I just spoke with a friend who brought his two children attended the introduction of the Jefferson Dollar coin. The festivities were held this morning at the Jefferson Memorial, a beautiful marble structure with a bronze statue of our third president in the middle. The renovated structure now has a bookstore, restrooms, and concessions. But on this day, Mint Director Edmund Moy, President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Daniel P. Jordan, and a Jefferson re-enactor held a Thomas Jefferson quiz along with the release of the coin.
I was told that the event included about 100 school-age children who had taken part in the Jefferson quiz. With parents, chaperons, onlookers, and the press, my friend estimated about 250-300 people attended the festivities. About $50 in coins were given to children who answered questions. Following the press conference, people were given the opportunity to exchange up to $5 in currency for coins. My friend reported that few of the Mint’s employees followed that rule and allows some to even purchase rolls at face value.
Rolls were popular amongst the speculators looking for edge errors. My friend opened his roll in his car to check the edges. Although he did not find any errors, he did receive a roll of coins struck in Denver.
For the rest of us, the coins will be released into circulation tomorrow, August 16. I will be playing hooky to go to the Mint’s headquarters in the District in order to stuff the in-lobby machine with $5 bills to trade for Jefferson coins. From there, I will be heading to the main Post Office on Massachusetts Avenue, the one next to the National Postal Museum, to send the coins directly to NGC for First Day of Issue grading.
Yes, the First Day of Issue designation is a bit crazy, but I think there is an “oh neat” factor at work. Besides, I have other plans for these coins. Stay tuned!