William T. Gibbs

Bill’s Corner

William T. Gibbs

William was appointed the managing editor effective May 1, 2015. He joined the Coin World editorial staff in 1976 as an assistant editor for "Collectors' Clearinghouse" and later became a senior staff writer before being appointed news editor. As managing editor, he manages the day-to-day editorial operations for Coin World, both print and online, and leads the editorial staff. He also serves as chief copy editor for all Coin World publications, including for all books published by Coin World since 1985. He has been project editor of mulitple editions of the Coin World Almanac. Bill began collecting coins at the age of 10 and soon discovered Coin World. As a teen interested in numismatics and journalism, he identified a writing position on the staff of Coin World as a dream job, which was realized shortly after he graduated from Bowling Green State University with a major in journalism. He collects store cards and medals depicting Adm. George Dewey of Spanish-American War fame.

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Collectors still peeved at U.S. Mint over gold dime sales

As I write this editorial on May 12 it has been three weeks to the day since the U.S. Mint offered and “sold out” of its 2016 Winged Liberty Head gold dime, and yet, I continue to receive daily email, phone calls and traditional letters from collectors upset with the U.S. Mint and dealers over how sales unfolded in a period of 20 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, as we now know, the program is not sold out. More than 6,200 of the dimes remain unsold because of credit card declines, order cancellations, and returns from buyers (some being returned because of damage to the packaging or coins, and others because of imperfections that might result in a grade that is unacceptable to the customer). Mint officials have said that at least some of the unsold dimes will be offered again but we are still waiting on details of how and when those coins will be sold.

A Mint spokesman said May 12 that the remaining dimes likely would not be offered until order reconciliation is complete. He could not say how long that might take, so collectors are left wondering whether it be a matter of days or weeks or even months. And when sales resume, how much advance notice will collectors receive.

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One thing that I can guarantee is that collectors will be even more upset than they are already if the Mint offers the remaining coins under the same 10-coins-per-household limit imposed during the initial day of sales, April 21. That approach made it easier for certain dealers and marketers to purposely circumvent the household limits to snag much larger numbers of the dimes, including at least one television seller who acquired several thousand coins.
Many collectors who were locked out the first time believe that anyone successful during the first round of sales should be barred from buying any more (especially dealers, they say).
In addition to waiting on the resumption of sales for the dime, the marketplace is waiting on the Mint to announce plans for the second coin in the gold centennial program — the 2016 edition of the Standing Liberty quarter dollar, which like the dime was struck in 1916 in silver. And after that coin is the 2016 Walking Liberty gold half dollar.
Will the Mint sales and marketing division learn from the sale of the dimes and make these later offerings fairer, with lower household limits and better monitoring of customers who might be trying to exceed the limit? Or will that division’s officers continue to anger its base — the collectors of U.S. coins?
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Older Comments (4)
The magnificent and unequaled beauty of these coins prompted my first attempt at purchasing a gold coin from the US mint only to have it dashed by the equally unfair program for distribution which appears to favor dealers who's mark-up is needlessly high. If the new standing liberty design is handled in a similar fashion it will only perpetuate the feeling expressed for the mercury design sale.
As a collector for 48 years, since my first nickle folder, it's sad to see this happen.
I'm guessing that if given the chance, the every day collector's purchase of these beautiful coins would out distant the dealers but it's been known for quite some time that the mint programs find it easier to sell bulk to a handful of dealers then work a little harder to reach out to collectors.
SLQ mintage should be 100,000 and household limit should be 2 only, with the limit lifted after 6 weeks. Unsold Mercs. should now be sold by lottery, with a single coin limit. Spred the remainder out as much as possible. However, I think that makes too much sence for Government work!
What the mint needs to do is stop putting limited numbers on special event coins. Let the public decide how many coins should be minted as was the case of the US Marshal coins. Anyone who wanted one got one. I believe this would do away with all of the price gouging by speculators.
Bottom line, these are collector coins, the mint should have a pretty good estimate on how many collectors we have in our country. The mint should use that number as mintage and put a household limit of two and if you snooze, you pay more for the coin from someone else. With the higher price the dealers may have a shorter list of customers who buy the coins for them. After all, these are collector coins. Oh, and do the same for WL's and be sure to notify the public when they are sold out instead of being indecisive , just melt the returns, you may need the gold more than you think.