The unveiling of the finalized designs for the 2014 National
Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins is postponed because of the
budget crisis in Washington.
The partial shutdown of the federal government starting Oct. 1
will not stop the nation’s money factories from striking coins and
printing paper money, although government coin-related events and
sites are being affected.
The Oct. 8 Baseball coin design unveiling is postponed; the
National Numismatic Collection is closed for the duration; and the
next coin launch and review of future coin designs could be affected
if the shutdown lasts more than a few weeks.
The shutdown results from the failure of Congress to pass a
spending bill for the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.
What follows is the status (as of Oct. 4) of various government
agencies, programs and events related to coinage and paper money.
U.S. Mint production: Production of coinage is unaffected at the
Mint’s four production facilities, as are sales to the Mint’s
customers (the Federal Reserve, authorized purchasers of bullion
coins, collectors). U.S. Mint spokesperson Heather Sabharwal said
Sept. 30 “that since the U.S. Mint is funded from sources other than
congressional appropriations[,] all Mint production facilities will
remain open and in operation. Mint operations are financially
supported through two separate revolving funds established under Mint
reform legislation in 1996.”
According to the Mint, the public tours and sales areas at the
Philadelphia Mint and Denver Mint remain open.
BEP production: Production of Federal Reserve notes is unaffected
at the bureau’s two production facilities. The BEP does not rely on
budget appropriations for its operating funding. The BEP sells Federal
Reserve notes to the Federal Reserve at face value, which is well
above each note’s production costs.
Smithsonian Institution, National Numismatic Collection exhibit:
All national museums are closed, including all Smithsonian facilities,
among them Museum of American History, where the National Numismatic
Collection is stored and displayed. Valeska M. Hilbig, Deputy
Director, Office of Public Affairs, for the Museum of American
History, said on Sept. 30, “we will be out of the office and unable to
respond to emails or phone calls until further notice.”
While the Museum of American History is temporarily shuttered to
the public, the closure will not affect ongoing renovations for an
expanded numismatic exhibit gallery.
“The renovation construction will continue and we will be able to
make up any lost days this fall and spring. The opening isn’t until
May 2015, thankfully,” Hilbig said.
Some Republicans in Congress were advocating legislation that
would fund some government agencies, including the Smithsonian, during
the shutdown, but the White House indicated it would veto such legislation.
Baseball Hall of Fame unveiling: The public unveiling of the
National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coin designs, originally
scheduled for Oct. 8, has been postponed indefinitely because of the
shutdown, according to Michael White of the Mint’s Office of Public Affairs.
Also delayed is announcement of the winners of the kids design
challenge, with five winners in each of the three age groups.
Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee: As of Oct. 4, the Oct. 18
meeting of the CCAC was still on the schedule, according to the Mint.
Details about what coin designs the CCAC might review are unavailable.
Commission of Fine Arts: According to the CFA website, “In the
event that the shutdown lasts for an extended period, the Commission
of Fine Arts staff will notify the public on this website about the
status of the next meeting of the Commission of Fine Arts, currently
scheduled for Thursday, October 17. We will be unable to resume
operations, including notification about the schedule of meetings,
until funding is appropriated by Congress for the new fiscal year.”
Series 2009 $100 note unveiling: The unveiling of the new $100
Federal Reserve note was scheduled for Oct. 8 in Washington, D.C. As
of Oct. 4, Coin World had not received details about the
Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter dollar launch ceremony:
The Mint’s Sabharwal said, “Things are changing moment by moment
regarding the budget funding bill, but the Mount Rushmore event is
scheduled for Nov. 6, 2013. We will have a contingency plan in the
event that it is needed.” The launch is set to be held in Custer,
S.D., and not at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, which,
as part of the National Park Service, is shut down. ■