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The perspective from home

At last I am back in the United States. I woke up this morning in a Comfort Suites room near the Cincinnati, Ohio, airport. The rebooked flight connections to leave Berlin worked as intended. We departed just before noon and arrived in New York around 2:20 p.m. Then there was a wait for an 8 o’clock flight to Cincinnati. If the rest of the itinerary goes according to plan I will arrive back in Iola between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The four of us who covered the Berlin show are anxious to get back. It has been a long trip. It was interesting and well worthwhile. I look forward to seeing how the world coin hobby unfolds this year.

However, with my Numismatic News editor’s hat on, I am even more anxious to get back into the thick of U.S. numismatics.

What most impresses the hobbyists who are active outside the United States is the sheer scale of the American hobby. There are huge numbers of collectors who spend very large sums of money on whatever interests them. The international challenge is to continue to try to interest a growing number of these American collectors to buy their products.

If a buyer wants one-ounce silver coins, it is not necessary to buy the American Eagle. There is the Canadian Maple Leaf. There is the Austrian Philharmonic. These have a depth of market that makes them virtually as liquid as the American Eagle.

I believe the world mints will continue to make inroads in the American market. However, this segment of the marketplace will continue to be relatively small in percentage terms as compared to the U.S. field.

The U.S. Mint has an incredible franchise and standing with its customer base. It is interesting to see it from the perspective of Berlin. But even better, it is most interesting of all for me to see it from the perspective of home.

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2 Responses to The perspective from home

  1. If the US Mint does not get its act together and fix the production issues that it was plagued with for the last year, the US Mint will lose its standing in the world. If a company cannot produce the supply to meet the demand, those who demand the product will go elsewhere. For example, reports from the Royal Canadian Mint shows an increase in the production and of gold Maple Leaf coins at a rate greater than from the US Mint. In this case, as the demand of gold rose and the supply was not available from the US Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint was able to tap in that market.

    A report from Ottawa suggests that the profits from 2008’s increase in sales can be used to increase RCM’s capacity–especially in the ultra modern Winnipeg facility.

    There was also remember reading that there was also an increase in the sale of the Krugerrand, but I cannot find the reference to support this. But other than the American Eagle, Maple Leaf, and Krugerrand are the dominant bullion coins used on the gold market. If the US Mint does not get its act together, it will become a lesser player in this market!

  2. Coin News says:

    In late 2008, I purchased several silver coins from the Austrian Mint and Royal Canadian Mint. Why? The coins looked great and I was unable to purchase proof American Eagle silver coins from the US Mint due to their production issues.

    I was so completely impressed with the coins I received, my money is absolutely going back this year to both mints, and maybe a few other world mints.

    Yes, I will also buy from the US Mint this year (already have), but not like before!

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