Two days after questioning whether the ANA will have to cancel the World’s Fair of Money this year, they issued a statement saying that the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, will be open for shows.
The ANA press release said that the show would be limited to 300 dealer tables to configured the bourse floor to allow for social distancing. Those attending the show will be asked to maintain social distancing, and masks will be required.
Currently, there are no indications as to whether there will be capacity limits.
I am sure the ANA will do what it can to make the show safe. I encourage you to assess your risks and make an informed decision as to whether you will attend.
Admittedly, I may be more paranoid than many people. Having lost two family members to COVID-19, a long-time friend, and seeing a few others who have had long-haul health issues, I may wait until the last moment before making my decision. My original plans were to attend the last two days of The National (National Sports Collectors Convention) and stay for the World’s Fair of Money. I will skip The National this year and decide whether I go to the World’s Fair of Money by July.
Trying to assess the short-term future of our life during this stage of the pandemic has many of us wondering when the numismatic shows will restart? Smaller shows have found ways of being held with required social distancing. A few medium-sized shows have moved to larger venues to allow for social distancing, but what about the big shows.
Organizers of the significant shows canceled their shows while the pandemic caused problems. As the vaccination rate has increased and the infection rates decreased, there is hope that life will return to normal.
In the first sign of the post-pandemic life, Florida United Numismatists continue to plan to hold Summer FUN starting on July 8 in Orlando. Florida health officials have lifted crowd restrictions that would prevent the show from happening.
It is a different situation in Rosemont, Illinois. Currently, the Stephens Convention Center, where the World’s Fair of Money is scheduled for August 10-14, remains closed. Illinois state health officials continue to restrict large gatherings throughout the state.
Although the ANA has not said anything about the World’s Fair of Money, the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) issued a statement warning that their show could be canceled. The NSCC, known as The National, is to the sports collecting business as the World’s Fair of Money is to numismatics. The National is scheduled to be held at the Stephens Convention Center July 28 through August 1, before the World’s Fair of Money.
According to The National’s organizers, the Illinois Department of Public Health will publish their rules about large conventions on or around June 1.
Since the ANA is not communicating with its members about the World’s Fair of Money, watch what The National is saying. If The National is canceled, the World’s Fair of Money will likely be canceled.
After posting last month’s Numismatic Legislation Review, someone reminded me that politicians submit bills they know will never be considered. Political watchers call these “vanity bills.” Members of Congress submit vanity bills to have their names published to show the folks at home that they are doing something.
Submitting a bill is easy. Members can develop an idea, format it in the appropriate form, and press a button on their computers to send it to the clerk. Aside from having a standard format, the House of Representatives published instructions on submitting numismatic bills.
Members do not write the bills. Interest groups promoting a cause will write the bill text for the member or written by a staff member.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) submitted a bill to create a commemorative coin program for Cesar Chavez. The Arizona-born Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association to organize farmworkers. Considering the ethnicity of many farmworkers, honoring Chavez will not be popular with certain members of Congress. Even though this bill has almost no chance of passing, Gosar can go home to Arizona and say that he tried.
H.R. 2404: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of Cesar Chavez's work for the betterment of legal workers, and for other purposes.
One bit of news that did not make the numismatic press is that the Coin Collectors Blog sponsored 36 news memberships to the American Numismatic Association. All 36 new members will begin to have access to the ANA, the Numismatist, submit coins to NGC, check out books from the library (oops… I have a few books I have to return), and attend the World’s Fair of Money without having to pay an entrance fee.
I thought it was important to sponsor new memberships to the ANA to bring in new members, especially those with diverse backgrounds and ideas. All the new members should let us know how they collect.
The ANA must evolve to the new environment. The ANA was caught flat-footed when the pandemic changed the environment. Even though the headquarters staff did their best with the resources provided, it was clear that the leadership lacked the imagination to do better.
New members can help. You can tell the ANA what they can do to help make your collecting experience more valuable. You can contact the Board of Governors directly or tell me. I will publish the ideas on this blog. Together, we can make the ANA a better organization.
And now the news…
Without announcement or other fanfare, the U.S. Mint added 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars to the Product Schedule on the catalog website. The entries linked to their product pages where they buried critical details about the releases.
The pages noted a household limit of 25 coins. When collectors found out and complained, the U.S. Mint lowered the limit to 10 while claiming they are listening to their customers. The household limit is a controversy because of the low product limits placed by the U.S. Mint. Each of the 2021 Morgan Dollar options is limited to 175,000 coins, and the only Peace Dollar option is limited to 200,000 coins.
Why are the product limits so low?
It does not take a degree in marketing to read the numismatic media to understand that there will be a demand for these coins. The ANA pursued passage of this legislation beginning in 2019. Collectors in numismatic forums have discussed the coins. Yet, the U.S. Mint claiming that they are listening to their customers is tone-deaf when it comes to production to satisfy the market.
When a government agency has to do something not exactly the way the public expects, the agency will go about its business trying to generate as little publicity as possible. The U.S. Mint has tried to hide the low product limits and its callous disregard to the collecting community they claim to hear by ignoring the extreme demand these coins will have.
A government agency is supposed to serve the public. If the U.S. Mint is really listening, they will increase the product limits. Otherwise, this is David Ryder playing games at the collector’s expense and should resign as Director of the U.S. Mint.
|Silver Weight:||0.858 troy oz.|
|Diameter:||1.500 inches (38.10 mm)|
|Coin||Privy Mark||Release Date||Production Limit||Price|
|2021 Morgan Dollar||“CC”||May 24, 2021||175,000||$85.00|
|2021 Morgan Dollar||“O”||May 24, 2021||175,000||$85.00|
|2021-D Morgan Dollar||June 1, 2021||175,000||$85.00|
|2021-S Morgan Dollar||June 1, 2021||175,000||$85.00|
|2021 Morgan Dollar||June 7, 2021||175,000||$85.00|
|2021 Peace Dollar||June 7, 2021||200,000||$85.00|
U.S. Mint Announces 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars Availability
U.S. Mint Backs Off of Higher Household Limits
There continues to be a disconnect between the U.S. Mint and the collecting community. First, they announce the availability of the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollar coins with a household limit of 25 coins. Then, claiming they heard collectors, they lower the household limit to 10 coins.
What everyone missed in the announcement is the obnoxiously low mintage limits for these coins. Since the legislation does not specify mintage limits, why is the U.S. Mint limiting the number of coins they are selling? It does not take a professional market analyst to note that the limits will drive profiteering against the collector community. If they need a recent example, look at the 2021-W American Silver Eagle Proof Original Reverse coins.
National Coin Weeks Ends
News watchers may have noticed mainstream news outlets wrote a few more stories about National Coin Week than in the past. The stories included something about the 2021 dollar coins, whether it was the Morgan and Peace tributes or the innovation dollar.
The free offer for Gold Membership to the ANA also ended on Saturday. The ANA will let me know next week how many took advantage of my offer. Although the advertising said that I would sponsor 25, I provided enough money to sponsor 50 new members. I hoped 50 people became ANA members this past week!
And now the news…