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 director at Whitman Publishing (the parent company of this blog). Our department was tasked with producing a book covering all 56 sites. Each would get a page spread: on the left-hand (verso) page would be the text and a vertical image, while the right-hand (recto) page would consist of a full-page image of the park. Now, there are many reasons high-quality art books are outrageously expensive, and image licensing is one of them. This wasn’t intended to be a treasured object or a high-end coffee-table book; its aim was to be attractive, informative—and affordable. It was time to get creative.

And so, for several weeks, I went “off-road” in search of good-but-cost-effective photos. It ended up being one of the most challenging projects I’d ever worked on, and probably the single most enjoyable. While the writer worked on the manuscript, I scrolled through thousands of National Park Service and Flickr photos of beautiful places I’d never seen (and in some cases, never even heard of). I began to think about the designer’s job: actually representing these sites—some with clear, striking features, others with subtler qualities—on the coins. After subtracting the rim area, the canvas measures about 18 millimeters across, and there’s only one color—silver—in the palette. The designer and engraver would have a depth of about a cat-whisker’s thickness in which to use highlights and shadows to create images.

Obviously, that’s the case with every coin, but this was the first time I’d approached a coin series from the concept end. The more I thought about it, the more my respect for the Mint’s designers grew.

America the Beautiful holds together across the series much better than the popular 50 State Quarters program, in part due to the lessons of the latter. In the early years, when the states selected their own coin designs, the result was often an embarrassing clutter of unrelated images demanded by the state’s political and economic interests. (I won’t name names; I’m just grateful my home state wasn’t among them. Although I will say that, as a native Mississippian, I am heartily sick of magnolias.) After the roll-out of the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program in 2005, the quality of the designs improved dramatically. The ATB program has been beautifully consistent from the outset, and although the 50 State Quarters program, being novel, was more popular, a complete ATB collection will make a nicer presentation in an album.

Between public-domain resources like the National Park Service and the many talented photographers on Flickr and other sites who were willing to share their images for a modest fee, we were able to illustrate every park and historic site—quite handsomely, too, although of course I’m biased. After that, it was time to move on to the next book and wait for the ATB series to develop, which it has done beautifully. Inaugurated in 2010 with the Hot Springs National Park coin, the series has depicted landscape features, people, historic structures, war monuments, battle scenes, and wildlife. Although a few of the sites have presented challenges, the artists have largely succeeded in bringing them to life in a numismatic format. So far, two of the designs—the 2015 Kisatchie National Forest (LA) and the 2013 Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD)—were named COTY Award winners for “Best Circulating Coin.”

The series is far from over, but with more than half of the issues released, I can’t help making a few lists. My picks will change as the rest of the series emerges—they’ll probably even change between now and next Tuesday—but for what it’s worth:

Most obscure site—One of my favorite parts of working on the book and following the coin series is the chance to discover obscure parks I never would’ve encountered otherwise. A good dozen or so compete for this title; I’m going to go with Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (RI, 2018). Either that or Weir Farm National Historic Site (CT, 2020). What other small, hidden treasures are out there, unknown to the wider public but worth a visit?

Most unexpected perspective—To date, this goes to Mount Rushmore, hands down. Nearly every other depiction of  the monument shows the faces from the point of view of a tourist photo, but here, the designer took a bird’s-eye view of the work in progress.

Most difficult feature to render—The Great Sand Dunes National Park (CO, 2014) must have been a bear, but my pick for this category, at least so far, has to be Effigy Mounds National Monument (IA, 2017). It takes imagination to recognize the shapes of the mounds in person—but to recreate them on a coin? Not for the faint of heart. (This was also one of the most difficult parks to illustrate in the book.)

Personal favorite (to date)—I don’t know what they’re doing these days at the Mint, but their ability to create the illusion of great depth in a shallow surface is amazing. It’s most evident on coins like the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (WV, 2016)—those barrels seem to lift right up off the coin. And it looks as if you could reach an arm’s depth into the tunnel on 2015’s Blue Ridge Parkway (NC) coin, or the kivas on the 2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park (NM) quarter. When one of those turns up in my laundry quarters, I feel a pang at the idea of running it through the jaws of the machine.

But my favorite has to be this year’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park (ND) design. The pose of Roosevelt and his horse, and the sweep of the landscape behind them, are perfect. So many landscape coins “clog up” with shapes; here, the severity of the landscape helps the artist capture the scope with a few simple lines, and the narrowing of the river toward the horizon deepens the perspective. (At arm’s length, the horse’s ears and mane do tend to blend in with the foliage, but it doesn’t ruin the overall effect.) To top it off, the tiny face on the main figure actually looks like Theodore Roosevelt. On many of our coins, when the full figure is included and the head is necessarily very small, the face is a fright under a loupe. Here, the designer’s deft touch, aided by TR’s simple, distinctive facial features, results in a masterpiece in miniature.

What do you think—what are your favorites (or least favorites)? Which under-appreciated parks would lend themselves to a coinage format?   ❑

The book we were working on was America’s Beautiful National Parks. Sadly, it’s no longer available, but a few of its pages can be viewed on the website.



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  1. says

    I’m surprised there’s been no mention here of the person who, by law, actually had the duty of selecting ALL of the AtB series sites. And that person would be Timmy “TurboTax” Geithner, Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, appointed in 2009. I, for one, question many of his decisions. Maybe an article including an interview with him would be appropriate, sometime soon?

  2. Dustyroads says

    Volcanoes, White Mountain, and Teddy Roosevelt are among my favorites. For the upcoming Texas AtB I am sorry the coin will not be featuring Big Bend National Park. Effigy Mounds looks on the simplistic side to me, which may not be a bad thing. I’m glad it’s getting some admiration from at least a few people.

  3. says

    According to the Blog, above:

    One of my favorite parts of working on the book and following the coin series is the chance to discover obscure parks I never would’ve encountered otherwise. A good dozen or so compete for this title; I’m going to go with Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (RI, 2018). Either that or Weir Farm National Historic Site (CT, 2020). What other small, hidden treasures are out there, unknown to the wider public but worth a visit?

    Actually, neither of those sites is classified as a national park and neither is worth going out of your way to visit, unless you happen to land there by accident. There are SO other sites more worth your time.

  4. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    This is another terrific piece on some of my most beloved modern coins. Thanks. That book looks like a great companion piece for the series. I’m surprised the USM hasn’t come out with a companion book for the ATB series. I have a book from the USPS called The Grandest Things from 2014 that’s very nice but it doesn’t use the ATB series as a template.

    I’m not sure I could pick one favorite but I love Arches, Yosemite, Theodore Roosevelt, Acadia, BRP, Bombay Hook and almost every one of them. Least favorites are Perry’s Victory and Peace Monument and Gettysburg. I like the nature sites far better than battlefields and historic sites but they’re all great coins. I’m from Pa and I suppose the choices were either Gettysburg, Valley Forge or Independence Hall although Steamtown or any other number of historic sites would’ve sufficed, as well.

    The National Parks are our greatest treasures and my enthusiasm for the ATB series hasn’t waned a bit. I think with the right marketing the 5 oz pucks would fly off the shelves.

    I also like that the series includes National Wildlife Refuge sites and National Forests that aren’t managed by the NPS. These sites usually have less visitors but are really nice. I love the annual Duck Stamps too and NWR sites accept them for admission.

    I would’ve enjoyed some caves like Mammoth (KY) or Carlsbad caverns (NM) but perhaps another series will begin after this one ends. Either way, this series is beyond most expectations.

  5. Santa C says

    There are over 90,000 places in the National Historic Register of Places. Good luck picking from that list.
    I’m all for continuing the parks series but we need more critters on the designs to attract the youth.

  6. gary says

    Diana…your article on the ATB series is superlative! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and passion for this special series of coins.
    What some critics of the series overlook was the hoped for intention of the series, that being to celebrate America’s rich landscape and historical sites and to select individual sites to commemorate which span the most visited and celebrated to the obscure yet very precious. The series so far has been very successful in an artistic AND educational sense. The overall translation of the two dimensional designs created by the Mint’s Artistic Infusion program has provided the Mint’s engraving and sculpting staff with many opportunities to ply their craft to make a series that we can take great national pride in.
    I collect these designs in the 5 oz. silver “P” mint versions because the wealth of detail is breathtaking on nearly all of theories thus far. This is a luxury I know, but these designs are also beautiful in the silver proof quarter size and is one of THE best bargains and widely affordable to the greater public.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Diana!!!

  7. data dave says

    Nice article. You have definitely upped your game running this blog. I like this series also and I like remembering visiting some of the parks on the list. I think the 5 oz pucks make this series unique and plan on figuring out a way to display the collection on the wall so that people can enjoy the designs.

  8. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I think you could limit the list to National Historic Landmarks and still have close to 2500 sites to choose from. National Historic Landmarks are deemed to have national significance while the Register of Historic Places are deemed significant on the state or local level.

    I would love to see the home Augustus Saint-Gaudens in NH on a coin. Of course, The White Mountain National Forest is hard to ignore but a second or third round could be nice.

  9. hawkster says

    Recently, on this Blog site, some commenters have remarked on the increasing apathy toward the 5 oz. ATB quarters. This seemed inevitable in light of the fact that the more majestic National Parks have already been the subject of past issues. Many, if not most, of the newer and upcoming issues simply do not pique the interest of ATB enthusiasts. Unless you’re a collector who is bent on collecting all of the 5 oz. ATB issues, buyers will be very selective going forward with this series.
    As for myself, the only one I purchased in 2016 was the TR. The only 2017 one that I will purchase is Ellis Island.

  10. hawkster says

    One can only imagine how great the ATB 5 oz. “P” issues would have looked if they were done in a proof version with mirrored and frosted features.

  11. Mattarch says

    Agree with Hawkster. I have been purchasing the 5 oz. ATB of only the parks I have hiked or camped in, so going forward will not be purchasing many more. Have 11 currently.

  12. JayJaspersGarage on ebay says

    Having climbed Half Dome in Yosemite national Park twice (1989 & 1993) it is my favorite 5 oz.

    Visited Yellowstone and saw Old Faithful last year.

    Happy coin hunting to all in 2017!


  13. data dave says

    I like the finish on the bullion pucks more than the P versions myself. Although I have to admit I have one of each of all the issues so far. I think the series has a good base of collectors that should keep sales above 15K for the Ps and 20K for the bullion issues even through some of the less known parks/sites.

  14. Ryan says

    My favorite ATB round is Mt. Hood and my biggest disappoint is Nebraska homestead, they should have used chimney rock. Can’t wait to see the frank church wilderness design. Also wanted to tell you guys that I got my PL kilo libertad today and it is an amazingly beautiful coin! If you’re on the fence on that one and have the funds I’d say it’s well worth it! For me it has special meaning because my wife and I were married in Mexico and my son was born this year, so this coin is for him. I hope he enjoys coins and appreciates the gesture when he’s older. With it being Christmas I’m reminded of my own childhood when we had nothing, my mom had no money and all I ever received in my stocking was oranges, nuts and a few pencils. One year I remember all I got was a football and even at the age of 9 knew that I needed to put on a happy face so my mother wouldn’t feel like she let me down. I’m very proud that I have the means to take care of my mother and make sure that my children don’t have to even think about money or the lack of it. Merry Christmas everyone if you’re Christian and happy holidays/ new year if you’re not.

  15. Numismatrix says

    The Native American themed coins are my favorites. My wish was for Mesa Verde to be the CO quarter, just like Chaco in NM; for the future I would like to see a series dedicated to Native American art, and ancient dwellings like Gila, and Bandelier. The wildlife themed coins are my close favorites and I have the Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic, Yunque, Denali, Everglades, Kisatchie, Bombay Hook in both formats. I also liked the Great Basin, since I have hiked the Bristlecone pine groves in Nevada and the CA White Mountains.

  16. Gary Not Dave says

    The cornrow hairdo doesn’t bother me. Its just a crappy design. This is the best they can do?

  17. Ryan says

    @D Rittenhouse

    I think it’s a nice design, although it is different than the standard designs that the mint does. I think it’s one of the better designs from the choices they gave, some of the designs for consideration were TERRIBLE!


    Do you know if the mint brings in Native American artists to design any of the Native American themed coins? I love a lot of them as well but I recently went to the Denver art museum and they had lots of Native American art that was done out of anger by Native Americans for non natives commercializing their culture. Land o lakes butter, cigarettes, sports teams, things like that. Thinking about that now, I hope that the mint gets the blessing of these tribes when they put out the designs. That might be a little PC but I would hate to think that an arm of the government is offending Native Americans. Maybe they consider it an honor, I just don’t know…..anyone have an idea?

  18. Tinto says

    “One can only imagine how great the ATB 5 oz. “P” issues would have looked if they were done in a proof version with mirrored and frosted features.”

    So so true. I have a few DMPL bullion like the Hawaii, Denali and Chickasaw .. just blows the socks of the “P” .

    @Gary Not Dave
    “..The cornrow hairdo doesn’t bother me. Its just a crappy design. This is the best they can do?”

    Yeah ..lots of standard crappy (that’s being generous) designs by the US Mint .. thank goodness the Prez $1 and first Spouse series have concluded ..

  19. Numismatrix says

    “Do you know if the mint brings in Native American artists to design any of the Native American themed coins?” – Ryan

    Sadly – NO! I have everything : intricate Zuni fetishes (one, an awesome soaring bald eagle), NM Pueblo pottery, Navajo Rugs, Hopi silver inlay – ALL HAND MADE! The pigments are made from handpicked local-native flora. The artwork is above excellent. But sadly I know of no Native American designer for a numismatic issue. Goodacre is a Santa Fe resident but not NA. Makes one wonder . . .

  20. earthling says

    Oh yes it’s Christmas….. ( the only Christmas tune I don’t mind hearing – by John Lennon )

    My favorite Coins by the US Mint are definitely the ATB Clad Quarters. They highlight the beauty and history of our USA at no cost , which is the way it needs to be.

    The one that has really become my favorite is the Sand Dunes issue. I’d never heard of the Sand Dunes before but it’s at the top of my list for attractions to visit. Something about Dunes in the Rockies is so strange.

  21. Mint News Blog says

    @earthling, I like the Sand Dunes issue too. I remember looking at the pictures and wondering how on earth they were going to depict that. Although I haven’t been to the park, I imagine much of its effect is derived from being there, standing at the center of this enormous space, with sky above and dunes surrounding — something a flat photo can’t capture. How on earth do you depict that on a coin? They did it, though. It may not be the single most arresting coin of the series, but if you handicap for the challenges the designer had to work with, it’s definitely in the top five to date.

  22. Cal G. says

    Since I am mostly a variety and error collector, I will always be interested in the hybrid “Satin Finish”(Light Finish”) versions, which to date, are only found in the first and second years of production. At that time, the Mint was using older, outdated medal equipment to vapor blast the beads and sulfuric acids to create the textured surface, I believe, by hand, 1-by-1. A few “pucks” didn’t get full treatment, thus, a more “Matte” like finish, softer and less “pebbly”.(1 side was rough, 1 wasn’t,(called a 50/50) or, both sides were very smooth, and missed the treatment, or, got a very light dose). A new German-made vapor blasting machine specific for the 5 Oz series was brought in sometime in early summer of 2011, and, the mistakes virtually stopped.
    This was BIG news when the first were discovered in the Grand Canyon, Hot Springs and Yellowstone “coins”, making the coin magazines in write-ups. 2011 showed 1 for Gettysburg, then, I discovered some Olympic NP’s with a VERY matte finish, and, sent them into PCGS for reconsideration labels, and, it worked, all graded as “Light Finish”. Premiums for these coins grew swiftly, as word spread, only to peak and fall off seemingly just as fast as they rose. Even now, PCGS gives a $1,900 tag on a First Strike SP69 Hot Springs. SP70 First Strike 3k+. Of course, only the elite and the “At ANY COST” to fill my registry slot buyers bought these. Many, as I did, wanted to find my own, and started purchasing raw coins in original mint boxes. (95% of my later-labeled “light Satin” pucks WERE in First Strike SP69 PCGS slabs…someone was just moving too fast in the grading room to make the call. (on 1 order, I sent in a comparison coin, VERY rough textured, as issued, which worked, to help some new graders see the differences(I doubt they had photo’s to look at, or, in-house Light Satin specimens to work with) Other re-labled coins came from graded NGC coins, (1 of which yielded a Light Satin, and, a nice sale price off ebay with a Buy It Now.) Top sale was a Gettysburg PCGS SP69 First Strike at $7,500. The numsmatic media stopped following these, and, dropped them altogether, which didn’t help to keep the discussion moving, into 2015 and 2016.
    NGC at one point included all 5 coins into their slots in the 5 Oz ATB set registry(after a little coaxing by me to include the Olympic!).
    Alas, NGC “pulled” 4 of the 5 “Light Finish” coins, leaving only the Grand Canyon included, as almost 400 had been graded in time, compared to numbers as low as 5, 10, 25, 85, for others, effectively making them “Too Rare” for the average collector to find.
    Politics aside(PCGS never did even add any “Light Satin” finish coins to their 5 Oz ATB Set Registry)
    Perhaps the crossing of the line between “Variety” and “Error” is too vague with these coins, thus, the discrimination by the TPG’s reluctance to add to their registries. Many coins, garner a “PL”(prooflike) misnomer, and, are highly coveted by collectors.
    And, many would gripe the difference between the 2 coins is so small, who cares, and, never pay the higher price just because a Mint worker smoking a cigarette while blasting Hot Springs pucks!
    Thanks, now that I have that off my back, maybe time to hunt for a NEW 5 Oz “Light Satin”, most likely hiding in the 2011-P Glacier, Vicksburg, and, the 2010 Yosemite & Mount Hood–anything is possible. Once you have BOTH types to study, you really see the difference.
    Once the “Poster Boy” in the series, the Satin Finish America The Beautiful coins are relegated to the trunk of the bus, not even close to the “backseat”.

  23. Jerry Diekmann says

    D. Rittenhouse – Regarding the gold $100 medal for 2017, I agree with you completely. I wouldn’t buy one at 50% spot if I had to keep it. PC to the max – totally overdone and unnecessary. I spent way too much money in 2016 anyway and am glad that most of the 2017 offerings are so bland. I guess the Mint has run out of military and sports themes, so now we are on to social themes. I wonder how many people ever even heard of the founder of the Lions Club and now his portrait is on a dollar coin. Yet the Mint has never shown Alexander Hamilton on a coin, and with the 225th anniversary of the Mint in 2017, that would seem to be a perfect time to honor our first Secretary of the Treasury and who designed our coinage system.

  24. Erik H says

    Jerry Diekmann, speaking of Alexander Hamilton, I’m looking forward to the St. Croix Salt River Bay 5 oz coin. I spent a lot of time in the area which has a wonderful bioluminescent bay. As far as it’s design the mint will probably end up showing Columbus landing on shore (been there, done that on a coin) even though “he” never actually did. They could show a battle between the Kalina (Carib) people and Columbus’ men at “Cabo de Flechas” (Cape of The Arrows). Or maybe they’ll show one of the wrecked boats from Hurricane Hugo (1989) that still litter the bay which have become permitted fixtures in the park. Can’t wait to see what the mint comes up with, hope it’s decent!

    My current favorites are still El Yunque, TR & Rushmore.

  25. cagcrisp says

    American Eagle 2016 One-Tenth Ounce Gold Proof Coin

    3 in stock.

    Not a buyer. Just passing on information…

  26. cagcrisp says

    American Eagle 2016 One-Ounce Gold Uncirculated Coin

    8 items in stock.

    These One ounce Uncirculated have been listed as SO for a few days. You are NOT able to purchase yet on the ‘other hand’ the Mint has had 8 orders cancelled/returned…

  27. cagcrisp says

    Border adjustment tax…

    I don’t believe it will happen as outlined, however, precious metals would have very little chance of being exempted IF it was enacted.

    As Proposed your sovereigns , ducats, maple leafs, libertads and krugerrands would be 20% Higher. In theory the USD would strengthen somewhat to offset that to some extent.

    The border adjustment tax is a cornerstone on Trump’s corporate tax reform package…

    …SO…it does have a chance of being enacted.

    This is how trade wars get started… We put a 20% import on all those coins mentioned above, what do you think will happen to all US coins sold overseas? With the USD all ready at a 14 year high, ALL U.S. coins are now relatively overpriced vs. other world wide coins.

    …SO… U.S. customers May purchase less foreign coins and overseas buyers May purchase less US coins…

    …SO…Are we net importers or net exporters of coins?…

    From my point of view as a holder of Mostly U.S. Gold coins, I would think this limited example would be good for me personally (financially).

    IF I had a lot of foreign coins, I would Not be a happy camper (IF enacted, which I don’t think will happen at the Proposed 20% rate)…

  28. So Krates says

    @ MNB – Enjoyed the article, thanks.

    @ Cal G – Great post, I was completely unaware of those varieties as I don’t collect ATBs.

  29. Louis Golino, Author says

    For those who collect the silver Queen’s Beasts- Paradise is selling graded griffin 2 oz silver coins but the labels say Proof 69, which is odd since the coins are mint state. Perhaps that is because they qualify as reverse proof, but other reverse proof bullion like the Perth Mint coins are usually graded MS. Any theories or ideas on this?

  30. one fine dime says

    @D Rittenhouse

    BTW, with respect to the U.S. Mint’s upcoming 1792–2017-W American Liberty gold $100 coin, count me out. Did Liberty really need to have a cornrow hairdo? Pathetic politically correct nonsense from the U.S. Mint.

    I happen to love this design, as I did the 2015 design. What I don’t love is that they couldn’t create an uncirculated silver bullion version. Why is the silver version only offered as a proof medal? I can’t afford the gold, but I love these designs (and I am not a fan of proof coins, or medals that lack “E Pluribus Unum”).

    Also, I am quite interested in understanding what you meant by “pathetic politically correct nonsense”. Let’s dig a little deeper on that comment shall we? Do you have any idea of the contribution that African Americans made to the wealth of this nation (via sacrificing their freedom and labor so white slave owners could get filthy rich), and if it weren’t for decades of resistance to segregation and all the civil rights violations after emancipation, where would we be today? I would argue the struggle of African Americans forced this country to live up to the concept of “Liberty”, which was a guiding principal of our nation from the get go.

    Your comment reeks of racism whether you intended it to or not. For those sheep that just follow the herd to the right w/o necessarily thinking about it, “political correctness” is pretty much a synonym for “empathy”.

  31. Louis Golino, Author says

    @one fine dime- Very well said. People have attacked me for making similar points about both designs.

  32. Gary Not Dave says

    I will say it again..its the design! Bad…its nothing to do with the honey on the coin! I am not a fan of just the head shot.

    I am a BIG fan of Modern Beauty with a Classic design!

  33. Gary Not Dave says

    So I guess I am saying…keep the honey but change the design? Give us more of her. Make it busier.

  34. one fine dime says

    Thanks Louis!

    @Gary Not Dave —
    “honey”, really?! Never heard of any depiction of any woman or man on a coin like that. Definitely an attractive woman though, if that was your meaning. So was the 2015 design “busier” in your opinion?

  35. Ryan says

    Guys honestly you can say you don’t like the coin design but is it really so terrible even if you don’t like it?? Why make a big deal over a coin that in the best case is a decent design that is different, and at worst is a boring design that could be better. Do you get what I’m saying, race would have to bring about any hate of this coin because it’s not a terrible design but admittedly it’s not an amazing design either. I do like that it is different though. I think the positives of this coin outweigh the negatives. In all honesty I love that it’s a coin with a woman of color that has nothing to do with slavery. If you have a problem with an African American woman representing liberty than you don’t know what it is to be an American.

  36. Gary Not Dave says

    Is honey offensive? Ooops.. Sorry.
    Yes I like the 2015 design!

    Just my opinion! Put her with this design or similar!

  37. KML in KY says

    If anyone’s interested I have some extra “MintDirect” tubes of ATB bullion coins for sale on eBay right now. Many are the one’s mentioned above. I hope it’s OK to mention that on here.

  38. Sturgeon says

    U.S. Mint’s upcoming 1792–2017-W American Liberty gold $100 coin

    one fine dime,
    Louis Golino, Author,
    If you like it so much have at it—You should buy at least two or three of them—Maybe you will be able to corner the market

  39. says

    The U.S. Mint 225th Anniversary GOLD & SILVER celebratory COINS SHOULD HAVE BEEN its own unique separate offering and distinct animal from the Librty HR coin.

    Imposing the Liberty HR coin, REGARDLESS of design, as the defacto 225th Anniversary coin is a big disappointment and big missed opportunity in my opinion.

    For those that don’t bother to read thoroughly or like to throw down the race card, note I said – “REGARDLESS of design”

  40. says

    Limited Edition Silver Proof Sets –

    About this time a year ago, I reported coloration beginning to form on my 2012 LESPS, though my 2013 appears to be Okay.


    2012 LESPS coins are now universally toning a Triaminic medicine syrup Yellow .

    2013 LESPS coins are beginning to tone a light beige, predominately on the Obverse

    Looks I’ll be holding mine for decades for the novelty of the toning, & and selling for below spot.

  41. So Krates says

    Gary Not Dave says, “Is honey offensive? Ooops.. Sorry.”

    It’s not as bad as “homey” which I originally thought I read.

  42. billsey says

    As long as we are on topic with the ATB series, anyone have any ideas on storing/displaying the 5 ouncers? I have all of the P versions from the beginning. I have seen a wooden storage cabinet on the market and I recall seeing an album type product for each year a while ago. Just wondering if anyone has heard of any other ideas.

  43. Teach says

    The ATB designs are best in the silver proof quarter versions. I have all of the P pucks and all of the silver proof quarters with ATB designs and I would have preferred to have them all look like my silver proof quarter collection versus the vapor blast versions on the pucks. If they could make the pucks with same mirrored background with the frosted silver designs, they would truly be fantastic, rather than just so so.

  44. So Krates says

    My apologies to all the sensitive, PC, humorless types and to the regulars who have seen my ATB suggestion before.

  45. Mint News Blog says

    @So Krates, in a different context it might fly, but in the current context, no. I’ve taken it down, not because I’m humorless or what you describe as PC, but because I have a heart.


  46. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I keep my 5 oz bullion pucks in 2 ATB monster boxes which will accommodate the entire series, I hope. My bullion coins are in z5 airtites so they won’t fit in the tubes that are included with the monster boxes. I have 2 of each design.

    2010-2015 fit in one monster box so 2016-2021 should fill the other one because I have 4 of each 2010 design (although the one set from Apmex is slabbed and stored separately).

    My P pucks (2 of each design) are in OGP and boxed by year in those free priority mail boxes from the post office.

    It’s not an ideal storage solution but it keeps them organized and makes the most of limited space.

    This would be my top choice but it’s pretty expensive.

    The Queen’s Beasts Coins in proof finish are around $425 + shipping for the 5 oz coin. The 10 oz coin is over $800 while the 1 oz coin is around $100 including shipping from the Royal Mint.

    I wonder if the US Mint chose the matte finish as opposed to the proof finish to keep costs down and make these coins more affordable.

    My question concerns the Queen’s Beasts coins. I’ve shied away from the silver bullion because I’ve heard so many complaints about milk spots. Would this also be a problem on proof coins? I don’t ever recall any proof coins with milk spots.

  47. cagcrisp says

    1. BEFORE the 2015 HR was issued the Mint had stated that the 2015 HR would be a One off and NOT a series
    2. At one time the Mint floated the idea of a 225 anniversary Gold coin that would depict a coin issued in 1792.
    3. For those of us that purchased the 2015 HR thinking it was going to be a stand along coin, the 2017 HR is quite a disappointment , REGARDLESS of design.
    4. For those of us that wanted a 225 anniversary Gold coin that depicted a coin issued in 1792, the 2017 HR is quite a disappointment, REGARDLESS of design.
    5. I don’t know how much plainer that can be. For MANY of us that actually PURCHASE 1 oz. Gold coins (not just TALK about Gold coins, but actually PURCHASE 1 oz. Gold coins), the 2017 HR is quite a disappointment, REGARDLESS of design.
    6. For me I DON’T want ANY Gold commemorative coins, ANY First spouse coins and only specific Gold coins that fit the mold of a Classical coin. Plain and Simple…

  48. Numismatrix says

    I will be purchasing the 2017 US Mint Bicenquasquigenary Coin. A human being is a human being, and a coin is a coin. I like human beings, and I appreciate and collect coins.

  49. Mr. Kairu says

    I am with Teach, the ATBs look very nice in proof silver version tucked away in a Dansco album 😀

  50. cagcrisp says

    Last Chance coins from the Mint

    12/29 at Noon ET:

    Mark Twain Commems — 16CH – 16CL
    Nat. Park Service Commems — 16CA – 16CG

    12/31 at Midnight ET:

    2015 Proof Set – P17
    2015 Unc Set – U15
    2015 Silver Proof Set – SW2
    2015 ATB Proof Set – Q5G
    2015 ATB Silver Proof Set – Q5H

  51. Tinto says

    I’m with Teach on the ATB pucks … a proof finish would have made the “P” pop and someone like me would have also bought them as companion to any bullion version purchased .. the vapor blasting to me is nothing but a gimmick but of course the supplier to the Mint and those Mint employees involved are quite happy with it. ….

    To me a fantastic looking DMPL bullion placed alongside its “P” version just blows the “P” out of the water.

    But in a way I’m glad .. it saved me some $$

  52. bobo says

    I applaud the mint for the courage to depict the abstract idea of liberty as a black person. If there are any of us Americans who have fought harder for liberty than the descendants of our former slaves, I would like to know who those people might be. This despite the efforts of the oligarch class of the time to destroy their fight for freedom, using the most brutal means possible, all while pretending to live according to the teachings of Christ.

    I am also happy to see that Frederick Douglas will soon be on an ATB quarter:

    When will Martin Luther King be honored on a US coin? How can it be that we choose to honor some minor first spouses or unknown founder of some obscure boys’ club, yet fail to honor a great American like King who was murdered because of his tireless efforts to push our country to live up to our self-proclaimed principle that all men are created equal?

  53. Louis Golino, Author says

    @Just Another Dave- My 1 oz. proof beast does not have any spots and hopefully will not develop them. In general i agree this should only be any issue on bullion coins, and for the most part i think that is true. However, I have heard from buyers of RM coins that some of their 5 oz proofs developed some spots, which would be huge bummer at those prices, esp. if it was a 2014 Britannia proof, which is worth $2K in the 5 oz. I don’t personally recall seeing any spots on any proof coins of mine from any mint, though I can’t rule it out as it is hard to check everything. I may explore the curse of the milk spot in an article soon.

  54. Dustyroads says

    I doubt we will ever see the vapor blasting technique again once the 5 oz. series is done. We will however see proof 5 oz. coins.

  55. Dustyroads says

    The 2014 Britannia proof coins are rare at 600, but I had no idea they were demanding such a high amount.

  56. Tinto says

    “1. BEFORE the 2015 HR was issued the Mint had stated that the 2015 HR would be a One off and NOT a series”

    Yeah and the MINT also said it would be UHR … and a silver medal version to be produced in the same year … and I had been interested before the Mint did that bait and switch thing with the UHR becoming HR ..

  57. cagcrisp says

    @Tinto, agreed.

    And as I remember the Silver Medals were very important to you and is One of the reasons you have scaled back purchases.

    Another reason the Mint is losing customers. Say one thing and do something else. Said they were going to use Current pricing grid for the Winged Head Liberty dimes and then they added $30 because they could…

  58. one fine dime says


    “When will Martin Luther King be honored on a US coin? How can it be that we…fail to honor a great American like King who was murdered because of his tireless efforts to push our country to live up to our self-proclaimed principle that all men are created equal?”

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. I believe the family of Dr. King may not have wanted his image on a coin, or something to this effect, but I am not sure. I tried googling this topic and found the following that has some reference to it (towards the end of the article), and a comment by Louis (Louis Golino?) regarding this.

  59. Buzz Killington says

    If I were in charge of selecting African American Civil Rights leaders to be put on a coin, I would select A. Phillip Randolph or Bayard Rustin. These are overlooked hereos of the Civil Rights movement. Like MLK, and every other person I can think of, they also had their faults.

    However, if I wanted to listen to soaring rhetoric, as opposed to seeing an image on a coin, MLK would be my choice.

    Whether this design on the new $100 gold is to your liking or not, it is high time we had an identifiably African American Liberty. After all, in two or three hundred years, we will probably all be about the same “race”. We might as well celebrate this diversity while we’ve still got it.

  60. jhawk92 says

    @Mint News Blog-
    Diana, thanks for a great article and the info on the AtB book you worked on. I went searching and found it on Amazon, and ordered a copy to include with my pucks. There are other copies if folks want one.


  61. Tinto says

    “Another reason the Mint is losing customers. Say one thing and do something else. Said they were going to use Current pricing grid for the Winged Head Liberty dimes and then they added $30 because they could…”

    The Mint’s got total monopoly power over their current offerings and they don’t cut collectors any slack. And IMO big boy buyers/dealers/flippers won’t mind as long as they can resell as profitably and as quickly as possible.

    BTW the Mint is also sticking it to collectors (IMO) on the 5 oz. Moon Landing Commemorative with a $50 surcharge per coin. The max used to be $35 for the gold coins …. oh well, good thing the Mint got super lazy and wanted the same designs across all denominations .. I was thinking of buying only the 5 oz, since it would be the first of its kind … but now I might just settle for one of the normal sized silver dollar with the $10 surcharge ..

  62. Robert says

    Thank you for a well-written article on the AtB quarter designs. It is rare to find such thoughtful insight regarding U.S. modern coin designs, a topic that tends to evoke a multitude of personal opinions as opposed to objective analysis.

    Regarding America’s most beloved symbol, we should remember that “Miss Liberty” is no more than a personification of the concept of LIBERTY, and how that individual is represented in terms of race, is irrelevant. Like Jesus Christ and Santa Claus, too many Americans have become accustomed to seeing Miss Liberty’s features based on classical art only because that style dominated the late 19th century when the French sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, created “Liberty Enlightening the World,” now commonly referred to as the Statue of Liberty.

    Again, we should remember that Mr. Bartholdi’s interpretation of Liberty is just that, one interpretation. Any contemporary artist should be entitled to realized his or her vision of LIBERTY in any artistic style he or she sees fit, and whose racial makeup is irrelevant.

  63. Dustyroads says

    It may be that our representation of Liberty as a scantly dressed woman (actually only slight cleavage) may have more to do with having the coinage accepted and used over the other coins also available at the time of the Mints earliest production. The only other times in history that US coins have depicted Liberty even slightly nude was 1916 and 2016. Recently Liberty has had bare feet on the Platinum coin, and no one can argue against her seductive look, but these images are most likely to only be for selling numismatic coins and will change.

  64. Mint News Blog says

    Good morning, Mint News Bloggers — I hope each of you had a lovely weekend, whether you were celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah or simply catching up on your rest after a busy week. I’m working on a piece for tomorrow; in the meantime, I found the following story too (weird? surreal?) not to share. It ties in somewhat with the older discussion about a cashless society. Welcome to the world of Blade Runner:

  65. So Krates says

    @ Robert – I know not the color of Miss Liberty’s skin, nor the style in which she wears her hair, but I do know that Jesus and Santa ain’t black.

  66. Buzz Killington says

    Jesus was a sandy-haired white man with blue eyes cavorting around the Middle East in the Bronze Age. No wonder he attracted so much attention!

  67. cagcrisp says

    Cashless society. It’s not a matter of IF but When…

    The author of the following article is not a fan, however, here is what I got out of the article: “But there may have been an ulterior motive — elimination of cash entirely. On Dec. 13, the New York Times said that as a result of the cash crisis, electronic payments are booming. People are getting smart phones for the first time. About 70,000 merchants a day are signing up for a popular mobile payment platform, nearly 14 times the daily rate before November, and transactions on it have increased by 350 percent. The Times added that cash was used in 78 percent of Indian transactions last year as opposed to 20 percent in the United States, but now the number of Indians using electronic wallets is up to 230 million. Prime Minster Modi, according to the Times, “has begun emphasizing the benefits of a cashless economy over the anti-corruption fight.”

    Glass half full vs. Glass half empty.

  68. Buzz Killington says

    @cag —

    Thank you for this additional article. Regardless of a cash economy or a cashless one, the possibility of corruption cannot be eliminated. Diana’s reference to Blade Runner was very appropriate — we have fake British circulation, fake Indian banknotes, fake gold coins which are really plated gold-plated Tungsten — it is hard to tell what is “real” anymore, and when that happens, the “real” loses its meaning.

    I think a cashless society would make it harder on the petty thieves, as well as the sophisticated ones, if every transaction is trackable. I look forward to seeing the perfected cashless system, which is likely to appear during my lifetime. “Not if, but when” is absolutely correct.

  69. Barry says

    Branding someone a racist because of a individual interpretation of what is “PC” or not is going to far. Seems like nothing more than an attempt to shut people up if the slightest nuance of offence is interpreted.

  70. fmtransmitter says

    Did anyone mention Mt. Rushmore?? Or were we staying on this years quarters? Always will be my fav. Didn’t win a COTY Award for nothing, depth and orginality, and just an all around coolness factor…Here it is for newbies…

    If you don’t find that impressive, well look for the Lincoln memorial on the back of your penny…older penny before the shield, after the shield, whatever…Happy New Year to all..

  71. fmtransmitter says

    I think a cashless society would make it harder on the petty thieves, as well as the sophisticated ones, if every transaction is trackable. I look forward to seeing the perfected cashless system, which is likely to appear during my lifetime. “Not if, but when” is absolutely correct.

    @Buzz: You been reading that book in all the hotel/motel rooms?

  72. bobo says

    Does anyone know if audited mintages for any first spouses have been released for any post-2011 coins?

  73. bobo says

    People who want to maintain privacy in a digital currency world will just exchange precious metals. Gold in India is now in higher demand than ever. If they ban PMs then something else will be used.

    Forcing people into a digital currency is immoral for reasons beyond loss of privacy. They want to do this to be able to enforce so-called negative interest rates, which is a fancy term for confiscation of your money, which is theft, which is immoral. And they want to be the only ones who can concoct digital money at will, so they can buy up the farm and own you as their cow, milked of your life and labor through income tax.

    Listen to Black’ podcasts to educate yourself about their system built to milk you dry. Here is the latest podcast:

  74. KEITHSTER says

    Glad to see that they did mark the 1/10th. oz. AGE. sold out. Did get to snag #2 on the countdown thanks to cagcrisp’s post of 3 left on Christmas. Don’t collect those proofs but thought the little one would pair up nice with one of my spare dimes as they both have the same date. Has anyone tried to put the gold dime quarter and halve in a AGE. proof set and do the caps fit in right? That’s why I got the unc. AGE. thought the would look cool all in a set like that !!!! Well Good Luck All And Happy New Year All”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>”>

  75. Buzz Killington says

    @bobo —

    So, if “they” wanted to, they could enforce the same world order by raising real estate property taxes, too, right? It is impossible to guard against every potential scheme, but yet people will waste their energy with this nonsense.

    If you want to talk about preventing “immoral theft” I am waiting for Native American and African American reparations. These immoral thefts are the foundation of this country, in case you didn’t know.

  76. Larry says

    @ bobo, any fiat currency is immoral, whether digital or paper. Inflation caused by the government is also immoral, it is no different than robbing peoples money.

  77. RSF says

    They fit perfectly in the 4-coin 2008 Buffalo unc set box. With the one ounce Buffalo reverse showing – all my favorite series designs are displayed.
    Nice job Mint. Now start working on the Peace dollar tribute. (Although the likelihood of us being at peace in 4 years is slim.)

  78. cagcrisp says

    Paul Gilkes comments in CW article about the Winged Head Liberty dime “Critics argued before its April 21 release that the 2016-W gold dime’s 10-coin-per-household ordering limit was way too high for the only 125,000 coins being made available, at $205 per coin.”

    I monitor a few message boards and I don’t remember critical comments about HHL’s BEFORE Launch. All the crying I heard was AFTER Launch.

    There was a LOT of crying about HHL’s BEFORE Launch of the SLQ…by me…

  79. cagcrisp says

    Someone is Chasing…

    16CE 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD PROOF 40,182 + 1,169
    16CF 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD UNC 19,648 +881
    16CG 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 3-COIN SET 14,456 +173

    16CH 2016 MARK TWAIN GOLD PROOF 13,154 +182
    16CJ 2016 MARK TWAIN GOLD UNC 5,601 + 70
    16CK 2016 MARK TWAIN SILVER PROOF 78,100 +735
    16CL 2016 MARK TWAIN SILVER UNC 26,150 +169

  80. cagcrisp says


    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 58,989 (59)
    16XB 2016 MERCURY DIME 24K GOLD .1OZ 124,915 (35)
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 85,706 + 381

  81. cagcrisp says

    16RA 2016 AMERICAN $1 COIN & CURRENCY SET 45,926 +266
    16RC 2016 LIMITED EDITION SILVER PROOF SET 33,191 + 1,271

  82. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 521,432 + 5,115

    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 21,187 +232
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,233 + 47
    16ED 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 7,135 –
    16EE 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 21,653 + 248
    16EF 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 15,421 +142

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 172,802 +5,252

    16EH 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD UNC 1 OZ 6,888 +315

    16EJ 2016 AM EAGLE PLATINUM PROOF 1 OZ 9,151 –

    16EL 2016 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 21,878 (6)

  83. cagcrisp says

    16AK 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – CMBRLND 18,713 (3)
    16AL 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – HARP FRY 18,632 +96
    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MOULTRIE 15,678 + 352

  84. cagcrisp says

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,435 +16
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,477 +18
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,179 +16
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,437 +27
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,230 + 26
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,721 + 11

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,580 +5
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,806 + 5
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 1,906 +9
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,424 +25
    JQ7 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 2,603 + 7
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,717 +14

  85. cagcrisp says

    There have been 3 American Eagle Golds SO…

    1 oz. Uncirculated @ 6,573. That’s 100.6% of 2015 Individual coin mintage
    1/4 oz. Proof @ 7,135. That’s 121.8% of 2015 Individual coin mintage
    1/10 oz. Proof @ 21,653. That’s 128.5% of 2015 Individual coin mintage

    That’s pretty impressive considering the 4 coin American Eagle set is Still on sale and at current sales of 15,421, that’s 155.5% of 2015 mintage for the 4 coin set…

  86. bobo says

    Thank you Cag, for always posting the latest sales numbers.

    I find it surprising that the walking liberty half gold is not moving, when other gold coins are selling so robustly.

    For example, it will not surprise me at all if the NPS gold UNC sells more than the Jackie Robinson’s 5,174, which I would have not thought possible a month ago. I remember how many sold for the star spangled banner in the last few days of availability. Like that time, this would again be a bitter outcome for all those chasing lowest mintages (and trying to catch falling knives).

  87. one fine dime says

    @D Rittenhouse says:
    Did Liberty really need to have a cornrow hairdo? Pathetic politically correct nonsense from the U.S. Mint.

    @Barry says:
    Branding someone a racist because of a individual interpretation of what is “PC” or not is going to far. Seems like nothing more than an attempt to shut people up if the slightest nuance of offence [sic] is interpreted.

    Interesting comment Barry. I said his comment (D Rittenhouse) reeks of racism whether he intended it to or not. I did not “brand” him a racist, but I do believe his comment was racist. I’m most certainly not trying to “shut people up”. What I would like to see is a bit more tolerance and empathy to accept more than one representation of what is “American” in contemporary United States numismatics. Are you trying to shut me up by saying that criticizing the critic is going too far?! If anyone has a strong opinion about it, why not tell us why you dislike this design; because simply making statements like “pathetic PC nonsense” implies that you are intolerant of depictions of human beings that don’t fit a particular mold or stereotypical norm…and that you “might” be racist to some extent. Obviously, Liberty did not HAVE to have a cornrow hairdo, but the depiction is of an African American woman. So it seems it is D Rittenhouse that is the one who is offended here.

  88. Buzz Killington says

    Interesting press release for these Niue issues from the Polish Mint. I like how they say the first coin “sold out quickly” and “is holding its value” along with a link to purchase one right at this very minute.

    These are attractive issues, and the Polish Mint usually does a good job with interesting and creative new designs. However, it will take more than this kind of puff-piece press release to make me believe the hype that I will lose out if I don’t buy one.

    I don’t have to own every interesting piece from every world mint. I am, however, glad to see that world mints are raising the bar with interesting new concepts.

  89. Louis Golino, Author says

    Buzz- It does not say anything about losing out if you don’t buy. And you must need new glasses as it is not a press release. I wrote it, which is why there is a byline. I don’t give a rat’s behind if you buy one or not, and I don’t get a penny either way. I simply was bringing it the attention of someone who might be interested. Who said “you have to own every interesting piece from every world mint”? Where does it say that? The coin was just launched, and I figured it may be of interest to some people. That’s all.

  90. So Krates says

    @ Louis – I appreciate the link to your article. I’m interested in this series despite my allergy to ultra high premium silver. I find the subjects fascinating. The reverse is suggestive of the interior of the particle accelerator at Cern, the Large Hadron Collider. Great to see you including some science backround as well. I wonder if they’ll have a quantum coin in the series. If you haven’t read up on quantum entanglement and the double slit experiment, look into it a bit. It may change how you view reality.

    I also had the impression the AI coin was sold out but then read it isn’t (kinda glad/may order both). Don’t think Buzz meant his comment in the manner you took it.

  91. Phil says

    Thanks for the article Louis. I find these coins very interesting and this is just the type of coin that might get a few new collectors interested, which the hobby could certainly use right now. I didn’t see in your article anything about how many coins will be produced in this series. Do you know?

  92. So Krates says

    FMT – They have real gold Trump coins. Bernard Von Nothaus (of Norfed infamy) is off house arrest and started up his minting business again offering a variety of high quality Trump coin products. There is a triple Piedfort Trump coin. Something crazy like 2 half ounces of gold with 1 oz of silver in the middle I think. Last I heard they claimed a problem with their POS processing at their bank was causing delivery delays and massive business problems. I believe Longarm said he ordered from him. I bet they look best in pure copper 🙂

  93. So Krates says

    earthling says, “People love Proof Gold Bullion this year. Forgive them for they know not…”

    I hear ya, but if they like it why not? If you stick to AGE 1 oz proofs or 4 coin sets, and look real hard at selling time for a strong dealer, you can usually get spot plus $200/oz. Not quite the haircut you take when selling for spot, just a trim.

  94. So Krates says

    Just Another Dave in PA – Been meaning to thank you for sharing that link to Time (The Revelator). Quite a piece of work.

  95. Buzz Killington says

    @ Louis —

    I did think you were just posting a press release. You described the box for this coin, which has not been released yet, as “attractive” and mentioned it was “sure to be a hit.” The page where the coin can be ordered has the very questionable statement “Excellent investment (price will rise)”. You did mention that this coin has “held its value” which is not true, if you consider that the AI coin has sold on ebay in recent true auctions for under $170.

    You are entitled to your opinions, and even a generous interpretation of “holds its value” to mean that it hasn’t fallen off a cliff, I guess. However, from my perspective, your “article” reads like a press release. You seem like a nice guy, and I do at times appreciate comments of yours on this blog. I also appreciated the opportunity to read about this latest issue, which also reminded me of a particle accelerator, although that is not stated.

    The thing I appreciate the most about this coin is the honoring of science. It is not easy to commemorate “Artificial Intelligence” or “The Speed of Light” on a coin, and as pieces of art (as opposed to investments) I think these pieces are wildly successful. I remember in college learning that a clock on the floor runs faster than a clock on a shelf, and it really did change everything I thought I knew — that time is not a constant, but is indeed “relative”. I also thought the Nova series on physics with Brian Greene was very well done, and enjoyed a similar show on using the particle accelerator to prove that the Higgs boson actually exists. The story of the Higgs boson itself is a triumph of modern science.

    I applaud the Polish Mint for its artistic effort on this coin series — I wish the United States had this kind of vision, instead of honoring Father Flanagan’s Boys Town, which is a junk mail factory made famous by a very old movie, which may or may not actually do good deeds (Charity Navigator seems to indicate it is better than average — but that doesn’t mean it deserves a commemorative coin program.)

  96. So Krates says

    Picked up my sloppy seconds dime today at the PO. I sat out the first round but did acquire a few second-hand over the summer. Besides the protective gauze smushed inside the box and a spot on the capsule, the coin looks perfect. Added bonus… the packaging is a bit less toxic smelling. More time to offgas I guess. Thanks Colonel Klink!

  97. Tinto says

    My favorite ATB pucks are TR,, Grand Canyon (backpacked there a few times many many years ago ..good memories) , Chaco Canyon and GSD.

    One that I have and a least favorite is Yellowstone .. that is one sad looking Bison with a plume of something gushing behind him. I bought it because I had visited Yellowstone before and want to go back there again.

    As for a suggestion for an underappreciated park .. how about Grand Tetons ? Right next to Yellowstone and I’ve been there too, did some short term volunteer work near there once, hiked there (all this about 20 years ago..) a beautiful place.

  98. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    I like and collect the ATB five ounce silvers, but don’t have, or feel I need to have, every one to fully enjoy the series. I do buy at least one of the ATB silver proof sets every year.

    The “pucks” really have more in common with large high relief medals than quarters, and I also collect high relief bronze medals, which vary in size, weight, and even shape.

    Among those I own, my top five favorite ATB five ouncers, in order of issue, are: Chaco Culture NHP, Arches NP, Everglades NP, Kisatchie NF, and Bombay Hook NWR.

    I’ve visited the first three in my list.

    The recent poster who implied that the upcoming (last issue of 2018) Block Island NWR (Rhode Island) site was somehow not worthy needs to get outdoors more often.

  99. bobo says

    Overly appreciating French trappers in the 1600s referred to those underappreciated mountains as les grand tetons (slang for large breasts in French).

  100. Numismatrix says

    “a clock on the floor runs faster than a clock on a shelf” – BK


    I believe that a clock in motion runs slower than those at rest, relative to it.
    This is the basis of the twin paradox in relativity.

    Also, the “speed of light” motif on the coin may represent the motion
    of optical solitons in a fiber optic cable. It is also known that in some
    instances that the “phase velocity” of an optical wave can be “faster”
    than the speed of light.

  101. says

    The rate at which those NPS coins are flipped on the bay will be “faster”
    than the speed of light, as well.

    Though I don’t know who they’re going to sell to; I’m with Cag, it takes original demand to make something special, demand just doesn’t create itself out of thin air for this stuff.

  102. one fine dime says

    The recent poster who implied that the upcoming (last issue of 2018) Block Island NWR (Rhode Island) site was somehow not worthy needs to get outdoors more often.

    I agree, Block Island is a very special place indeed. I haven’t seen the design yet, hope it’s a good one.

    btw, any idea why a post of mine from yesterday evening has now been “awaiting moderation” for over 12 hours? Must have been too controversial.

  103. says

    bobo says,

    “I find it surprising that the walking liberty half gold is not moving, when other gold coins are selling so robustly.

    For example, it will not surprise me at all if the NPS gold UNC sells more than the Jackie Robinson’s 5,174, which I would have not thought possible a month ago. I remember how many sold for the star spangled banner in the last few days of availability. Like that time, this would again be a bitter outcome for all those chasing lowest mintages (and trying to catch falling knives).”

    Good point, I remember that, seems like we go through one of these last minute run ups every other year.

    The $5 5 Star Generals had a nice short-lived pop though that was attributable to the surprise of the sell out in early November. The $5 proof can now be had for a $30+ over spot, the UNC $5 in a MS 70 maintains a $150-$200 premium over spot, though recall gold was much higher in 2013 so the premium over the originalcost basis isn’t that great

  104. says

    For those wanting 2014 & 2015 $5 Comms, now is a good time to pick some up for around $300, on OBO’s or auctions. I just did earlier this week.

    Mint issue price for those years ranged from $380 to $429, that speaks volumes.

  105. So Krates says

    @ one fine dime – Did your post include the first mint director’s surname? I suspect that key word alone may trigger a review.

  106. Buzz Killington says

    Numismatrix —

    You are correct about a clock in motion running slower than a clock at rest as well. I believe that Carl Sagan was able to demonstrate this with clocks that were *extremely* precise, since we are not able to travel at speeds fast enough to demonstrate this easily.

    If we were travelling at the speed of light,, time would stop for us. Likewise, time stops on the surface of a black hole, due to its incredible mass.

    Put *that* on a coin, Polish Mint, and I may well buy it, ridiculous premium be damned!

  107. hawkster says

    The Block Island (Rhode Island) National Wildlife Refuge, which will be depicted on an upcoming ATB quarter, actually has the potential to be a very picturesque one. Hopefully, the North Lighthouse will be imaged in the background with the salt pond and reed grasses in the foreground. I agree with the previous commenters who praise the beauty of this pork chop shaped Island out in Block Island Sound. It’s great for cyclists, although a bit hilly in sections.

  108. one fine dime says

    bobo said:
    …it will not surprise me at all if the NPS gold UNC sells more than the Jackie Robinson’s 5,174, which I would have not thought possible a month ago. I remember how many sold for the star spangled banner in the last few days of availability. Like that time, this would again be a bitter outcome for all those chasing lowest mintages (and trying to catch falling knives).

    Just ordered mine, along with two unc halves. I have several unc modern commem gold $5 coins, and I really like the design on this one. I did not buy the Twain coin so this is my only 2016 gold coin, and I waited to buy it more in hopes that the gold spot price would decrease by year’s end (compared to when these went on sale) than to see if this would likely break a low mintage record…though I’ll be thrilled if the latter does occur. So I’m not a flipper but I do think it’ll be cool for this coin to beat out the Jackie Robinson as the new low mintage!

    Sales through Dec 25 are 4,459, so in order for this not to be the new low mintage in the series, we’d have to see 715 coins ordered in 3.5 days. Is that really going to happen (post-Christmas)? Did the final week of sales for the star-spangled banner or five-star general half eagles go that high?

  109. Dustyroads says

    KCSO says
    December 28, 2016 at 9:44 am

    “The $5 5 Star Generals had a nice short-lived pop though that was attributable to the surprise of the sell out in early November.”

    I decided to pick one of those up late late in Dec. that year. The Mint incidentally overrode their usual protocol of ending sales on the 17th for those coins, but they went to SO before the announced end of sales deadline. So yes, they did suddenly sell out, just not in November. FWIW

  110. Dustyroads says

    one fine dime, I can’t remember if the Generals gold unc. was thought to be able to beat the JR, at least in Dec. In my mind, at the end I bought it because I expected it to be #2, which I now see does not help the price at all. In commemoratives, it’s either #1 or nothing if one is looking for appreciation, that is out side the unusual releases such as the BBHOF or the 2001 Smithsonian Buffalo dollars.

  111. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I’ll second or third the support for Block Island NWR. I like birding so I have a profound appreciation of these places. On a visit to Acadia in Maine I went to Petit Manan NWR. I really wanted to visit Grand Manan to see Puffins but I think that’s Canadian and you have to go to Nova Scotia first.

    I loved that Bombay Hook (DE) got some recognition. Delaware is a great little state. I love the design but I wish they had included a Horseshoe Crab because that part of Delaware Bay gets inundated with them in the Springtime.

    @So Krates — so glad you enjoyed Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. They’re amazing. There’s another song they do called April the 14th (Ruination Day). It’s about the day the Titanic sunk, a dust storm hit Oklahoma (black Sunday) and Lincoln was assassinated. They mention the “staggers and the jags” in a couple of their songs. One is April the 14th Part 1 and the other is the long and beautifully haunting I Dream A Highway. The phrase “staggers and the jags” is apparently a phrase used by Canadian legend Stan Rogers in Barrett’s Privateers which is a really great kind of sea shanty.

    Sorry to drift off topic.

    I think the best states for National Parks are Colorado and Utah and the western states, in general. I did Rocky Mountain, Arches, Canyonlands, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Parks as well as Colorado National Monument in Sept of this year. Hovenweep National Monument is a great Native American park. A couple years ago I did Arches, Capital Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. That whole area is incredible and California is incredible too. Joshua Tree and Death Valley and Yosemite, etc.

    This is such a big and beautiful country. It would be interesting to see Biscayne National Park (FL) on a coin. it’s an aquatic park that’s almost entirely underwater.

    I also went to Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens (DC) in July to see the lotus flowers in bloom. A great park.

    I love that Obama has designated a lot of National Monuments during his two terms. I put that that at the top of his accomplishments.

  112. cagcrisp says

    The U.S. Mint has announced that the cost of producing a penny has gone up in FY16 for the first time since 2011. In FY16 the cost of the penny Rose to 1.5 cents…

    FY11 2.4 cents
    FY12 2.0 cents
    FY13 1.8 cents
    FY14 1.7 cents
    FY15 1.4 cents
    FY16 1.5 cents

  113. Teach says

    I heard it cost 8 cents for a nickle to be made, but they make it up by producing dimes for like 4 cents.

  114. earthling says

    I hope Platinum does a crash and burn soon. I need about 7 more years to have a complete date set of the 1 ouncers. Even at the current spot, the things are not to my liking. But at least its not as bad as when Platinum was up over $2000/ounce.

  115. Louis Golino, Author says

    @one fine dime- Once again I agree with you. I find it hard to believe they will sell that many NPS $5 unc’s in half a week. It may have happened with some spouses, but for the $5 commems, I do not recall anytime that many were sold in such a short time. Whether it will matter, as I wrote in my Coin World article, is another matter.
    I have one and think the design is terrific, and I am considering a 2nd tomorrow but am on the fence as I too do not like the premium.

  116. dpaussie says

    The “America’s Beautiful National Parks” book is still available on Amazon with a wide range of prices new and used.

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