From a marketing perspective, the U.S. Mint had to play catch-up when, after a 28-year hiatus, it began striking modern commemorative coins in 1982. Improvements moved at a snail’s pace initially, but within two years, fulfillment did improve from its former six or eight months to an average of about three or four months.
Rep. Esteban E. Torres, D-Calif., took the reins as chairman of the House Banking Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage at the beginning of the 102nd Congress and immediately began to identify issues and problems that needed to be dealt with relating to coinage.
While presidential candidates garner most of the headlines every four years, the elections that most affect the numismatic community are in the House of Representatives and the Senate, most specifically the party that controls each chamber and the committees of jurisdiction.
The coin collecting community was stunned when both Uncirculated and Proof versions of the 1986 Statue of Liberty gold $5 commemorative coin were declared perfect and assigned the grade 70 in July 1986. While most of the attention centered on the revolution underway in grading, it was evident that more factors than grading were at play.
Question: What U.S. coin was first to be documented “perfect” and the first to be graded Mint State 70 and Proof 70? With literally millions of coins encased in plastic holders today bearing the grades MS-70 and Proof 70, some may question, “Why is this important or worth a mention?’’
Former Coin World Editor Beth Deisher remembers where she was on Sept. 8, 1986. That was the day the West Point Mint hosted a first strike ceremony for the United States’ first 1-ounce gold bullion coin, the $50 American Eagle. And she had a special extra assignment.
One milestone being celebrated this year stands above all others in terms of profound change to the U.S. coin market: launch of the Professional Coin Grading Service on Feb. 3, 1986. Inconsistency in grading and whether to use words or numbers to describe the surface condition or “grade” of a coin dominated the headlines of the 1980s.
Numismatic collectibles, both as a hobby and a business, has been and remains a predominately male domain, about 90 percent male and 10 percent female. But that statistic does not begin to tell this story. In 1991, Women In Numismatics was formed to represent the growing importance of players on both sides of the commercial coin table.
Only the United States Congress has the constitutional authority to order the U.S. Mint to create and strike a new U.S. coin, whether it is circulating or commemorative. Thus advocates for new commemorative coins as well as for new designs on the nation’s circulating coinage, including Coin World Editor Beth Deisher, plunged into the political arena during the 1980s...
By early 1982 Coin World Editor Margo Russell decided that I should travel with her to some regional and state coin shows to meet collectors and hobby leaders. One of the largest regional coin shows is sponsored by the Central States Numismatic Society. The 1982 CSNS spring show was scheduled April 29 to May 2 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.