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Mint to ‘tweak’ processes to cut errors

Collectors expressed concerns about Presidential dollars, questioned the future of the cent and praised the U.S. Mint?s recent television commercials at the U.S. Mint?s coin collectors forum in Seattle.

Mint Director Edmund C. Moy and Sales and Marketing Associate Director Gloria Eskridge responded to questions and comments from about 20 collectors at the forum held April 11 after the Washington state quarter launch ceremony.

?We?re not pleased with these errors,? Moy said when asked to explain the missing edge inscription on some Presidential dollars.

The Mint had to create the edge-lettering process ?from scratch,? he noted. The Mint will be ?tweaking? its checks and balances to eliminate errors, Moy said.

The Mint expects the George Washington dollar to be the most popular of the Presidential dollars, Moy said, but noted that the Federal Reserve is expected to order about 200 million of the John Adams dollars.

Another person brought up circulation of the dollar coin, saying that because dollar bills are in circulation, it is ?easy to see why dollar coins are a failure.?

While there is no movement to get rid of the paper dollar, Moy said, the Mint is using ?strategy and elbow grease? to promote circulation of the Presidential dollar coins.

The primary users of dollar coins are those likely to benefit economically from their use, such as operators of vending machines, automated car washes and laundromats, Moy said.

An audience member asked about the 2009 penny. Moy explained that Congress has authorized four new reverses for the 2009 penny, reflecting the various phases of Abraham Lincoln?s life.

Another person said he?d perceived a movement to drop the penny from production and added that he hoped that would not happen. Moy said that Congress had not indicated it planned to do so.

One person volunteered praise of the Mint?s recent TV commercials, saying he thought they were brilliant, humorous and helped spread the word about the fun of collecting coins.  

Regarding coinage design, Moy said he wants the Mint to be inspired by the past but not locked into the past.  He said he wants coins to convey ?this is what Americans want to say about themselves in 2007 or 2008, and I want our artists to kick up their designs to meet that challenge.?

Moy also said that he has asked designers in the Mint?s Artistic Infusion Program and the Mint?s sculptor-engravers to think about use of more allegorical design.  

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