The Liberty Bell: An Apt Symbol for American Coinage

whitechapel

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 on all projects presently in hand during the coming months. It will not be entering into new contracts for the time being whilst discussions with the company’s staff and other interested parties regarding the future direction, ownership, and location of the company are ongoing.

The announcement is significant to the British, of course, since the foundry—first established in 1570, during the reign of Elizabeth I—is the oldest manufacturing business in the United Kingdom. But it has significance for Americans, too, including numismatists, as the Whitechapel Bell Foundry was the source of an enduring symbol of American independence: the Liberty Bell.

Appearing on the reverses of commemorative and circulating coins alike, the Liberty Bell was ordered from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1751. Measuring 12 feet in circumference and weighing more than a ton, it was intended to hang in the belfry of the Philadelphia State House. An inscription was requested for the crown, to encircle it in two lines of text:

PROCLAIM LIBERTY THROUGHOUT ALL THE LAND UNTO ALL THE INHABITANTS THEREOF LEV. XXVVSX
BY ORDER OF THE ASSEMBLY OF THE PROVINCE OF PENSYLVANIA [sic] FOR THE STATE HOUSE IN PHILAD.

(The opening line is from Leviticus 25:10, which ordained a “jubilee year”—that is, every 50 years, all leased or mortgaged lands were to be returned to their owners, and all slaves were to be freed.)

The massive bell was delivered in 1752, and was immediately hung up to be tested. One can imagine the dismay of the onlookers when the clapper struck the rim and the bell promptly cracked.

The ship that had delivered the bell was unable to take the it aboard for the return trip, so the city hired two local metalworkers, John Pass and John Stow, to recast it. The standard bronze alloy for bells was about 77% copper, with the balance tin; the more tin, the nicer the sound, but the more brittle the bell. According to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, “Good bell metal is extremely brittle: metal up to 1″ in thickness can be broken in the palm of the hand by a sharp tap with a 2 lb. hammer. If a bell is struck and not allowed to ring freely, because either the clapper or some part of the frame or fittings are in contact with the bell, then a crack can very easily develop.”

Pass and Stow made a cast of the Whitechapel bell, adding their own inscription—PASS AND STOW / PHILAD / MDCCLIII—below the original. They then melted the 2,000 pounds of bronze, added a bit more copper (1.5 ounces for each original pound of metal) to strengthen it, and recast the bell. When struck, the new bell sounded poorly, so Pass and Snow once again melted the bell, this time adding 0.25% silver.

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia

The famous crack in the bell—and the “Pass and Stow” mark. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

The new bell, which had an improved (if not particularly lovely) sound, was hung in the State House. Its destiny as a symbol of a great, independent nation was unknown; its functions were to call lawmakers to their meetings, and to announce to the townspeople that it was time to gather, if they pleased, to hear the news read. (Benjamin Franklin concluded one 1755 letter with “Adieu, the Bell rings, and I must go among the Grave ones and talk Politicks.”)

Nearly a quarter-century later, as the British approached Philadelphia in 1777, the bell was moved over jolting roads to Allentown for temporary safekeeping. The metal, which is now known to contain myriad impurities and air bubbles that weakened the integrity of the bronze, was undoubtedly stressed by the trip, and the giant bell was reportedly dropped at least once. An invisible fatigue crack may have begun at that time or in subsequent years; in any case, in 1835, the bell cracked massively. A repair was attempted in 1846, but when the bell was subsequently rung on Washington’s birthday, February 23, the crack widened. After that, the bell was no longer rung, although it was occasionally tapped with a mallet on auspicious occasions.

In 1945, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry offered to melt down and recast the bell so it could be rung properly, but the offer was politely declined by the United States. The crack itself encapsulates the bell’s history, and with it the history of the country. Although it’s unlikely that anyone mentioned the Japanese art of kintsugi at the time, preserving the bell’s flaw resembles that practice, whereby the breaks in repaired pottery are highlighted with gold rather than concealed. The damage becomes a treasured part of the object’s history.

From an Object to a Symbol

The “Liberty Bell” moniker was first applied in 1835 in the Anti-Slavery Record, and as the years passed, the bell slowly accrued its status as a national symbol. In 1926, the Liberty Bell made its debut appearance on American coinage, gracing the back of the Sesquicentennial of American Independence centennial half dollar. The coin was modeled by John R. Sinnock, chief engraver of the U.S. Mint, working from sketches by Philadelphia arts patron and numismatist John Frederick Lewis (who also served as president of the Sesquicentennial Exhibition Association). A little over 141,000 of the commemorative coins were struck, in circulation quality only, at the Philadelphia Mint.

1926 Sesquicentennial of American Independence half dollar. (Photo courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries)

1926 Sesquicentennial of American Independence half dollar. (Photo courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

Sinnock later designed the Franklin half dollar, which debuted in 1948. The reverse of the Franklin half bears a near likeness of the Liberty Bell used on the earlier Sesquicentennial coin, but slightly larger in proportion to the diameter. The circulation strikes, struck in 90% silver, were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints  from 1948 through 1963 (excluding 1955 and 1956 for Denver), and at the San Francisco Mint in 1949 and 1951–1954. Proofs began to be struck in Philadelphia in 1950 and continued for the duration of the series, which was supplanted by the Kennedy design in 1964.

Franklin half dollar. (Photo courtesy of Stack's Bowers Galleries)

Franklin half dollar. (Photo courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries)

The Liberty Bell made its return to U.S. coinage on the reverse of the dual-dated 1776–1976 Bicentennial silver dollars. The Bicentennial coinage designs were chosen in an open contest, in a process familiar to followers of modern U.S. Mint practices. The silver dollar’s chosen reverse, designed by Dennis R. Williams, features the Liberty Bell superimposed over the face of the Moon. (The Moon was a natural choice for the Eisenhower dollar, which, during all other years, depicted a likeness of the Apollo 11 mission patch, in celebration of the Moon landing.)

Eisenhower Bicentennial silver dollar. (Photo courtesy of the United States Mint)

Eisenhower Bicentennial silver dollar. (Photo courtesy of the United States Mint)

The dual-dated Bicentennial dollars were produced for two years, 1975 and 1976. During the early part of 1975, the reverse design was in comparatively low relief, and the typeface in the legend was thick and bold. The dies were soon modified to sharpen the design and refine the lettering. The resulting coins are now described as Variety 1 and Variety 2. While the Variety 1 dies were in use, the coins were issued in a copper-nickel-clad composition from the Philadelphia and Denver Mints (circulation strikes) and the San Francisco Mint (Proofs). The Variety 1 dies were also used for silver-clad coins, both circulating and Proof, struck at the San Francisco Mint. The Variety 2 dies were used for copper-nickel-clad circulating coins from Philadelphia and Denver, and copper-nickel-clad Proofs from San Francisco. One, lone silver-clad Proof from the Variety 2 dies, struck at Philadelphia, is known to exist.

Although its use on coinage has been limited to those three issues, the Liberty Bell has also appeared on scores of privately struck silver rounds, and has even been depicted on coins from other countries (usually struck to appeal to American collectors).

The Liberty Bell and the Modern United States

In many ways, the Liberty Bell is a more accurate symbol of the United States than the eagle or the American flag. A product of the “old country,” it traveled by ship to the American colonies, where it was re-created again and again—due both to necessity, after it first cracked, and to a desire to make it better than it was before. Each reworking brought in new materials, new qualities. The result was never perfect, but its imperfection became a part of its great identity.

Whitechapel’s Liberty Bell page concludes with a mixed sense of humor and pride:

The Whitechapel Foundry’s connection with the Liberty Bell was reestablished in 1976, the year of the US Bicentennial. First, there was a group of about thirty or so ‘demonstrators’ from the Procrastinators Society of America who mounted a mock protest over the bell’s defects and who marched up and down outside the Foundry with placards proclaiming WE GOT A LEMON and WHAT ABOUT THE WARRANTY? We told them we would be happy to replace the bell—as long as it was returned to us in its original packaging. Concurrently (i.e., from about 1968 to 1976) we also produced around 15 full-size, 2,400 one-fifth size, and 200 one-ninth size replicas of the bell for the Boston-based Limited Editions Collectors Society of America Inc. Finally, and most pleasingly, Whitechapel was also commissioned to cast the 12,446 lb. Bicentennial Bell that year, which now resides in Philadelphia with its illustrious predecessor and which bears the inscription:

FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FROM THE PEOPLE OF BRITAIN
4 JULY 1976
LET FREEDOM RING

In 2001, the 250th anniversary of the casting of the original, Whitechapel was commissioned to cast a replica of the Liberty Bell. The connection continues.

Mint News Blog wishes all the best for the Whitechapel owners and employees, wherever the future takes them.   ❑


A few random facts:

  • For many years, a rumor persisted that the designer John Sinnock’s initials, JS (as placed on the Roosevelt dime), stood for “Joseph Stalin.”
  • The Sesquicentennial half dollar’s obverse depicts jugate busts of Washington and Calvin Coolidge—the latter is the only president to appear on a U.S. coin during his own lifetime.
  • The Sesquicentennial commemorative is also the first U.S. coin to bear private advertising, as it includes the “Pass and Stow” inscription.
  • According to Wikipedia, the Mercury spacecraft that astronaut Gus Grissom flew on July 21, 1961, was dubbed Liberty Bell 7. Mercury capsules were somewhat bell-shaped, and a crack was painted on this one to mimic that on the original bell. Liberty Bell 7 became the only Mercury capsule to suffer an integrity failure.

Resources

After Nearly 500 Years in Business, the Company that Cast the Liberty Bell Is Ceasing All Operations.” Smithsonian.com.

The Liberty Bell.” National Park Service.

The Advertising Half Dollar.” N.O.W. News, January 4, 2012, pp. 23-24. (Reprinted from American Heritage). Accessed via the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University.

Liberty Bell.” Wikipedia.

The Story of the Liberty Bell.” Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).” Theology of Work Project.


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Comments

  1. fmtransmitter says

    they are great articles….published elsewhere with credit given to the authors at the end. Modern day journalism. Much better than before, hey let’s play a game…

  2. fmtransmitter says

    “The Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25).” Theology of Work Project.
    nice touch..

  3. fmtransmitter says

    The dual-dated Bicentennial dollars were produced for two years, 1975 and 1976. During the early part of 1975, the reverse design was in comparatively low relief…

    a deep cameo high grade type 1 is worth investing in, too bad the word is out and they are almost all gone as not may are out there…If you try and find one, expect to pay up for it, the frosty finish is rare in these…

  4. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    Nice. Being from the Philly area I remember seeing the Liberty Bell when you could still touch it. Now it’s encased in glass and part of the whole Constitution Center complex.

    Franklin’s nearby gravesite is also developing cracks due in part to people tossing pennies onto it or from people trying to collect those pennies at night. Or moisture. Enter Bon Jovi.

    http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/11/22/ben-franklin-gravesite-crack-repair/

  5. fmtransmitter says

    Mercury capsules were somewhat bell-shaped, and a crack was painted on this one to mimic that on the original bell. Liberty Bell 7 became the only Mercury capsule to suffer an integrity failure.

    doh…ouch

  6. fmtransmitter says

    “The pennies aren’t actually causing any of this cracking,” says Carr, whose firm will be handling the restoration of Franklin’s gravesite. “The difficulty is when people go by and night and they try to collect the pennies from outside the fence. A lot more of the scratching and abrasion to the surface of the marble comes from folks trying to pull the pennies.” Carr says people have used every object imaginable to take pennies from Franklin’s grave. When I suggested a hockey stick, he replied: “Curtain rod.”
    Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2016/11/22/ben-franklin-gravesite-crack-repair/#YUlwektXjyH1zwkf.99

    Can we find homes and jobs for these folks wandering aimlessley at night scratching at a national treasure to get up enough for a half pint or a piece of crack? MAGA

  7. 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

  8. DBR says

    Thanks for the article! It makes me think about what other symbols and images could grace the obverse and reverse of our nation’s coinage. The sky is the limit if one really thinks about what could inspire coin designers, artists and engravers.

  9. says

    Yes…great article. I love the Franklin Half …I have a 1955 proof set and Liberty Bell in proof is awesome. I would also add that the set includes a 1955 proof wheat cent. ..if you like wheat cents, a proof one is great looking.

  10. says

    Regarding the NPS $5 unc low mintage,not I think KCSO pointed out how good a price you can get on the 2014/2015 commenoritives.

    I also agree that if there is a low mintage coin, it’s for lack of interest/demand. I don’t see many people that could buy one today at Mint price, would all of a sudden pay a $100 premium next week.
    If they do, a year from now, they will be sorry.

    But, who knows…if you want to roll the dice…go for IT!

    How many of you plan to make a purchase/additional purchase?

  11. Jerry Diekmann says

    Steve – no more purchases this year for me, and a lot less in 2017. No gold 2017 American Eagles, that’s for sure. Don’t care for either the obverse or reverse – Way too PC, IMO, and that has been a problem now for several years. Commemoratives are on a downward trend now, because there isn’t as much demand any more for what the Mint is selling. And the Mint’s prices are way too high for a lot of people.

    If the Mint or Congress wants to honor the 225th anniversary of the Mint, they should consider a coin or medal honoring Alexander Hamilton. To my knowledge, and for some strange reason, Hamilton has never appeared on a US coin. But next month we will be treated to a visage of Melvin Jones?!?!?!.

  12. Tinto says

    @Steve

    No more for me this year, TR “P” puck was the last one. I only see myself buying the NA $1 C&C set in 2017 …

  13. So Krates says

    Very much enjoyed the article!

    @ Just Another Dave in PA – I too remember touching the actual metal as a kid before they roped it off. Can barely touch anything or go anywhere nowadays. Although I’m not old enough to have had access to the torch, they did let us climb the cramped, winding staircase up to the crown of the Statue of Liberty back in the day. Now that’s a view.I think you can still go the top of the Washington Monument. Do it now while you still can.

    Great to hear you visited all those natural sites. Not many people make it out to the Black Canyon or Capitol Reef. Last time I was at the latter, I had to wait a while for an aggresive Mountain Goat to clear the trail. Those things are big and intimidating up close and will butt your ass right off their turf. The unpopularity and remoteness of these spots just makes them better. I’d love to visit Colorado National Monument..

    It seems a larger than expected percentage of posters here do some hiking. The coin collectors I meet in person, not so much. I do enjoy watching birds when I run into them but can’t seem to find the patience to wait around for them to show up. I could see the similar attraction between coin collecting and birding. The birders I’ve met are a unique bunch to be sure.

  14. gary says

    Diana… yet another well authored article, thank you!

    And in keeping with the topic, let’s RING OUT the old and welcome the new year with cheer & much needed optimism.

    Happy New Year to you and to all of the (mostly) fine readers & commenters of this blog. – Gary

  15. Mike the Greek says

    Wow! What a fabulous article! So well written, researched, and so informative! Thank-you! World-class great!

  16. The Real "Cool" Brad says

    “The Liberty Bell made its return to U.S. coinage on the reverse of the dual-dated 1776–1996 Bicentennial silver dollars. ”

    Probably should say 1777-1976. Otherwise, very nice article!

  17. Teach says

    If you don’t learn something new every day you might as well be dead.

    Did not know this……The Sesquicentennial half dollar’s obverse depicts jugate busts of Washington and Calvin Coolidge—the latter is the only president to appear on a U.S. coin during his own lifetime.

  18. Mint News Blog says

    @The Real “Cool” Brad — Holy typos, Batman! Thanks for the catch. Glad you enjoyed the article!

    Diana

  19. Buzz Killington says

    I think, when the final numbers are in, Jackie Robinson will still reign as the low mintage king of the $5 gold commem series.

    In this competitive business, enough orders will come in to make sure none of the other big dealers are sitting on multiples of a low mintage wonder for when this series eventually bounces back. (Which could take awhile.)

    I am happy with the one I got, and won’t be getting any more.

  20. Dustyroads says

    OT, The 1 oz. .9999 HR gold Liberty is having it’s unavailing on January 12th at the Treasury Department. I hope the Mint decides to “mint to demand”.

  21. Xena says

    Just Another Dave in PA, So Krates – me too, had class trips to see the Liberty Bell when I was a kid and you could still touch the bell. Went back a few years ago and wasn’t the same.

    There were interesting references to it and other Philly landmarks in the movie National Treasure.

    One of my Dad’s favorite coins was the Franklin half – he left me a whole set of mostly mid-grades plus a few sliders in the bunch.

  22. Dustyroads says

    Steve, In my mind the coin is a wild card. It’s going to be hard to predict because of the many variables. I think that if the Mint were to put a limit on it, the limit would shape opinions. I would much rather see it be offered for a year, that would allow it to run it’s natural course.

  23. JBK says

    I pulled the trigger and ordered an unc. NPS half dollar – presumably one of the lowest mintage commem half dollars. Not expecting much to come of it but you never know….

    I ordered at 11:30 and was surprised that the proof NPS half was already “unavailable”.

  24. mintman says

    The $5 Gold Unc NPS was a no risk play. Next Tues we will have sales figures. 7 day return from receipt.
    Absolutely no risk.

  25. Dustyroads says

    mintman, That’s a good point to remember. There are no winners in the #2 spot, only losers. Commemoratives absolutely take no prisoners.

  26. JBK says

    It is sad but true that it is a race to the bottom – lowest mintage gets the prize.

    Gone are the days (if they ever existed) when the actual subject on the coin mattered. It matters during the initial ordering period, of course, but once mint sales have ended the future demand for most commems seems to stagnate unless an issue can claim to be the lowest mintage. I am not sure if that will ever change. The modern commem program will probably just chug along like the classic commems did until something outrageous occurs to end it.

  27. mintman says

    @dustyroads – true, the NPS unc $5 gold must be the lowest mintage……or else……a dud

    but with the convenient 7 day return………….

  28. Dustyroads says

    JBK, In the 80’s and 90’s gold price was a sideways story. If someone was buying during that time it was for the love of collecting, or for some, the sense that they were preserving wealth. After 2003 gold started it’s up trend and by 2007 people paying attention knew something was different. I will continue to contend that those previous collectors have long since been priced out of the game, while a new breed of buyer has stepped in. These new buyers are becoming, and will become the new collectors. I believe it’s inevitable. All that has to happen is for gold to finally exhibit a solid floor. Gold commemoratives are simply toooo expensive for the casual collector, which used to be the main buyers of them. Coin collecting is not going away, it’s only trying to recover.

  29. cagcrisp says

    Gold has Inched up today due to a tweet by Wilbur Ross.

    The tweet (or the Gold movement) shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if you know how the Trump administration works…

  30. Goat says

    @Dustyroads
    I have seen a few sell (NPS halves NGC 70 on E-Bay), pushing close to $100. Did I figure right ? Close to 20,000 needed to be sold in 3.5 days .
    Gold unc. will be close, too many watching for it to be a new low. Many are hoping, many are sitting on 70 stock that have been finalized in holders.

    You posted that this year would be high mintage for the Libertad’s . Can you tell the information you use ?
    I’m glad your still posting , Thanks

  31. cagcrisp says

    New Gold clock started today. With Gold currently over $1,150.00, the fixes start to matter.

    AM fix $1,146.80
    PM fix $1,145.90

  32. one fine dime says

    @mintman
    The $5 Gold Unc NPS was a no risk play. Next Tues we will have sales figures. 7 day return from receipt.
    Absolutely no risk.

    Good point. However, if the final mintage (sales) numbers happen to come in slightly above the Jackie Robinson, and enough people go ahead with a return, then that would essentially lower the final mintage numbers, right?

    I think the NPS $5 is a great coin regardless, and I likely won’t be returning mine no matter how the numbers turn out. The modern commemorative gold half eagles have some amazing designs over the course of 40 years. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I think the NPS $5 is head and shoulders above the Jackie Robinson (i.e., as far as artistic merit).

    @Steve –
    I also agree that if there is a low mintage coin, it’s for lack of interest/demand. I don’t see many people that could buy one today at Mint price, would all of a sudden pay a $100 premium next week.

    With this series, isn’t low mintage always for a lack of interest/demand? That is simply how it works. If gold prices go up, then demand may also go down. So overall mintage on these seems to be a factor of 1) gold price during sale, 2) number of other mint offerings that may divide demand, and 3) quality of design and appeal of subject. Anything else?

    I believe it was a MNB post from some time ago that speculated the 2011 commem half eagles to have potential for low mintage partly due to that being the first year since 1997 (year of the Jackie Robinson) that two gold commem designs were issued. It didn’t happen that year, and we’ll know in a few days if it happens this year.

    I think the after market prices are nearly always going to be based on the gold price, except where the particular issue had strong appeal (then folks hold in their collections rather than selling), and except for the few extremely low mintage issues. I bought the 2011 unc MOH gold for $440 from the US Mint. I’m guessing this and other issues will definitely be going for less now, since gold is down compared to then.

  33. cagcrisp says

    The idea of No Risk trade because of the liberal Mint policy, is a pretty Sorry trade.

    We all pay for your no risk trade.

    Sooner or later the Mint will change their liberal return policy because of misuse…

  34. one fine dime says

    Forgot #4 in my post above

    So overall mintage on these seems to be a factor of 1) gold price during sale, 2) number of other mint offerings that may divide demand, and 3) quality of design and appeal of subject.

    4) whether or not the sales figures in the final week appear low enough to possibly break the current low mintage champion.

  35. Dustyroads says

    Goat, I’m fairly sure that Mexico is reading the positive articles being written lately regarding their issues, plus a quick look at past mintages should say that they are upping numbers as demand picks up. As long as gold price is not in a free fall, we should see higher mintages coming out of the Mexican Mint. For the better part of this year gold did move up, so I think it was an easy call for the Bank. I don’t expect to see super low mintages this year unless the gold market is in complete decline.

  36. earthling says

    I want a Jackie Robinson Gold BU BS $5 Coin. Not as a Coin Collector… it’s one ugggly coin for sure. As a Sports Fan/ sometimes Card Collector, I can appreciate Jackie for the Pioneer he was.

    Now as soon as I can get a BU Jackie for$450 or less, count me in. Until then I can wait. Life goes on.

    😊

  37. art says

    Low mintages have a way of driving demand up especially with US coins. I’ll be surprised if the NPS gold uncirc. is not the new all-time low. As well as the NPS uncirc. half.

  38. Dustyroads says

    earthling brings up an interesting thought; will the 1997 gold JR unc. ever be available for a decent price?

  39. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    @ So Krates – hiking is great. New Years Day is 1rst Day hike in most states. This is more for State Parks. Last year we did Nolde Forest State Park . This year I’ll probably do the AT in Delaware Water Gap or the Pinnacle (another AT hike in Pa). After a trip to Zion (The Narrows and Angel’s Landing), my nephew sent me this list of one-star reviews on Yelp of National Parks. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    https://backpackers.com/20-hilarious-one-star-yelp-reviews-of-national-parks/

    or this girl

    http://www.cosmopolitan.com/lifestyle/news/a60355/casey-nocket-creepytings-banned-from-usa-national-parks/

    @ Xena – I love the Franklin Half Dollars. I have a few older ones and all of the early 60’s proof sets, as well.

    I haven’t seen National Treasure. I’ll have to give it a look. Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite Philly movie.

  40. Rob says

    @Just Another Dave In Pa

    I loved those Yelp reviews! Too funny. It reminds me of what my 16 year old son said to us when we took him to the Catskills this past summer: “Why do we have to rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere and hike every day?”

    Someday you will understand . . .

  41. KCSO says

    Well put Cag, & quite true. You’re more polite than I am, I’d simply say there’s a lot of ‘low class’ demeanor and behavior that seems prevalent in the coin collecting community (if you want to call it that), in reading through some of these coin blogs.

    I perused through 4 coin blogs last night and this morning, and my take is that everyone and the brother bought a $5 Parks & Rec UNC, or multiples there of, since Saturday onward.

    Funny thing is, if everyone is true to their word, these chaser’s are likely to pass NPS right through Jackie Robinson and perhaps over the Mark Twain UNC.., how funny would that be? – that Mark Twain UNC commands a premium over NPS as it may end up in 5,600 to 5,700 range, closer to the 5 Star Generals and JR – this will be fun to see how this plays out.

    Oh, and tune back in THIS TME, NEXT YEAR to see how much of a RUN UP the Boys Town $5 UNC will experience towards Jackie (again). LMAO! Happy collecting!

  42. cagcrisp says

    The 3 coin NPS set had sales of 14,456 w/e 12/25/16. Before I left for a 7 mile run there were 77 available. Got back after the Noon ball fell and it was listed as “currently unavailable”

    SO…that Could mean 500 sales of the 3 coin set. IF they bought 500 of the 3 coin set, there is no telling how many of the Gold uncirculated NPS were sold (or how many will be cancelled/returned once they find out it’s not the Low Mintage Wonder).

    And IF by chance it does come in as the Low Mintage Wonder, just wait for boys town, or the next boys town, or the next, or the next or the next.

    And yet the Mint has a summit to figure out why they are losing customers and what to do about it.

    As KCSO says “you can’t make this stuff up”…

  43. artie43 says

    Dustyroads The bi-metal coin was the Library of Congress coin not the Capitol Visitors Center coin.

  44. Xena says

    Just Another Dave In Pa – yes, Silver Linings Playbook is great. People (non-Philadelphians) don’t understand just how well it captures Eagles fans. I have proofs sets back to about ’54. They get expensive after that, so of course my Dad wasn’t able to have any of those.

    Been to the Grand Canyon of PA lately? When I was growing up, my folks had friends with a cabin near there. If the real one only gets 1 star, can’t imagine how the PA one would fare.

    Virginia state parks on also free on New Years.

  45. Xena says

    KCSO – I’m with you on the returns. The problem is that it’s hard to tell when it’s a return “for cause” and just a gamble. There are certainly enough coin problems out there.

  46. Xena says

    Been meaning to report on my gold dime. Packaging/COA are in good shape, doesn’t look like anyone had been through it. Dime is not perfect though. Has a smudge/abrasion on the reverse in between the leaves and AMERICA. Finning isn’t too bad. Considering the odds that any of the “new” coins might be less than perfect, hard to say if this was a new one or a return. I’m not as hung up on perfection as many of you, so it’s a keeper.

    Was my turn for a Memphis issue on my UNC ASE order. Didn’t get any updates to the shipping status, but that happens sometimes. Called after a couple of weeks or so. Mint says they shipped it, FEDEX says they never got it. The Mint did express-ship a replacement and gave me a credit for the shipping fee. The original charge is still being investigated, but since I never received a package I have no doubt I’ll get that back eventually, even if it takes protesting the charge with the credit card company. So they messed up the shipping, but made good on it with the credit for express shipping and I received the package before Christmas. Still have the minor hassle of making sure they refund the original order.

  47. Tinto says

    @cagcrisp
    “And IF by chance it does come in as the Low Mintage Wonder, just wait for boys town, or the next boys town, or the next, or the next or the next.”

    I was briefly tempted to jump into the low mintage game by buying another NPS $5 unc. but held off. I have one already since I liked the design and the theme. It will be interesting to see next week’s sales report from the Mint and the final audited figure (years from now, probably)

    I wonder if the Jackie Robinson $5 (1997) would have had such a low mintage these days with a well established eBay, more flippers, easier and faster internet access speed and info,, Google, internet ordering from the Mint, …..etc. I was using dial up (I think the max speed I had on the modem was 14.4 kbps) back then and paying to access certain BBS’s, Compuserv, Prodigy, AOL ….etc.. .

  48. JBK says

    Xena – that “smudge” might be normal luster or cartwheel effect. My two had it and lots of others did too….

  49. cagcrisp says

    @Tinto, That was the point I made last night in a private email. Things have changed drastically since 1997. Most mint orders back then were mail, telephone or dial up (if you were lucky). There was NO updated mintage figures that were readily accessible to the general public. There were no flippers because the bay was just in infancy in 1997. You bought because you liked, not because you were chasing anything.

    Mintage without demand doesn’t mean anything…

  50. one fine dime says

    KCSO says:
    I perused through 4 coin blogs last night and this morning, and my take is that everyone and the brother bought a $5 Parks & Rec UNC, or multiples there of, since Saturday onward.

    Could you let us know which blogs, I’d like to read these? Thanks!

    If the NPS $5 unc makes the low mintage cut, I expect the hype around that alone will spur sales of next year’s lone Boys Town half eagle, and remember it will be the only $5 gold commem design next year (i.e., Lions Club is only a Silver $1)….”ooh, I missed out, I better start paying attention and buying these $5 commems”

    cagcrisp says:
    And yet the Mint has a summit to figure out why they are losing customers and what to do about it

    Sorry, maybe I’m a bit slow today, but could you explain? I mean the mint is gaining customers that are chasing a potential low mintage issue here, right?

  51. cagcrisp says

    @one fine dime, the Mint customer base has gone from ~ 1.2 million to currently 500k. The Mint isn’t Gaining anything by purchasers chasing anything.

    Chasing Low Mintage Wonders is like being the fastest gun in the west. It’s a game you can’t win (long term).

    Mintage without demand doesn’t mean anything…True demand for this coin should have preceded a Mint cut off deadline…

  52. one fine dime says

    While the 1997 Jackie Robinson is the low mintage key of the series, I’ll refrain from calling it a wonder…other than wondering how such a bad design is in demand at all.

    It is certainly a game with this series (for those that make it one): the ugly duckling is crowned king because no one bought it when it was issued, and therefore it became the rarest of all the modern commem half eagles (uncs). But you are right, these coins will only appreciate in value if the collector base somehow gets turned on about them or maybe if the price of gold drops and then more customers may feel this is a series worth collecting and within their means (it would have to drop a lot).

    But to me this series is way more fun than the fractional AGE’s in that these coins actually represent history, rather than just gold bullion in your hand. If there was a changing reverse silver or fractional gold bullion series other than the (too-expensive-for-me) 1 oz. platinum proof series, I’d probably be all over it, as I think (some) of those platinum reverse designs are incredibly elegant and inspired.

    I like these half eagles because I appreciate numismatics and history, and as a way to invest in gold. I’ll be thrilled to be able to show my grandkids one day these modern commems and talk about the history and design of each. I’m not a completist, I have no intention of trying to obtain them all, and I’m not likely to “chase” anything here. I only own a dozen or so, and I’ve chosen only the designs that appeal to me. This is the only year I’ve waited until the 11th hour to pull the trigger (slowest gun in the east).

  53. Erik H says

    I hope the 2017 HR gold is released early in the year while prices are hopefully still depressed (I hope my C.C. has a 0% promotion too because I am going to need it).

    I did purchase both NPS gold coins on opening day so I’m not a low mintage chaser.

  54. earthling says

    Although the HR ” Sustah” Coin may not be overly popular , look for it to sell fairly well. If for no other reason than because everyone loves Michele Obama and the fine job the First Family has done for World Peace and Harmony. Also the low mintage chasers will be looking for a Home Run with this fugly monsta mis-step .

    😂

  55. one fine dime says

    “sustah”?

    what do the Obama’s have to do with it?!

    the more i see this kind of racist sh*t on this blog the more it reinforces that the majority of coin collectors seem to be a lost vestige from the 1950’s or earlier.

    I’m a white dude in my mid 40’s, and I live in NY. I don’t know who you are or what backwoods rock you hoard your coins under, but you should know that I have no qualms about telling you off if you make blantantly racist comments on this or any other public blog.

  56. So Krates says

    Don’t see much of a difference between cancelling/returning for better gold grid pricing and trying for low mintage.

  57. So Krates says

    Cool thing about Franklins is that you can assemble a full circulated set in a couple hours just going through a few hundred face value bags.

  58. Mintman says

    Im not sure if I will purchase the 2017 HR, depends on proposed mintage, if it will be open ordering period, HH limits.
    While I’m not a huge fan of the design, it doesn’t bother me much either.

  59. says

    I think as some have said, the Mints 225th anniversary coin should be a reproduction of a 1792 coin.
    This anniversary coin is not the time for diversity/PC coinage. That would be better done with a commemorative coin recognizing the African-American contributions to the success of the U.S.

    I would not buy this coin even if it were sold at spot gold prices.

  60. So Krates says

    MNB says, “The Variety 1 dies were also used for silver-clad coins, both circulating and Proof, struck at the San Francisco Mint.”

    I don’t believe any of the silver coins were made for circulation. Shouldn’t the above sentence read “…both Uncirculated and Proof…”?

  61. KML in KY says

    Great article, I really like the simple design of the Franklin half dollar. Aside from the Walking Liberty it is my favorite half. The only thing that looks out of place is the little eagle on the back but of course by law it had to be there.

    With the exception of the silver dollar I like the NPS commems. The designs are pretty good and the subject is appropriate for a commem coin. A couple of months ago I bought a couple more of the unc gold and some of the unc halves. I sent them to NGC and they graded pretty well. It would be nice if they turned out to be the lowest mintage coins and the price went up. I have no problem with flipping when the flipping is good. I also have no problem with sitting on the coins and waiting for a better time to sell even if it’s many years down the road.

    Does anyone know the sales numbers of the 2015 silver proof sets? It is looking like it could be the lowest mintage silver proof set. It would nice if they went up like the 2012 sets did.

  62. cagcrisp says

    Gold AM Fix $1,159.10

    Looking like a Gold Increase next Wednesday. If you want an SLQ or WLH it could be as low as you will get before the Q1 CY17 SO.

    (Thanks again to Wilbur Ross)…

  63. cagcrisp says

    COMPLETELY OT…
    Numbers, numbers, numbers. That’s all I deal with is numbers. Whether it’s gambling or the stock market. Numbers, numbers, numbers…

    I watch numerous bay auctions on a nightly basis. Last night I saw once again what I would term a “no risk” transaction from a “specific” bidder.

    An auction concluded last night for an “1860 Seated Liberty Dollar PROOF, Outstanding Gem PF, Just 1330 Struck!”

    Selling price was $3,827.98 for a Raw/Ungraded coin. Raw and Ungraded for $3,827.98. You can look up the grading guides and see what this coin MUST grade to make it a successful purchase.

    The buyer is the key to this story. The buyer’s 30 Day history shows Total bids of 27 on 26 items bid on. So just Once did this bidder bid twice for an item. Just once. You put in one top bid and let the rest come and get you. OF the 25 one time bids, this bidder has been successful 18 times.

    A great deal of people put in 1 bid on an item and you get it, then you’ve got a good chance you bid too much.

    My gambling side tells me this bidder did not bid too much. My gambling side tells me of the 18 items he/she purchased, none were overpriced. My gambling side tells me that he/she KNOWS what these items will grade before he/she ever bids. My gambling side tells me this is as close to a “no risk” transaction as you can get.

    My gambling side tells me it’s good to have a relationship with a grading firm…

  64. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp, The bidder thinks the coin is at least a pr62+.

    One does in deed have to be very knowledgeable when buying raw coins such as this one. The Bourne company has been selling coins this way for years. They must be making some money doing it.

  65. KCSO says

    One fine Dime – Okay, I will, though I’ll only post those that are not a direct competitor to MNB, I do not feel it would be appropriate to do so – not sure if it matters – though here is a couple that had specific coverage on the potential ‘low mintage wonders’ as this year winds down –

    First, let me caveat this by saying that it just boggles the mind, quite frankly blows my mind, the people that do babbling about low mintages and just throw it out there to attract the WRONG type of crowd. Mind boggling…

    I bought an example of the NPS $5’s back over the summer and was hoping that it would materialize into something with no plans to flip.., I guareentee you that it will NOT now, as there are approximately 700 to 1,100 in the wrong hands and good percentage of those were bought to flip.., to whom to, beats me!

    Here’s a statement that I borrowed from a wise gentleman – sums up my sentiment rather well:
    In horse racing if you have inside information you don’t share with anyone. In the stock market you do just the opposite, you buy and then tout your position. If you have a good coin poistion, and you write about it, all you’re going to do is drive the wrong people to buy it. There are strong hands and there are weak hands. You don’t want to put info in weak hands to screw it up for everyone else.

  66. KCSO says

    One fine Dime – This one just cracks my up and is a true head scratcher.., unless you’ll a shill for JR and/or you have a boat load of Jackie Robinson slabbed coins tucked away you’re looking to off load. By the way, JR MS 70 used to fetch $4,000.., that’s dropped precitiously over the years by over 55%. Some JR UNC’s over the summer sold at auction on the bay in the $800-$900 range.

    Just this out –

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/973170/a-new-modern-key-coin-in-two-weeks-secondary-market-price-to-double/p2

    You just can’t make this stuff up! 😉

  67. KCSO says

    One fine Dime – there’s some more in here,

    http://www.coincommunity.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=115

    Tinto asks a great quetion above, I believe the answer to be a – Resounding No.

    JR was back in ’97 long before internt sales, ebay was just starting out, and there were no no weekly sales reports. The vast majority of JR’s are tucked away in safes, forgotten about, or are part of a inherentance plan.

    There’s not 500 to a 1,000 of them about to hit the bay, or be returned to Memphis.
    Poor fulfilment.., they’re not going to get a break from 2016, hehe.

  68. bobo says

    It would be fun to guess the mintage for the UNC NPS gold $5 to be reported by Cagcrisp on Tuesday. My guess: 5336, just over the JR Unc.

  69. one fine dime says

    Thanks KCSO. I read some of those posts, same type of discussion as on here. I sort of take note of these $5 unch mintages every year, as the year winds down. When the designs are top notch, and gold isn’t sky high, I usually buy one. For this year, I liked the NPS design better than the Twain (though both are pretty great)…maybe I’ll pick up a Twain after market if it makes sense down the road.

    I only chimed in on the low mintage discussions here when others were already talking about it. I figured no harm if the cat is already out of the bag. But I guess I see your point…the more people talking about it just adds to more people that will buy one….which decreases it’s chance for being a new lower low mintage. some sort of positive/negative feedback loop dynamic at play.

    It is interesting to consider that a very good portion of gold $5 commem purchasers are just flippers at heart (the day traders of the coin world), whereas the true coin collectors that really appreciate this series (and the rarity of these low mintages) end up losing out due to them.

  70. Scott says

    @ Steve, I agree 100% with your assessment of the “anniversary coin” and I will not be buying any 2017 products from the U.S. Mint for the following reasons:
    1. Premiums are too high (the ATBs need to be adjusted for lower spot silver prices or that series is dead)
    2. Shipping methods are ridiculous (dumbpost takes too long & you never know what time UPS will deliver)
    3. Gold and Silver Eagle designs are growing old and other designs have less than impressive artwork.
    4. I’m tired of the product availability guessing game, ridiculous household limits, 10 min.sellouts, etc.
    5. Price gouging for the 2016 restrikes in mint state format that cost more than comparable proof coins.
    6. Better values for the money in the classic coin market.

  71. Larry says

    @scott, regarding item 5, that may be true for the dime and half dollar, but if you know of any proof SLQ’s let me know.

  72. Rick says

    Will mint remove all 2015 spouse gold coins in the next few days? Thinking about ordering a few uncirculated bird Johnson gold just in case….

  73. cagcrisp says

    No PM Gold Fix today.

    No Gold Fixes on Monday.

    SO…It all comes down to Tuesday and Wednesday. Currently we are in an Increase mode…

  74. Coin Collector says

    In case you’re interested, here are the sales numbers for the 5 Stars Generals unciruclated gold coin during December 2013:

    Date – Subtotal/Total – Change from previous count

    12/4/2013 4857 90
    12/10/2013 5225 368
    12/18/2013 5512 287
    12/22/2013 5612 100
    12/29/2013 5674 62
    12/31/2013 5658 -16

  75. Jolly says

    Rick, A California dealer told me last week that mint will pull all 2015 spouse gold coins in January 2017. He often gets info from credible source. Do not where he gets info this time.

  76. one fine dime says

    biggest one week jump was 368 coins sold when it looked like a potential to beat the 5,174 JR was possible in early December. Again, we need 715 coins sold in 3.5 days (earlier this week) for the NPS to break the JR low mintage. Not gonna happen.

  77. says

    I got my first glimpse of the 2017 gold Liberty Commemorative that bloggers have been talking about and i think that it may prove to be a good purchase as coins with and Afro-American theme tend to not sell in high numbers but gain in value in the ensuing years. I favor the more traditional Greek inspired designs for Liberty that have been prevalent on U.S. coinage in the past. I tend to believe that this particular motif for liberty could only have been chosen during the administration of the current President and Treasury Secretary, and the choice of design is a reflection of the zeitgeist, or sign of the current time (i don’t’ think this coin would be issued under a Trump administration). The coin seems to represent the triumph of the current administration, however transitory that may be, so whether the readers of this blog like it or not, it is what it is, and those who don’t like it should leave it to others to enjoy for the particular period in time it commemorates.

  78. cagcrisp says

    EVERY YEAR at this time of the year Rick and Cohorts come in and PUMP the FS coins. EVERY YEAR they say the Mint will pull FS coins…

    The Mint has listed the Last Chance coins and the FS coins are NOT on the list.

    Buyers beware…

  79. Rick says

    Cagcrisp, do you own this blog? You post daily, and you blame me almost every time after I post a message, did I say that mint will pull them by year end? Please do not be so hostile to your fellow collectors. This blog is for info sharing and constructive discussion.

  80. earthling says

    I “found” a Jefferson’s Liberty Proof last night that I had lost years ago. It had fallen behind a Filing Cabinet. Hadn’t seen the thing in years and know what ? I thought the Coin was absolutely beautiful!

    I might just have to finish out the FS Liberties subset – in Proof – that would be a really beautiful subset.

  81. KEITHSTER says

    Surely the unc. half will be a new low glad I ordered a box full from the getgo! Like the arrowhead on these coins so I got some, Debated getting an extra $5 unc but did not but do have the six coin set still in the box! Think there will be a after market for the unc.s by people looking to make up the six coin set? Well Good Luck And Happy New Year All “>”>”>”>”>”>

  82. says

    Again, for the MINTS 225th anniversary….any classic coin would be great….Barber, trade dollars, peace & Morgan dollars, Indian Head coins and countless others that are representative of the 225 year history of the Mints many classic design But an Afro-American with cornrows does not represent the Mints past 225 years. This coin would be better off as a sign of FUTURE diversity by the Mint,….this coin in no way represents the 225 year history of the Mint.

    To me, as we say in the south….”that dog don’t hunt” regarding this coin.

  83. Buzz Killington says

    The FSes are definitely being pumped by someone. I don’t think very many of them are in collector hands. It will be interesting to see what happens with them. “The set that costs as much as most houses….”

    I don’t see how cag posting his opinion is any different Jolly posting a fake “hot tip”. If someone has a REAL tip that FSes are going to explode, he should act on it, not blab about it. And so, like most tips, use your common sense.

  84. Dustyroads says

    If the CCAC wants the Mint to express a progression from a slave owning society in 1792 to equal opportunity in 2017, isn’t that a viable program for a coin release? The last time I checked, 2016 saw it’s fair share of racial divide. Think what you want of it, but it’s on the minds of everyone.

  85. HarryB says

    eBay activity on First Spouse coins appears to be end of the year inventory reduction by sellers both big and small. I added one piece to my collection this week.

  86. Louis Golino, Author says

    I’m hesitant to wade in these treacherous waters, but let me try to clarify some things. The American Liberty HR gold and silver medal program was proposed by the CCAC as an ongoing series and was designed to showcase modern America in all its glory and diversity, and that is why you see so many proposed designs that feature non-traditional images of Liberty. It was never intended as another program to recycle old designs. If the gold centennials, Buffalo gold, silver and gold eagles, etc. are not enough for you, many bullion sellers produce silver replicas of the old designs like the 1804 silver dollar that are a little over spot. And the Mint will probably issue a few more such coins in the future too.
    The Mint in 2015 was not sure about doing an ongoing Liberty series, and they delayed the medal until 2016, but by that time they had agreed with the CCAC to make this an ongoing series of gold coins and accompanying silver medals.
    Now as for the 225th anniversary, the 2017 Liberty coin was not originally intended for that purpose, but the Mint decided to make that one of the products that would be issued for this anniversary along with the medals and the first enhanced unc set.

  87. HarryB says

    As all know, the US Government is undergoing Presidential transition. The incoming Administration is the most energetic I have observed in the last 24 years, reviewing all proposed contract awards of significant value which would be made by the end of April as an example of depth of penetration, faster than normal. All matters not required by law or regulation may be subject to review and revision as judged by the new Administration. My point is such discretionary programs as the proposed 2017 Mint 225th anniversary High Relief Gold coin may be revised. Since the Mint claimes a profit is generated on discretionary programs, this program may not be revised.

  88. Louis Golino, Author says

    As for the $5 gold commems, people who collect these coins are well aware of the mintages of every single coin and every year at this time they get excited when the numbers are low. This info. is readily available , and it is not a secret whether or not a few coin bloggers decide to piss off KSCO and spill the beans. It does not matter as writers like myself, David Harper, and others, whose articles are read by way more people than coin forum blog posts will always write articles late in the year drawing attention to this area as a service to collectors. What matters is not some unrealistic effort to “keep this quiet,” but whether or not people put their money where their mouths are. In the end, there is rarely a direct connection between mintages and secondary values. The market has to sort things out.

  89. Dustyroads says

    Oh Louis Golino, Author thank you, this whole strange conversation about the gold NPS has been very awkward to say the least. I’ve had it reappear in my mind too many times today, and each time it does I sense that something is wrong somewhere.

  90. Louis Golino, Author says

    Thanks, Dusty. Once again you show us that you are a true gentleman, just trying to figure it all out like the rest of us. By the way, I liked what you said about the Liberty coin. I’ve never seen anywhere where the Mint laid out their thinking, but what you said makes perfect sense to me. I wish you a safe and healthy 2017 and hope that all of us in the coming year will try to focus more on our enjoyment of this great hobby and less on how to corner the market or make a killing. Believe me, it won’t work anyway, esp. not with modern coins that are by definition not scarce.

  91. Dustyroads says

    Thank you Louis, I wish you a prosperous and healthy 2017. May you ever be surrounded by friends and loved ones.

  92. Buzz Killington says

    I thought I was going to quit buying all new moderns after this year, and instead just go back and fill in certain things from my collection. However, I think this nonsense vitriol over a black Liberty has made me want to buy one. If I want to see more innovation from the Mint, and less Boys Town, I have to vote with my dollars.

    I think the future is going to look a lot more like @cagcrisp is predicting, which is demand-driven. Private mints can made very attractive pieces that sell for much less premium than issues from the Mint. I am thinking of the Egyptian themed 2-ounce rounds, the Privateers, and even the Zombucks (remember them?). These, too, are likely to drift back to bullion prices, unless you can find the right buyer — locating the demand.

    It is strange, though. I like to think of myself as logical, but if silver jumped up to $50 tomorrow, other than some circulated 40% silver halves, I would not want to part with very much of my silver accumulation. I would have to comb through it, looking for duplicates. I guess that is what makes me a collector, rather than a stone cold analyst.

    Of course, if I were starving, or couldn’t pay my mortgage, it would be different.

    Anyway, Happy New Year to the MNB crew — even YOU fmt!

  93. jhawk92 says

    .@Xena-
    Nice to read of someone else who collects the proof sets. I am complete back to 1950 and mid 50s on the uncirc sets. I’d like to keep going, but as you said, the remaining ones are pricey and tough to verify they are actually original. But I’ll keep trying as I think it is a pretty impressive collection.

    Good comments on the Franklin half, I put together a complete uncirc/proof set for not a ton of money and it looks pretty sharp in a Dansco album. The Ike dollars do as well, and I love the big “canvas” to work with.

    Diana, great article here and thanks again for the tip on the AtB book. My copy arrived today, and while I have had a chance to read through it, a quick glance seems like it will be a good resource and a nice companion for the pucks or actual quarters. I almost bought the 3 uncirc NPS coins to be part of the overall set, but I thought I would wait and watch pricing in the future, maybe to get a bit of a break on the high mint surcharges. Time will tell.

  94. bobo says

    The crack in the liberty bell is central to its beauty. It symbolizes the fragility of our calls to let freedom ring, and the ever-present danger that liberty will go silent in this country because we the people failed to fight for it against oligarchs who feel threatened by us commoners having too much freedom to do or say as we please. This is especially true now as we face a growing Big Brother NSA/CIA/FBI/DHS State that surveils and tracks us on our smartphones, monitors us on facebook and google, and increasingly seeks to censor us on the internet in the name of protecting us from terrorism and “fake news”. This rising police state is by far the greater threat to human liberty than any dangers posed by terrorists. Let the word “LIBERTY” on our coins remind us of its fragility. Let it remind us that there are tyrants among us who want it only in name. As we begin 2017 many of us are worried that America is lurching toward civil strife if not internal or external war. If in the end we must fight for the future of America, may we fight on the side of Liberty and the Bill of Rights.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” –Thomas Jefferson

  95. hawkster says

    Gary,
    Two questions: Are you still shoveling out the snow up there in Maine? Do you have cross country skis?

  96. cagcrisp says

    I missed my Gold prediction for year end 2016 by $31.00

    I commented on this blog that I thought Gold would close 2016 under $1,070 +/- $50.00.

    Way too many tweets for me to make a Gold prediction for 2017…

  97. Louis Golino, Author says

    Thanks, Diana. Best wishes for 2017!

    As for the mint’s anniversary plans, personally I would like to see something that more specifically references the origins of the Mint itself in addition to what has been announced. Some kind of special silver coin or medal that shows the original mint or the first coin minted, the silver half disme, or a medal of the first mint director, etc.

  98. Mint News Blog says

    @Louis, yes! I love the Banco de Mexico’s series on classic Mexican coins (another subject I was introduced to while working on a book). They’re bimetallic, with a universal golden-bronze outer ring and a sterling silver center on which each coin replicates a different classic design. They covered everything from the venerable pillar dollar, through the coinages of the colonial era, the War of Independence, and the Revolution, and on up to the 1950 Railroad peso. They even replicated a milled 8 reales from which a star-shaped 3-bit piece was punched (represented by an incused area, not an actual hole in the coin). Prior to that, the Sociedad Numismática de México produced a series of medals on the theme, only these were monometallic. How cool would it be to see a trime of half disme, floating like a jewel in the middle of a U.S. coin or medal? I’d especially love to see that on circulating coins — how many people might develop an interest in collecting, if they knew such coins existed? To readers of this blog it might seem laughable that anyone wouldn’t know about two-cent pieces, but I’d be willing to bet more than half of the adult U.S. population would be surprised to know they existed.

    Best wishes for 2017 to you, too!

  99. Louis Golino, Author says

    Lots of great ideas, Diana. And I love the Mexican series too, though I think I am missing one set from the collection. I love the idea of a bimetal reproduction of the first U.S. coins, or a bimetal 18th century type set. I also agree a circulating set would be ideal, but I have a feeling it would be a hard sell with the Congress. A couple years ago something similar was proposed, and they were even given estimates of the millions in seigniorage it would produce, and it went nowhere. But a bimetal series for collectors priced at a level everyone could afford might be more doable.

  100. says

    2017 High Relief Liberty –

    What follows this release in 2018, 2019, 2020?

    Are there follow on HR releases planned?

    Is there a HR plan?

    Is the ’17 a final release?

    Or has there been discussions on follow up designs?

    My gut feels like this “now series” will be headed in the direction of the FS or P Pucks series have taken, though it’s just a gut feel’n

    Hence, I was wondering if there is a grandiose plan or direction envisioned, or is it wait and see…

  101. Dustyroads says

    That gut feeling is there for a good reason, because you know the Mint needs to fill a space which will be open.

  102. says

    Steve – I got a hunt’n dog, and “that dog don’t hunt” either. Best $1,350 I’ve ever spent and easiest check I ever wrote, hence I had a chuckle at your saying, though to your point, my no hunting 76 lbs lap dog does LOOK LIKE his intended purpose.

    What I liked about the ’15 Liberty High Relief, or I should say, what resonated with me, was the symbolic images of Liberty in the American Flag, the Torch, the image of a modern Standing Liberty.

    The ’17 HR is a design of a head of a person with stars around her head, I simply fail to make the connection to Liberty or the 225th Anniversary, hence its intended purpose, perhaps it’s just me being slow.

    Anyhoo, this dog don’t hunt, Steve – I think I’ll go drop the $1,640 likely cost of this coin and get me another dog that don’t hunt 😃 pun intended

    One fine Dime – you’ve already called me racist over on Coin News, so I’m noting that here so that you may avoid going into another tirade here 😘

  103. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I hope 2017 holds more great things for this blog. This article is one of my favorites. I love the tie-in to kintsugi. …very wabi-sabi.
    The reference to the Jubilee is also nice. I first heard of The Jubilee from David Graeber’s 5000 Years of Debt. Graeber was influential in the Occupy Wall St movement and http://rollingjubilee.org/ was one of the better things to come out of that. It’s now called https://debtcollective.org/ but it follows along the same guidelines as a Jubilee.

    It’s good to know that a founding principle of this country involves the Jubilee. Our founders were some of the most socially aware people I can think of even if they did own slaves. It sounds a bit hypocritical but they left room for changes.

    Maybe Miss Liberty could use a makeover. I’ve always liked the French Marianne. I’m sure no one objects to using Brigitte Bardot or Catherine Deneuve as models for Marianne and it’s not such a big deal to have an African-American Liberty. It all seems a bit gimmicky to me…. like a marketing strategy designed to attract new folks to mint products with a broader appeal but I’m not so sure how effective it will be. oh, well.

    @Xena – yes, the Pine Creek Gorge is a favorite place for me. The Black Forest Trail and the Golden Eagle Trail are some of the finest trails in Pa. The State Forests are great places to get away from the crowds.

    So, Happy Trails and Happy New Year to All!

  104. Mark Rex says

    Does anyone know the last day the U.S. Mint will be able to sell the gold quarter and half? (SLQ and WLH). I haven’t been able to find a date.

  105. DBR says

    I’m a commemorative fan but I bought them slowly throughout the year. I held off on most of them until the end of the year. I didn’t buy any of the Mark Twain series, however. But I did buy all silver proof and unc versions of the NPS series (not the gold $5 piece).

    I have no enthusiasm for any of the 2017 designs. I liked the March of Dimes set, but these 2017 commem themes approach a “chamber of commerce” level to me and I’m uninspired to buy. I know these organizations do/did a lot of great work but I am passing on them.

    Only my opinion, but Boys Town and Lions Club belong on medals not coins. The same could have been said for March of Dimes, but the unique dime that came with the set was clever and appropriate.

    Happy New Year to all! 2017 here we come!

  106. says

    KCSO…I used to have a pet wolf..95% pure. But he was so friendly and wasn.t a hunting dog either.

    For anyone not familiar with the expression “that dog don’t hunt” it is just a polite way of saying “well that sh*t don’t get it” .

    It could range from many situations…for example, you could call me and say…”I was stuck in traffic for three hours today ” and I could reply “well, that dog don’ hunt!”

    Anyway back to coins, I’m looking at Saint Gaudens and $5 Indian Head coins.

    Diana, Louis (and Louis we also go back many years)…thank you both for your insightful comments…especially on the 2017 HR where we all have our own prospective on it…but ya’ll have done a great job of being impartial and not letting use lose focus. So, I’ just gonna say as we always do…if you like a coin buy it, if you don’, don’t buy it. And we shouldn’t feel obligated to explain or justify our decisions.

    I wish EVERYONE a Happy New Year!

  107. Louis Golino, Author says

    Thanks very much, Steve. All the best to you as well, old friend, for the coming year!

    One correction to my brief overview above on the Liberty series and the Mint’s 225th anniv., I was thinking about the meeting when the Mint proposed the 2017 coin and they did say then that it would be intended to mark the anniversary, which is why they wanted the edge lettering.
    I do think we will see more HR Liberty gold and silver in 2018 and beyond, though sales of the 2017 coin will be a factor and if there are really that many folks who don’t like it, it may not sell well.
    But remember the reaction to the 2015 coin was very negative too until people saw it in hand. Some people may warm up to it later. Others won’t.
    I can’t afford the gold, but I will buy the silver medals for sure.

  108. cagcrisp says

    Everyone needs to keep in mind that we will shortly have a new POTUS and new Treasury Secretary and what has been decided , discussed and talked about was with a previous administration. The new administration and hopefully a confirmed Mint Director may have a Completely different prospective than the past.

    The Obama administration was said to be the most diverse in history. The potential Trump cabinet is said to be the Wealthiest in History.

    Could change a Lot of things up at the Mint or they may not even care…

  109. The Kid says

    I purchased my last two First Spouse gold coins this week.

    Mrs. Nixon and Mrs. Ford are my final F.S. coins, unless the mint eventually extends the Series to include the Clintons. Seems only fair to have Hillary on a coin too.

    If the U.S. mint can produce a coin that celebrates “a none elected President like Ford” does democracy really exist? Hillary did win the popular vote to be President. Maybe it is time to extend the F.S. series to include Bush and Clinton.

    Talk about gross distortions to our American Democratic process by an antiquated Electoral System.

    Happy New Year…

    The Kid

  110. Mint News Blog says

    Here’s to all of you Mint News Bloggers: a safe and happy New Year’s weekend, and a prosperous, enjoyable 2017. Thank you for your patience as I’ve fumbled my way along, for your insightful comments, and for your excellent suggestions. If I’ve posted some items you’ve enjoyed, it’s because your commentary pointed the way. May joy go with you and peace behind you in the year ahead. Cheers! 🎆

  111. joe#2 says

    I am not ruling out the 2017 HR gold coin as of yet. When i see the “real piece” pics, I will decide then. Play it by ear… Happy and Healthy ALL…

  112. cagcrisp says

    The First Spouse page shows that the Same First Spouse coins are Again waiting to die on the vine…

  113. So Krates says

    The Frederick Douglass house has returned from the firmament. Glad to see they added some foreground to anchor the structure.

  114. Coin Collector says

    Other than the 2017 gold Liberty coin and commemorative coins, will there be any special products this year?

  115. mgm says

    I think the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri ATB 5 ozer will be a hit. Love the design.

  116. Dustyroads says

    I still don’t see stars on the little boys flag for the Ellis AtB. I thought for sure they would be added before the finished product was released. Overall, the designs look like good ones.

  117. hawkster says

    Dusty,
    Ellis Island accepted immigrants from 1892 to 1954. During this time period the United States flag went from 44 to 48 stars. Perhaps the designer of the Ellis Island ATB did not want to lock in a particular time period, choosing instead to leave the star field blank.

  118. Dustyroads says

    hawkster, That’s a good reason. I would say the time period by the style of clothing looks like to me to be turn of the century.

  119. hawkster says

    Definitely, Dusty. The clothing style does point to late 1800’s – early 1900’s on this ATB design.

  120. Dustyroads says

    Silver Proof Set collectors…are you guys watching the mintage of the newly pulled 2015 sets? I may take just a peek…

  121. data dave says

    @Dusty – I think you and I are the only ones concerned with proof sets on this blog. The 2015 silver set will be a new low if they pull it.

  122. KML in KY says

    Dustyroads – as of 12/26/16 the sales number for the 2015 Silver Proof Set was 386,049. Which is 9,394 less than the 2012. We’ll have to wait and see what the final number is.

  123. Dustyroads says

    They aren’t available anymore, and an added bonus is the lack of the 50,000 other proof coins which was supposed to be in the LESPS.

    Last reported sales gains were as follows:

    11/14-358
    11/20-315
    11/27-533
    12/04-937
    12/11-859
    12/18-543
    12/25-800

    It would be vastly unrealistic to not expect a sizable jump in sales after the last report, but this will be an interesting learning experience.

  124. data dave says

    @Dusty – And the sales of the 2016 set are ahead of where the 2015 set was at the end of last year. So with that and the 2016 LESPS, the 2015 will be the temporary key. I track the regular and silver sets and the silver set sales have held up better than the regular.

  125. hawkster says

    Imaging the Alley Mill and spill water over the dam make for a great design on the Ozark ATB. There are many historic structures in the Ozark Riverways N.P., this being one of them.
    The design, like the Smokey Mountain ATB, incorporates a man made structure with a nature scene. The coin should be very successful.

  126. Mattarch says

    While I am not tracking the Silver Proof set sales numbers I do appreciate you posting sales numbers here. I purchase a Silver Proof Set every year and while not planning to sell, it is interesting to have the sales number information.

  127. 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air says

    Let’s bring back the liberty bell on our coinage for the tricentennial celebration of 2076.

  128. Old Big Bird says

    Unless I am mistaken below are the numbers fo Silver proof set going back to 1999 when the state quarters came out. The 2016 number is as of 12/26/16.

    Yes the 2015 are 9,394 less than 2012 and I believe the mint has stated it will stop selling the 2015’s as if 01/01/17.

    The 2016 as of12/26/16 is 42,238 less than 2012, but who knows how many the minted and have in their inventory. And they will not give you that answer unless you use the Freedom of Information Act to get it.

    1999 804,565
    2000 965,421
    2001 889,697
    2002 892,229
    2003 1,125,755
    2004 1,175,934
    2005 1,069,679
    2006 1,054,008
    2007 875,050
    2008 763,887
    2009 697,365
    2010 585,401
    2011 500,395
    2012 395,443
    2013 419,720
    2014 429,493
    2015 386,049
    2016 353,205

  129. Barry says

    @ The Kid- “Talk about gross distortions to our American Democratic process by an antiquated Electoral System”.

    Sorry, but the founders of the U.S. Constitution and their decision on the Electoral System carry more weight with me than you do. No offense.

    btw, it’s good that you have some gold.

  130. one fine dime says

    @Barry – please consider the motivations behind why certain founders pushed for the electoral college before you place it on some holier than though pedestal. He’s right, it is antiquated and is in fact a vestige of slavery! It is absolutely undemocratic.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/electoral-college-slavery-constitution/

    …the Electoral College included the “three-fifths compromise,” where black people could be counted as three-fifths of a person, instead of a whole.

  131. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    MGM, et al,

    I also feel the Ozark is by far the best of the 2017 ATB designs, and it may be the only puck I buy next year (the turtle Ozark design would also have been great).

    This year I purchased four (of the five) five ounce ATB designs in one or both finishes (mostly bullion due to the price of the vapor blasted). In 2015 I purchased three of the five puck designs, including at least one of each finish. The designs for 2018 are much more appealing to me than the 2017, and I may buy all five that year.

    Speaking of Tercentenaries, I recently picked up a couple of Connecticut (1635-1935) bronze medals that I really like, especially a Whitehead and Hoag example, at prices a tiny fraction of the cost of the 1935 Connecticut Tercentenary silver Commemorative (mintage 25.018). All depict the Charter Oak, which I greatly admire for both historical significance and beautiful imagery.

    Will also be passing on the 2017 Liberty gold due to price, but will get the silver. As others have noted, the “Large Stars” headband devices reprised from the Capitol dome Statue of Freedom are NOT an inappropriate modern design feature.

    I agree the Electoral College should be retired in favor of a majority vote Presidential election, but don’t see it happening soon.

    Buy what you like and can afford (unless you would rather only buy gifts and/or what has high demand).

    Enjoy this hobby if you are a hobbyist and Happy New Year to All.

  132. one fine dime says

    @Qui Transtulit Sustinet –
    I was born in CT but was raised (and currently live) in NY. I’ve been looking on and off for a nice but affordable example of that 1935 commemorative half dollar…I don’t currently own any classic commems. I agree the charter oak depiction on that coin is really sharp!

    Speaking of medals, I’m a bit disappointed that aside from the gold, this new modern Liberty series are being issued as silver medals and not as silver coins. Medals do not show up in the annual Red Book (as far as I’ve seen), and my impression is that they are not considered on par with coins in the numismatic community. That is, they will necessarily be relegated to a peripheral realm of niche medal collecting, which I think is odd and unfortunate.

    So the wealthier among us who can afford these 1 oz gold coins every year will be buying something that is considered within the cannon of coin collecting, while those of a more modest budget who buy the silver medal will be buying something that is NOT considered within that same cannon.

    I believe the current Liberty medals meets all the requirements of 31 U.S. Code § 5112 (e), except the US Mint chose to skip four out of the seven required inscriptions from part (4), and thereby made it a medal.

    Does anyone have particular insight on this medal vs coin consideration for the silver vs the gold?

  133. Buzz Killington says

    It is definitely true that slave states wanted slaves counted as “people” even though not “voters”, same as for all women. The 3/5 compromise, distinguished from counting a slave as a whole person, was to the benefit of the non-slave states.

    I’m not sure what that has to do with the electoral college. If you look at our relatively few constitutional amendments, we have already replaced one constitutional mandate — election of U.S. Senators by the state legislatures, instead of a direct election. If you want to call a handful of amendments a “trend,” the trend is for expanding the franchise, and the things which can be voted on. It would not surprise me if the electoral college were either disbanded, or made obsolete by the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, at some point during my lifetime. But on the other hand, change is slow.

  134. one fine dime says

    Clearly the 3/5 compromise benefitted the slave states and NOT the non-slave states. That is, the number of electors in each state are determined by the population in each state. Therefore, each slave owner’s vote was not multiplied by one (one person = one vote), it was actually multiplied by three fifths times the number of slaves owned. Therefore if one person owned 100 slaves, they got 60 votes. Right?

    Obviously, it is reprehensible to give slave owners’ votes more weight due to the number of slaves they own. Whether it is based on 1x, 3/5x, or what have you. The electoral college is a crude mechanism that to this day gives rural voters more say than urban voters. That is a fact!

    I believe if anything is to be considered a “scheme” (per the Mark Levin article) it is obviously the electoral college, not a “one person = one vote” approach.

    It is absolutely embarrasing that the US, a country that is looked up to in the world for holding high ideals when it comes to democracy, is still using such a system.

  135. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    @ one fine dime

    I was also born in Connecticut and attended undergraduate college in New York, then back to Connecticut for some of my graduate school and grad degree.

    I am somewhat put off by the number of coins that I feel were probably cleaned that I run across while looking for a 1935 CT commemorative. Sometimes the cleaning is disclosed, sometimes not, I’m no expert on the cleaning of silver coins, so I’m wary of overpaying. As you know, pictures of offered coins are not always the best for detecting cleaning abrasions, actual luster/tone etc. It sure is a beautiful coin, though!

    Agree on the relative lack of respect for medals versus coins among many collectors, although I also feel medals may be gaining in respect/popularity and may be judged more on their merits in the future than in the past, especially as we near and eventually reach the end of circulating coinage as a significant payment medium.

    Let’s face it, five ounce silver “coins” with a denominational value of 25 cents (ATB’S) are basically US Mint produced precious metal medals, not true “coins”.

    “Buy what you like and choose to afford ” is a better description for many than “Buy what you like and can afford.”

  136. one fine dime says

    @Qui Transtulit Sustinet-
    I hear ya on trying to detect cleaned coins from online pics. I’ve been burned before. If not TPG slabbed or a modern coin in OGP, maybe it’s best to buy at a local coin shop or a coin show in order to see it in hand.

    I can see the medal-coin line blurring in some cases. Though for these new Liberty medals, the extent of open fields seems stark (and the proof mirrors seem to accentuate that)….for someone that is typically looking at coins. No E Pluribus Unum, no IGWT (fine w/ me), no denomination, and no indication of purity (I believe these are the same as ASE’s
    but no inscription to indicate it). These considerations and the 2nd class status typical of medals (vs coins) might effect future collectibility.

  137. jhawk92 says

    @ Dustyroads/data dave/Old Big Bird-
    Count me in on the proof set group, as I get a couple of each type each year. If the silver set is trending down in montage, then I’ll take a small bit of comfort in my purchases. Thanks for the numbers.

  138. So Krates says

    The two articles posted above both dealing with the electoral college are a great example of how two different organizations approach the same topic. The NPR article tries to be down the middle but strays a bit left, while the heritage article is quite biased to the right. I can only imagine a Marc Levin analysis of the issue. It’s probably like getting investment advice form Peter Schiff

  139. So Krates says

    Regardless of its origin, we all know the importance and effect of the electoral college now. It is to dilute the “urban” vote. It is part of a long list of anti-democratic measures enacted to give white male landowners more power than the peasants. From literacy tests to voter ID laws, white men have always struggled to emphasize the republic and downplay democracy. As demographics get worse they grow more desperate. Be careful what you wish for. Zimbabwe, South Africa, Syria, Iraq and other places have gone from undemocratic minority rule to majority rule with devastating consequences. Israel is struggling with the same issue, i.e.how to be fair and democratic but still preserve the character and norms of a nation with demographics working against that.

  140. So Krates says

    One last off topic point on the popular/electoral vote. Copper Face won the electoral college because that’s how you win the office. If popular vote gets you in, his team would have campaigned differently e.g. spent more resources in CA, and may very well have won the popular vote. It’s somewhat intellectually dishonest to cling to the fact that because Trump lost the popular vote, it isn’t as legitimate a victory.

  141. cagcrisp says

    Inverse correlation between Gold and stock futures today. When stock futures took off , Gold declined. A Lot of people were thinking there would be stock selling at the start of the new year to push gains into 2017 because of supposedly more favorable tax laws.

    We’ll see how this plays out when the stock markets are officially open for 2017 trading…

  142. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Has the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Ltd. also been outsourced to Brazil, China or wherever? Or is it simply being shut down? Or is it being moved somewhere else in Britain? I pray the latter.
    It was quote the “first established in 1570, during the reign of Elizabeth I—is the oldest manufacturing business in the United Kingdom”, unquote. This looks like greed or complete negligence to me. I mean, come on, this is almost 500 years in operation and they are just going to throw away this important and historical cultural heritage of their own country?
    This is totally unacceptable.

  143. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    I pray no workers are losing their jobs to this utter negligence and nonsense.

  144. hawkster says

    Qui,
    I do agree with you in regard to the 5 oz. ATB’s being monetized at a mere 25 cents. Perhaps it may have been better to add, on the obverse, the designation: 5 Troy oz. .999 silver”. Such a designation would give a true representation of its actual bullion value.

  145. cagcrisp says

    @joe#2,

    Nope

    The Gold PM Fix is $1,151.00.

    Current spot price of Gold is ~ $1,160.00.

    The Mint uses the London Gold Fixes…

  146. So Krates says

    @ hawkster – How would moving the weight and purity inscription from the edge to the obverse make any difference?

  147. So Krates says

    The strong early opening for PMs for the year is positive for coins. I predict we’ll see $9,000 gold before we see $900

  148. hawkster says

    So Krates,
    Having only purchased some of the encapsulated and uncirculated “P” versions from the Mint, I never closely examined the edge of these 5 oz ATB coins, which is somewhat shrouded by the joining of the upper and lower halves of the capsule. Now that you have brought it to my attention, I now realize that it is, indeed, marked with the .999 fine silver, 5 oz. designation. Thanks. And I’m glad it is marked as such.

  149. cagcrisp says

    16CA 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOLD PROOF 4,915 + 86
    16CB 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOLD UNC 5,201 + 742
    16CC 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SILVER PROOF 62,772 +449
    16CD 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE SILVER UNC 21,003 + 382
    16CE 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD PROOF 40,367 + 185
    16CF 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD UNC 21,335 + 1,687
    16CG 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 3-COIN SET 14,595 + 139

    16CH 2016 MARK TWAIN GOLD PROOF 13,271 + 117
    16CJ 2016 MARK TWAIN GOLD UNC 5,701 + 100
    16CK 2016 MARK TWAIN SILVER PROOF 78,549 + 449
    16CL 2016 MARK TWAIN SILVER UNC 26,291 + 141

  150. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 59,769 +780
    16XB 2016 MERCURY DIME 24K GOLD .1OZ 124,910 (5)
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 86,351 + 645

  151. cagcrisp says

    A Lot of returned Unc Silver Eagles

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 525,386 + 3,954

    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 21,619 +432
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,342 +109
    16ED 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 7,135 –
    16EE 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 21,619 (34)
    16EF 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 15,693 + 272

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 163,882 (8,920)

  152. cagcrisp says

    16AL 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – HARP FRY 18,743 + 111
    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MOULTRIE 15,953 +275

  153. cagcrisp says

    16RA 2016 AMERICAN $1 COIN & CURRENCY SET 46,208 +282
    16RB 2016 ANNUAL UNCIRCULATED DOLLAR COIN SET 15,045 +1,003
    16RC 2016 LIMITED EDITION SILVER PROOF SET 34,499 + 1,308

  154. cagcrisp says

    Some people Bought the rumor…Shame…

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,443 +8
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,531 + 54
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,201 + 22
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,501 + 64
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,262 + 32
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,744 +23

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,586 + 6
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,809 +3
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 1,913 + 7
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,439 +15
    JQ7 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 2,611 + 8
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,724 + 7

  155. cagcrisp says

    Jackie Robinson uncirculated 5,174
    NPS uncirculated 5,201

    All you need is 27 out of 742 to be returned to get the New Low Mintage Wonder…

  156. one fine dime says

    16CB 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOLD UNC 5,201 + 742

    who thinks at least 27 of these will be returned? that would be less than 4% of those purchased in the last week.

  157. Artie43 says

    We probably will not know until the final audited numbers years from now. As I recall from previous years( and correct me if I”m wrong) the mint will not update the sales numbers of the last chance items again.

  158. So Krates says

    @ data dave/ Dustyroads/ Old Big Bird and anyone else with an opinion – Without considering the 2016 set, now that we know the 2015 silver proof set’s unaudited mintage is lower than 2012, what are your price predictions for the ’15s? Thanks

  159. Joe says

    Oh,No. I will return mine. Robinson is still the King.

    one fine dime says
    JANUARY 3, 2017 AT 4:56 PM

    16CB 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GOLD UNC 5,201 + 742

    who thinks at least 27 of these will be returned? that would be less than 4% of those purchased in the last week

  160. Tinto says

    @cagcrisp

    Thanks for posting the numbers.

    Wonder if the NPS gold unc would have gotten such mileage if there wasn’t instantaneous communications (email/internet/blogs/articles) and a ready made place (eBay) for pure speculators and flippers to hawk their purchases and make a quick buck.

  161. Joseph says

    Let me get a 2015 silver set at bay asap before the price goes up
    2015 set is the new KING!

  162. cagcrisp says

    @Tinto, So true on the first part of your statement. There may be Some flippers that make Some money but This Low Mintage Wonder will be a fleeting breed with the percentage of tourists to residents…

  163. Joseph says

    I will return my NPS gold unc. what if the mintage number goes up next week? not going to take that risk.
    hmm… really interesting this year. looks like lot of flippers bought it at the last minutes.

  164. Joseph says

    NPS clad proof and UNC are also the new keys, right?

    16CE 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD PROOF 40,367
    16CF 2016 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CLAD UNC 21,335

  165. Dustyroads says

    So Krates, I can only guess the set, especially unaccompanied by a LESPS, has the potential to do as well or greater than the 2012.

  166. mintman says

    Might want to hang on a week or two, separate the men from the boys, you bet 27 or more will be returned.

  167. Brad says

    So Krates,

    Unfortunately, no one will really care about the lower mintage of the 2105 Silver Proof Set. Coins and sets that hang around that long and are taken off sale as a “last chance” item don’t ever seem to get any respect. People will continue to pay through the nose for the 2012 set (which sold out relatively early and by surprise), while despite it’s lower mintage the 2015 set will continue to hang around near issue price for years to come. That’s my prediction, anyway.

  168. Brad says

    That’s 2015 set, obviously! 🙂 None of us will be around in 2105 to see what ANY of this stuff is selling for!

  169. Buzz Killington says

    Interesting situation with the NPS BU golds. It is like a modified prisoner’s dilemma. Return the coin and help others with the lower mintage, or keep it, knowing that if everyone else kept it, it is above the Jackie Robinson mintage, and thus has no immediate flip potential.

    I’m not sure it matters what the final mintage is. These will not bring a premium, in my opinion.

  170. Einbahnstrasse says

    NPS clad unc is a new low by a wide margin (previous low was 38095 for the 5-Star Generals). NPS clad proof has total sales of nearly 55000 (counting those in the 3-coin proof set), so it doesn’t beat out the 5-Star Generals clad proof at 47326.

    The Twain gold proof seems to be the new low for that category, though. The previous low was, again, the 5-Star Generals at 15834.

  171. Hidalgo says

    Concerning the 2015 S Silver Proof Set, 2016 NPS uncirculated gold commemorative coin, and the 2016 NPS uncirculated clad commemorative coin: I do not see much secondary market movement or a surge in buyers purchasing these items at this time. If this trend continues, then demand will be relatively weak and secondary market prices will remain relatively stable.

    Now, if there were a “surprise” sell out, the story would be different….. Buyers would be purchasing coins from secondary markets quickly, driving up prices……

  172. achmed says

    @KML in KY
    Please do that. You will still own 72 for sale. and make a lot of people happy.

  173. cagcrisp says

    Gold AM Fix $1,165.90….

    There were some fixes missed because of Holidays and I don’t know if the mint needs a specific number of fixes or not. According to what I see all we need is $1,150.00 or Above on the PM Fix and we will have a price Increase this afternoon…

  174. data dave says

    My thoughts on the 2015 silver proof set is that it has a better chance for long term appreciation IF the number increases in 2016 and 2017. Even though the 2015 clad set is also at a new low, the 2016 clad set is behind in sales year over year.

    For the silver set, 2016 has sold 356.7K versus 350.4K of the 2015 silver set at the end of last year, so 6K more.

    For the clad set, 2016 has sold 575.2K versus 619.9K of the 2015 clad set at the end of last year, so 44K less. Thus even though the 2015 clad set is also a new low, I think the 2016 clad set will go even lower.

    Silver set sales have dropped over the past ten years, but clad set sales have dropped even faster.

    I don’t mind buying one clad proof set, but I think they offer little chance of appreciation.

  175. Dustyroads says

    Concerning silver proof set sales, silver price was on the unpredictable side during 2012 with large swings in price. Years `13, `14, and `15 saw predictable down trends in PM prices. Silver was up last year until the end of June. I haven’t taken a closer look at the buying habits of purchasers of the silver proof sets, but one could do this by checking sales of the 2015 sets for a following of the silver price trend through 2016, and look for a decrease in purchases after July when the price of silver was in decline.
    Presently, sales of the 2016 silver proof sets are behind, or greater than the 2015 sets, but not far. If silver is not in a steady decline, purchasers of these sets may continue to buy them.

  176. samuel says

    1. Dealers who bought hundreds of the NPS Unc will return 27 of them.
    2. The trend of the silver proof set over the years will put pressure on the secondary market price.

  177. cagcrisp says

    Gold PM Fix was $1,164.25…

    IF you are in the Mint Gold market you have a couple of hours before a Gold price Increase…

  178. bobo says

    Does anyone else think that the mint is taking longer these days to report final audited mintages than in years past? For example, what are the final audited mintages for the first spouse golds after 2011? Were these ever reported?

  179. data dave says

    @bobo – I think the mint is just releasing sales information on a weekly basis now and auditing as they go along. I don’t expect to ever separate audited numbers again.

  180. Old Big Bird says

    The 01/01/2017 posted sales for the 2015 silver proof sets shows 387,460. Assuming the mint is going to hold to it’s word that should be the last of the 2015 silver proof set sales. That would make it 7,983 less than the 2012 silver proof sets sold!!!!!!

  181. Old Big Bird says

    Interesting sales numbers for 2015 sets verses 2012 sets

    2012 2015

    392 224 314 060 Mint Sets

    794,002 662,934 Clad Proof Sets

    395,443 387,460 Silver Proof Sets

    148,498 99,473 Clad Quarter Proof Sets

    162,448 103,369 Silver Quarter Proof Sets

    249,298 222,068 President Proof Sets

    I wonder where the prices for the 2015’s goes compared to the 2012’s

  182. Dean says

    Looks like the mint incorrectly priced the gold coins after today’s update.

    They’re pricing the coins as if gold was $1250-$1299.99.

  183. cagcrisp says

    The only Gold pricing that I see that is incorrect is the Centennial coins. The FS and AGE’s look correct to me…

  184. Teach says

    Just looking at the prices on eBay for the 2015 silver proof sets, they are mostly going for 60 to 63 dollars right now. Last week sales ranged from 45 to 53. That is a slight increase over a week. Will that continue, we shall see.

  185. Tinto says

    @data dave
    “… I think the mint is just releasing sales information on a weekly basis now and auditing as they go along….”

    And I’d guess the next few weeks’ sales info from the Mint are gonna be followed very closely by folks especially on the NPS $5 unc and perhaps the 2015 silver proof set.

  186. cagcrisp says

    The Winged Head Liberty dime was selling mid to upper $280’s BEFORE the Mint released the last 8,000+ coins. I posed the question at the time of what impact Restrcting who/who not could purchase the coins And what effect Restricting sales would have on the secondary market. On Average prices have dropped $15-$20 Recently on the bay.

    What impact did having a HHL of 1 and Restrcting sales to those that hadn’t purchased any before?
    The results were typical of what I thought Could happen. A Lot of flippers were able to get their “1 coin ”

    …So much so that One Specific flipper lined up four auctions today within a 2 minute span. Four auctions. Bam…HHL of 1…

    The high being $249.50 and the low being $232.50

    …SO…For 7+ months you had sales of 116,096 and a secondary market sales price of mid to Upper $280’s…

    …And now you’ve got 8,000+ coins knocking the price Down because the Mint decided which class of people should/shouldn’t be allowed to purchase coins.

    …And you wonder Why the Mint is losing customers…

  187. 1958 Chevrolet Bel Air says

    Canada has a 150 anniversary coin set, we need to do a 250 anniversary set of our own for 2026 and use the liberty bell and do it again for the tricentennial celebration of 2076.

  188. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    @ Cagcrisp – I see it the opposite way. The 10 coin hhl catered more to flippers and speculators than the 1 coin hhl. The 1 coin hhl was mostly for collectors who were not able to get one due to flippers buying 10 at a time which caused an almost immediate sellout.

    Those same flippers were locked out during the 1 hhl sale and that was a good thing that the mint did. For once the mint did right by small collectors.

    Ebay price fluctuations may or may not have anything to do with the 1 coin hhl sale. Obviously, it hurt demand on the secondary market as those who wanted one were afforded the opportunity to get one at a good price. That probably put a dent in ebay prices.

    I don’t think those of us who bought one single coin are likely to flip it. I decided to get the Walker because I already had the SLQ and the dime completed my set.

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