US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Nov. 21, 2022: Fewer complaints about the Mint

The United States Mint under its new director, Ventris C. Gibson, reopened its public tours at the Philadelphia Mint (shown) and Denver Mint as fears over COVID-19 diminished.

Original images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Two years ago in this column, published in the December 2020 monthly issue of Coin World, I commented on a few segments of a larger public statement made on Nov. 18, 2020, by Mint Director David J. Ryder, regarding then-recent mistakes the Mint had made in offering several numismatic products that year. Underlying the statement was the Mint’s hope to do better in the future.

In referencing the Mint’s projection for demand for one of that year’s products, Ryder said this: “Most of the time I think we’re successful, but in the case of the World War II 75th Anniversary products we clearly underestimated demand.” Again, the overall statement promised an effort by the Mint to do better.

Many Mint customers in 2021 disputed that things were better in that year. Demand exceeded supply for all of the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars, and for many of the American Eagle numismatic products issued to mark the transition to new designs. Too many collectors went away unhappy as they were unsuccessful in purchasing their desired coins.

So how did the Mint do in 2022?

The year began with the announcement that due to silver planchet shortages, the promised 2022 Morgan and Peace dollars would not be produced and that the next phase of he program would be resumed in 2023. Indeed, the Mint is already accepting subscriptions for the 2023 silver dollars.

Some collectors complained that the Mint would not offer the 2022 coins, while others welcomed the decision and expressed their hope that 2021 coins be a “one and done” deal.

I have detected less anti-Mint feedback from readers this year. Sure, some products were oversold and some customers found their initial orders for the 2022 American Women quarter dollars reduced to smaller quantities. And the silver planchet shortage has led to lower production of the American Eagle silver bullion coin this year.

However, with some minor exceptions, there seemed to be fewer instant sellouts in most lines. I received a lot fewer phone calls from angry readers immediately after a program launch in 2022 than I received in past years.

Still, many readers believe that the Mint offers too many products; too many coins, medals, finishes, gimmicks like color and privy marks, and so on. Then again, some readers like the expanded product line.

The Mint under its new director, Ventris C. Gibson, reopened its public tours at the Philadelphia Mint and Denver Mint as fears over COVID-19 diminished. For visitors to those two cities, that was welcome news.

The Mint website seemed to operate with few major problems, an impression again based on the lack of complaints.

Let us hope that the Mint will continue to monitor and work at improving how it serves collectors.
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