Buried deep in the proposed Fiscal Year 2011 Budget released by President Barack Obama is one page that could have far reaching consequences into American circulating coinage, and reads as if it came straight from US Mint Director Ed Moy's Congressional testimony nearly two years ago.
Titled "Other Savings: Coinage Material - Department of the Treasury," the proposed section seeks to grant the Department of the Treasury authority to change the composition and weights of the most common circulating coins: the penny (cent), the nickel, the dime, the quarter and the half dollar.
Stating that the primary cost driver for the United States Mint is something that it has no control over, namely the price of metal, the Budget goes on to cite the fluctuating prices of the two main metals used in circulating coin composition, copper and zinc. Both have seen 100% plus increases over the last several months, which is tame compared to the swings nickel has experienced in the last few years of over 500%.
According to the 2009 Annual Report recently released by the United States Mint, the total cost of producing a cent was actually 1.62 cents, for a net loss of .62 cents on each one. The nickel, only worth five cents, actually took 6.03 cents to strike during the last fiscal year, losing the Mint 1.03 cents a piece. With these figures firmly in mind, it is easy to understand why some parties are concerned with the costs associated in making the coins.
2009 Louis Braille Silver Dollars were launched in a ceremony Thursday at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. The commemorative proof and uncirculated silver dollars celebrate the 200th birthday and the life and work of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille system for reading and writing by the blind and visually impaired.
The United States Mint first released the Braille designs and a prototype in July 2008 during the NFB annual convention in Dallas, Texas. The unveiling showcased the unique silver dollar design, which US Mint Director Ed Moy told the audience about during Thursday's ceremony.
"For the first time in history, the United States has a coin with readable Braille. The 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar honors the developer of Braille, a tactile code that has been instrumental in the literacy and independence of the world's blind people."
2009 Lincoln penny design images were revealed by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy Monday morning during a news conference at the Lincoln Memorial. The four reverse designs celebrate a different aspect of Abraham Lincoln's life: his birth and childhood in Kentucky, his formative years in Indiana, his professional life in Illinois and his Presidency in Washington, D.C.
"This is a momentous occasion in the history of our Nation's coinage because these designs represent the first change in the Lincoln cent in half a century," said Director Moy.
"These coins are a tribute to one of our greatest Presidents whose legacy has had a lasting impact on our country. He believed all men were created equal, and his life was a model for accomplishing the American dream through honesty, integrity, loyalty, and a lifetime of education."