Weekly World Numismatic News for January 20, 2019

The 2019 coin commemorating currywurst has been called everything from ugly to the wurst (Image courtesy of Staatliche Munze Berlin)

It is interesting to see what some countries choose to commemorate on coins. For Staatliche Munze Berlin, the Berlin State Mint, they chose to commemorate the 70th anniversary of currywurst.

Currywurst is considered the national fast food delicacy of Germany. It is a pork sausage that has been sliced part of the way through, boiled then grilled, and served smothered with ketchup mixed with curry powder. Curry powder is sprinkled on top.

According to a friend who spent time working in Germany, currywurst stands are as ubiquitous in Berlin and many other cities as hot dog stands are in New York. Depending on the stand, they can be served on buns, with sauerkraut, or fries. Since returning to the United States several years ago, he says that his family enjoys the German dish frequently.

Coins have been used to commemorate many things. Commemorating food on coins is nothing new. Coins have been used to commemorate agricultural products like wheat and corn. But aside from the (in)famous bottlecap-shaped coin, I cannot remember when a coin was used to commemorate a prepared food.

Now that the Berlin State Mint has broken this barrier, who’s next? Will the Royal Canadian Mint produce a coin honoring poutine? Or will the Royal Australian Mnt grace a coin with Vegemite? I don’t even want to think about a coin commemorating haggis!

And now the news…

 January 7, 2019

Click image to enlarge MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – A coin collector from Lewiston, Maine, with no prior connection to Middlebury, has donated more than 1,000 ancient coins to the Middlebury College Museum of Art.  → Read more at middlebury.edu


 January 13, 2019

A German coin manufacturer has commemorated the country’s love of currywurst with a speciality coin to mark 70 years since the savoury snack was first sold in Berlin. The silver alloy coin, made by Staatliche Munze Berlin, or the Berlin State Mint, features an image of the delicacy’s inventor alongside two giant sausages drowning in curry sauce and pierced with a wooden fork, as is tradition.  → Read more at expressandstar.com


 January 13, 2019

A silver medal-thaler, issued by Romanian ruler Constantin Brâncoveanu in 1713, sold for USD 16,000 at a numismatic auction in New York, Profit.ro reported. Brâncoveanu, who was a prince of Wallachia between 1688 and 1714, was deposed from his throne by Sultan Ahmed III.  → Read more at romania-insider.com


 January 13, 2019

New Delhi: A new book traces India's numismatic history through 133 rare coins which are illustrative of the country's antiquity, ethos and traditions. In Suvarna Mohur: India's Glorious History Illustrated through Rare Coins by Arun Ramamurthy, Indian history has been divided into 20 epochs.  → Read more at firstpost.com


 January 14, 2019

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services (MBVS) is pleased to announce the final design selection for the new State of Maine Honorable Service coin and plaque, which will honor all Maine veterans, past and present, regardless of their branch or era of service.  → Read more at boothbayregister.com


 January 14, 2019

SINGAPORE: The number of coins that a buyer can use in a single transaction will be streamlined and standardised to 20 coins per denomination after Parliament passed the Currency (Amendment) Bill on Monday (Jan 14).  → Read more at channelnewsasia.com


 January 14, 2019

Mobile coin exchange units are hitting the roads to encourage people to swap the loose change they have collected for easier to handle banknotes, so the coins can be recycled. The modified trucks, which are green and clearly marked with the Treasury Department logo, have a window along the side where the coins can be exchanged for notes of equal value.  → Read more at bangkokpost.com


 January 14, 2019

In Berlin, the participants of the most unusual robbery of recent years went on trial. Three young Arab migrants stole a considerable gold coin from the museum using only an ax handle, ropes, stairs, and carts.  → Read more at en.crimerussia.com


 January 16, 2019

Greater Houston Coin Club members have been on a mission to get kids involved in the hobby.  → Read more at abc13.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for January 13, 2019

Pairing U.S. coins with a foreign coin for sale has been done in the past by the U.S. Mint. In 2002, the U.S. Mint offered the “Legacies of Freedom” This week, the U.S. Mint announced a collaborative project with the Royal Australian Mint to produce a commemorative coin set in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The set will feature a U.S. Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Half Dollar paired with an Australian 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing 1 oz. $5 Silver Coin.

The announcement noted that the set will be produced and sold by the Royal Australian Mint with marketing help from the U.S. Mint who will put a link on their website.

set. A limited edition of 50,000 sets that included an uncirculated American Silver Eagle $1 coin and a £2 Silver Britannia from the Royal Mint. These sets were created and marketed by the U.S. Mint with a price of $49.88 per set, noting that the spot price of silver was $6.39 per troy ounce.

Prior to that, the U.S. Mint produced the 2000 Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Set that included a 2000 Leif Ericson Proof Silver Dollar and a 1000 Kronur proof silver coin produced by the U.S. Mint for Iceland. It was the last coin the U.S. Mint produced for a foreign government. The U.S. Mint sold 86,136 sets at a price of $63 per set.

Since the set will be produced by the Royal Australia Mint, there are questions regarding the opportunities that may be missed by the U.S. Mint to do the same. For example:

  • The press release says that it will be a “limited production set” but does not specify how many sets will be produced.
  • Other than the legal requirements that the U.S. Mint shall not lose money on a commemorative coin program and that the half-dollar includes a $5 surcharge, what are the financial arrangements between the two government mints?
  • Who will handle the fulfillment of orders from the United States? Those who have purchased items from Australia and New Zealand know that the because of shipping and customs restrictions, items can take 6-8 weeks to enter the United States before it can be given to the Postal Service for delivery.

These questions will be addressed to the U.S. Mint as soon as Tuesday. Even though the U.S. Mint continues to operate during the shutdown, offices in Washington, D.C. will be closed on Monday because of 8-12 inches of snow that covers the region.

And now the news…

 January 5, 2019

Coins expected to bring increased security to economies of British territories and dependencies  → Read more at theguardian.com


 January 9, 2019

A penny that a Massachusetts teenager found in his change from lunch money could be worth as much as $1.65 million (£1.3 million) when it is auctioned off.  → Read more at foxnews.com


 January 9, 2019

My grandfather was a numismatist. William Evans Mullan II died over the weekend. The coin collection lives on.  → Read more at djournal.com


 January 10, 2019

Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his Massachusetts home.  → Read more at cnn.com


 January 11, 2019

Jim Cramer shares his favorite ways to add gold to a portfolio and encourages investing in the precious metal if you’re nervous about 2019.  → Read more at cnbc.com


 January 11, 2019

BERLIN — Four young men have gone on trial over the brazen theft of a 100−kilogram Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum.  → Read more at manitobapost.com

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December 2018 Numismatic Legislative Review — End of the 115th Congress

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the 115th Congress left unfinished business. As we start the new year, 25-percent of the executive branch does not have the legal funding to operate. Those with leftover funds operated as long as they could but are now closed pending congressional action.

As with previous shutdowns, the U.S. Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are not affected. Both agencies are self-funded from their profits (seigniorage) which is held in their respective Public Enterprise Funds.

The 115th Congress is constitutionally scheduled to end at 12:00 noon on January 3, 2019, when the 116th Congress will begin. Congress will take up the new funding bills as part of the opening session.

When the new Congress gavels into session, any bill pending from the 115th Congress will be removed from the docket. It will be said that these bills will die in committee.

In reviewing December’s legslation update, there was the passage of one bill:

H.R. 1235: Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA)
Introduced: February 27, 2017
Summary: (Sec. 3) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue not more than 50,000 $5 coins, 400,000 $1 coins, and 750,000 half-dollar coins in recognition and celebration of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.The coins shall be in the shape of a dome, and the design on the common reverse of the coins shall depict a basketball. Treasury shall hold a competition to determine the design of the common obverse of the coins, which shall be emblematic of the game of basketball.(Sec. 7) The bill requires all sales of such coins to include specified surcharges, which shall be paid by Treasury to the Hall to fund an endowment for increased operations and educational programming.
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 19, 2018
Presented to President. — Dec 19, 2018
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Dec 18, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 18, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 26, 2017
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 25, 2017
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 25, 2017
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1235. — Sep 25, 2017
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Sep 25, 2017
Mr. Barr moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Sep 25, 2017
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Feb 27, 2017
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR1235.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Act was sent to the White House for presidential signature on December 19, 2018. The president has ten days to act on the bill. He can sign the bill, which there is no indication that he has, and it becomes law. He could veto the bill to prevent it from becoming law.

But what if he does not sign the bill? If Congress was still in session then the bill automatically becomes law. If Congress adjourned then the bill does not become law. That is called a pocket veto.

Because of the shutdown, Congress did not adjourn while trying to resolve the issue. There were pro forma sessions, meaning that a representative gaveled in the House and Senate only to adjourn for the day. If the president did not sign or veto the bill, it has become public law. However, since the Government Printing Office (GPO), the official publisher of the U.S. government, is closed because of the shutdown, they cannot publish the results of legislation passed or vetoed. Therefore, we do not know whether this bill is now the law.

Previous administrations would announce bill signings in their regular news streams. This White House has chosen to discontinue that practice leaving us at the mercy of the currently closed GPO.

In December, the Senate passed the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act by a voice vote. Although the bill was sent to the House for consideration it never left the committee and will die in committee when the 116th Congress is gaveled into session.

S. 2863: National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)
Introduced: May 16, 2018
Held at the desk. — Dec 19, 2018
Received in the House. — Dec 19, 2018
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 17, 2018
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Dec 13, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 13, 2018
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — May 16, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-S2863.

Finally, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), whose district includes Kennebunkport, introduced the President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Dollar Coin Act. Essentially, this would have extended the Presidential $1 Coin program to include President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. This bill, like many others, died in committee.

H.R. 7257: President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Dollar Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME)
Introduced: December 11, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Dec 11, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR7257.

A full review of the 115th Congress will be published shortly after the government reopens and the GPO resumes its publishing operations.

Weekly World Numismatic News for December 16, 2018

Patent X1 issued to Samuel Hopkins and signed by President George Washington on July 31, 1790 (USPTO Image)

This week, the U.S. Mint made the most impact in the world of numismatics. first, the U.S. Mint released the first coin in the American Innovation $1 Coin Program. It features a new design of the Statue of Liberty on the obverse, which has not been favorably received. The reverse recognized the first U.S. patent signed by President George Washington.

On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins was granted patent number X00001 for this method “in the making of Pot ash and Pearl ash by a new Apparatus and Process.” In June of this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Patent #10,000,000 based on the current numbering system that began in 1836. According to the USPTO, there were 9,433 patents issued from 1790 through 1835.

The other news from the U.S. Mint was the first strike ceremony for the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins at the Philadelphia Mint. Children of the three astronauts who flew on Apollo 11 represented their fathers at the ceremony: Mark Armstrong, Andrew Aldrin, and Ann (Collins) Starr.

Coins will be offered for sale to the public on January 24, 2019. The money raised from this commemorative coin program will benefit the Astronauts Memorial Foundation, the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s “Destination Moon” gallery.

A pair of 5-ounce silver proof $1 coins struck during the First Strike Ceremony at the U.S. Mint (photo courtesy of collectSPACE.com)

And now the news…

 December 10, 2018

Cash use has plummeted in Australia over the last few years but Eric Eigner isn't worried. "People will want to collect something that appears to be more scarce," he says. "I think it's a good thing to a certain extent."  → Read more at smh.com.au


 December 10, 2018

The patterns on Guangxi commemorative coins reveal special cultural elements and how the region has developed in the past 60 years.  → Read more at news.cgtn.com


 December 10, 2018

Museum intern Roo Weed ’18.5, a physics major, is using digital solutions to make the College’s rare coin collection more accessible to the public.  → Read more at middlebury.edu


 December 11, 2018

"> <META PROPERTY=  → Read more at miningnewsnorth.com


 December 14, 2018

From Alexander the Great to the Byzantium and the Middle Ages until the modern era all periods are covered in an exhibition featuring a rare collection of gold coins. This collection contains coins that are considered to have paved the way for the use of coins in world history and is being staged by the &hellip;  → Read more at cyprus-mail.com


 December 14, 2018

The United States Mint reveals a new coin collection to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Item includes great video of striking coins in the mint  → Read more at myhighplains.com


 December 15, 2018

The U.S. Mint has struck its initial coins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. You could say it was one small strike for the Mint, one not-so-giant press for Apollo history. The coins were stamped as part of a "first strike" ceremony.  → Read more at collectspace.com


 December 15, 2018

The finds are "of great benefit" in helping understand Wales' "unique history", National Museum Wales says.  → Read more at bbc.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 25, 2018

The 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin is the rarest of post decimalization circulating commemoratives. The Royal Mint plans to reissue the coin as part of a new commemorative set. (Royal Mint image)

Numismatic news coming out of the United Kingdom is that after seeing the collector price of 50 pence circulating commemorative coins rise, the Royal Mint will be reissuing many of those coins.

Using the designs of some of the most popular coins being traded online, the Royal Mint will be issuing two sets of five commemorative coins to celebrate the 50p coin’s 50th anniversary.

The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 as part of the UK’s transition to decimalization following the introduction of new 5p (to replace the shilling) and 10p (to replace the florin) coins. As the coins began to circulate, some of the lower denominations were withdrawn. On February 15, 1971, British merchants stopped issuing coins that were based on the 240 pence-based Pound and issued change using the decimalization currency known as New Pounds.

Although the coins will be issued as part of commemorative sets with 2019 dates, some feel that the Royal Mint is doing this to manipulate the market to reduce the collector value of its coins. Officials of the Royal Mint has denied the accusation.

Could the reissue of coins with previous designs hurt the value of the collectors market? In the United States, collectors demand the use of classic designs and that has had no impact on the collector market. However, the coins were issued as part of precious metals programs that has almost no competition with the collectible coin market. When was the last time someone decided that the Walking Liberty half-dollar was not worth collecting because the American Silver Eagle uses the same design?

If the Royal Mint mint limits the issue of the coins to the sets they announced, then the awareness of the coins could enhance the British collectors market. However, if the Royal Mint changes their mind and issues the coins for circulation, the collector market could be impacted in a manner similar to the general collectibles market of the 1980s where companies overproduced and overhyped their products.

And now the news…

 November 19, 2018

Tap-and-go payments and the decline of coins are hurting the Royal Australian Mint despite its plan to make up lost revenue with a rise in profits from selling collectors' items and manufacturing currencies for countries overseas.  → Read more at smh.com.au


 November 22, 2018

The 50p was first introduced into circulation in October 1969 and since then dozens of designs have entered the market – many of which could soon make a comeback  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 November 23, 2018

The Spainhowers’ house burned down in Camp Fire but they found some luck when they uncovered a coin from their honeymoon within the rubble.  → Read more at yahoo.com


 November 25, 2018

The South African Mint, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank has announced its first ever Natura coin in fine silver.  → Read more at businesstech.co.za


 November 25, 2018

Many precious findings are still hidden under the ground.  → Read more at spectator.sme.sk

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Squash that! Oh wait… that’s the design?

Reverse of the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin

Sometimes I wonder if the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and U.S. Commission of Fine Arts is actually paying attentiong to the designs they are selecting. While they have rejected some interesting designs, they seem to accept other designs without really thinking.

It looks like these two groups that are supposed to be the gatekeepers of the design of U.S. coinage did not fully think through their design selection for the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin program.

When the line art images were sent out, the design did not immediately remind me of a bootprint on the surface of the moon. Actually, it reminded me of something that many of us have placed our bootprint on a little closer to the ground.

I understand that with the resignation of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the CCAC that this august body may be lacking the appropriate point of reference that Abdul-Jabbar and I have to make the tie between the bootprint and an insect that could probably survive on the moon (he was born Lew Alcindor in New York City). Then again, the CCAC is the same organization, albeit, with different members, that gave us some of the worst designs in modern coinage.

For the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century, all the CCAC could come up with is a bootprint?

Credits

September 2018 Numismatic Legislation Review

This is a surprise. This past month Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) introduced a bill that would make the gains made on the sale of bullion coins issued by the U.S. Mint tax exempt. This would be for any precious metal coin. The bill says “No gain or loss shall be recognized on the sale or exchange of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins minted and issued by the Secretary at any time…”

The bill also includes “refined gold or silver bullion, coins, bars, rounds, or ingots which are valued primarily based on their metal content and not their form.”

It is called the Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act of 2018 (H.R. 6790) and was introduced on September 12, 2018.

While this may be good for the numismatic community, with the mid-term elections just over a month away and congress mired in many fights, it is difficult to see that this bill passes. Even if it passes in a lame duck session, the possibility of the Senate acting on it is very low. Of course that depends on the outcome of the election and I have been wrong about prognosticating some bills!

H.R. 6790: Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act of 2018
Sponsor: Rep. Alexander X. Mooney (R-WV)
Introduced: September 12, 2018
Summary: This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt gains or losses from the sale or exchange of certain coins or bullion from recognition for income tax purposes. The exemption applies to gains or losses from the sale or exchange of: (1) gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins minted and issued by the Department of the Treasury; or (2) refined gold or silver bullion, coins, bars, rounds, or ingots which are valued primarily based on their metal content and not their form.
Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. — Sep 12, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR6790.

LOOK BACK: Defence of Fort McHenry

On this day 204 years ago, Francis Scott Key was awakened aboard the HMS Tonnant in Baltimore Harbor to see the tattered, but still present flag flying over Fort McHenry. Today’s LOOK BACK talks about the history of that day and, rather than talking about the legislation, add a little information about the Star Spangled Banner commemorative coin.

Fort McHenry (via Wikipedia)

The War of 1812 had been running for two years when the fighting escalated in Baltimore Harbor around Fort McHenry. American Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner sent by the War Department to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes. Dr. Beanes was allegedly mistakenly arrested with a group of rowdies as he walked to his home.

On Skinner’s way to meet Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross on the HMS Tonnant, he stopped at the home of noted lawyer Francis Scott Key and asked for his assistance.

Col. Skinner and Key were welcomed by the British command on September 13, 1814 and was invited to stay for dinner. After secure the release of Dr. Beanes but were not allowed to return to Baltimore. The British felt that Col. Skinner and Key had learned too much about the British forces. Col. Skinner, Key, and Dr. Beanes were provided guest accommodations on the HMS Tonnant.

The Battle of Baltimore began after dinner and raged overnight through the next morning. On September 14, 1814, when the smoke cleared, Key saw the Stars and Stripes still flying over Fort McHenry. Following the battle. Col. Skinner, Key, and Dr. Beanes were allowed to return to Baltimore on their own boat. During the trip, Key wrote a poem entitled “The Defence of Fort McHenry”

On September 20, 1814, Key had the poem published in the newspaper Patriot. After publication, Key set the poem to the tune of John Stafford Smith’s “The Anacreontic Song,” a popular drinking song written for London’s Anacreontic Society. The combination was renamed “The Star Spangled Banner.”

“The Star Spangled Banner” was first recognized by the Navy in 1889. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order to recognize “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem. Finally, President Herbert Hoover singed a congressional bill officially making the song the United State’s National Anthem (36 U.S.C. §301).

In 2012, the U.S. Mint issued two coins as part of the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Program (authorized by Public Law 111-232). The $5 gold coin “depicts a naval battle scene from the War of 1812, with an American sailing ship in the foreground and a damaged and fleeing British ship in the background” on the obverse and “the first words of the Star-Spangled Banner anthem, O say can you see, in Francis Scott Key’s handwriting against a backdrop of 15 stars and 15 stripes, representing the Star-Spangled Banner flag.”

The obverse of the silver $1 coin “depicts Lady Liberty waving the 15-star, 15-stripe Star-Spangled Banner flag with Fort McHenry in the background.” The reverse shows the waving of a modern American Flag.

The official launch of the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Program was launched at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. You can read about that launch here.

You can read the original article here.
All coin images are courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

Did someone say something about a square con?

NOTE: The title is NOT a typographical error. It is a commentary raised by the discussion, below.

With the flurry of legislative action last month, the only bill that I commented on was the American Innovation $1 Coin Act (Public Law No: 115-197) because it was the only one that is the law. The others were just introduced and may not be passed out of committee.

But that has not prevented speculation and discussion about the potential for these potential commemorative coins. Based on the email buzz, the two bills of interest are the Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act (S. 3283 and H.R. 6469) and the Carson City Mint 150th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 6221).

Reverse design of the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

Regarding the Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act, someone decided that the coins would be square and that has infested the numismatic media. This is not what the bill requires. In fact, the bill says that the “design on the common reverse of the coins minted under this Act shall depict a baseball diamond similar to those used by Major League Baseball.”

For those commentators who cannot read simple English, it says that the design “shall depict a baseball diamond.” Nowhere in that sentence does it say that the coins have to be shaped like the baseball diamond. A depiction and the shape of a coin are two different concepts.

Trying to understand where the idea that the coins would be square, a review of the official statement issued by Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) as co-sponsors does not mention the shape of the coin.

What might have confused the issue was a report in The Hill that former Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs legend Andre “The Hawk” Dawson talked about the coin minted in the shape of home plate. While Dawson was a great ballplayer and earned his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, he is not a member of Congress and, apparently, did not read the bill.

The commentary about the shape does not take into consideration what the bill actually says. Aside from talking about it like it will be the law, it does not take into consideration that the bill is now in committee with less than 90-days to go until the mid-term elections. Without turning this into a political analysis blog post, there will be contention regardless of the outcome of the election. With the late introduction of this bill and the current political environment, the likelihood of this bill passing both chambers before the end of the session is highly unlikely.

Carson City Mint (1866)

A correspondent asked “Wouldn’t it be cool if the Carson City commemorative coins were struck in Carson City?” It does not matter if it is a good idea or not unless Congress changes the law, specifically 31 U.S. Code § 5131 that defines where the branches of the U.S. Mint are located, Carson City is not authorized to strike coins. Unless Carson City is added to that list, even temporarily, the U.S. Mint cannot strike any coins in Carson City. Further, the building that was once a branch mint is no longer owned by the Federal Government. Ownership was transferred to the State of Nevada that runs it as part of the Nevada State Museum.

Even though the first press used in Carson City is located in the museum, it may not meet the specifications that are required of the U.S. Mint to strike modern commemorative coins. And both the press and building are not owned by the United State government, a fact that would make those who provide oversight of the U.S. Mint’s operations a bit nervous.

While these “what if” questions might make good parlour or message board discussions, allegedly responsible industry journalists and pundits should know better.

July 2018 Numismatic Legislation Review

Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site
(Image courtesy of the National Parks Service)

July has been a big month for numismatic-related legislation for the 115th Congress. Aside from passing the American Innovation $1 Coin Act (Public Law 115-197), the Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park Redesignation Act (H.R. 965) and a technical change to the American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act (Section 3. in S. 1182) moves closer to passage.

The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park Redesignation Act does not add a commemorative coin program but it changes the designation for the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire to be the “Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park.” The change is significant in that it changes the funding for the staffing and maintenance of the site. It also will keep the site accessible for tourism.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens is known as the artist who co-conspired with President Theodore Roosevelt in his “pet crime” to redesign United States coinage. Before his death in 1907, Saint-Gaudens provided the design for the $20 Double Eagle and $10 Eagle gold coinage.

Saint-Gaudens’ legacy continued after his death by his students Adolph A. Weinman, designer of the Walking Liberty half-dollar and Mercury dime, and James Earle Fraser, designer of the Buffalo Nickel.

As for the American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, the commemorative program was passed in September 2017 and signed by the president in October 2018 (Public Law No: 115-65). This bill has a few minor technical changes that will not change the program as originally passed.

For once, it was a busy month for numismatic-related legislation watchers. maybe congress is trying to show their constituents that they have a record of doing something.

H.R. 770: American Innovation $1 Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. James A. Himes (D-CT)
Introduced: January 31, 2017
Summary: (Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury, over a 14-year period beginning in 2019, to mint and issue “American Innovation” $1 coins commemorating innovation and innovators from each state, each U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia. Treasury shall issue four coins per year, in alphabetical order by jurisdiction, until a coin has been issued for each jurisdiction. Treasury may mint and issue a $1 coin in 2018 to introduce the series. Neither the bust of any person nor the portrait of any living person may be included in the design of the coins.The bill instructs Interior to continue to mint and issue $1 coins honoring Native Americans and their contributions.
Became Public Law No: 115-197. — Jul 20, 2018
Signed by President. — Jul 20, 2018
Presented to President. — Jul 10, 2018
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jun 27, 2018
On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to without objection. (text as House agreed to Senate amendment: CR H5786-5787) — Jun 27, 2018
Mr. Hensarling asked unanimous consent to take from the Speaker’s table and agree to the Senate amendment. — Jun 27, 2018
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Jun 21, 2018
Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote. — Jun 20, 2018
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Jun 20, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Jun 20, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 17, 2018
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jan 16, 2018
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Jan 16, 2018
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 770. — Jan 16, 2018
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Jan 16, 2018
Mr. Duffy moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Jan 16, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jan 31, 2017
This law can be viewed at http://bit.ly/115-HR770.

H.R. 965: Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park Redesignation Act
Sponsor: Rep. Ann M. Kuster (D-NH)
Introduced: February 7, 2017
Summary: (Sec. 2) This bill redesignates the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, in New Hampshire, as the "Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park."
Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 512. — Jul 12, 2018
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Reported by Senator Murkowski without amendment. With written report No. 115-299. — Jul 12, 2018
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably. — May 17, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. — Oct 3, 2017
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Oct 2, 2017
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 401 – 0 (Roll no. 545). — Oct 2, 2017
Considered as unfinished business. — Oct 2, 2017
At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed. — Oct 2, 2017
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 965. — Oct 2, 2017
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Oct 2, 2017
Mr. Thompson (PA) moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Oct 2, 2017
Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 197. — Aug 25, 2017
Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Natural Resources. H. Rept. 115-277. — Aug 25, 2017
Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. — Feb 7, 2017
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR956.

S. 3239: Integration of Baseball Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
Introduced: July 18, 2018
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jul 18, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-S3239.

H.R. 6469: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the integration of baseball.
Sponsor: Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX)
Introduced: July 23, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jul 23, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR6469.

S. 1182: National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2018
Sponsor: Sen. Todd C. Young (R-IN)
Introduced: May 18, 2017
Summary: (Sec. 2) This bill amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program through November 30, 2018.
Motion by Senator McConnell to refer to Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs the House message to accompany S. 1182 with instructions to report back forthwith with the following amendment (SA 3630) made in Senate. — Jul 26, 2018
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the text of S. 1182 with an amendment (SA 3628) made in Senate. — Jul 26, 2018
Cloture motion on the motion to concur in the House amendments to S. 1182 presented in Senate. — Jul 26, 2018
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendments to S. 1182 made in Senate. — Jul 26, 2018
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Jul 26, 2018
The title of the measure was amended. Agreed to without objection. — Jul 25, 2018
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jul 25, 2018
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 366 – 52 (Roll no. 373). — Jul 25, 2018
Considered as unfinished business. — Jul 25, 2018
Message on House action received in Senate and at desk: House amendments to Senate bill. — Jul 25, 2018
At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed. — Jul 24, 2018
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on S. 1182. — Jul 24, 2018
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Jul 24, 2018
Mr. Hensarling moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Jul 24, 2018
Held at the desk. — Aug 4, 2017
Received in the House. — Aug 4, 2017
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Aug 4, 2017
Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote. — Aug 3, 2017
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Aug 3, 2017
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Aug 3, 2017
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — May 18, 2017
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-S1182.

H.R. 6635: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Sponsor: Rep. Brad R. Wenstrup (R-OH)
Introduced: July 26, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jul 26, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR6635.

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