Stop me if you’ve heard this before…

I like big silver coins.

Some like gold. Others like copper. I like silver.

Since 1986, I have been collecting American Silver Eagle Proof coins. It is a collection my later father started for me and, until 2019, purchased the individual proof coins. I supplemented the collection with the special sets that the U.S. Mint issued, but it is a nearly complete set of proof coins in their original government package.

Although I have to find the 1995-W anniversary set for the elusive 1995-W American Silver Eagle, I have been trying to keep the collection up to date. It is why I hung up on a business call to make sure I was logged in to the U.S. Mint website to purchase the Reverse Proof Two-Coin Set.

By 11:58 AM, I was on the page for the set. As the time counted down to noon, I refreshed the page waiting for the Add-to-Bag button.

I am probably not the only one pushing the refresh button two minutes until noon. Until the Add-to-Bag button appeared, the system was responsive. Of course, the page was likely cached by Cloudflare or my ISP (Comcast), but it was responsive. At the stroke of noon, all that ended.

The first thing we notice is that someone rebranded the Cloudflare gateway error page. Although I do not have inside information, I would bet that Cloudflare told the U.S. Mint to make it so that they don’t get blamed.

I wonder if Cloudflare demanded the U.S. Mint rebrand their gateway error page so that they don’t get the blame?

Another change is the HTML file that appeared as a text file. Under Safari, the file type kept downloading the information to my Downloads folder. Under Firefox, one of the systems in the chain treated me to a small HTML file.

Under the hood HTML output as a web page?

Somehow, a set made it into my bag, and I made it to the checkout page. I couldn’t use my stored credit card because I would see the Bad Gateway error. The card was next to me, and I furiously typed.

Suddenly, there was a new error. I don’t know what it means, but the U.S. Mint’s programmers did not know how to handle that error. How do I know that? The error message provided said so.

This is a new error. In my days as a programmer, we would be chastised for this type of error message!

According to several reports, the website crashed at the beginning of the process. It was difficult to tell, but the U.S. Mint admitted there were problems. They announced that there were products available at 1:19 PM on social media.

After stubborn persistance, I received the confirmation of my order at 12:48 PM.

I asked the U.S. Mint for comment. I will let you know what they say.

The U.S. Mint has a memory problem

This is the second article of three regarding the recent problems at the U.S. Mint.

It is as if the U.S. Mint did not learn a lot since the fiasco of the 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar 50th Anniversary Gold Coin release. (Image courtesy of ABC 7 News, Denver)

During a recent conversation with representatives of the U.S. Mint, it became apparent that the bureau suffers from a lack of institutional knowledge. As a result, the U.S. Mint has not learned from its history and is making the same mistakes collectors have complained about for years.

Last month, a discussion was held with a representative of the U.S. Mint’s communications department and a manufacturing supervisor to understand better the 2021 Morgan Dollar ordering failures. When asked about lessons learned from previous sales, they admitted to working at the U.S. Mint for four years or less and could not talk about previous issues.

After asking about lessons learned from the past with responses ringing like “not on my watch,” it brought to mind the first Numismatic Forum in 2016, where the only blogger in attendance asked whether the discussions would survive changes of leadership and administrations. Rhett Jeppson was nominated to be Director of the U.S. Mint but was never confirmed. Although there were three more Numismatic Forums, it is apparent that none of the discussions survived leadership changes.

Part of the problem is with the government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) program. Members of the SES are government employees hired to senior management positions within the federal government. They undergo special training in government leadership and understand how to lead their sections through policy changes. SES employees are supposed to be non-partisan government workers. There are also limited reasons for the SES to stay with the agency to build collective knowledge.

There are three ways an SES employee can be appointed. A career appointment is a merit position staffed by a qualified executive. A noncareer appointment is a temporary appointment and is subject to several restrictions, including the number of temporary appointees the government can hire. Finally, a limited appointment is hired for an 18 month to a three-year term. Rhett Jeppson’s role that made him the acting Director was the result of a limited appointment.

SES members are also encouraged to change agencies every four years. Although there are exceptions, the SES program is designed not to allow executives to become too powerful within the agencies. Forcing them to move reduces the risk of potential abuse of power.

As SES members come and go, the U.S. Mint loses the institutional knowledge they earned over the years. Experience working with members of the SES program shows that the new appointees rarely refer to documentation left by their predecessors. Their egos also have them ignoring employees and contractors with the institutional knowledge.

The U.S. Mint has resources in the numismatic community that can help teach them about the past. Having an engaged numismatic community available to help the U.S. Mint makes the bureau unique among government agencies. If their egos prevent them from reaching out to the numismatic community, the SES members can perform a web search on any topic to read what the numismatic press wrote about any issue.

During the discussion, the U.S. Mint emphasized how they wanted to work with the numismatic community and do their best to make the products accessible. While they will talk with members of the numismatic media, the U.S. Mint will not reach out for the community’s help.

The numismatic community wants the U.S. Mint to be able to support our collecting habits. They have a unique opportunity to engage a community willing to help. If the U.S. Mint wants to demonstrate that they are, they should set up a program of numismatic advisors to help them understand what went wrong in the past and how to make it better for the future.

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About the U.S. Mint’s Silver Shortage

This is the first article of three regarding the recent problems at the U.S. Mint.

Economic analysts believe there is a silver shortage but that it is not critical. According to the supply chain reports, a sufficient supply of industrial silver for manufacturers to keep up with production. The reduction in computer chip production because of COVID-based plant shutdowns is the greatest threat to manufacturing.

Jewelry and other businesses that use silver for their beauty are experiencing a slowdown but not to the extent of the computer chip industry. The industry has been able to use recycled silver fueled by people cashing in their scrap silver. One silver refiner reports that they have more work than they can process.

Although manufacturers have silver to maintain production, the U.S. Mint announced on May 28, 2021, that “The global silver shortage has driven demand for many of our bullion and numismatic products to record heights.”

On June 2, the U.S. Mint clarified their statement by saying, “In a message released Friday, May 28, we made reference to a global shortage of silver. In more precise terms, the silver shortage being experienced by the United States Mint pertains only to the supply of silver blanks among suppliers to the U.S. Mint.”

Why is the U.S. Mint different from the other industries?

The short answer is that the U.S. Mint is just another government agency subject to federal law.

The U.S. Mint is required to buy silver mined in the United States within one year of its mining (31 U.S. Code §5132(a)(2)(D)). Under this law, the U.S. Mint cannot use recycled silver or silver that the government has not purchased from the mines.

The U.S. Mint discontinued assay operations shortly after the passage of the Coinage Act of 1964. Since then, the bureau has bought the metals from other manufacturers, either sheets or already formed planchets. When the American Eagle Program started, the law required the U.S. Mint to use the silver in the Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpile. The U.S. Mint manufactured the planchets in West Point.

When the program depleted the Strategic Stockpile, Congress updated the law to require the U.S. Mint to use freshly mined silver. They found that it was more cost-effective to have a commercial vendor manufacture the planchets.

Hiring a commercial vendor to do work for the federal government is different from a business-to-business transaction. The government requires all contracts and contractors to follow the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) to purchase goods and services.

For the government to contract with any company, a bidding and vetting process can last from weeks to years. The agency has to produce requirements, selection criteria and evaluate the proposals, called source selection.

Congress purposely made the process challenging to promote fairness in the bidding process and ensure the government pays a fair price. Unfortunately, the process is expensive and fraught with problems.

For the U.S. Mint, the problem is that FAR does not allow the latitude to find alternate vendors when there are supply issues.

The U.S. Mint has contracts with four vendors to make silver planchets. They have vetted the contractors, their processes and have contractual quality control measures to ensure the planchets comply with the Treasury’s legal and quality requirements. If the vendors cannot fulfill the U.S. Mint’s order, the law prevents them from looking for immediate alternatives.

According to the U.S. Mint, the suppliers of silver planchets had production slowdowns because of COVID-19 operating precautions. In addition to manufacturing issues, the mining operators also experienced slowdowns because of the same operating precautions. Every industry is experiencing supply chain interruptions.

Where the U.S. Mint could have done better was to order the planchets sooner. The U.S. Mint reported that agency attorneys refused to allow their purchasers to order planchets before the law was signed. The bill, H.R. 6192, was sent to the president on December 24, 2020. The president signed the bill into law on January 5, 2021 (Public Law No. 116-286).

When a law is signed, the White House will tell the appropriate Departments. If that does not happen, the agencies receive notice from the Government Printing Office (GPO) who publishes the laws. Like everything else, the GPO has experienced interruptions because of pandemic protocols.

According to a government attorney that works for the Inspector General’s office in a non-Treasury department, agencies have the latitude to work on anticipated laws. An example cited is that the IRS works on drafting forms and regulations based on the bills in progress to be ready for the filing season.

Although Congress did not do the U.S. Mint a favor by passing the bill on Christmas Eve, the White House did not do the U.S. Mint a favor by not letting the Treasury know they signed the bill. However, the leadership of the U.S. Mint allowed the lawyers to dictate operations. The lawyers are supposed to be advisors, not the last word.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 16, 2021

It has been a long 16-months. During that time, a virus caused a worldwide pandemic still being felt in much of the world. Thanks to science and the government removing barriers that slow the development process, the pharmaceutical industry found vaccines to reduce infection rates.

The increase in vaccinations and the reduction of infections has government easing restrictions that shut down the country for three months in 2020. As the restrictions ease, coin shows are appearing. Small shows have been running for a few months, but last week, the ANA announced the World’s Fair of Money would go on.

Over the last six months, hobby and other spending have dramatically increased. The demand for goods has outpaced the supply. Big-ticket items like housing and vehicles are experiencing low inventories as people leave their homes and spend money. I regularly pass a few used car lots on my way to work, and their inventory is the lowest I have seen.

Numismatics is also seeing a surge. Even though analysts note that lower sales of bullion coins from last year, the demand for collector coins has caused prices to skyrocket. Services that monitor online markets say that the 2021-W American Silver Eagle Proof coin price is averaging $140-160 or 100-percent over their issue price.

Because silver is in high demand, dealers are charging high premiums over the spot price and sellout out of their inventory. When I recently looked at buying circulated coins whose value is tied to the silver spot price, the premiums were the highest that I have seen.

It has been a long time since silver coins were this popular. There is no telling how high this market will go with the expanding market for non-circulated legal tender (NCLT) and bullion coins drawing people into collecting.

And now the news…

 May 10, 2021
What do ancient coins tell us about the Omer period and the time of the Bar-Kochba revolt, when the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot became associated with death and mourning? According to the Bible, the seven weeks between the two holidays referred to as ‘omer’ – a unit of measure which was used to quantify the amount of produce to offer as a sacrifice to God – was not meant to carry any specific connotation other than its agricultural meaning.  → Read more at jpost.com

 May 11, 2021
An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around. Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.  → Read more at axios.com

 May 13, 2021
Nov.  → Read more at theglowup.theroot.com
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How the GSA Changed Dollar Collecting

REMINDER: If you are not a member of the ANA, I will pay your 2021 Gold Membership dues for the first 25 readers of the Coin Collectors Blog who join during National Coin Week. All you have to do is click this link and use the Promotion Code NCW21SB when you check out.
For National Coin Week, all blog posts this will be about large dollar coins. The following is a about the GSA Morgans and the few in my collection.

GSA Dollar Sale #3

GSA Sale #3 stepped up its advertising (Image from u/GucciMamba666 on Reddit)

The early 1960s were a time of upheaval. At the urging of President Kennedy, the United States stepped up its efforts to beat the Soviets to the moon. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

By 1964, the price of silver skyrocketed, making U.S. coins worth less than the metals used to make them. The economics led to a fiscal crisis that had the government rethinking the monetary system.

Silver coins were no longer required to back the U.S. dollar. Along with a law passed by Congress that ordered the General Services Administration to consolidate the government’s real estate usage came the discovery of the largest hoard in history.

Before the GSA started to clean out government-owned buildings, the government knew that they had stored silver coins in a few places. They did not know how many there were and the number of places they were stored.

Congress passed laws that caused over-production and hoarding. The Coinage Act of 1873, also called “The Crime of ’73,” caused a withdrawal of silver from the market. The Bland-Allison Act overturned it in 1878 that required the Treasury to purchase silver from U.S. mines to strike dollars for circulation. Since most silver mining was in Nevada, the Carson City Mint was striking more coins than needed.

The Sherman Silver Purchase Act became law in 1890. It raised the monthly amount of silver the Treasury purchased to 4.5 million ounces per month. The goal was to boost the economy to stem inflation. The law caused more dollars produced in Carson City with no place to distributed them.

To help Great Britain fund their war efforts, the Pittman Act authorized the melting of 350 million silver dollars to be sold at $1.00 per ounce. By the end of the war, over 270 million coins were melted for bullion. It was not enough to deplete the storage. The Act required the Mint to strike new coins with the silver repaid by Britain by 1933.

After several years of cleaning out vaults in different government-owned buildings, the GSA found 2,825,219 Morgan Dollars with the CC mintmark. They also found 112,145 coins from other branch mints. Within those additional coins, the GSA found 84,165 circulated Seated Liberty, Morgan, and Peace Dollars.

The government did not know what to do with the coins. Since they were in Treasury’s vaults, it was up to the Treasury to decide what to do with them. The Treasury’s role changed with the passage of the Federal Reserve Bank Act of 1913 and said that the best they could do was melt the coins. The U.S. Mint did not want the coins back since their job is to produce the coins. The Federal Reserve claimed it had no jurisdiction over the coins since the production and storage occurred before the formation of the Fed.

The GSA was the only agency that had experience liquidating government surplus. But these coins were not ordinary. Many collectors predicted that the sale of these coins would significantly change the numismatic market.

1884-O GSA Morgan Dollar

An 1884-O uncirculated Morgan Dollar from the GSA Sale

After the sale was over, the once rare 1882-1884 Carson City Dollars became more available. For example, the GSA found 962,638 of the 1,360,000 minted 1884-CC dollars in storage. It changed the rarity of the coins and the prices of previous purchases plunged.

To sell these coins, the GSA created a special hardpack to hold the circulated coins. The hard-pack would be placed into a box with a certificate of authenticity, and the coins were made available through a mail-bid auction sale.

Coins struck in Carson City would be housed in a plastic case called a lens that said “Carson City” across the top. Other uncirculated coins were placed in a generic case. These coins are called GSA Morgans or GSA Non-CC Morgans.

For circulated coins, the GSA created the Soft Pack. The coins were sealed in mylar with a plastic token and placed in a blue envelope. Collectors refer to these coins as GSA Blue Packs. The GSA did not keep records of the number of Blue Packs sold. However, some have estimated that the GSA created about 100,000 Blue Packs.

From 1972 through 1980, the GSA held a series of eight sales. Most were mail-bid type auctions. The last two in 1980 were call-in bidding sales.

My father was cleaning his house, preparing to move into a condo before the pandemic shutdowns and found his GSA Morgan Dollars. He mailed the coins to me for my collection. Three are Carson City dollars, and one struck in New Orleans. My father purchased the coins during the first two GSA sales. He said that he tried to purchase more during the 1980 sales but was outbid.

GSA CC Morgans

L-to-R: 1882-CC, 1883-CC, and 1884-CC Morgan Dollars in GSA holders

I will eventually send the coins to NGC to have them graded in their original holder. For now, I found an online seller with four empty GSA boxes. Since I have the original Certificates of Authenticity, I will have complete packages.

GSA Preview Movie

Preview from the 1971 GSA movie about the hoard of silver dollars. As you watch the video, think about what it might have taken for the GSA workers to sort through 3 million coins.
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What would you buy for 5 Shekels

REMINDER: If you are not a member of the ANA, I will pay your 2021 Gold Membership dues for the first 25 readers of the Coin Collectors Blog who join during National Coin Week. All you have to do is click this link and use the Promotion Code NCW21SB when you check out.
For National Coin Week, all blog posts this will be about large dollar coins. The following is a personal story about Morgan and Peace dollars I recently found in my late father’s house.

When my father’s firstborn son appeared in 1960, he planned two ceremonies. The first occurred eight days after the birth. Formally called the brit milah or bris in Yiddish, the male child undergoes a ritual circumcision. The second comes 30 days after the birth, called the pidyon haben, or “redemption of the firstborn son.”

For this ceremony, the kohen, the priestly descendent of Aaron, takes the child, and the parents must pay 5 Shekels to redeem their son. The ceremony is to recognize that the firstborn of Egypt were slain before the exodus.

A modern interpretation of the 5 shekels is the use of five silver dollar coins. In other countries, they used five silver coins representing the unit of currency for their country. Since most countries have converted to using base-metal currency, the Bank of Israel issues silver Pidyon Haben coins for Jewish people to use.

The 10 Silver Dollars as the Shekels stand-ins

Following my father’s passing from COVID-19, we cleaned out his house and found a separate box from the rest of his coin collection. Opening the box, I found ten coins wrapped in tissue. There were seven Morgan Dollars and three Peace Dollars. Under the coins was a paper in my late mother’s handwriting with the English and Hebrew names if their first child was a boy or a girl.

The box contained other hints making it clear that these were the coins used for my pidyon haben. There was also a note that said “Uncle Henry.”

Two of the better quality Morgan dollars

Uncle Henry was married to my grandmother’s sister, Ruthie. He was a kohen, a descendent of Aaron’s tribe. Uncle Henry cradled me in his arms for the ceremony and held me for the five shekel ransom. After my father allegedly said, “you can keep him,” my father paid the five shekels (Morgan Dollars) and redeemed me.

Uncle Henry and Aunt Ruthie passed in 1999. Sometimes, Aunt Ruthie would joke that Uncle Henry should have kept me.

I do not know which of the five coins were used for my pidyon haben, but I am sure he did not use the Peace Dollars. He would have used five matching coins. However, the ten silver dollar coins will remain as a set as part of my collection.

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First Lady Honors Christa McAuliffe

The United States Mint released the Christa McAuliffe Proof Silver Dollar in a socially distanced ceremony where they presented the first coin to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, honoring her lifelong dedication to teaching.

NASA selected Christa McAuliffe to be the first member of the Teacher in Space Program. The space agency would train teachers to travel to space and hold lessons from the space shuttle. Unfortunately, 73 seconds into the flight, the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated, killing all seven members aboard.

Jill Biden began her education career as a substitute teacher in 1975. She went to school part-time to earn her Master of Education, completing her coursework while pregnant with her daughter Ashley. After a few years, Biden returned to the classroom teaching English in a public high school. In January 2007, at age 55, she earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) before hitting the campaign trail for the Obama-Biden ticket.

Dr. Biden is a champion for education and plans to teach again this fall.

During the issuing ceremony, Biden said:

There’s a saying Christa loved and it’s inscribed on the coin that we unveiled today: ‘I touch the future I teach.’ And this coin, like her life, is a tribute to all educators, as Steve [McAuliffe] said. It’s a reminder of the incredible power we hold to write our history and to shape our future. And it’s a recognition of the obligation we have to keep working toward a time when all students have all that they need to thrive. So thank you to all the educators who touch the future.

The coin’s sale price includes a $10 surcharge paid to the FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics program to promote leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Credits: All images are courtesy of the U.S. Mint via social media.

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 7, 2021

Prices are rising.

Whether you talk about the price of groceries, gas, or collectibles, prices are rising. So are the price of the collectibles markets, including numismatics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has been steadily rising for six months. While the prices are rising, unemployment has dropped from the beginning of the pandemic high of 14-percent to the 6.2-percent rate, BLS recently announced.

With all of this economic stress, why are collectibles, especially numismatics, are seeing rising prices?

An auction industry source said that there is a pent-up demand for something resembling normal. Instead of the everyday routine, those with means are buying. In the last six months, the industry reports that prices realized for all sectors have risen at rates higher than seen in many years. Estate auctions are attracting new customers looking for unique items.

Numismatics is in the middle of the trend, with collectors and investors looking for something to do. Collectors are spending more time with their collections and looking to expand. Investors see the rise in values because of the rise in precious metal prices and have driven the market higher.

One of the areas where the price changes are noticeable is in the markets for precious metals. While the spot price for gold and silver has been relatively steady, the numismatic spread for coins has climbed. Dealers are reporting that generic gold and silver for numismatic items increased over the last six months.

Price trends of coinage over the last year
(graphs courtesy of PCGS)

Several industry reports note a higher demand for physical ownership of precious metals, putting pressure on the markets. But rather than buying bullion, investors are purchasing coins. Demand for American Eagle products has outpaced many dealer’s abilities to purchase supplies. When bullion coins were not available, investors purchase coins produced for the collector market, including proof and special issues coins.

Recently, the U.S. Mint set a 99 coin limit when they released the 2021-W American Silver Eagle Proof coin with the original reverse. The coin sold quickly. When asked, the U.S. Mint claimed they did not have the statistics about the number of 99 coin purchases they fulfilled. Collectors report that they were shut out of coin purchases while dealers have been slabbing and selling the coins mostly to investors.

If the predictions are true, economists believe that there will be a roaring 2020s similar to the roaring 1920s following the Spanish Flu Pandemic. Considering the current trends, the secondary market for numismatics may make it too expensive for the average collector to participate in the market.

And now the news…

 March 1, 2021
Some artists struggle to figure out ways to make money from their art. Not Christina Hess, a Philadelphia-based artist and chair of the illustration department at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design.  → Read more at lancasteronline.com

 March 2, 2021
Most people have some coins lying around in their house somewhere, some people decide to keep them in a jar, and some may have quite a lot of them.  → Read more at tweaktown.com

 March 2, 2021
At least 110 ancient gold coins were seized and a suspect was arrested in an anti-smuggling operation in southeastern Turkey, a security source said on March 1. Gendarmerie teams fighting organized crime in Şanlıurfa province raided the address of the suspect, who was learned to be smuggling historical artifacts, in Viranşehir district, said the source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.  → Read more at hurriyetdailynews.com

 March 5, 2021
There has been strong interest in the international numismatic auction planned for Friday March 12 in Central Wellington. From a midday start, there will be more than 600 lots to auction, with participants bidding both in the room and online.  → Read more at scoop.co.nz

 March 6, 2021
Artist Gary Cooper of Belfast used a 3D sculpting computer program to create the winning design for the commemorative coin that will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Credit: Abigail Curtis / BDN  → Read more at bangordailynews.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for February 7, 2021

If you missed the five-second commercial from Reddit after the halftime show, you missed their touting their service as a place to discuss things. Lately, Reddit has been famous for a sub-Reddit that helped promote the stocks of GameStop, AMC movie theaters, and BlackBerry. All companies whose business models have not kept up with technology or are suffering because of the pandemic.

An interesting aspect of this story is the Robinhood trading platform’s use to buy and sell these stocks. Robinhood is a no-commission trading service that many of the people participating in the sub-Reddit use to trade. Not only are they gaining free access to the markets, but they were able to cause significant losses amongst the large hedge funds. The hedge funds did not like losing money to what they considered non-professionals. The Reddit users called it the democratization of the markets.

Although these stocks have returned to more reasonable levels as compared to their earnings, people in the sub-Reddits are looking to make statements in other markets. One of the markets they are trying to work on is silver.

Precious metals continue to be a safe haven for uncertain markets. With the uncertainty of the markets and the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in the metals market and changes in some rules, investors demand access to physical metals.

Rather than buying bullion, investors are buying legal tender coins. Even with the high numismatic premiums on precious metals coins, they are reporting limited supply. The highest demand is for the American Silver Eagle and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. Both mints are reporting record production of these coins.

When an ETF creates its market basket of stocks, the exchanges require that each of the stocks have specific minimum holdings of physical metals to back the prices. ETFs are finding they have to rebalance their portfolios since the funds holding the metals are not increasing their holdings as much as the general public. Their lack of buying is keeping the price of metals stable.

Dealers are reporting that individual and smaller institutional investors are buying silver. Although these buyers do not impact the broader market, they are impacting the numismatic premium. People are paying upwards of 35 percent over the spot price.

The rules will prevent the Reddit mob from manipulating the metals markets. However, until there is more certainty in the market, there will continue to be a high numismatic premium for bullion coins.

And now the news…

 February 4, 2021
• Silver keeps corrective pullback from $25.90 trapped in a $0.10 range off-late. • Premiums on American Eagle silver coins jump on Thursday, Apmex urges customers to expect delay in order processing.  → Read more at fxstreet.com

 February 4, 2021
The Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum needs help identifying some BLM collections and a mystery coin.  → Read more at abc4.com

 February 4, 2021
* More than 1.1 million troy ounces of silver sold in Jan * Selling everything that can be currently made in silver- Mint * Short-squeeze story boosted demand for physical silver-analyst  → Read more at kitco.com

 February 5, 2021
A COIN collection has gone under the hammer for £2.3m with the latest sale bringing a world record price for one 450 year old Oliver Cromwell gold coin.  → Read more at gazetteherald.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News for January 17, 2021

1994-P Washington QuarterThe president has signed the last numismatic-related bill this past week. On January 13, 2021, the president signed the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 (Public Law No. 116-330). It was the last possible day to sign the bill. If he did not sign it, the bill would be subjected to a pocket veto.

  • H.R. 1923: Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020
    Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
    LAST ACTION: Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 116-330. — Jan 13, 2021

The law will require the U.S. Mint to redesign the quarters’ reverse through 2030, starting in 2022.

Prominent American Women Quarters

For the quarters issued between 2022 and 2025, “The design on the reverse side of each quarter dollar issued under this subsection shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of one prominent woman of the United States.” The U.S. Mint will issue “up to” five quarters per year and confer with several groups to determine who receives the honor.

United States Semiquincentennial Coins

The United States will celebrate its seniquincentennial (250th Anniversary) on July 4, 2026. In celebration of the event, the law states that the U.S. Mint will issue the following coins:

  • QUARTERS: 2026 quarters “with up to five different designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.” One quarter must be design to be emblematic of the contribution of a woman or women.
  • DOLLARS: orders the Mint to issue “$1 dollar coins with designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.” These dollar coins will be issued in addition to the Native American and Innovation dollars.

Youth Sports Program

The law requires the U.S. Mint to celebrate youth sports with changes to the quarter and half-dollars to correspond to the Summer Olympic games of 2028 and the Winter games of 2030. This program will run from 2027 through 2030.

  • QUARTERS: Up to five coins issued each year “shall be emblematic of one sport played by American youth.”
  • HALF-DOLLARS: Up to five coins issued each year “emblematic of one Paralympic sport.”
  • MEDALS: The law authorizes the U.S. Mint to create “medals with designs emblematic of the sport honored with the issuance of the coin.”

Medals for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles

The law authorizes the U.S. Mint “to design and manufacture medals for awarding at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.” The law makes it the first time in the modern Olympics history that the U.S. Mint will create the games’ medals. Previously, the Olympic committees had a private vendor create the medals. According to the International Olympic Committee website, medals for the games played in the United States were created by the following:

Year Games Location Minter of the Medals
1904 Summer St. Louis Diege & Clust
1932 Summer Los Angeles The Whitehead & Hoag Co.
1932 Winter Lake Placid Robbins Company
1960 Winter Squaw Valley Herff Jones
1980 Winter Lake Placid Medallic Art Co.
1984 Summer Los Angeles Jostens, Inc
1996 Summer Atlanta Reed and Barton
2002 Winter Salt Lake City O.C. Tanner

Silver Bullion Coins

The new law allows the U.S. Mint to continue to make the five-ounce silver bullion coins that correspond to each of the quarter and half-dollar programs. Interestingly, the silver hockey-puck-sized coins appear to be popular and will continue to be available to collectors and investors.

Also added to the law is the ability to strike factional silver bullion coins with the same designs. It is uncertain if a half-ounce or quarter-ounce silver coin will sell, but we will find out.

Obverse of the Coins

George Washington will continue to appear on the obverse but “be designed in a manner, such as with incused inscriptions, so as to distinguish it from the obverse design used during the previous quarters program.”

The bill includes similar language for the image of John F. Kennedy on the 2026 Semiquincentennial half-dollar.

And now the news…

 January 8, 2021
Coin collecting is viewed by many enthusiasts to be a form of modern day treasure hunting, as shops in South Beloit and Beloit continue to do well as collectors come seeking rare finds, or simply to make an investment in precious metals.  → Read more at beloitdailynews.com

 January 11, 2021
The world’s finest Brasher Doubloon, the most legendary U.S gold coin ever produced, is heading for auction at Heritage this month. The 18th century coin is described as “arguably the world’s most famous numismatic rarity”, and is one of only seven examples known to exist.  → Read more at news.justcollecting.com

 January 13, 2021
Ongoing excavations at a rural spot near the village of Újlengyel in central Hungary recently struck gold, both figuratively and literally. Archaeologists armed with powerful metal detectors found a buried treasure of approximately seven thousand silver and four medieval  gold coins  in Hungary, hidden centuries ago by unknown individuals.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net

 January 14, 2021
Egypt: Archaeologists find coins with Cleopatra’s face on Thousands of objects including ancient coins, pottery and sculpture thousands of years old have been secured, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has confirmed.  → Read more at express.co.uk
Coin Collectors News
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