Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Monday, September 21, 2009

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.



At September 21, 2009 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kudos to Jerry Nadler for the Sep11 commems. This looks like it will be a very popular issue.

At September 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Minting a coin souvenir that honors a dastardly act by foreign political / religious fanatics that killed over 3,000 totally innocent human beings is an absurd proposal. Have we sunk THAT low to attempt making a buck on the backs of dead Americam civilians? Tell me it ain't so, please. Beyond disgusting idea.

At September 21, 2009 at 7:18 PM , Blogger limalo said...

I second the opinion of "Anonymous" who posted at 6:03 PM. Why would you want to commemorate such an act. It does seem to be an attempt at "making a buck on the backs of dead American civilians." There was nothing heroic about the innocent victims who were in the World Trade Center or the Pentagon that day. I am sure that given the choice, they would have been glad to get out of there before the planes arrived.

The heroes were the police, firemen and women, emergency medical technicians, and other responders who worked so hard trying to save people. They went in there to do their job at trying to help people. They were the heroes. If there is to be a commemorative coin, it should be to honor the first responders and others who acted in a heroic manner.

Let's stop making such a big deal out of this dastardly act on one single day and honor those who sacrifice and risk their lives everyday day in and day out. Before everyone jumps on me for being un-American or something, keep in mind that I work in the Office of Counter Terrorism so I do know the significance of fighting terrorists. Maybe it's because I have to live with it everyday that I'm so tired about hearing about 9/11 all the time. Fighting terrorism and terrorists is about a lot more than just 9/11, folks. I would honor those who serve everyday rather than just the people who were effected by that one day.

That's my two cents worth anyway. Sorry if I offended anyone but that's the way I feel.

At September 21, 2009 at 7:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't like the 9-11 coin proposal. Commemorative for what? When you think about 9-11, the first thing came to your mind is the horror created by the terrorists, and then the innocent people who dead, and then maybe the heros who participated in the rescue efforts.

At September 21, 2009 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also agree this commemorative is an awfully idea. A 911 commemorative coin would be as appealing as a Hindenburg Blimp commemorative coin. Remember the Maine!

At September 21, 2009 at 9:53 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

I think you guys are purposely looking at the 9/11 coin in a negative light, than with the intentions to which it was meant... possibly because its a constant hurt that we here in the US lie with constantly and to which our foreign policy objectives have been bluntly defined by since that day, eight years ago.

But remember, the commemorative coin is being made and sold to raise funds for the memorial and museum at the former World Trade Center spot. The memorial, museum and the coin exists to remember the dead and the event, not to honor the act itself. And why do we remember? The remembrance is a constant reminder as to why as a country we must keep vigilant and support our country's counter-terrorism efforts. Is it wrong for Pearl Harbor to hold commemorative ceremonies also paid for through museum fees and other similar means? Why stay in Afghanistan if it weren't for 9/11?
Yes, we live with these memories everyday... but one day, fifty years from now, that museum and this coin will be there reminding future generations what happened that day and why the events afterward happened (both the good and the bad) leading all the way up to their present.
"History is philosophy teaching by example and also by warning." -Bolingbroke
"The past is always a rebuke to the present." -R. P. Warren

At September 21, 2009 at 11:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a coin showing us bombing them instead.

At September 21, 2009 at 11:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S. mint is becoming a distasteful, profiteer off of dead Americans. A surcharge of $10 to the 9/11 memorial and museum is unacceptable. Why? The mint already loses money on the cent, why couldn't they just lose money on this commemorative coin for one year by giving all of it's profits from this coin to support the 9/11 Memorial & Museum? The Mint's lust for money has gone too far, and at the expense of our fallen brothers. The U.S. Mint deserves to mint itself a medal, shaming itself. Then again, our current coinage does just that.

At September 22, 2009 at 5:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote an article about this obscene subject and mailed it to Coin World's editorial department. We will see whether it is published, or in whose pocket the publication sits. Talk about bad ideas.....another clunker.

People who couldn't afford a decent meal to serve their children at dinner time were encouraged to clear the auto dealers lots by offering rebates on vehicles starting at list prices for the most part. Struggling with debt already they went head first into further debt by buying new auto's they couldn't afford in the first place. How's that 2 mpg gain going to be working out over the next 48 months? People seem mindless everytime a larger force suggests something and give up thinking.

In no small way, a 9-11 commemorative coin is clearly another bad idea being foisted on the American people. Anything for a buck, keep their heads swimming, they'll buy into anything if we package it right. Disgusting.

At September 22, 2009 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Commemorative coins are mandated by legislation, not by the Mint. Legislation defines what the Mint can and can not do. The Mint is authorized to charge enough to recover production and advertising costs as well as the surcharge that goes directly to the organization/charity that the coin supports. The Mint does not make a profit off these coins.

For about two years in the recent past (around 2006 to 2007), the Mint did lose money on making the penny. However, that is not true today. The metal (mostly zinc) value is actually only 50% of the coin's melt value today. Then nickel is actually now our most expensive coin to make. But for now, the Mint isn't losing money on it.

At September 22, 2009 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too much politics guys, lets talk coins please. I think we all agree that the silver/gold eagles are out of the question. Michael, is is possible to give us an update on all the coins that are coming out in 2010. To the guy saying "bomb them", this is a blog about coins and great things that we learn from them, not a blog about your political views.

At September 22, 2009 at 10:05 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, the 9/11 commemorative coin is such a wonderful idea!

Why, you could put Osama's portrait on the obverse, maybe with him wagging his finger in the air at the "infidel Americans," and then, for the reverse, I would recommend a picture of a plane flying into and blowing up one of the WTC towers (as the people are jumping out of the windows to their death) as the other tower collapses into rubble.

Or they could do a 10 year series of gold coins: "The 100 Most Evil Terrorists of All Time."

I know: Why not do both!

What a wonderful addition either of these would make to my collection!

At September 22, 2009 at 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even a better idea, have a box with the coins pushed in the sides.

At September 22, 2009 at 5:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like this one will be a rarity based on feedbak here ;)

At September 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to stop laughing after reading these blogs.This will be an interesting coin to watch.I can't say I'll buy one.Unless I find one on ebay for .01 with free shipping.I'm thinking after reading these blogs.That may very well be possible in which case I'll have to snipe that one.LOL


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