Collectors Positive on Modern Coinage

When I created the poll asking whether the U.S. Mint should continue the Morgan and Peace dollar program, I expected most people would favor the program, but I did not realize how positive some people would be.

The email responses have ranged from people reconnecting with their parents collecting coins to the few who thought it was the biggest disaster since clad coinage.

One teacher said that she uses the quarters programs as a teaching tool. The coins allow her to talk about history using the depictions on the reverse. She has sets of Presidential and Native American dollars that are props to talk about those subjects. “They are great to introduce the kids to the 19th century presidents people don’t normally talk about,” she wrote.

Several people wrote how they plan to visit every national park or forest featured on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program reverse. Some have started their journey with the closest parks. One New England-based family has a quarters map and will insert a coin into every state after visiting a park.

One mom of Native American descent uses the Native American Dollar Coins to teach her children about their cultural history. “These coins have some of the best designs,” she wrote.

Comments about the Morgan and Peace dollar coins thought that using classic designs on modern coins gives new collectors access to those designs. “Given the rising cost of everything these days,” he wrote, “the U.S. Mint would allow more people to afford nice examples of popular gold coin designs.”

Currently, 69 of 95 voters said “Yes, I love them” to the poll. As we begin the season of giving thanks, let’s see whom else wants to weigh in.
 

Should the U.S. Mint Continue to Strike Morgan and Peace Dollars





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U.S. Mint Unveils Negro League Baseball Museum Commemorative

The U.S. Mint and the Negro League Baseball Museum held an unveiling event for the 2022 NLBM Commemorative Coin Program. The ceremony was held at the museum in Kansas City, Missouri. NLBM Director Bob Kendrick hosted the event. Also attending was Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Esther George, and Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas (D).

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) recorded a message for the event because he was traveling overseas. Cleaver was a council member and was an early supporter of the museum. Cleaver continued to support the museum as mayor of Kansas City and was one of the Members of Congress who ushered the bill to authorize the commemorative program to passage.

As part of the ceremony, Sen. Blunt presented a copy of the signed law to the museum. Blount and Cleaver autographed the copy.

Acting Director of the U.S. Mint Ventris Gibson recorded the design unveiling ceremony they played at the museum. Before announcing the designs, Gibson revealed that her father played for a Negro League team in Virginia from 1949 through 1960.

Later in the day, the U.S. Mint published a press release with the design information.

The following are screenshots of the ceremony:

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BREAKING NEWS: U.S. Mint to Continue Morgan and Peace Program in 2022

The U.S. Mint is currently holding a numismatic press availability via conference call. During the call, the U.S. Mint announced that they plan to continue the Morgan and Peace dollar programs in 2022 and beyond.

Although the products have not been finalized, it is possible that there may be different finishes, such as reverse proof, and additional products options including the production of the coins at other mint facilities.

Stay tuned for more from the U.S. Mint’s press availability.

Weekly World Numismatic News for October 31, 2021

Today marks the 16th Anniversary of the Coin Collectors Blog. When I started this blog, I did not know if I had enough to write about. But numismatics has had many twists and turns over the years to keep the hobby interesting. As long as there is something to write about and you are willing to read it, I will keep going. Here’s to the last 16 years and more fun in the future. Thank you for being a loyal reader!

Collectors are reporting that they received their orders of 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars. Deliveries have come in waves where some have received multiple packages over two weeks.

A few collectors have noticed differences in the finish between different coins. A local collector showed me the difference between a Morgan Dollar with the CC privy mark and a 2021-S coin. The coin struck in San Francisco had a cloudier look. The Philadelphia Mint struck the Morgan Dollars with the privy marks.

A Canadian friend reported receiving colored Bluenose 10-cent coins in change. There is a general consensus that Canadians love the coins. One story included a cashier who was excited to open a roll of the new coins and took joy in giving them out.

Someone I know who is a member of the U.S. military had his post changed to the Pacific. As part of his tour, he went to Australia, where he discovered the alphabet coins. The Royal Australian Mint created 26 new designs with reverses featuring something Australian for each letter of the alphabet. The program, dubbed The Great Australian Coin Hunt 2, follows the 2019 program.

He was so impressed with the coins that He mailed a set of the 2019 and 2021 coins home for his children. When I told him that the Royal Mint released a similar set in the U.K., he said he might try for a tour in the North Atlantic to pick up a set.

There are a lot of interesting world coins to explore. Collectors may want to branch outside the U.S. and start a new collection.

And now the news…

 October 26, 2021
A family in Michigan found an old ammunition round in there house that was filled with coins and bills decades ago. MSP First District A Michigan family made a bombshell discovery this weekend when they discovered a non-live WWI-era ammunition round was filled with treasure.  → Read more at nypost.com

 October 30, 2021
0:00 0:03:24 A rare piece of metal money made in the 1600s in the New England area of the U.S. could be sold for $300,000.  → Read more at learningenglish.voanews.com

 October 30, 2021
Prisoners at historic Port Arthur were not allowed to carry money. So how did a pile of silver shillings worth about a week's salary for one of the penal colony's overseers end up buried beneath the convicts' workshop?  → Read more at abc.net.au

 October 30, 2021
More than 6,000 silver coins from the late Middle Ages were discovered during a renovation project on a farm in the village of Rainbach, Upper Austria. The silver coins, which were handed over to the OÖ Lande-Kultur GmbH museum in Upper Austria, also known as Linz Schlossmuseum, “were wrapped in fabric and kept in a clay lidded pot,” the museum said.  → Read more at klewtv.com
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Nothing wrong with the Mint’s Manufacturing Process

The U.S. Mint took to social media to let everyone know that they struck 24 million coins since January 2020.

After COVID-19 shut down the world, the supply chain was interrupted and not moving as expected. As businesses began to open, regulators ordered the U.S. Mint to increase circulating coin production so the Federal Reserve could push coins through the economy.

In 2020, the U.S. Mint struck 14.774 billion coins, 23.7-percent more than they struck in 2019. The announcement means that in the first ten months of 2021, the U.S. Mint struck 10 billion additional coins. It appears that the U.S. Mint will match the production rate of 2020.

Although collectors have a lot to say about how they have been treated, the U.S. Mint exceeds its primary mission as the nation’s coin manufacturer.

Treasury Appoints a new Acting Director of the US Mint

Ventris Gibson, Acting Director of the U.S. Mint (LinkedIn photograph)

Treasury announced the appointment of Ventris Gibson as Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint. Gibson will also serve as Acting Director.

Gibson, a Navy veteran, previously served as the Director of Human Resources for Washington, DC’s Department of Human Resources. Previously, Gibson was Deputy Chief Human Capital Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and held similar positions at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Gibson is a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES). She is a federal employee, and the Acting Director does not require congressional approval. The law allows a person in an acting role to serve for a maximum of 180 days.

Treasury was quick to note that Gibson is the first African American person to lead the bureau. Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo said, “Her historic appointment reflects our ongoing commitment to building a qualified, diverse workforce at Treasury and its bureaus that will serve the American people well.”

Is Gibson really qualified for this position? The U.S. Mint is the world’s largest manufacturer of coins. The U.S. Mint reports that they have manufactured over 11.2 BILLION coins in 2021. Although Gibson has extensive government experience, she does not have any experience manufacturing or producing a product.

Gibson has extensive experience with human resources, but the U.S. Mint not only has a diverse workforce but a constituency that watches everything the bureau does. HHS and NLRB do not have a constituency like the U.S. Mint. The collecting community is very critical as to how this bureau does its job. While the law governs what the U.S. Mint can do, the areas where they have latitude, the decisions are more diverse than human resources.

Does having a human resources background make Gibson qualified in collector relations? An HR professional may be able to talk with collectors, but does she understand the market? The last two directors had numismatic experience before their appointments.

Does having a human resources background make Gibson qualified to manage an e-commerce service? The numismatic media has documented the failures of the U.S. Mint’s e-commerce system. Fixing the system requires leadership and the ability to understand what the technical people are saying. As a former government contractor, I watched as SES and appointees did not properly question rosy contractor reports only to watch as the contractors could not deliver results. The U.S. Mint’s contractor has not delivered. What assurances do we have that Gibson can understand when the contractor is lying?

There is nothing wrong with human resource professionals but are they qualified to run a government manufacturer with an opinionated customer base? I guess we shall see.

Keeping my ASE Proof Collection Complete

With everything that is going on, coin collecting is still a fun hobby, and there are a lot of coins to collect. I am proudest of my almost complete collection of proof American Silver Eagle coins.

From 1986 to 2019, my father bought two proof American Silver Eagle coins. One was for his collection, and the other was mine. When the U.S. Mint issued special sets, I would purchase one for myself and attempt to purchase one for my father. I was able to purchase the 25th Anniversary Set for myself but could never buy one for my father. On the secondary market, too many sets were broken up and graded, ruining the grandeur of the five-coin set.

I am missing the 1995-W American Silver Eagle.

Although there have been problems with the U.S. Mint’s e-commerce site, I have been able to keep up with my American Silver Eagle collection. Recently, the U.S. Mint shipped the American Silver Eagle Reverse Proof Two-Coin Set. My set arrived before I left town for the weekend.

Like many collectors, I love the look of reverse-proof coins. The shiny devices make the design stand out. When I show the coins to non-collectors, the coins make an impression.

What does not make an impression is the package.

For a set that costs $175, the package feels cheap. The insert is cheap plastic that holds onto the coin so tight that the coin is difficult to remove. The box is thinner cardboard, and it is not in a clamshell box, like other sets. The package appears as if the U.S. Mint modified it from a copper-nickel clad proof coin.

The U.S. Mint might think that the package does not matter. There will be collectors that will take the coins out of the package and send them to a third-party grading service. This attitude does not consider those who prefer to keep the coins in the original government package (OGP).

My entire collection of American Silver Eagle proof coins is in its OGP. The 2021 set looks like an afterthought next to the 2013 West Point and 2012 San Francisco two-coin sets.

At least the coins are gorgeous!

Weekly World Numismatic News for October 10, 2021

The weekly numismatic news report is late for the same reason the U.S. Mint cannot run an ordering system. It seems that the dangers to online systems are growing.

Every week, I am receiving reports from collectors being scammed by Chinese counterfeiters. People are providing pointers to websites and other sellers that are pushing counterfeit coins. The most common coin is the American Silver Eagle.

Last week, the parent company of HiBid, one of the largest online auction platform after eBay, was struck with a ransomeware attack. HiBid was taken down Thursday, September 30 through Monday, October 4. To add insult to injury, HiBid crashed again on Sunday, October 10 because bidders overloaded their systems.

As I am looking for new business opportunities, several eBay sellers are also looking for alternate selling venues. They are complaining about how eBay has handled the conversion to charging sales tax collection. New programs do not include the small sellers. Although eBay has always preferred high-volume sellers, now they are adding programs to benefit those that sell high-value items. And some sellers are reporting driven crazy by eBay’s new payment system.

With all this happening, then how does one buy online? I have been buying from eBay. It has been a convenient way to find interesting out-of-print numismatic books and tokens from New York. My other buying venues have been the U.S. Mint, the Royal Mint, and Apmex.

Maybe it’s time to look for other purchase venues.

 October 5, 2021
Two men have denied charges relating to a Viking hoard of historically important coins and silver worth almost £1m. Roger Pilling, 73, and Craig Best, 44, appeared before Durham Crown Court to plead not guilty to all charges.  → Read more at news.sky.com

 October 5, 2021
Over 600 coins unearthed in a field in western Zealand will initially go on display at Sorø Museum before moving to the capital It has emerged that a significant silver coin treasure from the late Viking Age has been discovered in Denmark.   → Read more at cphpost.dk

 October 6, 2021
A pensioner's secret stash of rare coins has sold for a staggering £185,000 at auction – well over double the estimate. John Cross, 72, from Canterbury, died with few knowing of his extraordinary collection, which has been described by experts as among the most important of its kind outside any UK museum.  → Read more at kentonline.co.uk
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The $1 Trillion Coin Will NEVER Be Struck

(Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

The $1 trillion coin concept turns up like a bad penny.

Also turning up are all pundits, politicos, reporters, and sycophants explaining why the U.S. Mint should or should not strike the coin. The problem is that EVERYONE IS WRONG!

Let’s look at the FACTS.

FACT: Before a coin leaves the U.S. Mint, the purchaser must pay for the coin.

The Federal Reserve purchases business strike coins at face value. The money is deposited in the U.S. Mint’s Public Enterprise Fund.

Collectors pay for collector coins through the U.S. Mint’s retail and e-commerce operations. When the money is collected, they deposit the funds in the U.S. Mint’s Public Enterprise Fund.

FACT: The United States Mint has successfully argued in court that a coin is not legal tender until it is paid for.

After the U.S. Mint discovered the existence of several 1933 Double Eagle coins that were supposedly melted, the Secret Service investigated and seized several coins. Through the 1950s, government lawyers argued that the coins were government property since the coin was never monetized.

During the case of the Farouk-Fenton double eagle coin, the government used the same argument. Even though there was an export license for the coin issued to King Farouk of Egypt, the government maintained that the lack of monetization made the coin illegal.

As part of the $7,590,020 paid for the 1933 Double Eagle in 2002, $20 of the purchase price was paid to the U.S. Government to monetize the coin. When Sotheby’s sold the coin in June for $18,872,250, the coin came with a certificate from the U.S. Mint declaring its Legal Tender status.

If the U.S. Mint does not monetize a coin until someone or entity buys it, then how will striking a $1 trillion coin help anything?

Even as crazy as government generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) may appear to the commercial market, Government GAAP still requires double-entry bookkeeping. In double-entry bookkeeping, if an asset is added to one part of the ledger, there must be a debit on another.

Forget the political arguments about the debt. When the government needs money, it sells bonds to finance its obligation. The bond is the created asset, as the coin. The asset is purchased, adding cash to the general treasury. In bookkeeping terms, an asset entry and an associated debit entry.

Who is going to buy the coin?

The Federal Reserve is not going to buy the coin. Bonds, warrants, and other investments have tangible returns. The investments have value and can be traded on the equity markets keeping the books balanced. What happens if $1 trillion is tied up in a non-investing asset?

If the Federal Reserve buys the coin, the general treasury may see a $1 trillion windfall, but the Federal Reserve will have $1 trillion less economic power. It is $1 trillion less in short-term loans to large financial institutions and quantitative easing that is keeping the economy in control.

If the Federal Reserve buys the $1 trillion coin, it will create a $1 trillion hole in the economy.

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the monetary value of all goods and services, is estimated at $22.675 trillion. Taking $1 trillion out of the economy will reduce the economy by 4.4-percent.

As the Great Recession of 2008 raged, the GDP lost 1-percent of its value by 2009. If a one percent drop caused the most significant economic calamity since the Great Depression, what will happen if the GDP contracts by more than 4-percent?

Of course, Congress can pass a law that changes how the U.S. Mint determines the legal tender status of coinage they manufacture. But the likelihood of that happening is about the same as the U.S. Mint striking a $1 trillion coin.

Weekly World Numismatic News for September 26, 2021

David J. Ryder, Director of the U.S. Mint.

The news of the week came on a Friday night news dump by the Treasury Department, announcing that David J. Ryder will resign as U.S. Mint Director as of September 30, 2021. Alison Doone will become the U.S. Mint’s Acting Director.

Ryder served as the 34th and 39th Director after being appointed by two different administrations. Ryder came into this term touting his work with physical money security. During his confirmation hearing, Ryder said he worked for Secure Products, a company focused on developing anti-counterfeiting solutions for currency and branded products. Ryder also testified that he was involved in developing the Royal Mint’s new 12-sided one-pound coin.

The U.S. Mint claims security measures built into the new American Silver and Gold Eagle coins. However, there do not seem to be breakthroughs similar to those used by the Royal Mint and Canadian Royal Mint on their bullion products.

Ryder may want his legacy to be introducing new products, but the public will remember the colossal failure of the U.S. Mint’s e-commerce system. As Director, he was supposed to oversee the entire operation and not just one aspect. Those failures will weigh on his legacy.

Alison Doone is a career civil servant who entered the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2004. After working at several other agencies, Doone served as the Mint’s Chief Administrative Officer since March 2021.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 requires the president to send a nomination to the Senate within 90 days to fill a vacant position. During that time, an acting director can serve in that role for only 180 days. As we saw in the 2,629 days (7 years, 2 months, and 13 days) between the resignation of Edmund Moy and the confirmation of David Ryder, the government has ways to get around the law to maintain operational consistency.

And now the news…

 September 17, 2021
If artifacts could talk, we’d love to hear this one’s tale.  This pierced German coin from the 17th century was recovered during a systematic excavation at the Jacob Jackson Home Site, part of Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park (HATU).   → Read more at nmscarcheologylab.wordpress.com

 September 17, 2021
Readers of a certain age will remember the florin, or flóirín as it was in Irish. Those of an uncertain age will even recall when it was Ireland’s two-shilling coin, complete with the leaping salmon of Percy Metcalfe’s classic 1928 design.   → Read more at irishtimes.com

 September 22, 2021
The coin, known as the Triple Unite, was minted in Oxford in 1643 during the English Civil War and had the value of 60 shillings, or three pounds.  → Read more at bbc.com

 September 23, 2021
LAKE MARY, Fla. – A Florida teenager recently made a spectacular find while on an ocean dive: a rare gold coin believed to be from the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet.  → Read more at fox35orlando.com

 September 24, 2021
(CNN) — Two amateur free divers have found one of the largest collections of Roman coins in Europe off the east coast of Spain. Luis Lens and César Gimeno were diving off the island of Portitxol in Xàbia on August 24 when they found eight coins, before further dives by archaeologists returned another 45 coins, according to a press release from the University of Alicante on Tuesday.  → Read more at edition.cnn.com
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