By M. Louis Teller
In response to William H. Brownstein’s letter concerning off-metal strikes, only a small amount of the article is actually aimed at off-metal strikes.
Most of his article references the selling of coins by mints that had inventories of rare coins and their selling of these inventories to the public.
In principle, I agree with him entirely. If the coins are there and they serve no purpose other than being held as storage pieces. They should be offered to the public unless the government has a specific reason for not issuing them or selling them.
However, when it comes to preparing off-metal strikes, piedforts and other coins of this nature, it would be cheapening the U.S. numismatic brand.
When you look at countries like the Isle of Man, Vanuatu and other entities that issue coin after coin after coin, sometimes 15 or 20 a year, at some point these become nothing but pieces of metal worth their intrinsic value.
It seems a disservice to the American collector and investor public because there would be such a plethora of these things that people would lose interest in them or would not be able to keep up with buying them.
It would seem that the U.S. government has already produced enough commemorative issues and standard issues with various obverses and reverses, like the state quarters, America the Beautiful quarters and the Westward Journey nickels.
Coins created by the U.S. Mint such as the American Eagle series, the Buffaloes and the High Relief gold $20 were created basically as bullion issues. A few of them have become rare and become collectible. But they are all monetized currency. They have a face value.
The U.S. government should not be in the habit of creating, patterns, piedforts and off-metal strikes just to make money. This will flood the market with dozens and dozens of new products. This will just create havoc in the U.S. coin collecting field.
New collectors, in order to keep up with the modern issues, will have to invest large amounts of money with the Mint and what they buy will be worth solely their metal value as these are basically non-circulating, legal-tender issues.
This “Viewpoint” was written by M. Louis Teller of Encino, Calif.
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