US Coins

Mint activities highlight ANA World's Fair of Money

The City of Bridges bronze medal for the 2023 World’s Fair of Money was executed by North Carolina artist Jamie Franki.

Images by Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes

Sometime this fall, the United States Mint will launch a website separate from its main online presence to solicit suggestions for numismatic products to recognize the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

The bureau’s director, Ventris C. Gibson, made the announcement Aug. 11 during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, held during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh.

Although the convention, one of the largest in the world, boasted millions of dollars in numismatic products from around the world, purchase of food items on the bourse was “cashless,” requiring credit cards to complete transactions.

The United States Mint had a strong presence during the convention Aug. 8 to 12.

Drawing primary attention from collectors were the 20 Uncirculated 2023-P Peace dollar “Director’s Strikes” that the Mint had reserved for the show from the 200 Gibson personally struck July 10 at the Philadelphia Mint. Daily raffles were held, during which four lucky winners received an opportunity to purchase one of the reserved Uncirculated 2023-P Peace dollars fort $76.

Each strike includes a serial-numbered certificate of authenticity hand-signed by Gibson.

Several examples of the Director’s Strikes randomly shipped to Mint customers who ordered them in advance by subscription or through the July 13 sales launch to the general public have realized significant premiums in a handful of eBay sales, where one example was sold for more than $3,000 with the original package and hand signed COA.

The U.S. Mint booth was jammed at noon Eastern Time Aug. 10 for the release, priced at $80 per coin, of the Proof 2023-P Morgan and Peace dollars. Two lines formed well before noon, with one line for those seeking one to five coins and the other for those wanting to buy six  to the maximum 25 coins per product option. That restriction was lifted after the first 24 hours of sales.

As of press time, total numismatic product sales from the convention were still being reconciled by the Mint. Sales at the Mint booth coincided with the opening of online sales for the remainder of both products not already spoken for by subscription orders.

The U.S. Mint was not the only government coin production entity on the bourse. Eleven world mints were in attendance, including the Royal Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Mint of Poland, Vatican Mint, Bermuda Monetary Authority and China Gold Coin Group Co. Ltd.

An unexpected sight on the bourse floor was the reality TV celebrity couple Rene and Casey Nezhoda from the show “Storage Wars,” who were appearing at the booth of the online collectibles platform Whatnot, and signing the holders of Professional Coin Grading Service encapsulated circulation quality 2022-S American Women, Maya Angelou quarter dollars.

Likely the most prolific member of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program for designing U.S. coins and medals, Emily S. Damtsra was at the booth of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins autographing numbered lithographic prints of her commissioned Reflections of Liberty.

Three other artists commissioned by Lipton to render images of Liberty — retired U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti, retired U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Michael Gaudioso and Texas sculptor Miley Busiek Frost — were unable to attend in person, but prints of their commissioned renderings were available, both with and without signatures. Five hundred prints from each artist were available for distribution.

On Aug. 9, more than half of the membership of the Citizens Coinage  Advisory Committee hosted a public forum addressing the roll of the panel in the consideration of designs and proposals for U.S. coins and medals.

A separate forum was held Aug. 10 hosted by the past three CCAC chairpersons — Mary Lannin, Thomas J. Uram and Dr. Lawrence S. Brown. As at the Aug. 9 CCAC forum, the CCAC members addressed previously approved designs, and their reasoning for favoring individual designs for consideration.

One member of the public who attended the Aug. 10 CCAC forum, North Carolina  medallic artist Jamie Franki, brought with him examples of the bronze American Numismatic Association 2023 convention medal, which included an example bearing the edge serial number 2. Franki executed the City of Bridges medal designs.

At the Aug. 9 Token and Medal Society banquet, among items donated for auction to raise funds for TAMS activities was a set of silver Coin World medals illustrating eight U.S. Mint facilities.

In 35 years on the editorial staff of Coin World, I’ve only physically seen three complete sets of those medals. The set, donated by Kathy Freeland, a TAMS board member and former secretary, realized $400 for the TAMS treasury.

As part of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club’s Aug. 11 50th anniversary reception, the club presented Gibson with a “printed proof” rendered from a plate in the National Numismatic Collection that depicts U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Christian Gobrecht who was responsible for designing and engraving the Seated Liberty series.

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