After a bit of a hiatus, the Coin Week podcast resumed with a discussion of Free Coin Day. Free Coin Day encourages dealers to give away one coin to every customer to celebrate coin collecting.
Free Coin Day was founded by Coin Week’s editor Charles Morgan and joined this year by Rob Oberth of Round Table Trading. Both are members of the ANA Board of Governors. They encourage those participating in Free Coin Day to use the hashtag #FreeCoinDay to help promote the venture.
While Free Coin Day is a good idea, it is preaching to the converted in many ways. It requires someone to be motivated to walk into a coin shop to participate. Unfortunately, there are fewer brick-and-mortar shops, and most dealers are either working shows only or selling online, and access to dealers is limited.
While Oberth and Morgan have the beginning of a good idea but it does not go far enough. New collectors want experiences, and their collections represent something about their experiences.
Other collecting industries learned this the hard way. During the market downturn of 2008, most industries retrenched and figured out a way to revive old hobbies. The comics industry was not as vibrant. The idea of changing the industry beyond the paper book was not something the publishers wanted to do because it was the lifeblood of the industry.
The publishers realized that paper-based products were on their way out. The industry diversified with ancillary products, including movies, modern stories, collectibles, and experiences. One of the attempts to expand their reach was to embrace the existing ComicCons. The publishers poured more money into the ComicCons and used the larger Cons to launch products.
During the podcast, Oberth and Morgan all but dismiss the ideas learned from the comics industry. Rather than trying to figure out a way to make coin collecting an experience, they are giving away low-end coins trying to entice distracted Millenials and GenXers into coin shops.
And now the news…
Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all other names given to special holiday sale days are relics of the past. Times have changed. Black Friday is no longer the day that most retailers begin to show a profit for the year. And with broadband available in many homes, the significance of Cyber Monday has disappeared as quickly as it arrived.
What has not changed is the desire to find gifts at a reasonable price. You can find sales on manufactured goods that do not have a supply chain issue, but you cannot find sales on collectibles.
The collectibles market remains very active. If it is collected, then the prices are higher than expected. I was reminded of this by a friend who has been saving to buy his first Carson City Morgan Dollar. When he thought he had saved enough, the price of the coin he wanted was now 20-percent more expensive.
Although collector coins are going up in value, there are affordable coins that can be stocking stuffers. Over the next week, I will look into what could become a gift for the collector in your life.
And now the news…
Thanksgiving in the United States is traced back to the Pilgrims’ celebration of their first successful harvest in 1621. The three-day event was attended by 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans that lasted three days. The tradition of giving thanks for successes was a tradition that the Pilgrims brought with them from England. This three-day celebration in 1621 is considered the first Thanksgiving.
Although there is no record of the menu, the meal likely consisted of food from the harvest, venison, and seafood. Legend has it that the local natives killed five deer as gifts for the celebration.
On the 400th anniversary of that event, Native Americans have been working on setting the record straight. One difference from the original story is that the local natives were not invited. The story goes that the warriors showed up when they heard gunshots coming from the European camps thinking that a war was to begin. It was not a war, but the colonists were shooting muskets to celebrate.
Uncovering historical information is similar to using ancient coins to gain a better understanding of history. If we better understand our past, we can improve the future. Let’s improve the future by being thankful and welcoming to all who call this country home.
When I created the poll asking whether the U.S. Mint should continue the Morgan and Peace dollar program, I expected most people would favor the program, but I did not realize how positive some people would be.
The email responses have ranged from people reconnecting with their parents collecting coins to the few who thought it was the biggest disaster since clad coinage.
One teacher said that she uses the quarters programs as a teaching tool. The coins allow her to talk about history using the depictions on the reverse. She has sets of Presidential and Native American dollars that are props to talk about those subjects. “They are great to introduce the kids to the 19th century presidents people don’t normally talk about,” she wrote.
Several people wrote how they plan to visit every national park or forest featured on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program reverse. Some have started their journey with the closest parks. One New England-based family has a quarters map and will insert a coin into every state after visiting a park.
One mom of Native American descent uses the Native American Dollar Coins to teach her children about their cultural history. “These coins have some of the best designs,” she wrote.
Comments about the Morgan and Peace dollar coins thought that using classic designs on modern coins gives new collectors access to those designs. “Given the rising cost of everything these days,” he wrote, “the U.S. Mint would allow more people to afford nice examples of popular gold coin designs.”
Currently, 69 of 95 voters said “Yes, I love them” to the poll. As we begin the season of giving thanks, let’s see whom else wants to weigh in.
News and notes from this past week:
The U.S. Mint announced that they completed producing 2021 American Eagle bullion coins and will distribute the last of their inventory by next week. They are producing 2022 coins for distribution beginning on January 3, 2022.
The supply chain continues to plague the change market, especially in less populated areas of the country. Smaller towns, including in the distant suburbs in metropolitan areas, continue to report coin shortages. Additionally, NGC reports that they have run out of new scratch-resistant holders. New submissions will be encased in the older-style holders—no word as to when they expect to have more in stock.
The American Numismatic Association is soliciting themes for the 99th National Coin Week, April 17-23, 2022. Submission should focus on the artistry featured on numismatic objects and the artists. Submissions should be no more than eight words and easy to remember.
The winning theme will receive a 2022 American Eagle proof silver dollar. The submission deadline is TOMORROW, Monday, November 22. ANA members can submit their idea on the ANA website.
And now the news…
I am looking forward to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor commemorative. Of the designs introduced, it will be interesting to see the implementation of the half-dollar reverse. As a line-art drawing, it can capture the feeling of the impact of the effect of a soldier earning the Purple Heart. It triggers memories of my grandfather, who earned his Purple Heart on the battlefield in Italy during World War I.
The biggest news of the week is the U.S. Mint saying they will continue the Morgan and Peace dollar programs in 2022. Based on the email I received, collectors seem to be excited about the future of this program. I am still looking for a Peace dollar in its original government package. If anyone is selling, contact me, and let’s make a deal.
Under the news radar was the sale of the Hawaii Five-0 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. The coin once owned by COL E.H.R. Green featured on an episode of the original Hawaii Five-0 television series, sold for the 14th time. Stack’s Bowers brokered the coins, graded PF the 64+ by NGC, sold for $4 million in a private sale.
Although it is fair to ask, was this news under the radar, or has the sale of coins breaking the $10 million barrier making a mere $4 million sale seem pedestrian?
And now the news…