I did not attend this year's U.S Mint Numismatic Forum, but understand it was a good event and debut for new Mint Director David Ryder. Here are a couple articles from the
numismatic press. I enjoy Patrick Heller's writing and insights; here's an excerpt from a piece he wrote for Numismatic News. -Editor
Many new and interesting ideas were presented at the U.S. Mint’s third annual Numismatic Forum Oct. 17. This year’s event was held at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in
Washington, D.C. Perhaps 60-70 of us invited guests attended, along with numerous staff from the Mint and the BEP.
After a welcome from U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza, new Mint Director David Ryder (who had previously served as Mint Director from 1992-1993) explained his goals, visions, and
plans, all of which indicated a greater receptiveness to public input and a broadened outlook on what the U.S. Mint might be able offer in the future.
Ryder was followed by brief presentations from Mint managers of different forthcoming 2019 numismatic programs, including commemoratives, Presidential silver medals, the
American Innovation Dollar series (with the first coin to be released in late December 2018), and new products directed to appeal to young collectors.
The presentation on new products for young collectors was particularly enlightening. About 79 percent of Mint numismatic products sold directly to collectors go to people aged
55 and older. Most sales by the Mint destined to be owned by children are actually purchased by older customers, who then make gifts of the items.
Beyond looking for more products directed toward children, the U.S. Mint has begun discussions with some other mints, including the Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Australian Mint,
and the Royal Mint about producing joint sets of coins and currency to be marketed by each mint with product included in the set.
As of the beginning of October, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s public sales are now being handled exclusively by the Mint (though the BEP will continue to handle its
own dealer bulk sales program). One result has been an increase in BEP products being sold. Going forward, the Mint will look to expand offerings that include both coins and
currency, especially incorporating military themes that are more popular than average with U.S. Mint customers.
Up to now, the U.S. Mint has generally accepted legislation directing what coins to produce and the specifications of them. Going forward, Ryder said that Mint staff would
become more proactive at helping to write such legislation so as to incorporate ideas that would be of higher appeal to coin collectors.
A welcome addition to this year’s agenda was a panel on the problems of counterfeiting. Unfortunately, the four panelists only had a half hour, which was much too short to do
much more than explain what is and what is not being done to combat this growing problem.
It was explained that the Mint is neither a policing or enforcing agency. Instead, it supports other federal agencies charged with these activities, such as the Secret Service
and Customs and Border Protection. The Mint does review product returns to verify that they are not counterfeits.
Perhaps the best news from the panel discussing counterfeits is that since Ryder became Mint Director (where he had previously worked with anti-counterfeiting technology in the
private sector), the Mint has begun discussions with the Royal Canadian Mint, British Royal Mint, Royal Australian Mint, and the marketing agency for the South Africa Mint as to
what they are doing to combat counterfeits. (I think they should also contact the Perth Mint and Austria Mint as well.)
Overall, this year’s Numismatic Forum brought forth much more participation by the attendees. The sense I got is that Mint Director Ryder is much more open to outside ideas and
has instilled that attitude among the other Mint staff in attendance at the event.
As a result, I judge this to be the most useful of the three Numismatic Forums thus far. Stay tuned to see if any of the ideas brought forth are actually incorporated. I am
very much looking forward to attending next year’s Numismatic Forum.
Perhaps the most interesting (or alarming) announcement was that "the Mint will be going away from its historical depiction of Liberty in female form. Instead, some
objects might be depicted, or significant historic events that allude to the concept of Liberty."
Heller raised another interesting possibility - "should the Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing merge?" -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
Mint forum hears new coin ideas
A Coin World article highlights the lack of awareness at the mint about the counterfeiting of their products. -Editor
A triple fake - coin, holder and grading label are counterfeit
During an Oct. 17 Numismatic Forum, U.S. Mint officials were surprised that most of the more than 100 individuals invited had seen an example of a counterfeit United States
A three-member presentation panel on counterfeits featured Ron Harrigal, the Mint’s manager of design and engraving; Beth Deisher, former Coin World editor who is now
director of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force under the Industry Council for Tangible Assets; and Walter Douglas, a senior industrial engineer in the Mint’s Quality Assurance
Deisher was the only non-Mint representative to deliver remarks during the day-long forum, the third annual event staged by the Mint to address hobby and industry concerns.
Harrigal said Mint officials have been not directly exposed to counterfeit U.S. bullion coin products, made aware only through what they have read in the numismatic press. When
he asked how many of those in attendance had seen a counterfeit U.S. bullion coin, nearly all hands were raised.
To read the complete article, see:
Mint officials surprised at forum participant response
Wayne Homren, Editor
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