US Coins

CCAC reviews super 2016 centennial coin replicas

Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee members June 17 eagerly greeted the U.S. Mint’s plans to sell gold replicas of three famous coins first issued in 1916.

But some of the panel’s most pressing questions went unanswered because answers remain under study, officials said.

The unanswered questions were how thick the coins will be and whether they’ll carry a Mint mark.

Both issues remain under study, but Mint lawyer Greg Weinman seemed to dash some of the committee’s hopes.

Weinman said there would be potential problems for the Mint if the replicas carried the mark of a Mint facility where they weren’t made.

His comments came as the Mint briefed the committee on the Mint’s previously announced plans to reproduce the Winged Liberty Head dime, Standing Liberty quarter dollar and Walking Liberty half dollar in 2016 during the centennial anniversary of their inaugural introduction in silver.

Each reproduction will carry a designation that it is composed of 24-karat gold and state how much of the metal for each respective coin.

The dime will be a tenth-ounce piece, the quarter dollar a quarter-ounce coin and the half dollar a half-ounce piece.

CCAC member Michael Bugeja, an Iowa State journalism dean, urged the Mint to add Mint marks to the coins, saying that would boost their appeal to collectors, increasing sales by $100,000. A “D” on the Winged Liberty Head dime would make it especially sought after, he said, citing the value of the low-mintage 1916-D coins.

Mint officials said they hadn’t decided where to produce the gold coins.

Mint officials also indicated they could not say yet how thick those coins will be. More testing is needed, they said.

Even with those gaps in answers, the CCAC members expressed great delight in the Mint’s plans.

“I am really excited by this program,” said Gary Marks, the committee’s former chair. “I’m glad the Mint is being bold.”

“This is super,” said CCAC member Thomas Uram, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.

CCAC member Erik Jansen, a collector from Mercer Island, Wash., pleaded with the Mint to “get the fonts right” when it adds the gold information to the coins.

CCAC member Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, a sculptor from State College, Pa., also urged the Mint to use hand-lettering for that task, noting that the 1916 coins were all hand lettered.

CCAC Chair Mary N. Lannin said she found the question of where the replicas will be struck “intriguing.” 

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