US Mint Numismatic Forum for Oct. 13 in Philadelphia

by Mike Unser on September 2, 2016 · 21 comments

US Mint Online Newsroom screenshot

The U.S. Mint on Friday announced a numismatic forum for Oct. 13, 2016

The United States Mint is hosting a one-day forum Oct. 13 in Philadelphia to discuss the past, present, and future of the numismatic hobby.

"It seems only appropriate that, while we as a bureau are celebrating our history, the Mint is also looking for ways to improve the way we engage our customers and invigorate our relevance into the future," said U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson.

In 2017, the U.S. Mint celebrates its 225th anniversary.

Jeppson in late July sent an informal notice about the planned forum to some members of the numismatic community. Official invitations began arriving in email inboxes on Friday, Sept. 2, the same day a public release announced the date of the event and its purpose.

Entitled Numismatics: Past, Present and Future, the forum will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until 6:30 p.m. Scheduled agenda items include a heritage assets presentation, a Mint marketing update, and panel discussions. The U.S. Mint will release its forum presentations after the event.

Those who did not receive an invitation and are interested in attending should send requests to:

USMintNumismaticForum@usmint.treas.gov

They must be delivered by Sept. 15, 2016, and include the person’s affiliation (e.g., hobbyist, coin dealer, coin grader, etc.).

Seating is limited and submitting a request does not guarantee admission, the Mint said. Also, attendance will be at the cost of the participant. Additional information will be provided to confirmed attendees.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard September 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Very good idea, but having it one time in one city will limit participation. An open write/call in would add a lot more ideas, as would a discussion board that they had to answer. Personally I’d like to tell the Mint that it is inundating the public with far too many low value products, My opinion is that this is killing a lot of general interest in collecting. Having just a few better items with a reasonable spread of prices would keep interest up. But any changes would involve rethinking their entire marketing strategy!

joera September 3, 2016 at 3:43 am

They do need a way to include more people. With todays many ways of communication I’m sure there is a way to include more people, more dates and not limited to just one city and time.

Senior September 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

Seems to me if they wanted to cover the demographics of the entire nation they would do electronic poling of some kind.Sounds to me this is mainly an attempt to lessen the ire that has been expressed by the little people.Few if any little people are going to spend their hobby change to attend this smoke cloud event.The room most likely will be the big web sellers and bureaucrats,If they really cared about you and I they would make themselves available to coin collection around the nation.

Senior September 3, 2016 at 9:58 am

Give me one example of one thing the gov ever gave you that you wanted or needed Obama Care Open Borders.Our host and editor provides the venue. Write or travel to Phili and come home with your shorts full of smoke.If you write on this blog at least someone who cares will here you.

jim September 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm

So, Mike – will you be going to this forum? Will you stand in for us if we give you our ideas, etc. to present? And report back to us?

They hire contractors to go to coin shows to sell US Mint merchandise; they could at least have a suggestion box to take back to headquarters. I don’t know how many different coin shows they go to but at least it’s more than just Philly.

Munzen September 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

This is a coin forum, not a political board, but how ’bout:
– Our armed forces
– Clean air and water
– Food safety (ever read “The Jungle”?)
– Interstate highways
– For all their faults, Medicare and Social Security
– National parks
… and onward.

OK, back to coins.

I’d like to have the Mint stop inundating us with commemoratives for anything and everything. I’m hugely supportive of raising money for charitable and historical causes, etc. but do we really need to help major-league football and baseball?

I also want to see a wholesale revision of circulating coinage à la Teddy Roosevelt’s efforts. With the exception of Seated Liberty coinage, there’s never been another time period where the same basic designs have been in use on so many denominations for so many years. It might also open the door to rationalizing current denominations, e.g. finally dropping the cent and reintroducing a smaller half-dollar (plus maybe even $1 and $2 pieces … but I dream)

jim September 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Munzen –
Armed forces – done to death
National parks – done to death and still continuing
I wouldn’t consider 2 commemoratives a year as inundating but gold, silver, and clad for each is a bit much. And commemorative coins are laws from congress – not under the mint’s control. Medals are another issue.

Seth Riesling September 3, 2016 at 1:08 pm

FYI CoinNews readers –

This article doesn’t state it, but the full press release includes this jewel of a hint at who is invited to this meeting:
“The purpose of this meeting is to gather individual members of stakeholder organizations…”
Stakeholder organizations means US Mint bulk purchase program dealers, US Mint registered bullion coin Authorized Purchasers dealers, executives from PNG, ANA , PCGS, NGC, ANACS etc. & some press members maybe. This is not an open forum if you have to apply for an invitation! LOL
Also, US Mint Principal Deputy Director Matthew Rhett Jeppson refused to hold the traditional US Mint forum open to the public when he attended the largest coin show & convention in the world August 9-13 in Anaheim, California hosted by the ANA & he refused to answer numismatic press questions at the Mint’s booth on the bourse floor! And now he suddenly wants to have a by-invitation-only meeting on one day in October with people who will not be the most vocal such as long-time US Mint customers. He wants the bulk buyers to buy more & is even hiring someone for a full-time position to do just that (most collectors don’t even know the Mint offers certain dealers bulk discounts on certain products!) This is a farce & he probably thinks it will solve his lack of leadership & debacles & lower sales since he was hired & no doubt if there are any good ideas presented at this closed-loop forum, he will call them his own ideas on his resume!
A sad situation all around!

-NumisDudeTX

Mike Unser (CoinNews.net) September 3, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Jim, I am planning on attending. I’ll have more on the topic later, as details develop.

Mouse September 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Greetings all,

I am hoping that your American Mint follows suit with mine (RCM). Your country has a history of producing some of the most beautiful coin designs. It would be very lucrative and exciting for all coin collectors if they mint and release a series of gold/silver/platinum modified coins that resemble the original and first minted coins in the United States. Low mintage and increased value and collect ability. What a way to celebrate the 225th anniversary.

Mouse

Stewart September 3, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Mouse
I have never thought of the “original coins” idea as an anniversary issue, but great idea. Not the prettiest of coins produced, but unique American images.

Munzen September 3, 2016 at 10:18 pm

Jim: I was actually offering a counter to “Senior”s rant that government never does anything of value, rather than suggesting ideas for commems …

I’d go back and clarify, but as we all know & despise, there’s no option to edit or delete 🙁

Senior September 3, 2016 at 11:19 pm

Munez,I would sinserly like to see constructive adjustments to current mint offerings.I don’t like the political approach I used but I was looking for reaction not criticism.Im sure there are alternative motives for this so called forum but a forum is an examination of the nation demografics read my original post.If the mint burectrats had sincer interest they would reach out to the grass root base of collectors.We as collectors lust for new original works the collectors are bored.My intent was not to piss or diss anyone but to put a burr under the saddle

Senior September 3, 2016 at 11:26 pm

The burr under the sadle is annoying and generates a reaction. Senior

jim September 4, 2016 at 7:13 am

Mike –
Good, I hope you get in.
As Seth said, the forum is aimed at bulk dealers and not individual collectors so I’ll bet it will be tightly controlled with little if any opportunity to add subjects/issues that are relevant to us peons.

Tinto September 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm

@Seth Riesling

Thanks for the FYI …

And didn’t this so called “Mint Director” have a private meeting with the big boys a few shows back? What a louse … thank goodness I made the decision to drastically cut back after 2014 .. and it gets much easier to pass ont the big ticket Mint offerings … only RR C&C set and the TR puck this year and if the 2019 Moon landing commemorative is approved … then that will be my next and probably last big ticket item ..

Seth Riesling September 5, 2016 at 12:44 am

Tinto –

You are right about Jeppson’s meeting with only dealers last year. He seems to think that dealers rule the numismatic marketplace, but he is not a numismatist & doesn’t yet realize the simple truth that without true collectors there is no marketplace!
On the legislation for the 2019 Apollo 11 moon landing 50th anniversary commemorative coins, it has enough support in the US House of Representatives as of now, but not enough support yet in the Senate. Please email your US Senators in Washington DC & ask them to support the House bill for this important anniversary commemorative coin program. Thanks!

-NumisDudeTX

Mouse September 5, 2016 at 10:12 am

Greetings gentleman,

I believe it is important for all to put forth their option, good or bad. Free speech is essential to enact any possibility of change. I do agree with Seth that large scale meetings do involve large scale purchasers of bullion and numismatic options. We will never know what conversations take place behind closed doors. When it comes to what I like to purchase in the bullion and numismatic world, I always form relationships with mint professionals and bullion dealers. Never underestimate the power of voice and the importance of establishing a relationship with those who professionally work in the industry…or in this case, who read this site. At times like this, I always revert back to staking silver and gold bullion. In the numismatic world, not every coin can be a winner and there are always lean years when it comes to choice, so I take a break and fill the safe with bullion. Great reprieve. I highly recommend that if you are not already doing it, you should start. Taking a break from collecting numismatic coins and focusing on bullion re-sparks the passion. The balance between art and currency comes in many different forms. Happy collecting all.

Mouse

jim September 6, 2016 at 12:34 am

Seth –
I don’t think you understand. To Jeppson the marketplace is defined by bullion sales and circulating coinage. Of the bullion coins over 29 million are silver rounds, and circulating coinage amounts to 1.8 billion pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. The numbers that Mike publishes don’t show any returns and there’s no special packaging or plastic lenses for bullion and circulating coinage. So collector coinage is a tiny fraction of the market place and causes a vastly unproportional amount of headaches, demands, and expense. It’s no wonder that Jeppson would cater to bullion dealers and bank presidents. And one forum in Philly isn’t going to change that perception.

Seth Riesling September 6, 2016 at 10:42 am

jim –

The circulating coin program is totally separate from the Mint’s numismatic products program (which has to operate at no cost to the taxpayers) & bullion coin programs of course. The Mint makes a much higher profit on its core annual products like proof sets & Proof American Eagles etc than the $2 over spot they charge for a bullion ASE coin (that $2 has to cover all costs of production also, so it is not all profit)
But demand is down for the Mint’s products for sure since 2014.

-NumisDudeTX

Joe September 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm

My opinion is Jeppson gets kickbacks from big dealers. What comes around goes around.

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