’13 ASEs, and perhaps a 8-13(?) coin JFK display… which will kick@$$!

  80. Pool Shark says

    Joe & Mark in Florida:

    Yes, the new Air-tite Z5 holders (the thinner ones) stack nicely in the blue monster boxes. You can store eight of them in each section which previously held the 10-coin mint tube. So a monster box holds 80 Atb’s in air-tites.

    Note: The old, thicker air-tites will also fit in the blue monster box, but you only get 5 in each compartment.

    As for ASE’s vs. Atb’s; it’s a no-brainer. While I might pay $0.10 to $0.25 per ounce premium for an Atb vs. random date ASE’s; the potential for numismatic appreciation is huge.

    If you don’t believe me; just go check some recent e-bay auctions.

  81. Mark Rex says

    @hw; my Perth Mint order for the Poseidon coin is ‘Approved’. They have charged me USD$170 but no shipping yet. Ordered at 8:37p EST.

    @goldfishin; Thanks. My wife is blind and I had them put up in a stupid place. I was only upset for a moment. This is the only ATB bullion coin I have seen in person so it’s really hard to compare them to others. In all the pics I’ve seen the 69dmpl look perfect. The thing I dislike about these tubes is how the coins can move around. I was very surprised when I took my first look at them. They are very shiney and proof like. I am not sure if they are all like that or not. I’ve only looked at the top 2 or 3 coins because it seems like I could damage putting them back in as there a tight fit and can’t be easily and softly put make in – that silver clinking sound when I put the first one back sounded both great (silver sounds great lol) and horrifying as it could of put a ding or bag mark on the other coin. If you look closely you can see some light and soft blemishes above the mountain. Do all the bullions have this? I can certainly say it would grade DMPL though. Wish I had a way to show you a pic.

  82. sith says

    A little late to the thread but how can you compare a bullion program with a numismatic program (the last time I looked the FS were not bullion). Second how can anyone worth their salt claim the ATBs are being sold as numismatics when the numismatics are being sold at near bullion prices.

    Thank you Poolshark

  83. sith says

    For clarification newly released bullion ATBs do not sell at a numismatic price, but once they sellout all bets are off

  84. Pittsburgh P says

    @sith couldnt tell if you are sayin that numismatics(all coins) are selling at near bullion prices now or saying the AtBs are bullion and not selling at a numismatic premium as I was trying to aurgue before…

    Sorry your second point confused my single digit IQ 🙂

  85. Bernie in Florida says

    You know, I must have read just about every Post here and I have done nothing but read about bullion prices and ASE verses ATB silver prices. Monster Boxes and Silver Costs. But if everyone is So worried about Silver prices, and not many are talking about the actual Beauty of the ATB Coins. Why do not most of the Bullion Collectors voicing their options on Just Silver Prices just BUY Silver Bullion itself. I hate to say it, but after reading almost ALL these Posts. Most of use Collect for the Beauty of the Coin and the Collecting itself.
    Again, to those of you mostly ranting about Silver Prices, ASE Coins verses ATB prices, please! Just go to the stock market and buy the Silver ETF’s at Cost or Just buy the Silver Bullion Blocks for Far less. We Classic Old timers that enjoy the Beauty of Coins are in this for the Love of Coin Collecting. These ATB’s are some of the Most Beautiful Coins currently on the market other than the $10 First Spouses Collection. Some of use are here for the Beauty and Art of the Designs in these Coins. If you agree or disagree is not important. But for Most of use out here. We Collect for the Love of Collecting and the Beauty and Art that Only Coins can intrinsically produce.
    For those of you that look for the Profit of Collecting these ATB’s your missing the Point. But I will agree on a comment my Dad who is 80 years Old told me when I started Collecting Over 45 years ago. “Collect what you Love, Collect what is Not on everyone’s Radar and you will be later Well Rewarded”. As in any adage. “Once everyone knows about it, sell it. When no one know about it, Buy it”. It’s why I love the 5 oz ATB’s and it’s loving name “Hockey Puck’.
    But for those of you out there that are a little dishearten by all the ranting back and forth on Prices Alone. Remember what our host here put in his Blog. “Over the past few years, I have shifted my personal silver bullion purchases from the traditional American Silver Eagles to the ATB series coins”. Enough said for one sitting 🙂

  86. says

    Sith says:
    A little late to the thread but how can you compare a bullion program with a numismatic program (the last time I looked the FS were not bullion). Second how can anyone worth their salt claim the ATBs are being sold as numismatics when the numismatics are being sold at near bullion prices.

    Sith…check out the prices of both versoins of the 2012 ATB’s….neither are sold near bullion prices…in fact some are 2-5 timrs bullion prices.

    Sith, here is one axample of the bulllion 2012 ATB’s complete setthat sold for $48/oz

  87. says

    I think you can only do one link per comment.

    And Sith, here is the 2012 Numismatic ATB set that just sod on 6/6/14 for over $75/oz.

    Sith, while 2012 is the rarest and commands the most premiums…if you look at any year complete sets sold of the numismatic version…none sell for anywhere close to bullion.

  88. Pool Shark says


    Here’s another example. It’s the cheapest ungraded 2012 Acadia Bullion Atb I could find anywhere on e-bay:

    Selling for $70/oz.

    I bought 10 of them back in November 2012 for just over $35/oz. when silver was around $32/oz. Not bad; doubled my money in 1-1/2 years even though silver dropped $16/oz.

    If I had bought ASE’s instead, I’d be down over 40%.

    Just sayin’…

  89. GoldFishin says

    @Steve…thank you, a picture is worth a thousand words literally!

    @ Mark Rex…thanks Mark, you know I really enjoy speaking with people like yourself. Thank you for your description, they sound very nice! Sometimes the coins can get a few rub marks from being in the tube against each other and some of the bullion coins have die polishing marks that could be thought of as blemishes, but they are not. It sounds like you received a very nice roll.

  90. gatortreke says

    @Hildalgo: The silver price chart is very interesting to review. My only question is the most recent huge spike really begins with the economic crisis in 2007. I’m unsure as to how much all the central bank money printing worldwide changes the base for this chart? Has it reset the base at an order of magnitude higher or does the chart still hold true at the listed levels? I don’t pretend to know the answer but then again, I don’t think the guru’s know either. I’m curious to see if the new EU policy of negative real interest rates has the desired effect, that of forcing more lending by the banks or does it instead convince savers to withdraw their money and send it overseas or park it in their safe or under their mattress.

  91. Pittsburgh P says

    Steve… You can post multiple links each post.

    If you read sith’s comment before goin post crazy he said “but once they sellout all bets are off”… Hmmm, every one of the links you guys posted are SOLD OUT am I mistaken? Most of your examples are from 2012! Why didn’t you just give a link to 2010 or the Hawaii AtBs??? I could give links to any of the 2014 AtBs for a price less than 23$ per oz… Much less if you buy quantity! Some 2013s are still offered by mint authorized dealers for the same. THEY ARE BULLION!!!! Yes, they have lower mintages some comparable to the P versions but they are bullion. AFTER they sell out, as Sith stated, then the popularity and lower numbers drive the prices up…

  92. GoldFishin says

    @Pitt P. – I posted today a response about the current price of silver in relation to longer term prices and gave two harmless, yet informative links, and my message is still awaiting moderation. I don’t know if it is coincidence or maybe a used a word that has to be prescreened. You can read it when it gets approved, if it does. If not I will re-post it in a harmless way.

  93. Pittsburgh P says

    It should get through… I’ve posted with 2 and more links and it got through then earlier in this thread my post with 2 links, like yours, went to moderation. I think I may have used some key words that got it flagged but a few hours later it was visible… Look forward to reading it if/when it gets the thumbs up.

  94. says

    I think the main point relating to this post “Silver Eagles vs ATB’s” is that ATB’s (both versions) after they are sold out each year have a much better track record of going up in value compared to Silver Eagles.

  95. Pittsburgh P says

    @steve I can agree with that… Sry if I came off a little harsh in my response. I said it before, It comes down to buy what you like and you can’t lose. Everyone has their own tastes and veiws.

  96. says

    Let me restate my previous post as this thread is about bullion Silver Eagles vs bullion ATB’s. The cost to purchase Silver Eagles or current year bullion ATB’s is very close to each other. But the bullion Silver Eagles will always sell based on how spot silver prices go, while the bullion ATB’s at least have the potentional (based on mintage/popularity) to appreciate in value above spot silver performance. While I do have a few rolls of silver eagles, my bullion purchases now are in ATB’s.

  97. sith says

    @Steve – You hit the nail on the head. I don’t know why someone would post anything different. IE bullion ATBs sell as numismatics, even the 2010s were sold as bullion, by force but still….

  98. joe says

    @Bernie in Florida,

    There are different reasons people purchase coins. Some purchase coins for their beauty, some purchase them as an investment, etc. My reason for collecting coins lies somewhere in the middle and I’m interested in both. Only a very small minority collects AGBs just for their beauty without caring whether or not they perform well. Similarly, only a very small minority purchases ATB 5 ounce silver coins only for viewing purposes. At some point we all sell our coins or pass them on to our heirs to sell. Purchasing coins with PM content is just too expensive for most of us for the sole purpose of viewing the coin without evaluating financial considerations. Frankly, that’s what modern clad coins are for.

  99. Pool Shark says

    Bottom line:

    The logic is quite simple: If you’re going to buy silver bullion anyway, and both options carry the same initial premium over melt; why wouldn’t you buy the one that has the potential for significant numismatic appreciation based on its rarity/collectability?

  100. Eagle One says

    Received my AtB certified Bullion coins from the Bay today. I purchased them just to see what all the whoopla was all about. My conclusion – they are just 5 oz slugs of Silver Bullion. I can’t get excited about them. The mintage say’s it all. Art Qua Art – can’t see the beauty in such a big blunt silver thing. Tubes are best for the Silver Bug. Sorry; I tried. It is not for me. Eagles Rule.

  101. Eagle One says

    @Dusty Roads
    In Closing, your comment concerning the rotating reverse of the 2015 ASE – IMO, that will be the end to an American Standard. I will be done in 2015 if that is the case. I keep asking for a “D Mint” Brilliant Proof ASE (No Frosted Devices). IMO, Denver has the best press quality of all the mints and could do this. It can be seen in their circulating coinage. Let’s give them an opportunity to finish the series in grand style – if it is going to happen.

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