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Category: Modern US Coins

Pricing Controversy with New 5 oz. “America the Beautiful” Bullion Coins

The U.S. Mint’s Dec. 1 announcement that the new 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion quarter dollars were to go on sale December 6th was canceled earlier this week over Mint concerns and complaints that the much anticipated coins were being overpriced.

The US mint does not distribute its bullion products directly to the public, but rather uses a network of 11 “Primary Distributors” who purchase the coins from the US Mint at $9.75 over the spot price of silver, and then in turn mostly wholesale these out to retail dealers. Few of these Primary Distributors have retail facilities.

Here is a list of the Primary Distributors:

  • A-Mark Precious Metals
  • Coins ‘N Things Inc.
  • MTB
  • Scotia Mocatta
  • Dillon Gage of Dallas
  • Prudential Securities Inc.
  • The Gold Center
  • American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc. (APMEX)
  • Commerzbank International (Luxembourg)
  • Deutsche Bank A.G. (Germany)
  • Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Japan)

As part of the December 1st announcement, the Mint surprisingly drastically reduced the mintage’s for the much anticipated 5 oz  America the Beautiful Bullion coins from an anticipated 100,000 coin  (for each of the 5 designs this year), to a mere 33,000.

After the announcement, APMEX decided to offer the 2010 5 coin set to customers and allow them to pre-order the coins from their website. Apmex is one of the few Primary Distributors that maintains a retail presence  through their website (which is excellent by the way). The 5 coin set was being offered at $1,395.

Obviously with such limited supplies, the large (3 inches in diameter) bullion coins were expected to be in hot demand .

However within hours of this pre-launch offering, complaints started to be registered with the US Mint because Apmex, responding to the anticipated demand and low mintages, had placed a $130.00 premium per coin on the set.

Apmex customers didn’t seem to mind the hefty premiums too much because within 19 hours after the posted  pre-launch offer, they had sold 1000 sets. But the US Mint did mind. In fact they halted the release of the new 5 oz coins to review the situation. (more…)

Low Mintages To Create New Modern Rarities

By Steve RoachThe Rare Coin Market Report Blog

The U.S. Mint’s Dec. 1 announcement that it is placing tighter than expected mintage limits on the new 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion quarter dollars may result in the creation of some new modern rarities.

The large (3 inches in diameter) and undoubtedly impressive coins will surely be in hot demand, especially with such limited supplies.

The bullion issues are made available to authorized dealers who then resell the coins to the market. The mintages are strictly limited to not more than 33,000 of each design – a sharp decline from the 100,000 previously announced. The Mint will charge its distributors $9.75 per coin above the price of silver.

Uncirculated examples will be offered for sale directly to collectors during the first quarter of 2011. With mintage limits of 27,000 per coin, the 2010 issues seem destined to be modern classics, as the coins relate to circulating coins, are likely affordable to many collectors, and are simply big and flashy.

Of course, the long-term demand is largely dependent on whether collectors take to the large silver coins and seek to build sets.

Time will tell about the long-term popularity of these coins, but in the meantime, the lower-than-expected mintages should provide great action for speculators and spectators alike.

The American Eagle silver bullion coins provide a comparison point, having as key to the series the Proof 1995-W American Eagle with a mintage of 30,125 pieces. Examples of that issue regularly sell for $3,000.

Collectors’ difficulties in acquiring Proof 2010-W American Eagle silver bullion coins, with strict 100-coin per household ordering limits, have already created a robust aftermarket for these coins.

On eBay, ready-to-ship examples have been regularly selling for $55.

At least one major market-maker is offering $49 a coin for 100-coin confirmed orders of Proof 2010-W American Eagle silver coins. At an issue price of $45.95, this allows a profit of nearly $300 for dealers, and provides the market-maker a large group of coins to market during the holidays.

US Mint to Begin Selling Mount Hood Quarters Next Week Followed by Ceremonies

WASHINGTON – Quarter-dollar coins honoring Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon will enter into circulation on November 15. At noon Eastern Time (ET) the same day, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for collectible bags and two-roll sets containing the new coin. The bags are priced at $35.95 each, and the two-roll sets are priced at $32.95 each. The Mount Hood National Forest quarter is the fifth coin released in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

The bags and rolls contain circulating quality coins that were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia. The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks. The distinctive packaging displays the name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, mint of origin and “$10,” the face value of its contents. Each canvas bag contains 100 coins and bears a tag denoting the mint of origin, name of the national park or site, state abbreviation and “$25,” the face value of its contents.

Orders will be accepted at the United States Mint’s Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order at 1-888-321-MINT. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.

Mount Hood’s last major eruption was in 1790, 15 years before Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest. But on Wednesday, November 17, the public is invited to witness an eruption of a different kind, as thousands of new quarter-dollar coins struck in honor of Mount Hood National Forest are released during a ceremony in nearby Portland, Oregon. The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) at the World Forestry Center located at 4033 SW Canyon Road in Portland.

The ceremony will include a coin exchange at which members of the public may swap their currency for $10 rolls of Mount Hood National Forest quarters at face value. Children 18 years old and younger will receive a free quarter to commemorate the event. Those unable to attend will be able to view a live broadcast of the ceremony at http://www.americathebeautifulquarters.gov.

The United States Mint will host a coin forum on the evening prior to the launch ceremony. It will be held Tuesday, November 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. PT at Cheatham Hall, World Forestry Center. This public forum will give collectors and others an opportunity to meet with United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart and discuss the future of the Nation’s coinage.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground. Inscriptions on the reverse are MOUNT HOOD, OREGON, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The coin’s obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of November 15, 2010, noon ET, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored.

New Lincoln Dollar Coins to be Available on November 18th

United States Mint to launch new coin at 16th President’s summer home

Presidential $1 Coins bearing the image of one of our Nation’s most admired leaders will enter into circulation on November 18.

In honor of the release of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, the United States Mint invites the public to a launch ceremony on November 19, to be held at President Lincoln’s Cottage on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin is the 16th release in the United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program. The coin’s obverse (heads side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features an image of Lincoln with the inscriptions ABRAHAM LINCOLN, IN GOD WE TRUST, 16TH PRESIDENT and 1861-1865. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design, also by Everhart, features a dramatic rendition of the Statue of Liberty, with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and $1. The year of minting or issuance, 2010, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mint mark are incused on the coin’s edge. To view and download high-resolution images of the circulating Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, go to http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#Pres.

President Lincoln’s Cottage is the most significant site associated with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency after the White House. President Lincoln lived there for one quarter of his presidency and was living there when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation and deliberated critical issues of the Civil War. Lincoln commuted three miles daily by horseback or coach to the White House, last visiting the Cottage the day before his assassination. The National Trust for Historic Preservation opened the Cottage to the public in 2008 after a seven-year restoration. Today, the Cottage offers intimate, guided tours providing an in-depth, media-enhanced experience, highlighting Lincoln’s ideas and actions through historical images and voices. For more information about the Cottage, go to http://www.lincolncottage.org.

Presidential $1 Coins that are produced for daily cash transactions last for decades, are 100 percent recyclable and can save the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Like previously released Presidential $1 Coins, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin will be shipped to banks and other financial institutions in rolls, unmixed with other $1 coins. Banks may order and store each Presidential $1 Coin up to three weeks prior to the introduction, so they will have supplies on hand on the release date. The coins will be available in unmixed rolls for two weeks after the introduction of each design. The special ordering process begins again when each new Presidential $1 Coin is released.

The ordering period for unmixed quantities of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin will begin on October 28. To order boxes of wrapped rolls ($1,000 minimum order) of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, depository institutions may use FedLine Web® Access Solution. In addition, local Federal Reserve Bank offices can handle special requests for $2,000 bags of unmixed Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coins, $2,000 bags of mixed $1 coins, and orders for Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coins after the special order period ends on December 2, while supplies last.

Presidential $1 Coins are also educational and fun to collect, with four new designs issued each year. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin is featured in collectible products available for purchase via the United States Mint’s Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: Collecting Modern Coins

News and Analysis on coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community #24

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

The purpose this week is to put forth clear, constructive points regarding the collecting of modern U.S. coins. Readers who are already familiar with modern coins may wish to skip to section three, where John Albanese, Jeff Ambio and I provide advice and guidelines for collecting modern coins.

Before the rare U.S. coin auction climate starts to heat up again, I am continuing to address issues that are of interest to beginning and intermediate collectors. This week, I am revisiting the topic of modern coins, partly because many readers last week falsely and unfairly concluded that I was condemning modern coins. I was not saying that only pre-1934 coins should be collected and I was not referring to the artistic elements of the designs of coins minted after 1934. I was discussing the FACTS that distinguish classic from modern U.S. coins.

Indeed, there is a need to clarify some matters relating to recommendations for collectors and values in the marketplace. Last week, I wrote a two part series on 1933/34 being the dividing line between classic coins and modern U.S. coinage. (Please click to read part 1 or part 2.) Two weeks ago, I covered dealer recommendations regarding modestly priced coins for beginning and intermediate collectors.

Jeff Ambio certainly understood my central points last week. Ambio is the author of three books regarding U.S. coins and is one of the leading cataloguers of coin auction lots. In regards to “the 1933/34 diving line, I [Jeff] agree with your basic contention that coins minted prior to that period are much scarcer than those minted after. I [Jeff] also agree with your opinion that collectors paying huge sums of money for post-1934 coins in high grades should reconsider their buying strategies.”

The collecting of State Quarters is discussed in the second section. Strategies for collecting modern coins are addressed in the third section.

I. Commonality of Modern Coins

Although post-1934 coins are generally extremely common in contrast to pre-1934 U.S. coins, people who very much like post-1934 coins and enjoy collecting them should do so. Last week, in part 2, I emphasized that people should not spend large sums on a post-1934 coin solely because such a coin is, or is claimed to be, a condition rarity.

Indeed, I am against the rather common practice of spending thousands of dollars for common coins. For example, auction records reveal that a considerable number of businesses strike Roosevelt dimes have each sold for thousands of dollars.

Generally, I am very concerned about people spending even $35 over face value or bullion (‘melt’) value for a very common coin. Mint errors and recognized unusual varieties are different topics. I am herein referring to standard issues. I am aware that the 1955/1955 Double Die cent is scarce overall. It is, though, a mint error, or, at least, an accidental issue. U. S. Mint officials did not plan in advance for the numerals and some other devices of these cents to be doubled. Errors and unusual varieties require separate discussions, and tend to be exceptions to rules. (more…)

Coin Profile: 2000-W Library of Congress Bicentennial Bimetallic Ten Dollars

The First and Only Bimetalic Commemorative Coin Minted by the US

The Library of Congress, founded on April 24, 1800, is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Also the world’s largest library, it houses 119 million items– 18 million books; two million recordings; 12 million photographs; four million maps; and 53 million manuscripts.

The library’s rare book collection is the largest in North America and includes the oldest surviving book printed in North America – the Bay Psalm Book, printed in 1640; the world’s largest book, John James Audubon’s Birds of America, which is 1 meter high; and the world’s smallest book, Old King Cole, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. This book is so small that its pages can be turned only with the use of a needle- and equally sharp eyes.

President Thomas Jefferson played a key role both in the U.S. Mint’s history and in the Library of Congress’ development. Jefferson proposed the decimal coinage system we use today and advocated founding a mint on U.S. soil. A lifelong reader, Jefferson donated his personal collection of 6,487 books to Congress for $23,950 after the British burned the new Capitol and Library in 1814. On Christmas Eve 1851, another fire destroyed two-thirds of Jefferson’s collection. Although many of the volumes have been replaced, nearly 900 remain missing and the Library is engaged in a worldwide search to replace them.

Not only does the Library of Congress supply whatever research Congress needs, it serves all Americans through its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill, its Web site (http://www.loc.gov/), and as a monument to our nation’s love of learning.

These commemorative coins are called the coins of many firsts.” The first commemorative coins of the new Century, they are also the first-ever gold and platinum bimetallic coins in the nation’s history. For the bimetallic version, the outer ring is stamped from a sheet of gold, then a solid core of platinum is placed within the ring. The coins contain about one-half an ounce of precious metal.

The bimetallic coin design was inspired by the graceful architecture of the library’s Jefferson Building. The outer ring is stamped from a sheet of gold, then a solid core of platinum is placed within the ring. Then, the gold ring and platinum core are simultaneously stamped forming an annular bead where the two precious metals meet. The obverse depicts the hand of Minerva, the Goddess of Wisdom, raising the torch of learning aside the dome of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The coin’s reverse is marked with the Library of Congress seal encircled by a laurel wreath, symbolizing its national accomplishment.

Designers: John Mercanti, obverse; Thomas D. Rogers Sr., reverse

Coin Rarities & Related Topics: Coins Minted After 1934 tend to be Very Common, 1793 to 1933 is the Classic Era – Part One

News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community, #23

A Weekly Column by Greg Reynolds

Last week’s column was about dealer recommendations for new collectors who seek coins valued at $250, more or less, with consideration of a few that are valued at more than $1000. Among the experts that I interviewed, no one suggested buying coins minted after 1934. This column is devoted to an exploration of the topic of the 1933 to 1935 time period being a dividing line between classic and modern U.S. coins. This is not my opinion; it is an objective reality. Conclusive evidence will be provided herein.

A review of coin related publications in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s would suggest this dividing line. Indeed, quite a few dealers in classic U.S. coins used to include a statement relating to the years ‘1793 to 1933’ in their ads and pricelists. Almost always, leading auction firms emphasized coins in the 1793 to 1933 time period and still do so.

Why discuss this dividing line now? I am concerned about the amounts paid for condition rarities of the post-1934 era. I do not have a problem with a collector paying a large sum of money for a condition rarity if the coin issue in general is at least moderately scarce. It is wonderful that someone paid $138,000 for the Duckor 1904-S half dollar, which is PCGS graded MS-67. (Please click to read my two part series on Dr. Duckor’s halves, part 1 or part 2.) A low grade 1904-S half could be obtained for less than one hundred dollars. The 1904-S date, though, is scarce in general. The PCGS and the NGC together have certified less than two hundred different 1904-S halves, and probably more than two thousand uncertified 1904-S halves exist. Certainly, there are fewer than five thousand in existence, in all grades. For post-1934 coins, however, people often spend vast amounts for superb gem quality coins when hundreds of thousands or literally millions exist of the same respective coin issue.

If millions of a coin issue exist overall or thousands in MS-65 grade, how much should a MS-67 or higher grade representative of the same coin issue be worth? There is not an easy answer to the question. Of course, supply and demand determine prices in relatively free markets. I am not challenging the truthfulness of current price levels for supergrade modern coins. I am wondering whether the buyers have thought carefully about their demands. I am also wondering whether many sellers of post-1934 coins are, sometimes implicitly, misleading buyers, or are ignorant themselves. Anyone who can afford an inventory may become a coin dealer. In any event, in order to understand the distinction between classic U.S. coins and modern issues, there is a need to learn about both and about the dividing line between classic coins and modern issues.

I. The 1793-1933 Tradition

Referring to U.S. coins minted from 1793 to 1933 as classic coin issues is not arbitrary and it is not an accidental tradition. When polling dealers and collectors, I became aware that everyone seemed to remember the tradition of referring to 1933 or 1934 as a dividing line, but no one recollected the origins or meaning of the tradition. The true reason is that pre-1934 coins (with few exceptions) are much scarcer than post-1934 coins. (more…)

2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Designs Unveiled United States Mint

New commemorative coin marks 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Medal of Honor

United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart unveiled designs for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program today at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s annual convention in historic Charleston, S.C. The bureau is minting and issuing the commemorative coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, as authorized by Public Law 111-91, the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009. Options will include gold $5 coins and silver $1 coins in proof and uncirculated qualities.

The obverse (heads side) of the gold coin, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna, depicts the original Medal of Honor, authorized by Congress in 1861, as the Navy’s highest personal decoration. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, 1861, 2011, IN GOD WE TRUST and MEDAL OF HONOR. The coin’s reverse (tails side) was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The design features Minerva, based on the common central image on both the original Navy and Army Medals of Honor. Minerva, standing with a shield representing the Army and Navy in her right hand and the Union flag in her left hand, is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $5 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The obverse of the silver coin, by Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz, depicts the three current Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honor, left to right. The ribbon with field of stars in the center is the common feature of all three medals, reflecting the joint nature of modern era warfare and that the Medal of Honor is the only U.S. military medal worn around the neck. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, MEDAL OF HONOR and 1861–2011. The coin’s reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts a modern-day infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety under enemy fire, reflecting the courage and self-sacrifice of all Medal of Honor recipients. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Mintages for the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program are limited to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins. Surcharges collected from coin sales—$35 for each gold coin and $10 for each silver coin—are authorized to be paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to help finance its educational, scholarship and outreach programs.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is presented to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. The medals are presented by the President in the name of Congress.

“The men and women of the United States Mint are honored by the role we will play in connecting America to the values and qualities of courage, sacrifice and patriotism through the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative $5 Gold and Silver Dollar Coins,” said Deputy Director Brunhart.

Grand Canyon National Park Quarter Coin Rolls and Bags Available Starting Today

The United States Mint will offer collectible bags and two-roll sets containing Grand Canyon National Park quarters beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on September 20. The two-roll sets are priced at $32.95 each and the 100-coin bags are priced at $35.95 each. The Grand Canyon National Park quarter is the fourth coin released through the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

Collectors may place their orders at the United States Mint’s secure Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order at 1-888-321-MINT. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.

The bags and rolls contain coins that were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation. The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks-wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, mint of origin, and “$10”, the face value of its contents. A tag is attached to each 100-coin bag denoting the mint of origin, name of the national park or site, and the state abbreviation.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon near the Colorado River. (Marble Canyon is the northernmost section of the Grand Canyon.) Inscriptions on the reverse are GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The design featured on the coin’s obverse (heads side) is the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

Anti-Penny Video Rant . He Hates Nickels Too

Certainly it would be hard to logically justify the continued manufacture and use of the US penny from an economic standpoint.

The Penny costs 1.7 cents to produce and is worth only 1/26th of what it used to be worth when Lincoln was President.

In fact it is estimated that the US Mint loses over 70 Million dollars a year producing this denomination of US coinage.

Let us know what you think!  Is the Penny Useless? Should we get rid of it or Keep it?

Post a Comment

Prices for Proof American Eagle Gold Coins Tumble

By Steve Roach – First published in the Aug. 30, 2010, issue of Coin World

Proof American Eagle gold coins have provided some sparks in the marketplace this past year, but the fast fall in prices over the past several weeks serves as a reminder that what goes up usually comes down.

Some major buyers have stopped buying these and prices have fallen sharply.

For some smaller dealers who were stockpiling the coins in anticipation of continued demand, the change in the market means they have lost substantial money, for now, as the coins are now worth substantially less than what the dealers paid for them.

During July, several large dealers were paying between $1,950 and $2,000 per ounce for Proof American Eagle gold coins in original Mint packaging – the inner and outer boxes, original capsules and original certificate of authenticity with the same year as the coins.

For example, on July 14 a major wholesaler was paying $2,025 per ounce; the dealer’s price gradually declined to $1,900 July 26. Then on July 27 the dealer’s buy price went down to $1,850. On July 29 in the morning the dealer’s buy price was $1,830 and by the afternoon it went to $1,800. On Aug. 3, the price hit $1,750 and then, with orders filled, that dealer stopped buying.

Incidentally, the price of gold on July 26 was $1,189 per ounce and the price on Aug. 3 was $1,184, meaning that the drop in demand was not directly related to the bullion market.

On Aug. 6, when gold increased to $1,205 per ounce, one dealer offered $1,650 per ounce for coins with original packaging, and for coins without the packaging, the price dropped sharply to $1,400 per ounce.

If those who are closest to the market are not buying at the high levels that have characterized these Proof issues for the last year, are they doing this because they know something that we at Coin World don’t know?

On Aug. 6, the U.S. Mint told Coin World that no decision has been made as to whether Proof 2010-W American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins would be struck.

If the U.S. Mint releases Proof American Eagle gold bullion coins in 2010, supplies will increase and less pressure will be placed on the current supply, likely ending the bull market for these issues.

Mr. Roach maintains a website/blog titled The Rare Coin Market Report

Yosemite National Park Quarters Available July 26

The United States Mint will offer America the Beautiful QuartersTM bags and rolls, containing quarter-dollar coins honoring Yosemite National Park in California, beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on July 26. The coins, minted at the United States Mint facilities at Denver and at Philadelphia, will be available in two-roll sets priced at $32.95 each and 100-coin bags priced at $35.95 each. The two-roll sets contain one roll each of 40 coins bearing the P and D mint marks, wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name “Yosemite,” the abbreviation “CA” for California, the mint of origin and “$10,” the face value of its contents. The canvas 100-coin bags bear tags denoting their mint of origin, “Yosemite,” “CA” and “$25,” the total value of their contents.

Orders will be accepted online at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or at the toll-free number 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). All domestic orders are assessed a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 each.

The Yosemite National Park quarter is the third release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a new multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other sites in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts the iconic El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is the largest monolith of granite in the world. Inscriptions are YOSEMITE, CALIFORNIA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse image was designed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) design-common to each coin in the series-continues to feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of July 26, 2010, noon ET, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored. For more information, please review the United States Mint’s Frequently Asked Questions, Answer ID #175.

Great Coin Design, by Committee

The CCAC is on a mission to improve the designs of U.S. coins. As the first bold step to accomplish this goal, they established a subcommittee. Seriously.

Along with the new Subcommittee on Coin Design Excellence, the effort also produced a ‘visual definition of design excellence’, which includes an image reference guide of 25 U.S. coin designs and 39 world coin and medal designs, and a helpful list of 17 characteristics of design excellence. The latter bears repeating in entirety (as quoted in Coin World):

* use of texture and pattern
* meaningful negative space
* thoughtful relationship of negative to positive space
* stylization
* ethnical influences
* allegory and symbolism
* detail yes, crowding no
* use of perspective
* used of forced perspective
* minimal layers
* harmonious, restrained type styles
* clarity
* interwoven images, not busy collages
* contrast of texture and smooth
* fluidity
* subtlety
* relevance of obverse to reverse

Ok, pop quiz. In 25 words or less, describe precisely what any three of these list items mean, as applied to coin design, and discuss whether that item is or is not currently identifiable on any U.S. coin. Points will be deducted for the use of jargon. Bonus: show which items in the list are more or less the same as other items in the list.

The 17 characteristics are intended to be “a benchmark to inspire those who design U.S. coins to be more innovative and creative.” Though “not trying to blame anyone or point fingers”, and noting that “we believe we have some wonderful artists and don’t doubt their talent at all”, it is the work of these same artists with which the CCAC seems to find fault. Were I a current Mint coin designer I would be skeptical of the CCAC’s non-finger-pointing assurance.

This endeavor seems to be an attempt to quantify the answer to the basic question of “What is good design?”. The implication is that good design will happen if all 17 guidelines are met. Oh, and by being inspired by the 39-item reference guide set. Certainly there are principles to which good design adheres, but can excellent creative results be summoned by following a list? It seems obvious to note that design appreciation is subject to the experience and interests of the viewer. Great art for thee is not necessarily great art for me.

The Subcommittee on Coin Design Excellence is a classic bureaucratic response to a perceived problem: create committees, study the issue for awhile, create guidelines, apply guidelines, have a bunch of meetings, and then congratulate yourself for solving the problem. Or, possibly, bemoan the fact that people aren’t listening to you. The reality of such efforts is that the process often becomes more important than results.

It is ironic that contemporary U.S. coins appear in the reference guide set (think about that- good enough to be in a reference set but not creative or innovative?); and that CCAC Chairman Gary Marks likes the 2010 Union Shield cent reverse, while member Donald Scarinci says the design makes him ‘want to vomit’. So, which is it? Do we currently have excellent designs or don’t we? Marks also admitted that, regarding coin design, “It’s art, so it’s subjective to some degree”.

This begs the question: if two prominent members of the CCAC don’t agree on what represents good design, how will a subcommittee, the CCAC, and the CFA all reach agreement on what is good design? And, even if all members agree on what they think to be some really excellent coin designs, what if the public (and artists not part of the CCAC or CFA) don’t like them at all? What if everyone agrees on only 10% of new coins designs? Is that enough to call it a 21st century coin renaissance?

What I see in this are words and phrases of indeterminate definition, a possible clash of egos, and an attempt to put into a box an extremely subjective endeavor. I am reminded of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon, wherein “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.” The CCAC would have each and every U.S. coin design be ‘above average’.

The desire is of course understandable. It is natural to want all things to be perfect, to have all efforts to achieve success. But it is also necessary to realize that great efforts, lists, committees, and intent do not necessarily produce great results. Sometimes, I’m afraid, just the opposite. I suspect that in spite of the CCAC’s zeal, ‘great’ coin designs will continue to be rare, and subjective. Perhaps that is as it should be.

US Mint to Release Annual 2010 Uncirculated and Proof Coin Sets This Month

The 2010 United States Mint Uncirculated Set®, priced at $31.95, will be available on July 15; and the 2010 United States Mint Proof Set®, priced at $31.95, will be available on July 22.

Both sets include the first five commemorative quarter-dollar coins in the America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program, honoring Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas), Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming), Yosemite National Park (California), Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), and Mount Hood National Forest (Oregon). The sets also include four Presidential $1 Coins, honoring Presidents Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln; one Native American $1 Coin; one Kennedy half-dollar coin; one Jefferson 5-cetn coin; one Roosevelt dime coin; and one Lincoln one-cent cent.

The United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set includes two folders, each containing 14 coins from the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia. The coins are struck on special presses using greater force than circulating coins, producing a sharp, intricately detailed image. The satin-finish coins are displayed in a folder that includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

The United States Mint Proof Set contains 14 coins that bear the “S” mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. The coins are manufactured using specially prepared, highly polished dies. The coins are extraordinarily brilliant, with sharp relief and a mirror-like background. A frosted, sculpted foreground gives these coins a special cameo effect. The coins are sealed in three protective lenses to showcase and maintain their exceptional finish. A Certificate of Authenticity is included with each set.

Sales for these sets will open at noon Eastern Time (ET) on the specified release dates. Orders will be accepted at the United States Mint’s Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). All domestic orders will be assessed a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order.

Customers may also acquire the United States Mint Uncirculated Set and the United States Mint Proof Set through the Online Subscription Program. For more information about this convenient ordering method, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/catalog. (more…)

Gainesville Coins Honored with “2010 Best Bullion Award” form National Inflation Association

The National Inflation Association is pleased to announce the release of its first ever update to its unbiased reviews of the major online sellers of gold and silver bullion. NIA’s ‘Gold and Silver Seller Reviews’ feature was originally launched on January 14th and has become widely recognized in the industry as the premiere spot for precious metals investors to become educated about how online gold and silver coin and bullion dealers are rated in the categories of pricing, selection, shipping/processing, customer experience, and overall.

The online gold and silver seller industry is one of the most rapidly growing in the world today. NIA is dedicated to ensuring that Americans get the most real money for their fiat money when making the most important investment decision of their lives. NIA believes it’s important for Americans to receive their precious metals in a timely manner, as hyperinflation in the U.S. can literally break out overnight due to an unforeseen event taking place in one of our creditor nations.

NIA decided to award Gainesville Coins with our “NIA 2010 Best Bullion Award“.

Gainesville Coins is the highest rated company in our review with prices for precious metals that are the lowest out of all the companies in our review. Gainesville Coins had already earned a perfect 5 stars in all categories in our original review, but they have somehow managed to improve their site by adding precious metal spot prices as well as new “Deals of the Week”, “Featured”, “New Arrivals”, and “Top Sellers” features. NIA members who make a purchase on Gainesville Coins can now receive an automatic $5 discount on their order by applying the following coupon code in their shopping cart: ‘NIAUS’ (NIA does NOT earn any kind of a referral fee).

NIA has added three new companies to its review: Austin Rare Coins, Monarch Precious Metals, and Northwest Territorial Mint. NIA has also updated the reviews of previously reviewed companies. NIA’s next update to its review will be released later this summer. NIA plans to soon implement a new feature that will allow its members to submit new companies for NIA to review. NIA members will also be able to submit complaints about companies that should be avoided.

1999-W 1/10th Eagle $5.00 Gold Matte Finish Error or Variety?

By Ken Potter – NLG – CoinLink Content Partner

Some time ago a fellow sent in an error-variety coin with some very interesting questions. He said: “I have a 1999-W $5.00 Gold 1/10th Eagle that was struck by the Mint with an Uncirculated Matte Finish instead of the intended Proof finish for the West Point issue. Is this an error or variety — the grading service states it’s an error? Also, why is it referred to by the grading service as struck with “Unfinished Proof Die” when the die has clearly been “finished” albeit the wrong finish?

Phot by Ken PotterHe made to very good points and I had to explain that it was both an error and a variety and that the grading service was technically wrong. My answer to him was as follows and aught to be of interest to others.

According to Alan Herbert in his book, The Official Price Guide To Mint Errors:
“Only a small fraction of the mint product is an “error.” The E word was born back in the dark ages when almost nobody knew anything about the minting process. Today we know enough about the complexities of minting coins to be able to pinpoint the exact cause, or causes, in 99 percent of the cases. We desperately need the proper language to fit with that increased knowledge. Teaching novice collectors nicknames and slang is akin to teaching a chimp how to use a baseball bat. It curls my hair to hear professional people, engineers, doctors, lawyers and other college graduates misusing the language like they do.

We know that many actions by mint personnel are expedients-things done to speed up production, salvage worn or damaged dies, use up substandard planchets, or just simply to save money. Obviously, an expedient is not an “error.” It was done deliberately. Other mint products are different because of wear and tear to the dies, coin press, or other equipment. Again this stretches the definition of “error” to have to include a normal result of heavy usage.

The more we know about the minting process, the harder it is to stretch the E word to fit the end result. The simple solution is to have a “real” term which will include any and all variations, and-just as important-will include “errors,” but in their proper perspective. That term is minting varieties.

A minting variety is, by definition, “A coin which is normal or which exhibits a variation of any kind from the normal, whether intentional, accidental, or due to wear and tear on the equipment, as a result of any portion of the minting process, whether at the blank or planchet stage, as a result of a change or modification of the die, or during the striking process.”
(more…)

2010 Proof Buffalo and Jane Pierce Gold Coins Go on Sale Today from US Mint

[CoinLink News] The  United States Mint announced that beginning today, June 3rd , the 2010 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins will go on sale at noon Eastern Time (ET).

The obverse (heads side) and reverse (tails side) designs of the American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin are based on the original 1913 Type I Buffalo nickel by James Earle Fraser.  The obverse features the profile of a Native American with the inscriptions LIBERTY, 2010 and the W mint mark for the United States Mint at West Point.  The coin’s reverse features the revered American Buffalo-also known as the bison-with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST, $50, 1OZ and .9999 FINE GOLD.

Each American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin is presented in an elegant hardwood box with a matte finish and faux leather inset.  The coins are exhibited on a platform which can stand at an angle for display when the box is open.  A Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Director of the United States Mint is included.

Also today, June 3, The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin at noon Eastern Time (ET).  The one-half ounce 24-karat gold coin, struck at the United States Mint at West Point, will be available in proof and uncirculated conditions.

The maximum mintage for the Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin is set at 15,000 units across both product options.  Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof to uncirculated coins produced within the total maximum mintage.  There is no household order limit for this product.

Bronze medals bearing a likeness of the gold coin also will be available for $5.50 each.  There is no mintage or household order limit for the bronze medal, which is 1-5/16 inches in size.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) features a portrait of Jane Pierce designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.  Inscriptions on the obverse include JANE PIERCE, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2010, 14th and 1853-1857, the period during which she served in the White House.  The coin’s reverse (tails side) was also designed by Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers.  The design depicts Pierce sitting and listening to debates in the visitor’s gallery of the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building.  Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD. (more…)

United States Mint to Release Yellowstone National Park Quarter June 1

Second Coin in America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program Available in Bags and Rolls

The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for products featuring the Yellowstone National Park quarter beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on June 1, 2010. Available options include a two-roll set priced at $32.95 and 100-coin bags priced at $35.95 each. The coins in the bags and rolls were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation.

The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks-wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name “Yellowstone,” abbreviation “WY” for Wyoming, mint of origin, and “$10,” the value of its contents. Each canvas bag has a tag with “Yellowstone,” the “P” or “D” mint mark, “WY,” and “$25,” the value of its contents.

Orders will be accepted at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321 MINT (6468). A fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders to cover shipping and handling costs.

The Yellowstone National Park quarter is the second release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program, the United States Mint’s new multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and national sites in each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design features the Old Faithful geyser with a mature bull bison in the foreground. Inscriptions are YELLOWSTONE, WYOMING, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, which has been restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR. Each coin in the series will bear the same obverse design.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins. (more…)

Hot Springs National Park Quarter Available in Bags and Rolls Beginning April 19

The United States Mint today announced the release of products featuring the Hot Springs National Park quarter at noon Eastern Time (ET) on April 19, 2010. Available options include a two-roll set priced at $32.95 each and 100-coin bags priced at $35.95 each.

The Hot Springs National Park quarter is the first release in the America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program, the United States Mint’s new 12-year coin program that will honor 56 national parks and national sites.

The coins contained in the bags and rolls were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation. The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks-wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, mint of origin, and “$10,” the total value of its contents. Each canvas bag has a tag with the “P” or “D” mint mark, name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, and “$25,” the total value of its contents.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts the façade of the Hot Springs National Park headquarters building with a fountain in the foreground. The headquarters was built in the Spanish colonial revival style and completed in 1936. The National Park Service emblem is featured to the right of the door. Inscriptions on the reverse are HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. It was designed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, which has been restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR. Each coin in the series will bear the same obverse design.

Customers may order at the United States Mint’s Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468)

US Mint Unveils First Five Coins in America the Beautiful Quarters Program

The United States Mint unveiled the designs for the first five quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program in a special ceremony today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

United States Mint Director Ed Moy treated special guests and the media to a first look at the new designs, which celebrate the spectacular natural wonders that are found in the United States’ national parks, forests, shores and other national sites.

“Through America the Beautiful Quarters coins, we will be transported to national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, part of a vast public land legacy belonging to all Americans-natural and cultural treasures protected for our recreation, relaxation, education, inspiration and transformation,” Director Moy said.

“This program holds real value in helping Americans of all ages learn more about U.S. history, landmarks and culture through highlighting 56 national parks and sites throughout our country and territories in a series of quarters that will live on for generations,” said Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios.

The first quarter in the series, which honors Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, will be released into circulation on April 19, with an official launch ceremony in Hot Springs on April 20. It will be followed by quarters honoring Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming (June); Yosemite National Park in California (July); Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona (September); and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon (November). (more…)

Modern Coins – No-S Proof Coin Set to be offered by Heritage at CSNS


The period 1965 to 1967 was an interesting time in US numismatic history. The price of silver had risen to the point where it made no sense to make higher denomination coins out of silver. In addition, there was a widely reported coin shortage, despite record production levels.

As the mint scrambled to adjust, a number of emergency measures were taken. Production of 1964-dated coinage continued well into 1965 until the new clad planchets were ready. Then, to make sure that there was enough of the new coinage to go around, the mint decided both to cease production of proof coinage and to do away with mintmarks. The only concession of any kind made to coin collectors were the Special Mint Sets of 1965-67, not true proof coins, but high quality circulation strike coins similar in some ways to the satin finish coins in mint sets today.

In 1968, the mint resumed the use of mintmarks and the production of proof coinage, but with a new twist. Proof coins, like the prior Special Mint Set coins, were now made in San Francisco, and the S mintmark reappeared after a 12 year hiatus. Initially, the San Francisco Mint also manufactured some circulation strike cents and nickels, but their dimes, quarters, and halves were strictly proofs. The mint would eventually also make Susan B. Anthony dollars for circulation, as well as silver-clad Ike dollars and bicentennial coinage for collectors.

During the first year of S-mint proof set production, an unexpected hitch occurred. In a few sets full of S-mint coins, the dimes had no trace of a mintmark! This came about because at that time all coinage dies were prepared with no mintmark, which would be added only upon arrival at the branch mint. On one die, that didn’t happen, and an instant rarity was made.

Walter Breen opined that about six examples of the 1968 no S dime were known. If that is true, then Heritage has sold each of these coins an average of at least three times apiece. Nevertheless, the 1968 no S dime is clearly an extremely rare coin, likely R.6 or low R.7, surpassed in rarity among 20th century dimes by only one coin.

Heritage’s upcoming 2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction includes a rather unique proof set: one each of the five collectible missing mintmark proof coins. Along with the 1968 no S dime, the set includes the 1970 no S dime, the 1971 no S nickel, the 1983 no S dime, and the 1990 no S cent. While none of these coins is as rare as the 1968 S-less dime, each is highly desirable, and a key to its respective proof series. All of the coins in the set grade Proof-68 or 69, and show the eye appeal expected of latter-day US Mint products.

Incidentally, the sole 20th century dime that is rarer than the 1968 no S proof dime is also an S-less proof. A mere two examples are known of the 1975 no S dime, and neither Heritage nor the major grading services has ever handled one!

First Spouse Gold Coin Series: Abigail Fillmore Available March 18

The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coin and Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Bronze Medal on March 18, 2010, at noon Eastern Time (ET).

The one-half ounce 24-karat gold coin, struck at the United States Mint at West Point, will be available in proof and uncirculated conditions.

Pricing for the coins will be based on the United States Mint’s pricing structure for precious metals products. Click Here For current pricing information. The bronze medals, which bear a likeness of the gold coin, will also be available for $5.50 each.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) features a portrait of Abigail Fillmore by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. Inscriptions on the obverse are ABIGAIL FILLMORE, IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY, 2010, 13th and 1850-1853, the period during which she was the spouse of the President.

The coin’s reverse (tails side), by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble, depicts Fillmore shelving books in the library she established at the White House. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD.

The maximum mintage for the Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coin is 15,000 across all product options. Customer demand will determine the ratio of proof coins to uncirculated coins produced within the total maximum mintage.

Abigail Powers Fillmore was born in 1798 in Saratoga County, New York. She developed a passion for learning early in life. Financial circumstances forced her to begin working at the age of 16 as a teacher while she continued her own education.

While teaching at the New Hope Academy in Sempronius, New York, she met future husband, Millard Fillmore. (more…)

American Veterans Silver Dollar Available from the US Mint Today

The United States Mint today announced that it will begin accepting orders for the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on February 25, 2010.

The American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 110-277) authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue silver one-dollar coins in commemoration of disabled American Veterans. The mintage limit for the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar is set at 350,000 coins across all product options. Available options include proof and uncirculated versions of the coin, struck in 90 percent silver.

Special Introductory Pricing for the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar is available until March 29, 2010, after which regular prices will apply:
Proof Silver Dollar – Introductory Pricing $39.95 – Regular Pricing $43.95
Uncirculated Silver Dollar – Introductory Pricing $33.95 – Regular Pricing $35.95

The coin’s obverse (heads side) was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The design features the legs and boots of three disabled veterans, which pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of our disabled veterans. The inscription THEY STOOD UP FOR US is in the banner along the coin’s upper rim. Additional inscriptions on the obverse are IN GOD WE TRUST, 2010 and LIBERTY.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. The design depicts a forget-me-not flower at the base of a wreath wrapped in a ribbon that cradles and supports clusters of oak branches. The oak branches represent strength, while the forget-me-not is a widely accepted symbol of remembrance for those who sacrificed their lives for our country. The inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Take This Moment to Honor Our Disabled Defenders of Freedom, and ONE DOLLAR.

Surcharges from sales of the commemorative coin are authorized to be paid to the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation to support the construction of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C., authorized by Congress in 2000. (more…)

Misdated Presidential Dollar Excites Error Collectors

NGC recently authenticated a 2009 D Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin bearing the date 2010 D on its lettered edge.

NGC has certified a Zachary Taylor Presidential $1 coin that bears the date 2010 D. The Zachary Taylor coin was the fourth Presidential dollar released in 2009 and should correctly bear the date 2009, not 2010. This is the first time that the wrong date has been reported on an edge-lettered US dollar.

The date on each Presidential $1 coin appears on its edge and is applied by an edge lettering die after the obverse and reverse are struck with a blank collar. Because edge lettering is an additional and subsequent step, it has been the source of several types of novel mint error coins. Most common among these errors is partial edge lettering, which occurs when a coin gets hung up in the edge lettering machine and part of the edge lettering is not impressed. Another error is missing edge lettering; that error occurs when a coin misses the edge lettering step entirely. A third error type that has been encountered is doubled edge lettering, which is created when a coin passes through the edge lettering machine twice.

While there are many possible explanations for how this incorrect date error may have occurred, its story is seemingly revealed by the coins that accompanied it. This error coin was included in a roll of 2010 D Native American $1 Coins that were purchased using the US Mint’s Direct Ship Program. Since only this lone Zachary Taylor $1 was found in the roll, one can speculate that the same machinery was used to strike 2010 D Native American dollars after completing a run of 2009 D Zachary Taylor dollars. A coin was left behind somewhere between striking and edge lettering became mixed with Native American dollars headed for the edge lettering process, and was thus inscribed with the wrong date.

Because of where this coin was found, it does not suggest that a large run of error coins were made and, therefore, this type of error coin may remain a significant rarity. (more…)

Millard Fillmore Presidential $1 Coins Available February 18

On February 18, 2010, the United States Mint will release to the Federal Reserve Banks the first new Presidential $1 Coin of 2010, honoring former President Millard Fillmore. Beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) the same day, the agency also will accept orders for rolls of Millard Fillmore Presidential $1 Coins at its online catalog, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog.

Each roll, priced at $35.95, contains 25 circulating quality $1 coins from either the United States Mint at Philadelphia or Denver. The coins are wrapped in specially designed packaging that displays the mint of origin (P or D), the face value of the contents ($25) and the genuine United States Mint logo.

Both the obverse (heads side) and the reverse (tails side) of the Millard Fillmore Presidential $1 Coin were designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart. The obverse design features Fillmore’s dramatic portrait and the inscriptions MILLARD FILLMORE, IN GOD WE TRUST, 13TH PRESIDENT and 1850-1853. The reverse design-common to all Presidential $1 Coins-features a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty, the coin’s face value and the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The inscriptions 2010, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mint of origin are incused on the coin’s edge.

Customers also may order the Millard Fillmore Presidential $1 Coins by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders. As an added convenience, customers may also sign up for the Presidential $1 Coin Two-Roll Set Subscription to receive future rolls of the coins as they are released. Visit http://www.usmint.gov/catalog for more information about this convenient ordering method.

Millard Fillmore was born in a log cabin on January 7, 1800, in Locke (now Summerhill), New York. After studying with a county judge, he began to practice law in 1823. In 1828, Fillmore entered politics, serving as a New York state assemblyman and later in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he chaired the powerful Committee on Ways and Means. While comptroller of New York, he was elected to serve as President Zachary Taylor’s vice president in 1848. Upon Taylor’s death in July 1850, Fillmore became President. After two unsuccessful bids for election to the presidency in his own right, Fillmore retired to Buffalo, New York, where he died on March 8, 1874. (more…)

US Mint 2010 Presidential $1 Coin Proof Set™ Available February 11

The United States Mint announced today that it will begin accepting orders for its 2010 Presidential $1 Coin Proof Set on February 11, 2010, at noon Eastern Time.

The set contains four proof versions of the circulating Presidential $1 Coins scheduled to be released this year, bearing the portraits of Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln. Each coin has a common reverse design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty.

The term “proof” refers to a manufacturing process in which specially treated coin blanks are struck multiple times with specially polished dies to create a brilliant, sharp relief and mirror-like background. A frosted, sculpted foreground gives the proof coin a special “cameo” effect. The “S” mint mark, representing production at the United States Mint at San Francisco, is inscribed on the edge of each coin.

The 2010 United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Proof Set is priced at $15.95 each. Customers may place their orders at the United States Mint’s Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT (6468). A shipping and handling charge of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders. There is no household order limit for this product. (more…)

NGC Certifies New 2010 Cents

NGC has received a number of the new 2010 cents for certification.

The numismatic press recently announced that the new 2010 cents having a shield reverse were inexplicably released in Puerto Rico in advance of their scheduled February release date. NGC has received a number of these for certification, and the novelty of these coins makes them worthy of comment. The obverse remains unchanged from recent years, with the exception of some sharpening of the initials “VDB” at the truncation of Lincoln’s bust. The reverse has been replaced entirely, representing a retirement of the 50-year-old Lincoln Memorial design and last year’s four commemorative types. In their place is a Union shield of thirteen vertical stripes topped by a chief bearing the incuse legend E PLURIBUS UNUM. The value ONE CENT is inscribed in relief on a banner superimposed across the vertical stripes. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appears around the upper periphery in raised letters, while the initials “LB” of the designer (Lyndall Bass) and “JLM” of the sculptor (Joseph Menna) are beneath the banner at either side of the shield.

This design is not entirely original, as it closely resembles pattern cents designed and sculpted by Charles E. Barber in 1896 (numbers J-1767 through 1769 in the Judd pattern book). Unlike the originals, however, the new 2010 cents omit the traditional visual language of heraldry in which white stripes are represented by a plain texture, red stripes are represented by fine, vertical lines within them and the blue chief is represented by horizontal lines. The new cent has the “red” stripes in faintly higher relief that is observable only with close examination, while the chief is not colored heraldically at all. The impression is thus given that the entire shield is of a single color, the lack of distinction being particularly egregious with respect to the stripes. (more…)

United States Mint Unveils 2010 First Spouse Gold Coin Designs

The United States Mint today released the four new designs that will appear on the 2010 First Spouse Gold Coins. The coins will feature Abigail Fillmore, Jane Pierce, James Buchanan’s “Liberty” and Mary Todd Lincoln.

2010_first_spouse_lineThe obverses (heads sides) of the Fillmore, Pierce and Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins feature striking portraits of the first spouses. Inscriptions on the obverses of the three coins are the first spouse’s name, the date and order of her term as first spouse, the year of minting or issuance, and the inscriptions IN GOD WE TRUST and LIBERTY. Each coin’s reverse (tails side) bears a unique design featuring an image emblematic of that spouse’s life and work, with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $10, 1/2 oz. and .9999 FINE GOLD.

The obverse design of the Abigail Fillmore First Spouse Gold Coin is by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The coin’s reverse, by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Susan Gamble, depicts Fillmore shelving books in the library that she established at the White House.

The obverse of the Jane Pierce First Spouse Gold Coin is by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver. The reverse design, also by Weaver, depicts Pierce listening to debates while sitting in the visitor’s gallery of the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol Building. (more…)