US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Oct. 4, 2021: Ryder departs Mint

U.S. Mint Director nominee David J. Ryder, shown here during his Oct. 24, 2017, hearing, confirmation, is stepping down as director on Oct. 1.

Background image of Philadelphia Mint courtesy of U.S. Mint.

It is accurate to say that collectors, in general, welcomed the news that he was stepping down as Mint director Oct. 1. One collector’s pithy comment at Coin World’s Facebook page sums up the collector reaction: “Good Riddance!!!”

Ryder came to the directorship of the Mint with an impressive biography: a previous turn as Mint director (he served 14 months via a recess appointment during the administration of President George H.W. Bush) and more than a decade’s work with a company that provides covert and forensic security features for the authentication of currency. Indeed, during his second term as Mint director, to his credit, the Mint finally acknowledged that the counterfeiting of U.S. coins was a significant problem and took the first small steps toward fighting the counterfeiting of American Eagle bullion coins.

However, many are likely to remember Ryder’s return to the Mint as an era in which dealers were perceived to have been given a priority over collectors in acquiring a Mint plethora of limited-edition, high-demand numismatic and bullion products — whether by the Mint’s failure to respond quickly to the use of bots by buyers during product launches or by its establishing the Authorized Bulk Purchase Program, which allows dealer participants to purchase select products before they go on sale to the public.

When a new Mint director takes office, hobby leaders and Mint officials need to collaborate on improving decision making on such things as setting mintage/product limits and household purchase limits, on the role of bulk dealers in marketing numismatic products, and on combatting abuses by customers during online sales.

Most importantly, Mint officials need to work hard at restoring public trust in its operation of numismatic public sales. Failing to take seriously the many complaints of collectors will only ensure a declining customer base.

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