As I celebrate the start of another year of life on this rock we call Earth, I unbury my head from my work responsibilities to catch up on the news and events of the week. It seems the US Mint has been busy, so let’s get started.

The Mint published a Hot Item consumer advisory discussing the altering of the edge lettering on the George Washington Dollar Coin. Although I discussed this in my posting “NGC Warns About Altered Washington Dollars,” the Mint adds the potential for this being a criminal act. According to the Mint:

Although altering and defacing United States coinage generally is not illegal, doing so violates a Federal criminal statute (18 U.S.C. § 331) when the act is accompanied by an intent to defraud. Accordingly, a person is committing a Federal crime if he or she intentionally alters an ordinary Presidential $1 Coin to make it look like an error coin for the purpose of selling it at a premium to someone who believes it to be a real error coin. Under this statute, it is also a Federal crime to sell at a premium an ordinary Presidential $1 Coin that one knows has been altered so it looks like an error coin to someone who believes it to be a real error coin. Penalties include a fine and up to five years in prison.

The Mint announced that the Secretary of the Treasury appointed thre new members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The CCAC advises “the Secretary of the Treasury on the themes and designs of all US coins and medals. The CCAC serves as an informed, experienced and impartial resource to the Secretary of the Treasury and represents the interests of American citizens and collectors.” The three appointees are

  • Gary Marks, the City Manager of Whitefish, Montana and the Commissioner of the Montana Quarter Design Selection Committee
  • Michael Brown, Vice President of Public Affairs for Barrick Gold Corporation and former Special Assistant to US Mint Director Donna Pope from 1981 to 1989
  • Reverend Dr. Richard J. Meier, a hobbyist and current Pastor of the Alpine Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois.

The Mint also began to take subscription orders for the uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins. These coins will be dated with the “W” mint mark to be sold for collectors. Silver Eagles without the mint mark will continue to be available for the bullion market and sold through dealers. As a reflection of the rise in the price of silver, the 2007-W coins will cost $21.95, up $2 from last year.

Finally, as a celebration of my birthday, I would like my readers to consider joining other numismatists and collectors to promote the hobby. If you are not a member of the American Numismatic Association, take this opportunity to join. If you have access to a local coin club, why not join others in your community. There are national clubs based on your interest, so consider joining them. Finally, if you know of a collector who is not a member, whether they are a young numismatist or otherwise, get them to join. It is fun and will help promote the hobby as it is showing a lot of growth. Just join!

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