US Mint News Updates
There are a number of recent developments related to the US Mint that I wanted to cover. Once again, I will do a combined post on several different topics including the latest commemorative coin proposal, one sold out product, and design reviews for America the Beautiful Quarters.
September 11 Memorial Silver Dollar Proposal
On September 10, 2009, legislation was introduced which seeks to authorize commemorative coins to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York and has 55 cosponsors.
If approved, the bill would authorize the production of up to 2,000,000 silver dollars to be issued during the calendar year beginning January 1, 2011. The designs of the coins would be "emblematic of the courage, sacrifice, and strength of those individuals who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others that day, and the endurance, resilience, and hope of those who survived." One of the required inscriptions is "Always Remember."
The bill provides that only two US Mint facilities can be used to strike the coins and recommends that half of the coins should be minted at the Philadelphia Mint and half of the coins at the West Point Mint.
All coins would include a surcharge of $10 per coin. This would be distributed to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center to support operations and maintenance.
In order to become law, the bill must be voted on and passed in the House and the Senate and signed by the President. The bill competes with numerous other commemorative coin proposals for one remaining opening in the 2011 schedule. Generally, only two commemorative coin programs may be approved per year and one program has already been approved for 2011 Army Commemorative Coins. Other commemorative coin programs proposed for 2011 include NASA's 50th Anniversary, Girl Scouts Centennial, and the Medal of Honor, which has 302 cosponsors and has already passed the House.
Presidential $1 Coin and First Spouse Medal Set - John and Letitia Tyler
The Presidential Dollar Coin and First Spouse Medal Set featuring John and Letitia Tyler has sold out at the US Mint. The sets first went on sale July 14, 2009.
Interestingly, the latest mint sales figures indicate that 9,829 sets had been sold as of last week. This suggests a round production figure of 10,000 sets. This is lower than the previous sold out set featuring William Henry Harrison and Anna Harrison which sold 14,394 sets. It is also lower than the sales levels for all of the 2007 sets, which had been selling for incredible premiums a while back.
America the Beautiful Quarter Coin Designs
The Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed designs for the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters at their September 17 meeting.
Their reactions were called "lukewarm." Some designs were characterized as looking like "unfnished drawings". One member called the idea of National Parks on coins "an absurd idea" and stated that artists had an "impossible task" of showing the vastness of a park on the small canvas of a coin. The overall format for the reverse was criticized. It features a circular border for inscriptions with a squared bottom, which was called a "fundamental error."
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will also review the designs tomorrow September 22. I will try to have a post with some of the proposed coin images soon.
Labels: US Mint