US Coins

Collector finds some Mint decisions baffling:Guest Commentary

In the Sept. 21 edition of Coin World the managing editor stated that “… the Mint needs to balance the needs of collectors and dealers.” With the end consumer being the “collector,” I find this to be one of those statements that needs to be looked at.

We need to really ask why the Mint was set up in the first place. I doubt the forefathers even thought about dealers in the creation of the Mint.

I find it odd that the Mint is a tool for certain entities to derive a business from; after all it does belong to “the People.” And with all people created equal — except those who can buy directly from the Mint — it seems that there might be some strength to the thought that the playing field is not level and collectors are more of an afterthought.

The fact that certain coins are minted with special finishes that aren’t announced until after the fact is puzzling. You mean they didn’t know until someone outside of the Mint looked at it?

Would collectors even buy the noncoin elements of a limited-edition set with the modern rarities being created? I don’t care about the medals or the stamps, but would like to put together a complete set of something, which should be not hard to do, considering it is modern coinage.

The hobby and the Mint want “young collectors,” but then price them out on the very sets they want them to buy, even those containing coins meant to circulate.

Coins meant to be made for one year, such as the circulation-quality San Francisco Mint America the Beautiful quarters, keep getting minted. Most of us would like a set or two, or like in my case, are putting sets together with the grandkids. We do not need a roll or a bag, so we buy from dealers, which is fine, but multiply this by all the other modern coins that are no longer produced for circulation for collections we started, and it does get frustrating paying a premium for coins that were meant to circulate. So the collector pays for the marketing mistakes of the Mint, too!

I do not buy stamps from the USPS, but they go for face value, from what I can see. Novel idea! And as for the dealers who used their customers to buy on their behalf — it was not only as told by Coin World. The dealer that contacted me wanted all my credit card information to place the order for me, and then wanted me to send them the unopened package, postage paid. Maybe orders placed at the Mint website in that way helped crash the system.

All I can say about these modern must-have coins is: Wait — they all come down in price in time.

Finally, I bet that the Coin and Chronicles sets and other sets would not sell out or even come close if the modern rare coin each contains were offered individually or in rolls or as part of the Uncirculated Mint set or Proof set.

Why not test the market and really see what the collectors want? Novel idea?

Alan Hepler is a collector from Laytonsville, Md.



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