US Coins

Sandy disrupts coinage production, businesses

Superstorm Sandy’s deadly trip up the East Coast Oct. 29 forced a two-day shutdown of the Philadelphia Mint and affected collectors and dealers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and surrounding states.

In many instances, the disruptions took the form of staffing problems. Staff members were unable to reach their places of employment and were simultaneously dealing with storm effects at their residences.

Mint disruptions

Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Public Affairs, said Oct. 31 that the Philadelphia Mint reopened for production that day, after Sandy’s wrath forced the facility’s closure for the previous two days.

Jurkowsky said the two-day shutdown did not necessitate any scheduled circulating coin production to be diverted to the Denver Mint.

U.S. Mint headquarters in Washington, D.C., also resumed operations Oct. 31 after the same two-day closure due to the storm.

Dealer closures

Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions, the Dallas-based firm that has an office at 445 Park Ave. (at 57th Street) in New York City, said the New York offices were closed Oct. 29 to the public.

“Heritage was closed yesterday, but I was in the office most of the day, along with other staff that lived nearby,” Rohan said Oct. 30. “Today, like most businesses in Manhattan, we are closed, with staff including myself, working from home. We plan to re-open for business tomorrow.”

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ retail storefront at 123 West 57th St. in Manhattan, and auction galleries across the street, were closed starting Oct. 29 and remained closed through at least Nov. 1, pending the securing of a construction crane that collapsed on the 90th floor of One57, a nearby residential high-rise. “We will reopen when the authorities say it is safe to do so, but unfortunately we don’t know when that will be just yet,” Kris Briggs, marketing manager and spokesperson for Stack’s Bowers parent firm in California, Spectrum Group, said Nov. 1.

Briggs said that the telephones are forwarded to the Spectrum offices in California, so customers could contact Stack’s Bowers.

Stuart Levine, a Marblehead, Mass., dealer who resides along the Atlantic Coast, said the storm’s intensity had diminished by the time it reached Massachusetts.

Museums affected

The American Numismatic Society at 75 Varick St., Floor 11, in Manhattan closed Oct. 29 and remained closed Nov. 2, based on the message posted on the ANS website’s homepage at

The museum and library at the New-York Historical Society at 170 Central Park W. in Manhattan, was closed Oct. 29 and 30, with the library remaining closed Oct. 31. The museum reopened Oct. 31, with a reduced staff. ¦

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