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Change coming to hobby

Looking at the precious metals first thing this morning seems to indicate a fairly quiet day after election day in the United States.

Gold and silver were strongly higher yesterday. Now perhaps is the pause for reassessment as change comes to Washington, D.C.

The most conspicuous shift for coin collectors will probably be a change in the director of the U.S. Mint. Though the person in that position is ostensibly serving a five-year term, the practical matter of it is it is considered one of the plum jobs that goes to loyalists of the new President Barack Obama. Who that will be will be a great parlor game in political circles.

That means that the upcoming restrikes of the Saint-Gaudens ultra-high relief $20 coin early next year will be Mint Director Ed Moy’s valedictory legacy.

He has made a game attempt to improve American coin design. I hope his successor will continue to build on this particular legacy.

What I also hope is that the new Mint director will stop raiding the crypt of defunct American coin designs and let the talented Mint staff and Artistic Infusion Program participants come up with 21st century artwork.

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3 Responses to Change coming to hobby

  1. mark says:

    i hope also the new mint director brings new designs and excitement to our coinage. after all, isn’t this administration about "change?" no pun intended.

  2. Dan says:

    A rumor on the collectors forum is that the fractional platinums are being eliminated. Personally, I think that makes a lot of sense; they’re great coins, but the demand hasn’t been very high, and they might become more collectible if the Mint cuts back on the offerings and limits future issues to a single denomination. If the rumors are correct, the Mint intends to keep the $100, although I think the $25 is the better, more collectible, choice. I also think the $50 would be logical– matches the dollar denomination of the highest issue gold, and the Mint selected the platinum $50 for the 2007 reverse proof set, which indicates some commitment to that coin. My biggest complaints against the Mint are that it seems to do things without rhyme or reason, and when it does, there often is little evidence that it takes the interests and health of the numismatic community into account.

  3. Technically, the Director of the US Mint is a 5-year appointment and not subject to the same rules as cabinet-level appointments. It is similar to the controversy generated when John McCain said that he would fire the commissioner of the Security and Exchange Commission.

    While President-elect Obama can ask Director Moy to resign, Moy can legally refuse and serve the balance of his term (9/2011). There is no indication that the new administration will move to replace Moy, but it is likely to occur mainly because of his work with the current administration before becoming Director of the Mint.

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