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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The Mint gives up a Friday afternoon surprise

In the early afternoon of Jan. 13, a few  hours after we had completed the Jan. 30 issue of Coin World Weekly and sent it to the printer, I visited some of the online collector forums that I monitor for news tips and to keep abreast of the public mood of collectors. One of the conversations at the Professional Coin Grading Service U.S. Coins Forum caught my eye, saying something along the lines of “2017 coins found in circulation.” I scrolled down and looked at one of the first images displayed. Then I muttered a few words you won’t see in the pages of Coin World. That’s because, had I read the post four or five hours earlier, I would have torn up Page 1 even though it was mostly done since the day before.

A collector had posted a picture of one of this year’s Lincoln cents — one struck at the Philadelphia Mint and bearing that facility’s P Mint mark. While at first I was skeptical, especially when someone quickly posted some obviously photo-manipulated images of similar pieces with different dates, the original poster said that the image was genuine.

I summoned Paul Gilkes, our senior editor for U.S. coins whose beat includes the U.S. Mint, and showed him the image, asking if he saw anything unusual. He immediately saw the Mint mark and returned to his desk to call his contacts in the Mint’s corporate communications department. A spokesman quickly confirmed that Lincoln cents struck in 2017 at the Philadelphia Mint do indeed bear a P Mint mark, as a one-year nod to the Mint’s 225th anniversary, and that the Mint had kept this a secret.

Paul hastily wrote the news coverage and we posted it to our website and Facebook page. In the “old days,” before we had an online presence, we would have had to wait till the next print issue to inform our readers of the change for 2017. Even now, those of our readers who rely strictly on our print issues will see the news for the first time in this issue, more than a week after we published the news online.

The Mint’s decision should increase interest in what is normally a rather routine issue. I suspect that in the weeks ahead, you’ll see dealers offering the 2017-P Lincoln cents for those of our readers who can’t find them in circulation. 

We want to thank the Mint for the surprise. What’s next? 
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