US Coins

Morgan and Peace dollars will be back in 2022

The U.S. Mint is addressing the possibility of striking a 2022 Peace dollar in high relief.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

The U.S. Mint’s 2022 numismatic products will include Morgan and Peace dollars, products likely to be offered through enrollment or subscription rather than in limited-edition pre-sales as were the six 2021 silver dollars honoring centennials for the two designs, according to Matthew Holben, the U.S. Mint’s chief sales and marketing officer.

Holben made the revelation Nov. 9 during a Microsoft Teams video conference with members of the numismatic media to address upcoming product releases, customer service, website, quality control and other issues.

Also participating in the video conference on behalf of the Mint were recently appointed Acting Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson and David Croft, associate director for manufacturing.

Holben said the U.S. Mint plans to produce Morgan and Peace dollars in 2022 and in future calendar years in different finishes and at multiple Mint production facilities, as a recurring annual product.

The five 2021 Morgan dollars and single 2021 Peace dollar were all produced with a Matte Finish at three of the Mint’s four production facilities.

Holben said he would have to consult the Mint’s legal counsel to determine if the authorizing act for the Morgan and Peace dollars marking the centennial anniversary of the transition from the Morgan to Peace dollar designs can include the issuance of bullion versions.

In addition to different finishes, Holben said Mint officials will address the possibility of issuing a 2022 Peace dollar in high relief, like the Philadelphia Mint rendered the 1921 Peace dollar.

Holben said the Mint will offer sometime in 2022 the 500 four-coin sets containing both versions of the 2021 American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins personally struck at the West Point Mint by U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder.

Each of the 500 four-coin 2021 American Eagles at Dusk and at Dawn 35th Anniversary sets will contain one example each of the 2021 American Eagle, Reverse of 1986 and Reverse of 2021 silver bullion coins and both 2021 bullion versions of the American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin.

Each set will also include certificates of authenticity bearing the director’s hand-written signature.

The Mint was originally set to offer the sets by public auction before the end of calendar year 2021.

Holben said Mint officials have been identifying fulfillment concerns with the 2021 releases so those concerns are not repeated for 2022 releases and beyond. According to the Mint, offering the future issues via an enrollment option instead of by pre-order will provide wider availability to collectors, numbers of whom have voiced concerns about being unable to place orders for the 2021 releases because of Mint website malfunctions.

While the U.S. Mint offered the 2021 silver dollars during three separate offerings in the summer of 2021, no orders were shipped until Oct. 18. The only customers able to obtain the silver dollars earlier were the 18 dealers participating in the Authorized Bulk Purchase Program.

The ABPP dealers were able to place orders from a pool of up to 10% of the maximum mintage of the designated product the week before its public release, and paid a 5% premium above the issue price, but were able to pick up the product from the Mint’s contracted order fulfillment center in Memphis, Tennessee.

To ship the product more quickly to other customers who ordered the coins, a second “emergency” warehouse was established, Holben said. Adding that second warehouse allowed the number of shipments that would have taken three months to accomplish to be achieved in three weeks.

Gibson, the Mint’s chief executive officer, said her priority is customer service.

It was noted during the video conference that the U.S. Mint, unlike other world mints, was able to maintain production under COVID-19 safety precautions, and did not have to shut down for extended periods.

Croft said the Mint’s manufacturing team is identifying quality control issues in the production and packaging of the silver dollars with a view to remedying those defects.

Holben acknowledged incidents of cracked coin capsules and coins popped out of capsules and moving around in packaging. Customer reports to the Mint have included 2021-D Morgan dollars exhibiting multiple scratches, and 2021 silver dollars struck at the Philadelphia Mint having color variations and surface streaks.

Holben said the Mint has been able to mitigate most of the issues involving digital attacks on the Mint’s website from bots, aimed at circumventing the Mint’s restrictions on household order limits for limited-edition products.

Holben said the Mint will be testing a waiting room feature with its order placement functions that will allow the Mint to streamline the order placement process.

Holben said lowering household ordering limits often corresponds to higher online traffic. “One product can degrade the website’s performance,” he said.

U.S. Mint customers will likely see more enrollment features for numismatic products in 2022 and beyond, Holben said.

Holben said 12,900 of the orders for Morgan and Peace dollars have been held up for delivery until the Mint determines if the orders are legitimate or are fraudulent attempts.

The Mint required another 15,000 customers to call the order fulfillment center when problems arose with expired credit cards or changed delivery addresses after orders were placed, Holben said.

The Mint is working to enhance the website so customers can make such revisions online without having to telephone amid concerns their orders could be canceled.

The Mint has witnessed an increase in buying groups pooling their efforts to buy limited-edition products for resale, or “flipping,” for secondary market profit. Holben said the increased number of flippers are not traditional numismatic hobbyists or collectors at all.

Holben said the Mint is seeking to maintain a healthy wholesale and retail numismatic marketplace.

Holben said the Mint’s number of subscribers has gone from 900,000 with 430,000 active, to 1.1 million subscribers and 530,000 active, and Holben said the increases are attributable to “flippers.”

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