Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee Looks Ahead to New Dollar Coins

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Dennis Tucker serves the hobby community as publisher at Whitman Publishing, the nation’s largest publisher of numismatic references. He holds the position of numismatic specialist on the CCAC. On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC, www.ccac.gov) met telephonically, with members calling in from both coasts and points in between. U.S. Mint staff and officers … [Read More...]

2017-P Cent Makes a Big Stir with Zero Marketing Dollars

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What you’ve heard is true. Quietly, and all unannounced, the Mint has slipped pennies with the Philadelphia Mint’s “P” mintmark into circulation. Now, if you’re up to date with your U.S. penny history, you can skip to the next paragraph. If not, try this: Pick up a copy of the Red Book—doesn’t matter what edition—and flip to the beginning of the section on small cents. First page: Flying … [Read More...]

U.S. Mint 2017 First-Day Bullion-Coin Sales

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The Mint has announced its first-day bullion-coin sales figures. The 2017-dated American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins and American Buffalo gold coins were first made available for sale to Authorized Purchasers (APs) on January 9 this year. Sales of American Eagle gold bullion coins, at 68,000 ounces, exceeded last year’s volume by nearly 15%. Unit sales, by size, are as follows: 1 … [Read More...]

The U.S. Mint and the U.S. Postal Service: Time for a Collaboration

Numismatic products like the America the Beautiful quarters could bring a significant amount of revenue to the U.S. Postal Service. Local post offices, like this one in Boling, Texas, would all stand to benefit. (Wikipedia photo by Djmaschek)

A few days ago, a postal carrier in Pocatello, Idaho, penned a letter to the editor of the Idaho Press-Tribune. In it, he noted that 2017 would once again be a challenge for the U.S. Postal Service. He cautioned that privatizing the USPS would create problems like reducing service to remote rural areas; instead, he suggested “expanding services such as banking, and offering U.S. Mint … [Read More...]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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...]