The Composition of the Cent: An Experiment in Extremes

Obverse of the glass cent, based on a Colombian 2-centavo design.

UPDATE: Lot 6170 sold to an anonymous bidder for $70,500, including buyer's premium. It was recently announced that, in 2016, the U.S. penny cost 1.5 cents to make. Congress has been after the Mint for years to find a cheaper way to make the coin, but the current, copper-plated zinc composition is about as cheap as it's possible to get. This is hardly the first time the Mint has been under … [Read More...]

The Liberty Bell: An Apt Symbol for American Coinage


Updated 12/29/16 at 10 a.m. to correct a typo.—Editor On December 1, 2016, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in London, U.K., issued the following press release: 1st December 2016 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd announces, with regret, that by May 2017 it will cease its activities at the Whitechapel Road site that it has occupied since its move there in 1738. The company intends to complete work … [Read More...]

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, at a Little Past the Halfway Point


An Editor Reminisces With the release of the Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) design on November 14, we have now reached the 62.5% mark in the America the Beautiful quarter-dollar program. By the time the series is completed in 2021, 56 national parks and other national sites will have been commemorated. At the time the site selections were first announced, I was editorial … [Read More...]

A Glimpse Inside the Vault of the West Point Mint


A few weeks ago, the Mint posted on its YouTube channel a bit of B-roll footage shot inside the West Point Mint's vaults. While the video isn't particularly newsworthy, just a few miscellaneous shots (such being the nature of B-rolls), the sight of those stacks of gold and silver is always a little breathtaking—like walking into a dragon's lair. Around the 50-second mark, a Mint employee weighs … [Read More...]

The Folly of Legislating Art: Revisiting a 1998 Interview with John Veach Noble


Collectors of modern coins from the United States Mint often complain about their lack of visual appeal. While it's true that people have been complaining about U.S. coin designs as long as there has been a U.S. Mint, it's also true that modern designs can seem lackluster. The Mint is unusually constrained by Congress when compared with other world mints, which tend to have more creative … [Read More...]

Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin Sells Out Quickly—But Not That Quickly


Yesterday at noon, the U.S. Mint released its remaining supply of 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coins. The number of first-round sales (122,510), less subsequent returns (6,414), suggested that about 8,900 coins of the maximum mintage of 125,000 would be available. The first time the coin was released, on April 21, the Mint set a household limit of 10. The coin was marked as being on … [Read More...]

Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin: Tips for the Countdown to Noon


UPDATE—As of 12:01 p.m., thanks to MNB readers, we know that (a) previous orders DO count against the HHL, and (b) the notification of exceeding the HHL is issued at the time of order. At 12 noon Eastern Time, the Mint will be making the Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin available for purchase for the second time this year. While waiting for the gates to be thrown open, here are some tips avoid … [Read More...]

U.S. Mint’s January 2017 Calendar Begins to Fill In; Two Product Roll-Outs Remain for 2016


The Mint has set its sales dates for January 2017. On January 5, the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set (17AP) will debut, with the 2017 Birth Set (17RD) and Happy Birthday Coin Set (17RE) coming available January 10. On January 18, the Mint’s first collectible coins of the year—the Lions Club International 2017 Centennial Proof (17CH) and Uncirculated (17CJ) silver … [Read More...]

Remaining Mercury Dime 2016 Centennial Gold Coins Available for Purchase on December 15


The following is a re-post from Mint News Blog's sister site, Coin Update. (Washington)—The Mint will reopen sales for the 2016 Mercury Dime Centennial Gold Coin (product code 16XB) on December 15 at noon Eastern Time while supplies last. Orders will be limited to one per household. (Editor’s note: As of last week’s U.S. Mint Sales Report, 116,096 of the mintage limit of 125,000 had been sold. … [Read More...]

It’s Not Too Late: There’s Still Time to Sell Coins on Ebay


Still have a few coins you’d like to unload on ebay, but not sure if it makes sense to try it so close to Christmas? A blog post on the site of ebay data-master Terapeak offers a few tips for making a successful online sale during the waning days of a hectic shopping season. Some of author Aron Hsaio’s thoughts will apply more to people who have at least a small online store, but a person with a … [Read More...]