I was very surprised to learn that the George Washington First Day Covers were sold out at the US Mint. There have been very few sellouts for the 50 State Quarters™ First Day Covers and others, like the Westward Journey Nickel™ First Day Covers, went off sale after the legal sales date expired. I wonder if this is a “first issue” or it will continue for all presidents? Maybe it will only be for popular presidents where Abraham Lincoln would sell out but not Millard Fillmore?
There has been talk of creating fractional American Buffalo 24-Karat Gold Coins but no indication from the Mint that this will happen. The Mint is offering uncirculated American Silver Eagle coins with the “W” mint mark on a subscription basis. I wonder if the expanded product line is too much for the Mint to handle the additional Buffalo gold coins and whether they are trying to protect the American Eagle gold program?
Although I am not a collector of medals, I am amazed at the artwork on the medals produced by the US Mint. While looking at the Mint’s online catalog, I found the new Yosemite Nation Park Centennial Bronze Medal and was just captivated by its design. It seems to capture the grander and beauty of Yosemite. Other medals are just phenomenal in their design. These medals are struck on 90-percent copper and 10-percent zinc blanks in Philadelphia. It may be worth looking into.
On December 14, 2006, the Mint announced a ban on the melting and limited the export of cents and nickels for 120 days (4 months). That period was up on Saturday, April 14, 2007 with no further statement from the Mint. Rumor has it that the Mint will issue a statement continuing the melting ban, raise the individual traveler’s limit from $5 to $25 and the numismatic shipments from $100 to $250. It is speculated that this will be a six month extension of the melting ban.
I would like to end with a non-numismatic review. Last night, my wife and I saw the performance of Titus Andronicus by the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, DC. Titus Andronicus is Shakespeare’s most violent plays depicting the revenge strategies and violence of ancient Rome. It is a powerful play about the misplaced sense of honor some have to authority and tradition and how revenge based on that honor can feed upon itself to the detriment of everyone. It is an interesting commentary on today’s society regardless of your political persuasion. Director Gale Edwards did a fantastic job of bringing this play to the stage with great visuals and heart-pumping music. If you live, work, or visit Washington, DC during its run (until May 20), I highly recommend this play.
Image courtesy of the United States Mint.