By Mike Fuljenz
On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, I attended an all-day U.S. Mint Forum held at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in Washington, D.C. About 50 prominent members of the numismatic community gathered to listen to and provide input to a group of U.S. Mint and BEP staff and leaders.
We discussed new items that might help get children involved in coin collecting at an early age. Kids tend to like interactive products. So we discussed online links to videos or games with U.S. Mint products.
The Mint has seen a decline in customers coinciding with a decrease in Mint advertising, but the Mint plans to once again place more advertising to promote its coin products and numismatics. It hopes to collaborate when the opportunity arises with organizations such as NASA. This is very good news for the coin market that the Mint will soon be promoting numismatic products to the general public.
Mint representatives also brainstormed about the possibility of combining different Mint or paper money products in specially-designed packaging. Important upcoming anniversaries that offer possibilities for medals or limited (by law) types of coin products include the Centennial of Armistice Day (November 11, 1918), the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s death (1969) and the centennial of the Morgan and Peace Dollars (1921).
The Mint has a lot of latitude with the manufacture of medals and could work with Mints of other countries for packaging Mint products with other themes, such as for the “year of the child.” The Mint and NASA are working together to promote the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Landing commemorative coins. A glow-in-the-dark rocket ship package is one option. A four nines (.9999) silver one-ounce bullion and proof coin also drew interest from Mint Director David Ryder and others in attendance when suggested.
The state quarter program was very popular with kids, parents and educators; so we hope the new state innovator series gets a new generation collecting this full set of quarters. The Mint is optimistic about the popularity of the new innovator theme for quarters of all U.S. states and territories to be made over a 14-year program. Each state will work on coming up with its top “innovator,” which is not the same as an inventor. The process of finding top state innovators was researched with Smithsonian experts.
Counterfeit coins continue to be a major concern. The U.S. Mint Director discussed plans to research and ramp up the fight against counterfeit products. There are new brochures and information to help educate consumers and dealers on what to check for when examining U.S. Mint bullion coins.
Mike Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, is a leading coin expert and market analyst whose insightful writing and consumer advocacy have earned major honors from the ANA, PNG, NLG, and the Press Club of Southeast Texas.
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