US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for June 24, 2019: Mint partnerships beneficial

The United States Mint is entering into partnerships with other government mints, the latest being a joint set with the Royal Canadian Mint featuring an American Eagle silver dollar and a Canadian Maple Leaf, both with distinctive features.

Original images courtesy of United States Mint.

The United States Mint’s expanding series of partnerships with other government mints is an interesting experiment that recognizes that all world mints share a common goal — expanding their customer base — that might be best accomplished by acting as partners, not just as rivals.

It is no secret that the U.S. Mint’s customer base is demographically narrow, consisting mostly of older white men. At least some other government mints, however, appear to have a younger, more diverse customer clientele, and the U.S. Mint should continue its efforts at reaching out to customers who previously might have shown little interest in the traditional products it offers.

Many world mints offer coins with themes that have never been seen on a U.S. coin — comic book characters, for example — and the use of color, embedments and other enhancements designed to make a particular coin stand out from more traditional products. 

U.S. Mint officials have been more conservative, avoiding adding colors and other enhancements that many of its traditional clientele might find objectionable. Its experiments with making a particular coin distinctive have largely involved special finishes, efforts that have engendered mixed responses from Mint customers.

The newest joint product, the Pride of Two Nations Limited Edition Two-Coin set, offers distinctive coins from both the United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint. 

The U.S. contribution to the set is an Enhanced Reverse Proof 2019-W American Eagle silver dollar, with the Canadian piece being a Modified Proof 2019 Maple Leaf silver $5 coin. 

Both pieces, presumably, will be available in this set and nowhere else.

The American Eagle and the Maple Leaf silver coins are both highly popular with collectors. 

Offering two distinctive coins in the same set is a bold experiment aimed to attract customers to both of the two government mints.

The U.S. Mint’s joint venture joins another shared set, this one with the Royal Australian Mint, while yet another set, with Britain’s Royal Mint, is reportedly planned as well. 

I suspect that collectors are looking forward to seeing what might be available next. 

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