The quarter that might have been: Cumberland Island’s rejected turtle design

(Background photo by Mary Fairchild)

As Mint News Blog readers know, a popular choice for one of the 2018 America the Beautiful quarter designs—a diving sea turtle representing Cumberland Island National Seashore—has been overruled. A prompt from the comments section led us to ponder what made the rejected design special, and to see if we could discover why it was rejected in favor of a more predictable motif. As you will see, we made some headway with the former question, but got nowhere with the latter.

On June 16, 2016, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) met to discuss the 2018 ATB design candidates and make their recommendations. Their choice for Cumberland Island was design no. 6, a snowy egret perched on a branch with its wings spread in preparation for flight. In a letter to Rhett Jepson, then the principal deputy director of the Mint, “The Commission members recommended alternative #6, a second choice of the Mint’s site liaison. They commented that the snowy egret with outstretched wings provides a dynamic composition, and the scene conveys the character of this seashore.”

On June 27, it was the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee’s turn to meet and discuss the candidates. The CCAC members generally panned the snowy-egret design for looking stiff and unnatural. The design that received the most enthusiasm was no. 3, a diving sea turtle. The following member comments are from the meeting transcript:

I think [the turtle] would be very popular outside of the hobby community, and would have some fans in the mainstream audience. (Dennis Tucker)

I love the layout, I love the bubbles, I love the frolicking kind [of a surf] thing. The turtle is really fun. (Erik Jansen)

This is fantastic. It’s the right amount of bold, the right amount of detail, the right amount of contrast. I’d like to see the bubbles polished. It’s going to be really fun. The kids are going to love it. (Heidi Wastweet)

I do love the turtle. I haven’t seen anything like that before. Collectors, kids, they’d buy it for their kids or grandkids. It’s a neat coin. (Herman Viola)

I think a ton of collectors … really love turtles. I think young people, who will potentially be getting these coins as gifts, also love turtles… It’s fun. It’s going to look great as a Proof. It’s going to look good large, it’s going to look great small. It’s going to be the kind of coin that, when someone [sees] it in pocket change, they’re going to stop and look at it. (Steve Roach)

I think we have something pretty spectacular for young collectors to maybe follow the field a little closer. [The turtle design] gives them something exciting to have as a foundation. (Jeanne Stevens-Sollman)

Not surprisingly, the playful turtle was the “outstanding vote of the night,” getting 30 out of a possible 33 votes from the CCAC members.

When the floor was opened for questions from the audience, a gentleman named Taylor Elwood said, “I think the numismatic hobby is not one that’s particularly popular with young people in this day and age. And having coins with turtles or other animals of the sort could really help bring them into the hobby and really help … keep the hobby alive and well for the future generations.” And in the opinion of audience member Bob Campbell, “People in America are going to love that turtle just like the world loves the panda. That’ll be a collector’s thing for sure.”

When the Treasury’s final decisions were released, the turtle had been rejected in favor of the snowy egret. When a Mint News Blog reader pointed out the curious choice, we emailed the CCAC’s chairperson, Mary Lannin, to see if she could shed some light on the decision. She thoughtfully responded as follows (edited slightly for space):

The process of voting and having our preferred design accepted isn’t as simple as it seems. Our Committee, which, at the time, included the irrepressible Steve Roach, loved the turtle when we saw the art at our meeting of June, 2016. This design received 30 of a possible 33 votes. We also voted on two other America the Beautiful quarter designs, among other business of the Committee.

What then followed was that I wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury, in this case, Jack Lew, and summed up our meeting. This letter included the Committee’s recommendations and the vote total for all the chosen designs. For each chosen design, I also include comments about why the Committee felt that we had ranked this particular design over others. This letter was then mailed to the Secretary…

Ultimately, the Secretary has two letters [one from the CFA, one from the CCAC], and occasionally the recommendations from each Committee are different. It was responsibility of the office of the Secretary of the Treasury which ultimately decided the final design.

This confirms what collectors of modern Mint issues know: that once the CFA and CCAC make their recommendations, the choice is out of their hands.

We don’t know whether the Treasury observed the difference between the strength of the CFA’s and the CCAC’s respective recommendations. Where the CFA noted that their recommendation was “a second choice of the Mint’s site liaison,” the CCAC pointed out that their choice had received “the highest total of 30 of a possible 33 votes.” We also don’t know whether the decision-making process involved a review of the committee members’ individual comments.

We’re unlikely to hear from the Treasury on the design choice, so Mint News Blog readers will have to speculate for themselves. One factor may be that it’s difficult for most people to look at two-dimensional line art and envision it in three dimensions, on shiny metal, with no outlines. Expertise in macroeconomics does nothing to enhance this ability. Even if those considering the design could visualize it on a coin quite well, perhaps the turtle seemed undignified. Perhaps the idea of a bird was more familiar, or the posture of the snowy egret, wings spread, was a subtle reminder of the eagle’s typical pose on American coinage. Perhaps the sea turtle, which is so often the center of environmental conflicts, seemed a little too chancy, politically.

Or maybe someone at the Treasury just doesn’t like turtles.

 

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Comments

  1. Tom says

    That’s the way it goes. Nothing ” new” for collectors . Why should there be when the Mint can always fall back on MORE Kennedy coinage? Let the turtle have it’s day.

  2. Old Big Bird says

    @cagcrisp- I finally had a chance to review the US Mint Sales numbers as of 08/27/17.
    Of course, I was completely blown away by another MINUS 23,969 on the 2017 225th anniversary set.
    One of three things. Either the new warehouse unit can not count correctly, or there was a lot of bad product
    produced by the mint, or the big boys figured out this was not going to be a big winner for them and made large returns. Besides WOW WOW WOW, I appreciate your opinion of this item. I know you spend a large amount of time on the mint’s postings. many thanks

  3. Terry says

    It cant be Mike from HSN returning sets he’s still telling suckers that it sold out in minutes. That guy should be arrested for consumer fraud!

  4. ClevelandRocks says

    Well it did sell out/ unavailable in minutes but there is more to the story. That said, I did what I rarely do, buy extra sets. They looks awesome and they are “real” coins. They won’t be available forever and am confident they will hold value and appreciate long term.

  5. gatortreke says

    Diana, thanks for this post about the design process. I’m am still bumfuzzled as to why the Treasury in their infinite wisdom (sarcasm) opted for a design that mimics both Florida and Delaware and is bound to be confused with both rather than go for something creative and different. I’m disappointed in both the CFA recommendation (sometimes, more than just the art has to be considered) and the Treasury opting to side with the CFA recommendation. Both missed a big opportunity to get a new, dynamic and fun design on a coin in an appropriate setting, instead opting for a rehash of designs already utilized on other state quarters. Way to go…NOT!

  6. Nick says

    Ok.
    I’m sick of birds already.
    Can we (collectors) do something to change the design back to turtle?
    The mint definitely need something different from qaqmmjmbirds and Kennedy coins to get the young collectors back to the hobby.

  7. Erik H says

    Is it too late to change to design??? These things don’t go into production until 2018. Who can we call to demand the change???

  8. cagcrisp says

    @Old Big Bird, I think there were a LOT of EU coins returned by the Big Boys. IF you look at the “pop” reports from the Grading services you will see a TON of graded products and that they are grading ~ 90+% 70s.

    You have to remember these EUs came out of San Francisco and S ain’t P or D…

    I Think the Big Boys thought they were going to get a Lower % of 70s and when the Vast majority came back 70s there was just Way Too Many 70s for the Big Boys to sell Profitably.

    Thus a TON of returns…

  9. Old Big Bird says

    cagcrisp says

    Thanks that was my opinion, boy there are a lot of people who got frustrated the first day and now look.

  10. John Q. Coinage says

    Many returns are for the junk/spots liquid sealed inside the sets, for resale (not gifting…) this is aloser, try to sell someone a set with an oil slick inside…more mint progress on their collector “revival” ……not

  11. gatortreke says

    Another issue I have about the CFA choice and comments is this:

    and the scene conveys the character of this seashore

    It conveys the scene from land but that is not the only perspective, the turtle conveys it from the water, an equally appropriate perspective and one not utilized yet.

  12. earthling says

    Is it possible someone thinks there are more ” Birder ” Fans than “Turtle” Fans? This might be correct from a Marketers perspective. How often do you hear about the antics of Birdwatchers vs Turtle Watchers? Just making a WAG I’d say YES go with the Birds Baby. Grab for the Bird Money.

    But putting Birds on Coins might not actually be the way to cash in on Bird Watchers. From what I know, Bird Watchers get off on getting out into the real environment with Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, Cameras, Safari Fashions, and perhaps a tote full of Fiji Water and Granola Bars. 😉

    Coin Nerds want to stay cloistered in their homes with Jewelers Loupes searching the surface of their metallic orbs for signs of abrasion or doubled letters. Coins and Birds? Might not be the best combo out there.

  13. earthling says

    If the mint had gone with a cartoonish Turtle with a Ninja Sword and a Black Mask over its eyes………….

    Smash hit ! TMNT !

    Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you’re the US Mint. 😭

  14. KCSO says

    WHAT a pleasant surprise..,

    Greatly, greatly appreciate this insightful, and very much “out of the box” original approach, article.

    This sea turtle was a ‘no brainer’ GRAND-SLAM HOMERUN! Unequivocally.

    Who doesn’t love sea turtles? Especially baby sea turtles.., (if you don’t love baby sea turtles, you may want to have your head checked).

    I have read every mint news release (and this blog consistently) over the past 10 years, and unfortunately, my brain recalls about most of it.

    What I’ve read and recall over the years is how the mist wants to be inclusive, re-energize the collector base, and promote designs that appeal to the general populace (gen pop).

    The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame design was a GRANDSLAM HOMERUN and resonated with Gen Pop.

    This Sea turtle design was a guaranteed GRANDSLAM HOMERUN – what’s the difference between this opportunity and BHoF???

    BHoF was a COMM.., this Sea turtle WOULD HAVE BEEN the FIRST CIRCULATE DESIGN (since the State Quarters) that WOULD HAVE CREATED enthusiasm among the non collecting Gen Pop, IT WOULD HAVE MADE THEM SMILE what they say it, AND it most likely would have created new collectors and new energy behind these AtBs.

    AGAIN, this seaturtle design would have made American’s smile when they see it.., that is Huge.

    Cag pipes in here every week, week after week, about dismal sales.., there’s a reason for that, as he has eluded to.., though I don’t buy into the buying coin collector’s die off as many of you espouse.., I firmly believe the dismal sales is the RESULT OF BAD DECISION on behalf you know who.., that decision making process has been thorough addressed recently in a number of well written articles..,

    Bottom Line – The sea turtle design WOULD HAVE BEEN a BIG HIT with Gen Pop.., a Winner for the ages.., though those in decision making positions at the U.S. Mint and the two committees were content with A BIG SWING AND A MISS.

    Sad.., very Sad.

    Some one with some common sense and some degree of business acumen needs to make some decision at the Mint.

  15. JSM says

    Why shake things up when you are losing collectors left and right? Not sure if the turtle would have been a hit but it is something different.

  16. Donnie says

    John Q. ,

    My two EU sets were also plagued by what I thought were some type of chemically induced, oil-like slicks in the field surrounding the coins. As Diana suggested, I pried open the lens with a single edged razor knife, starting at one corner. I didn’t see evidence of any chemical residue inside the opened lens. I then closed the lens by pressing around the edges, avoiding compressing the middle area. The spots were no longer there, proving that they were merely air pockets caused by the Mint’s lens sealing process.

  17. Zaz says

    Well the Cumberland Island turtle was non-starter, IMHO. Doesn’t anybody remember the freshwater turtle and the canoers with a split above/below waterline perspective for Ozark Riverways? The CCAC loved that one too, as I recall, and the unique perspective would’ve shaken up the series some, and injected some vitality. Instead, we got the traditional and boring (safe) Alley Mill. I am finding the last several years of the ATB quarters to be seemingly endlessly repetitive. Let’s hope the powers to be don’t vote in 2018 for extending the program another 11 years. Too conservative and far too boring. It deserves a quiet and unnoticed death.

  18. says

    Jeez Louise, what a stupid decision. Why didn’t they have the wild horses on it? That’s what I remember when I visited, even the turtle would have been better than an egret, it looks like I’m gonna save some money in 2018. I just hope they don’t butcher the Texas puck in 2019 (yeah right).

  19. Barry says

    Yes , the turtle should have been the design for the coin instead of another bird. It could be the US Post Office wanted this design to represent the speed of their service and their managing of money ( being underwater). All kidding aside it is a poor decision to have another bird.

  20. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    The current Ozark Riverways and Cumberland Island designs are good, IMO, and I bought or will buy both.

    The two rejected TURTLES were GREAT DESIGNS and were my clear preference, which I expressed, along with many other like-minded collectors, on this blog long ago.

    Obviously, Secretary of the Treasury Lew was just another politician who doesn’t give a hoot what the (coin collecting, in this case) Public, or their own citizen advisory groups, thinks.

    Secretary Mnuchin, we want some ATB TURTLES!

    MCGA! (Make Coins Great Again!)

    Prove the G & G (Goldman and Generals) Administration can swim with the turtles.

    If Treasury decides to give a hoot, we could also use an OWL among any future birds.

  21. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    Yes, the Cumberland Island horses would also have been a much better design choice,

    While I like birds, more diversity is needed in ATB designs.

    And, enough houses/buildings already!

  22. VA Bob says

    The turtle would have been a good choice. The only issue I can see with it is where is the island? I believe an image of the turtle crawling back toward the surf after burying its eggs, with that distinctive trail pattern pattern in the sand, in the foreground would have a good choice. Opportunity lost US Mint.

  23. Jerry Diekmann says

    Simple answer – the Mint likes birds over reptiles. But I think they have gone overboard with birds; there used to be an eagle on the reverse of our quarters from the very beginning through 1998 (over 200 years) and maybe some people at the Treasury or the Mint still long for those “good old days”??? Or maybe they’re just bird brains.

  24. Nick says

    Bombay Hook, Everglades and now Cumberland Island.
    The same 3 quarters.
    Nothing new.
    I’m sure that the 5 oz turtle will go like “hot bread from the bakery”.
    Everybody will buy them-for gifts, for kids, for collections.
    I will always smile when i find one in the pocket change.

  25. says

    Uhh???

    American Eagle 20th Anniversary Platinum Proof Coin West Point (W)

    The expected in-stock date is Fri Sep 08 2017.

    Interesting…

  26. says

    If the APE was simply being returned to stock you’d sort of expect them to be available now. But an expected in-stock date of Fri September 08 2017? Must be doing another production run. Same design as the Bullion Platinum Eagle but in Proof finish they sell for a bit more.

    Hmmmm….. how much are those Brittania ‘s? I’ve always wanted a Britainia so maybe it’s time to finally go for Silver, Gold and Platinum versions all at once. Have they got a Palladium Brittain also?

  27. So Krates says

    The spread egret is a not a bad design. I like how the wing tip breaks the border, and the way the posture suggests action.

    But thanks for speaking up for the turtle!

    When an overwhelming recommendation gets thrown in the circular file, it reminds me of how DR employed MacBeth to describe the CCAC:

    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

  28. So Krates says

    Or was he referring to a fellow poster? can’t recall. What I do remember is that the final coin design approval was delegated to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Sara Bloom Raskin (who left in January). So as mentioned, a new admin. with the position unfilled could possibly change direction. Especially if the hub, dies, etc aren’t too far along and all seven-foot-two of Kareem makes the suggestion to the Munchkin in person. 🙂

  29. says

    Would the USA Mint dare to come out with a 50 State Birds Series of Quarters? After the reaction to the Georgia ATB Quarter, that might not be a good idea. But how about a 50 State Birds US Cents Series ? Now that might go over well with everyone. Maybe not as well as a 50 States Insect Series or a Dinosaur Series but anything would be better that Abe Forever.

  30. cagcrisp says

    OT…

    You better get gasoline ASAP…

    Wholesale gas is up $.22 TODAY…

    Wholesale RBOB gasoline (without taxes) was $1.66 on 08/28.

    Today Wholesale RBOB is $2.12…

  31. cagcrisp says

    225 EU vs. 2017 bullion ASE…

    What do Non coin people Think they are worth?

    This past weekend I hosted a swim party for ~ 20 children.

    The birthday boy was 8 and children ranged in ages 3-16.

    Parents were in their 30s to 40s. Grandparents 60s.

    I showed the Parents and Grandparents a set of the 225 EUs and a single 2017 bullion ASE.

    Asked the Parents and Grandparents what they Thought the 225 EU set was worth and what they Thought the ASE was worth.

    I showed the 225 EU set first and the only comment I made about the ASE was that it was “Nearly pure Silver”

    Keep in mind these parents are in their 30s to 40s and know Nothing about coins or Silver.

    The Parent’s and Grandparent’s range for 225 EU set was a guess of $5.00 to $8.99 for the SET.

    The Parent’s and Grandparent’s range for the bullion 2017 ASE was $30.00 to $50.00…

  32. cagcrisp says

    AM Gold Fix $1,305.80

    PM Gold Fix $1,311.75

    I’m still surprised the Mint didn’t raise prices yesterday. I’ve always wondered how the Mint would treat a Holiday when that is the day that prices spiked. The averages of Fixes were above the $1,300.00 level, however, Monday was a British holiday and sometime on Monday morning was when Gold spiked upwards.

    Maybe the Mint used American markets for Monday and If you did that then the average would have been less than the $1,300.00 level…

  33. Louis Golino says

    While I agree the turtle is far superior, and that there are way too many birds, remember it is not our decision, nor is it the Mint’s. It is strictly the Treasury Sec after receiving input from the 2 committees. To my mind, it is not a good system for producing good designs. What does the TS or his staff know about this stuff? It is pretty rare for the TS not to pick what the CCAC recommends, but it does happen. Same as the Civil Rights coin, where the CCAC recommended the Liberty bell/reflecting pool design but the TS went with the one the CFA chose.
    Best thing would be to get the CFA out of the process, as I have suggested on articles, as they don’t have numismatic backgrounds, plus the CCAC does and is much closer to the collecting community, which I can confirm from direct personal experience. In fact, one of several friends I have who are current or former CCAC is one of the key leaders in the hobby today and an experienced collector, as are many other CCAC members.

  34. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I love the Snowy Egret.

    The turtle might’ve been great. I love the Taku and now Turtle coins from New Zealand.

    I like how the article hints at speciesism and a more than likely politically correct reason for choosing a bird over a turtle. The turtle symbolically represents Mother Earth to Native Americans so it would’ve been nice to see but maybe it would be insulting to some people.

    I’m happy with birds.

    https://youtu.be/uh6Qla-OQ-M

  35. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I don’t know much about Mnuchin either. The media portrays him as a lackey with a trophy wife going to count the gold in Ft Knox and watching the eclipse.

    The political machinations behind Tubman on the $10 (or as Bernanke has suggested, the $20) seem pretty clear to me.

    I’ve also noted that the CCAC is packed with liberals who hate Donald Trump.

    ….so there’s that.

  36. earthling says

    Since when was a Wife a negative aspect to someones personality? And they try to say this guy has a “Trophy” Wife and that REALLY makes him a vile character? Strange stuff going on these days. Something tells me if the guy had a hulking Transexual Wife, the sweet media would love Mnuchin to death.

  37. says

    Friends,

    I think Diana did a great job of explaining who does and who doesn’t make the final decision on coinage designs. Louis weighed in with a reminder, as well.

    At the risk of being repetitive:

    — The Mint does not make final decisions on designs.

    — The CCAC does not make final decisions on designs.

    — The secretary of the Treasury makes final decisions on designs.

  38. HarryB says

    Given the current Administration’s priorities of tax reform, individual tax rate cuts, corporate tax rate cuts, debt ceiling raise, FY18 budget,etc. I do not expect any controversial decisions, like Tubman, until after the first of the year.

  39. Louis Golino says

    Some of you folks really need to do some wider reading. The reason Mnunchin’s wife has been criticized recently is because she went on an Instagram. Twitter, or whatever rampage in which she repeatedly asserted that she is better than other people because she and her husband earn so much money, and repeatedly bragged about all her designer shoes, bags, dresses, etc. In addition, it is not normal for a Treasury sec. to take their spouse for a trip paid by taxpayers to visit Ft. Knox, so her response was that she has contributed more to the economy than others, so they should shut up about how the trip was paid for by the taxpayer. This was a big issue for those who do not live in the bubble, and countless average Americans have taken offense at her incendiary remarks. Also, she is a trophy wife because she is an actress, who someone like Mnunchin would not be likely to get a date with if he were no so wealthy. Have you actually looked at this guy? By the way, she ended up apologizing for her remarks because the public outcry was so massive. Some of you need to get out from under the rock you are hiding under.

  40. Tom P. - MA says

    Louis, Louis, Louis. Don’t get involved in political debates. The country is divided roughly 50/50 and as soon as you pick sides, 50% are against you. It doesn’t matter what the media or twitter tells you, the divide is roughly 50/50.

    I personally vote turtles because of the enormous amount of birds already pictured. I picked up a slightly damaged 1944 penny today in circulation.

  41. earthling says

    The only positive outcome over this Georgia ATB Design flub up would be if Dan Carr did some Fantasy Overstrikes using the Bird Coin as the planchet. If he used some 5 oz Pucks and some Silver Proof Quarters overstruck with the Turtle design it would be a big hit I’m sure. Amongst Moonlight Mint Fans anyway.

    😉

  42. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    The other day, instead of going to Ellis Island, I went to a farm market with lots of vendors and one of them caught my attention. They will take any coin or medal and make a ring out of it for $12. I took their business card but I guess I tossed it.

    Is this legal? Elongated pennies are ok, right?

    I didn’t want to ask them but I thought it was illegal.

  43. Sturgeon says

    Louis, Louis, Louis—–Now you’ve gone and got your boxers in a wad—Take a chill pill friend

  44. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    @ So Krates

    Re: Egret design—I agree with you that “I like how the wing tip breaks the border, and the way the posture suggests action.” I disagree with those who have commented that Cumberland is simply a re-make of Everglades and Bombay Hook. I like all three.

    @ DBR

    Agree swimming with sea turtles is a pleasure not to be missed, but have to say that for pure thrills that experience is surpassed by swimming/snorkeling with reef sharks or large spotted eagle rays. Being totally enveloped by a school of squid that stream around you as though you were a coral head or rock is also unforgettable.

    How about the 12% + move Comex Spot Silver has had off the recent July 7th low, “silver bugs”?

  45. Daveinswfl says

    Louis,
    Stick to coins and keep the 100% love ya rating you have always had here.
    Tom P. – MA says is right on.
    Few are any longer willing to listen to anything the other side says and most only want to demonize the opposition.
    The reason for your success is that you report NEWS – a lost skill in this day and age.

    OT – put me in the turtle column. Enough with the BIRDbrained decision makers in D.C.

  46. Joe M. says

    @ cagcrisp
    Next time show them a 1969s FS-101 ddo cent and 2 ounces of gold….
    I wonder how many will guess the gold is worth more.
    Sometimes statistics are for losers.
    Knowledge is King….especially in the coin hobby 🙂
    I could list at least 10 MODERN cents worth more than an ounce of gold.
    Hell, I just sold a 1967 FS-101 dime for $500 I found in pocket change.
    I’m a 20th Century U.S. Variety Specialist since 1995

  47. Joe M. says

    The following links show how ignorant the population is when it comes to coins, silver, and gold.
    https://youtu.be/bYhTFz_SGw0 – free chocolate or silver
    https://youtu.be/z7usCHnZ-8c – silver dollar for .99 cents
    and the show of all time….
    https://youtu.be/ndshbH3qZ6Y – ounce of gold for $25
    What was the old adage?
    The cost of education is far less than the cost of ignorance.
    What sucks is that the general population knows NOTHING about silver and gold.
    🙁
    P.S. I don’t watch his channel except for monetary vids.

  48. RSF says

    I commend Louis for continuing to hold out hope that a small percentage on the other side still desire a reasoned debate and might still be persuaded to think differently if exposed to an evidence bases argument.
    Good on ya for trying.

    The idea of a sea turtle returning to the sea with a trail in the sand would have been nice. The one pictured above is a bit cartoonish. (and it wouldn’t be exhaling as it started a dive)

  49. scott says

    in looking at atb 5oz ngc graded coins, I see a flag label and a label with a picture that pertains to that coin.is there a difference in the two labels? thanks.

  50. Tom says

    I don’t mind that our Treasury Secretary has a “trophy wife”. I do hate the fact that I was not given the opportunity to purchase silver at 99 cents per ounce and lower.

  51. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    Louis does no service to anyone when he posts Washington Post articles. They (and the NY Times et al) are the most biased “news” one can find. Essentially, they spew anti-Trump lies and innuendo.

    The woman was being snarky on social media and it gets reported that this is her actual persona from people who just want to make the Trump administration look bad and add fuel to the impeach nonsense.

    Most people ignore this because it’s all bluster from people who wanted another Clinton.

    Maybe, like the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, we’ll see resignations en masse to protest the fact that Trump gets to be President.

  52. says

    Just received my last Ozark puck yesterday and now ready for Ellis Island, since I like the Ozark I bought 14 of them- 1 Sp70 pcgs Mercanti, 2 SP70 pcgs flag, 3 ms69dmpl pcgs Mercanti, 4 SP69 pcgs flag and 4 bullion pucks from apmex.

  53. Tom says

    @ JADave. As Bill Clinton said during his first Presidential run ” You get two for the price of one”. Just the mere thought that it could have happened again makes me shudder.

  54. So Krates says

    This has been the best thread in a while…article & comments

    Louis probably comes here to unwind. He is entitled to express his opinion (which is more informed than most) here without having to worry about any perception of bias in his coin writings.

    Jeez, is “trophy wife” now on the PC police checklist too? I can’t keep up

  55. Louis Golino says

    Thanks, SK. Certainly folks will differ/disagree on Louis Linton’s comments, whether they matter, etc. But it is silly to try to dispute the facts of the case simply because one doe not like the newspaper I quoted since, as FOX News (I tried to post the link) and every other news source also reported, she soon apologized for being in her own words “inappropriate” and “insensitive.” So give her credit for seeing she was wrong, or at least being smart enough to know it was a big enough deal that it was hurting her image and that of her husband.

    I don’t come here to discuss politics, but since it does come up, from time to time I may try to clarify a point. I also take issue with the idea, as someone said, that the CCAC is full of “Trump hating liberals.” The CCAC is a diverse group with several people I happen to know are not just Republican but because they are my fiends, I know they are leaders within the party. I mean they got the position by being appointed by the GOP leadership in Congress. Hello. And some are liberals, yes, and some I have no idea of their politics because they never express those beliefs. So if you are going to trash talk, you better have the facts, which this person does not. Again, just because you don’t like someone or some group does not give you the right to smear them.

  56. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    Louis says, ” So if you are going to trash talk, you better have the facts, which this person does not. Again, just because you don’t like someone or some group does not give you the right to smear them.”

    Is this like saying “Also, she is a trophy wife because she is an actress, who someone like Mnunchin would not be likely to get a date with if he were no so wealthy. Have you actually looked at this guy?”

    You’re entitled to your opinion and so is everyone else. Maybe you need to heed your own advice.

  57. cagcrisp says

    Spot palladium prices made their biggest one-day surge since March 2016 and reached the highest price in 16-1/2 years after some U.S. automakers reported better-than-expected August sales and as demand was expected from Houston to replace flood-damaged vehicles after Hurricane Harvey.

  58. says

    Louis Golino says
    ” you better have the facts”
    Maybe Louis should heed his own advice.
    Louis Golino says
    June 13, 2017 at 9:08 pm
    Be careful about those claims of sold out pucks. I contacted the mint about the last one (Douglass, I mean Bob the painter with big hair) and was told they are not technically sold out. The dealers may be using this info. to drum up sales.
    http://mintnewsblog.com/mint-news-roundup-platinum-eagle-proofs-atb-5-ounce-silver-and-other-news/comment-page-1/#comment-264211

  59. Louis Golino says

    @longarm- That is what the Mint told me, which I reported here. Are you taking issue issue with what the Mint said? Because they are the arbiters of what is sold out, and they have the ability to go back and mint more up to the max, but are unlikely to. So how does you quoting my correct point make your point that I should heed my own advice.

  60. cagcrisp says

    Today…

    I went to an outdoor venue today that probably had 10,000 attendees. . This Specific vendor was manned by High School students . No debit or credit cards were accepted.. Only cash. No tax.

    Bottle water was $1.50/each.

    I asked for3 bottle waters @ $1.50/each.

    The two students looked at each other and then after about 10 seconds the “cashier ” said “$4.50”

    I gave the cashier a $10 bill and I received my 3 bottle waters.

    I took lids off 3 bottle waters and gave 3 bottle waters to 3 grandchildren.

    I looked back around and saw “cashier ” using a calculator on a smart phone.

    I said “You owe me $5.50 ”

    Cashier said ” I’ll take your word for it” and gave me $5.50.

    An egret or a turtle will not save you from a society that only knows debit or credit cards or direct pay apps…

  61. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    Louis, I have to believe that Longarm is calling your attention to the Bob the painter with big hair remark.

    I may be wrong………… but

    You seem more than capable of hurling insensitive remarks but then object when it involves one of your protected institutions. whatever… it’s no big deal.

    I see it as someone in a bubble telling others that they live in a bubble. There are so many bubbles within bubbles that it becomes meaningless.

    I should say that I don’t know much about the CCAC but the general impression I have is not good. Politically appointed people like the President’s Council on The Arts and Humanities all resigned en masse to protest Trump and I figure that these groups are very much alike. I’m not sure they serve the general public.

    You can defend them all you like. Get one of those Hate Has No Home Here signs that are blanketing the country and create a safe space where your delicate sensibilities cannot be offended and only you can say what you want.

    Now there’s a bubble…. in a bubble.

  62. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp, Could it have been the heat or lack of any breeze, or possibly the need for more moon pies causing the distraction.

    I have a daughter in college now working on a teaching degree, all of her classes in high school were advanced.
    It’s hard to fathom a high school student working a concession stand not being able to calculate change for $4.50 from a $10. Although I hear they’re out there.

  63. gatortreke says

    Slightly different from cagcrisp’s observation but I paid a lunch bill with cash, paying part of it with a 50 cent piece. The young waitress thought it was a dollar coin and brought me too much change (FTR, I did not keep the extra change but gently explained the situation to the waitress). So, despite whatever I think about recognition of the dollar coin, it must be more widely circulated than half dollars. I notice the cashier’s at my bank always have at least a couple of dollar coins but rarely any half dollars.

  64. Coin guru says

    Lets Make America Great Again, When Was America Not Great, Maybe For Those That Cheat On Their Taxes, Maybe those That Lie To America Daily, Maybe Those that ridicule Inferior People, Maybe a NY Developer That is racist, Bigot #notmypresident

  65. Qui Transtulit Sustinet says

    @ cagcrisp says,

    Did that outdoor venue “cashier” story you related take place in Arkansas by any chance?

    I once worked in Florida with a high school “teacher” who had to move back to Arkansas to teach because after six tries she couldn’t pass the Math test to get her permanent teaching license in Florida.

    When education is neither a family nor governmental priority the results are predictable.

  66. sharks2th says

    Check out the next prime example of the US Mint’s utter incompetence: https://www.usmint.gov/news/225th-anniversary

    They don’t even know the difference between a quarter dollar and a twenty dollar gold coin. They are calling the standing liberty quarter a standing liberty double eagle. The description below it is for St. Gauden’s actual double eagle coin.

    Mr. Trump, I am ready to take over management of the mint and correct the problems and apathy in this organization. I could be available January 2, 2018, to set this department back on the right track. Anyone there not willing to put in a 100% effort will be reassigned or asked to leave. There is not much pride in the effort the staff makes to undertake the functions of this department. Any new employees will be required to know the history of American coinage if they expect to be hired.

  67. Louis Golino says

    The Bob the painter remark was a riff on something some other posters had said, and was in jest. I highly doubt any supporters of Frederick Douglass (which includes me very much) took offense, nor did they when someone else used the exact same words. And no one said anything then about it being insensitive. It was funny.

    As for the CCAC, you seem to be confusing views on their decisions with the comments made here I believe by earthling about their political views. I was simply pointing out that as someone who knows many current and former members, I don’t consider them “Trump hating liberals.” I was not defending their decisions and don’t necessarily agree with all of them by any means.

  68. Just Another Dave In Pa says

    I’m sure Louise Linton thought she was being funny, too.

    Some people, in order to make political hay from it, decided it was a big deal and the echo chamber made it front page news. I’m sure many other things were happening but they decided to focus on Louise Linton and her “funny” rant.. In the bubble, it was a really big deal.

    That reminds me of the guy who used to tell a daily N joke. It was funny, I guess.

    I hope they all resign in protest of Trump. He should probably fire them all and drain the swamp.

  69. Larry says

    If I hear that knuclehead on HSN say that the dime in the March of Dimes set is an enhanced unc one more time, I going to break something. He just said it last night again.

  70. Terry says

    Mike the HSN guy is a con artist on TV I can not believe the deception he is allowed to get away with.

  71. says

    “American Eagle 20th Anniversary Platinum Proof Coin West Point (W)

    The expected in-stock date is Fri Sep 08 2017.

    Interesting…”

    Great News Coin Fans ! The APE is swinging in the Trees again! It’s Big ( over 100 available) and it’s Happy and ready to go home with you really soon. At a Bargain price of only $1,350.00 (Pt spot $1,006/oz) how can anyone possibly resist?

    Oh, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Gold BU First Spouse Coin is down to (5) Coins left in Stock. If 5 happy Coins collectors actually laid down $820.00 and took one of these home, would they actually be gone? Hmmmmm…………………. 🤔

  72. says


    Brad says
    JUNE 25, 2015 AT 12:02 PM

    Order #USM03343XXX. I hope like HELL they are joking about that “expected in stock date” of September 1st for the proof!

    Samuel says
    JUNE 25, 2015 AT 12:04 PM

    backordered.

    Jon H says
    JUNE 25, 2015 AT 12:04 PM

    At 12:03:15
    USM033437**

    I just got an UNC. proofs were already on backorder.

    CaptainOverkill says
    JUNE 25, 2015 AT 12:05 PM

    Backordered for me, too. I got my order in just before 12:00. Not thrilled this thing is in a backorder phase already, but we’ll see if it’s just the mint’s ordering system sorting itself out again or indicative of a long wait ahead.

    On the other hand, no ordering problems! So that’s good news.

    Surprised at how quiet the comments are here. Maybe sales for this will be low after all.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    A blast from the past. Anyone remember the launch of the Jackie Kennedy First Spouse Coin back on June 25, 2015 ? The Proof Coin was on backorder at the opening bell . I believe the BU Coin was out very soon after. Is it possible that there’s only 5 BU’S left now? Given the strange things going on with the US Mint lately, I’ll belive it when I see it.

  73. Tom P. - MA says

    I’ll break my temporary boycott of the P pucks for the Ellis Island. Technically this would be a max mintage of 19,500 (not that that’s anything special), but who knows.

    Ever try to give a millennial $21 for a bill of $10.56?

    Today’s coinstar finds are a 2000 GB 10 pence and a 1978 Canadian nickel. Copper pennies are turning out to be difficult to find. I would say the total is now down to about 10% of total pennies received. 2017P’s everywhere.

  74. data dave says

    Seems like the FED finally agrees they aren’t going to hit the inflation target with current policies. No rate hikes for a while would seem to help PMs.

  75. cagcrisp says

    2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,473 +35
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 15,759 + 69
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 15,657 +129
    17AL 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – OZARK 14,480 +263

  76. cagcrisp says

    17XA 2017 AM LIBERTY 24K GOLD 1 OZ 24,448 + 96
    17XB 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER MEDAL (P) 43,947 + 826

  77. cagcrisp says

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 64,195 + 40
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 90,024 +44

  78. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 571,717 +1,495

    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,727 + 12
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,737 + 3

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 205,681 + 1,844

  79. cagcrisp says

    17EA 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 303,707 +2,587

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 6,169 + 66
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 1,438 +14
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 2,261 +36
    17EE 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/10 OZ 9,595 +185
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 8,217 +65

    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 122,255 +983

    17EH 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD UNC 1 OZ 2,968 +53

    17EJ 2017 AM EAGLE PLATINUM PROOF 1 OZ 8,887 +108

    17EL 2017 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 12,726 +172

  80. cagcrisp says

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,398 + 3
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 1,973 + 27
    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 23,079 +102
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 9,761 +51
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 16,135 +63
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 14,127 +35
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 5,047 +18

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 64,906 +85
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 16,378 +33

  81. earthling says

    Anyone into the Financial World dealings have a handle on whats happening with China and Russia with this new Oil Currency thing? I read an article very early this morning . Didn’t really grasp what it was saying but it wasn’t sounding good at all. We got this mad stuff with N.K. going on and I have to believe it’s part of a strategy to put the USA down and out . Also that new Cat 5 Hurricane doesn’t look good. Too much bad stuff is developing as a “perfect storm”.

    We need God on our side now. No one else is on our side.

  82. cagcrisp says

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,698 + 2
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,897 + 3
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 2,041 + 2
    JQ6 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – KENNEDY 6,766 + 11
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,831 +8

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,578 + 4
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,666 +5
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,390 +3
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,654 + 4
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,420 +6
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,915 + 2

  83. cagcrisp says

    New Launch Week Items Only…

    17ABK 2017 ATB QTR 100-COIN BAG – ELLIS ISLAND (P) 1,709
    17ABL 2017 ATB QTR 100-COIN BAG – ELLIS ISLAND (D) 1,641
    17ABM 2017 ATB QTR 100-COIN BAG – ELLIS ISLAND (S) 2,627

    17ARK 2017 ATB QTR 2-ROLL SET – ELLIS ISLAND (P&D) 5,807
    17ARL 2017 ATB QTR 40-COIN ROLL – ELLIS ISLAND (S) 2,392
    17ARM 2017 ATB QTR 3-ROLL SET – ELLIS ISLAND (P&D&S) 6,202

  84. earthling says

    Larry

    What can I say – you just mashed the problem with a sledge hammer ! Too much stuff is piling up and God isn’t even looking to help us out. The Cows are coming home. Thanks to all the evil ones that brought it on US.

  85. Scott says

    FYI, For those of you that got the latest Ebay Bucks offer, and if you still want a 2017 APE. One Modern Coin retailer has them on Ebay @1199 in OGP and they are Ebay Bucks eligible.

  86. John Q. Coinage says

    Interesting but, “God” is not in control of the weather, man does more to effect the weather (some may disagree) than “God” does, if so, proof please……clearly if there was a God we’d have a mint director!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. Scott says

    The politicians in D.C. specialize in kicking the can down the road. Eventually there will be no more road.

  88. cagcrisp says

    At $1,740.00 for the American Liberty Gold coin, ties the Highest Gold product offered by the Mint in the past 4 years.

    We will see the appetite for a 1 oz. Gold coin @ $1,740.00…

  89. data dave says

    Just read that they are still selling the bullion puck of Harper’s Ferry (up to 48K now) and that the Ellis Island is sold out at 40K.

  90. Scott says

    $400 over spot for a PC bullion coin, what a bargain. Where does the mint find the fools to buy these?

  91. earthling says

    If the Mint would end that HR Gold 225th Liberty Coin tomorrow it’s still below the 2009 UHR in mintage. Wouldnt it be pushed as some sort of modern rarity?

    When asking prices jumped to the sky I think demand would jump with it? Yes?

    Whatever, I still wouldn’t want one.

  92. earthling says

    A Proof 2007-W American Eagle Quarter-ounce platinum $25 coin confirmed as struck with a reverse inscription frosted instead of mirrored realized $69,300 in an auction.

    It is said that only 21 of each of the 2007 Frosted Freedom Proof coins ($100, $50, $25 and $10) were struck. If you have purchased American Platinum Eagles since 2007 you may be one of the lucky investors to have purchased one of these “Frosted Freedom” coins.

    I got some 2007 Platinum Proof Eagles I need to look at. Not expecting to find any treasure but you never know. I suppose if I did find something I’d be happy…. for a while. Actually for a long while.

  93. Scott says

    IMHO, the 2009 UHR maintains it’s popularity and to some degree it’s elevated price because of what it is, a classic remake of our country’s most beautiful coin. While some may have similar opinion of the 225th Liberty coin, I seriously doubt the 225th coin will be elevated to that level regardless of the final mintage. I’d bet the 225 coin painfully lingers around with lackluster sales like so many of the first spouse coins.

  94. John Q. Coinage says

    Agree with Scott, classics have some leg$ but the 225h HR Au is not destined to be a classic, IMAGINE IF they re-issued Flowing head 1$ as gold what a great seller it would be, or maybe a silver center large cent or reissued 1st year $10 Eagle…nope lets go another way……regardless I don’t care about the 2017 HR nor the
    low mintage” Boys Town $5 …..seems to be plenty of EU sets @ USMINT now, likely will NEVER sell out @ this rate…….

  95. Goat says

    The stories of today.
    A sure thing ? eclipse or gold in Fort Knox Witch one would you take a chance to view ? One choose eclipse. In 1992 I was asked to be at Fort Knox but this time I was over looked so I checked out the eclipse.

    Palladium in late 1990’s – early 2000 hit a high, about the same time the stock market had a big pull back. Is this something to be concerned with ?

    What will gold and silver due this year in the months Oct.-Dec..? Past few years the two pulled back a little, will this year be the break out. I think $1361 for gold and $20.29 for silver is a price to watch.

  96. cagcrisp says

    The Current price of the 2017 American Liberty Gold coin is $1,740.00

    There has been 15 2009 Ultra High Relief Gold coins Sold in OGP on the bay in the last month for Less than $1,740.00.

    The Lowest 2009 Ultra High Relief being on 08/10/17 for $1,558.00 with 8 bids.

    Another 2009 Ultra High Relief went for $1,600.00 Accepted Best Offer on 08/21/17.

    Just Another example of a Nightmare before it’s all over…

  97. johnaz says

    I got a post card from u.s.mint today.for 2017 silver proof,free shipping. But on the card it said Did you miss our last silver proof set.Does this mean no more silver proof set.

  98. Scott says

    The ridiculous premiums for U.S. Mint products are bad news for the future of this hobby. Ultimately most people that sell their purchases will incur a loss, leaving a negative impression. As for me, I’d still rather have the 2009 UHR than the 225 coin at any price.

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