US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for April 9 2018

Some collectors receiving the 2018-W Breast Cancer Awareness gold $5 half eagle — the nation’s first “pink gold” coin — did not think that the color of the coin was very pink.

Original images courtesy of U.S. Mint.

When Congress passed the legislation authorizing the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness commemorative coins, it included a provision that the United States Mint attempt to issue the $5 half eagle in what the industry calls “pink gold.” That provision made sense in that pink ribbons are a visible symbol in teh fight against this terrible disease.

While U.S. Mint officials had no practical experience in issuing pink gold coins, other nations had already done so. What was unfamiliar to collectors of U.S. coins was unfamiliar to collectors of world coins where pink gold issues were already known.

The alloy used in standard U.S. gold commemorative coins (and circulating issues from early in the 19th century to 1933) contained 90 percent gold and 10 percent copper. To achieve a rosier hue, the Mint settled upon an alloy of 85 percent gold, 14.8 percent copper and 0.2 percent zinc, a composition unlikely anything ever used by the U.S. Mint.

When Mint officials released the first images of the coin, the coin in the photos had something of a pinkish hue though it was not as pink as the ribbons used in the fight against breast cancer. However, when the first coins started to arrive in collectors' mailboxes, many immediately made the same comment — the coin does not look pink at all, and did not look all that different than the 90 percent gold coins they are used to seeing.

Were collectors expecting something more than could be delivered? Possibly.

How does the U.S. pink gold coin compare to pink gold coins of other countries. Coin World has not had an opportunity to compare them as yet, so we would like to hear from collectors who have pink gold coins from multiple nations in their collections. 

Finally, do you think the 2018 U.S. coin looks pink?

We have hit pause on the Monday Morning Brief videos for now. They will return later this year.

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