The United States
Mint will be striking and releasing in 2015 an American Eagle
1-ounce platinum bullion coin.
The Mint may also strike a presidential medal for President Obama,
seven years after he entered office, continuing a Presidential medal
series that seemed to have ended.
Rhett Jeppson, principal deputy director of the
United States Mint and President Obama’s nominee for 39th Mint
director, said Aug. 11 that the American Eagle platinum bullion coins
will be available for sale sometime during the first three months of
the 2016 federal fiscal year. That means sometime from Oct. 1 to Dec.
During an interview with Coin World at the American Numismatic
Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Jeppson
said production mintages for market distribution for the 2015 American
Eagle platinum bullion coins have not yet been determined.
The 2015 American Eagle platinum bullion coins will bear the same
Statue of Liberty obverse and Heraldic Eagle reverse designs that have
been on the bullion coins since their introduction in 1997.
Jeppson said the Mint intends to get input from authorized
purchasers and secondary market distributors concerning whether to
resume production of fractional half-, quarter- and tenth-ounce coins,
which were last produced in 2008.
Mint medals possible?
Jeppson said the Mint is working with the White House concerning the
Mint’s possible production of an Obama Presidential medal. Until now,
it appeared President Obama would complete his second four-year term
without the production of a bronze Presidential medal.
Traditionally, a presidential medal has been produced bearing an
obverse portrait of the president. When elected to a second term, a
second medal bears the conjoined portraits of the president and his
vice president, in this case, Joe Biden.
Jeppson did not indicate whether there would be one or two medals.
There is also the possibility the Mint could resume production of
bronze Treasury secretary and Mint director medals, whose production
was eliminated during Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner’s tenure.
In January 2011, the Mint was in the process of finalizing designs
of a medal for the 38th Mint director, Edmond C. Moy, when Geithner
made the decision the medals would not be produced.
Palladium bullion coin
As the possibility of a palladium American Eagle bullion coin moves
closer to reality with legislation working its way through Congress,
the Mint is working to establish a supply chain for acquiring the
necessary metal to fabricate blanks. Jeppson said the Mint is taking a
“conservative” approach and is studying all of the issues, including mintages.
The Mint is addressing the likelihood of digitizing for online
access its collection of “heritage assets,” much the same way the
Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History has been
digitizing the National Numismatic Collection. The U.S. Mint’s
curator, Robert Goler, has spent the past several years cataloging the
thousands of coins, medals, plaster models and other related items
housed at the Mint’s production facilities.
The “heritage assets” will help augment the Mint’s historical
content online, Jeppson said.
Centennial 1916 coins
Jeppson said Aug. 11 that he planned to send a letter “this week” to
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew seeking approval to move ahead with plans
to produce in 2016 centennial versions of the Winged Liberty Head
dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar
in .9999 fine gold.
The dime would be a tenth-ounce coin, the quarter dollar a
quarter-ounce piece and the half dollar a half-ounce coin.
All three coins were originally struck for circulation in an alloy
of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.
Jeppson said the approval process could take two months. Many of the
coin matters under Lew’s authority have been delegated to Deputy
Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin.
Jeppson and Jon Cameron, acting associate director of sales and
marketing for the Mint, said Mint officials are looking at various
possibilities of surface finishes for use on the three coins, as well
as packaging options.
Research and development is ongoing in the search for alternative
compositions for U.S. coins. Jeppson said the Mint plans to issue an
interim report on the progress of the research and identify what
alloys are still in contention for what denominations.
The Mint, as required under 2010 legislation, issued biennial
progress reports in December 2012 and December 2014.
Cameron said the Mint is also exploring the possibilities of
employing “push-back” technology in blank production for denominations
Currently, only the blanks for the cent are produced outside the
Mint and ready to strike. The 5-cent coin, dime, quarter dollar, half
dollar and dollar blanks are punched by the Mint from coiled strip
supplied by outside vendors.
The blanks for all denominations except the dollar are then
annealed, or heated, to soften the metal before upsetting to form a
The dollar blanks receive a hard upset, meaning after being punched
from the coinage strip, the blanks go directly to the upsetting
operation, and are then annealed before striking.
The push-back technology presumably would allow the Mint to receive
already annealed coinage strip, eliminating the need for annealing
furnaces, Cameron said.
More from CoinWorld.com:
government to return millions of dollars in Liberty Dollars seized
by authorities in 2007
performance: Collectors angry over Eisenhower sellout
Pickens was 'Queen of the Confederacy': Home Hobbyist
collection of Morgan dollars displayed at ANA World's Fair of
Money: Something Social
a $150,000 starting bid turn into a $400,000 final price:
Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by
up for our free eNewsletters
us on Facebook
. We're also on