If only those numismatic playbook pages could talk

The Sept. 8 release date for the 2016-W Standing Liberty Centennial gold quarter dollar was disclosed by the Mint in its August CoinsOnline newsletter sent to nearly 350,000 Mint customers who subscribe to receive such newsletter notifications.

Images by Coin World Senior Editor Paul Gilkes.

More often than not, inquiries I receive from collectors – since my primary coverage area in U.S. numismatics is the United States Mint – are about what special products the bureau will offer, when they will go on sale and at what price.

The Mint posts a running schedule on its website at www.usmint.gov that is updated as specific release dates for products whose issue is “TBD” (To Be Determined) are finally "determined."

Collectors don’t want to be left out of the hunt and want to prepare as well as possible in advance. Posting that a product will eventually be available by adding the TBD designation whets a collector’s appetite for hopefully being one of the lucky ones to have their order successfully processed.

I know, as a collector myself, what it’s like to know when a product in which I am interested will become available, and share that information with fellow hobbyists.

Here’s a comparative twist.

Professional football coaches are always looking for ways to get an edge on their competition. The practice of using binoculars from a team’s skybox to read the lips of anopponent’s coaching staff, in hopes of discovering the play about to be called has resulted in coaching staffs often covering their lips with their clipboards so the next play won’t be disclosed.

For a number of years, while covering the summer American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, I often had the opportunity to meet with Dick Peterson, the Mint’s current deputy director of manufacturing, to discuss upcoming Mint programs. He usually carried what I refer to as the “numismatic playbook” – a ring binder holding details of the Mint’s approved and contemplated products for the next few years.

If the pages of that playbook could talk, I’m sure there would be many interesting stories to tell.

In my role as a Senior Editor, I do my best to get as much information and details as possible on numismatic products and share them with Coin World readers and potential subscribers.

When I know details on an upcoming numismatic product, you’ll know. Stay tuned for the next “play” to be called.