Paper Money

Mint may note centennial of Indian 5c coin

The United States Mint is conducting market research among its customers and the general public to determine what numismatic products should be issued in 2013, including possibly recognizing the centennial anniversary of the Indian Head 5-cent coin.

The Mint is contemplating changing the designs for the current American Buffalo gold coin in 2014 or after, but it does not propose any new coins, nor does the surveying include any questions related to 5-cent coins, according to Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Public Affairs.

Any changes to the Thomas Jefferson obverse and Monticello reverse of the current circulation 5-cent coin would require congressional authorization, notes Jurkowsky. U.S. Mint officials are not considering any change to the circulating coin designs, he said.

Jurkowsky said National Analysts Worldwide, a Philadelphia firm under contract by the Mint, has conducted focus group surveys in four U.S. cities on three major coin product subjects:

? American Buffalo Design 100th anniversary: research involving interest in a Reverse Proof 2013 American Buffalo gold coin option (either as the sole Proof American Buffalo option for the year or in addition to the regular option) and in changing the American Buffalo coin design in future years

? 2013 special product testing for alternative special products featuring the 5-Star Generals commemorative coins, Theodore Roosevelt silver dollar, and a silver dollar coin and currency set.

? Research into the Mint’s ongoing product fulfillment satisfaction tracking survey.

Focus groups were conducted by National Analysts Worldwide Nov. 7 and 8 in Philadelphia; Nov. 14 and 15 in Phoenix; Nov. 28 and 29 in Detroit; and in Austin, Texas, Dec. 4 and 5.

The U.S. Mint also invited by email an undisclosed number of customers to participate in the American Buffalo Design 100th Anniversary survey.

Earlier commemorations

Sculptor James Earle Fraser’s designs for the Indian Head 5-cent coin, introduced with the Bison on Mound Reverse in 1913, have been adapted twice for 21st century United States coins.

Fraser’s designs were adapted for the American Buffalo commemorative silver dollar, introduced in 2001 in Proof and Uncirculated versions.

The designs are also in use for the American Buffalo .9999 fine gold bullion coins, introduced in 2006 and produced annually since.

Fraser’s original Bison on Mound reverse subtype, sometimes referred to as Type I, was replaced later in 1913 with the modified Bison on Plain reverse subtype, often referred to as Type II.

The Indian Head, Bison on Plain 5-cent coin was issued until it was replaced in 1938 with the Jefferson 5-cent coin. ¦

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