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What will you say about Director Moy?

How will Mint Director Ed Moy be remembered by the hobby?

His tenure, which began with his swearing in in 2006 has been filled by numerous new issues, the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and record setting demand for silver American Eagles.

Will he be remembered for making it possible for 21st century collectors to acquire a $20 gold piece as Augustus Saint-Gaudens intended it to be made in 1907 as a tribute to the Greeks?

However collectors remember him, it is my hope that they will not call the last few years boring.

Stuff happened while Moy was in office, both good and bad. There has been an energy in the hobby.

Who would have thought so many collectors retained such a fondness for Lincoln cents that they not only wanted examples of the four special designs of 2009, but they wanted them by the roll acquired in the conventional way: through the banks.

Unfortunately, banks are not the same institutions that we circulation finds veterans recall from the 1950s and 1960s.

Nevertheless, we will have strong memories. For collectors, history and memories are all to the good.

Presidential dollars were introduced in 2007. In a perfect echo of what happened in 1907 there was an outcry about a supposedly missing national motto “In God We Trust.”

The Internet went crazy with wild rumors. Or perhaps I should write that among the many crazy rumors on the Internet, some actually focused on coins.

Who would have thought in the digital age that coins would still matter?

Quarter designs got a new lease on life. It is not the same excitement as we experienced in 1999 with the state program, but the America the Beautiful program that started in 2010 will see the hobby through to 2021. Because of fairly low mintages and what seems like quite a bit of collector indifference, some of these pieces might actually sell for a premium in future decades. The 5-ounce silver bullion versions are making the end of 2010 exciting.

Mint directors don’t put their imprint on the hobby like monarchs do for historical periods, but if anyone ever asks me about the Moy tenure, I will say that hobbyists were truly engaged in what they were doing.

When you care enough to complain about the very best, that’s the hallmark of our time.

That’s a good thing that the historians will remember.

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One Response to What will you say about Director Moy?

  1. With all due respect, the only item in your list that can be positively directly attributed to Ed Moy is the 2009 High Relief gold coin.

    Moy did not create the Lincoln cent bicentennial program, that was congress’s idea. The US Mint only implemented their program. Moy and the Mint had the opportunity to really make a wonderful collectible by creating a 2009-S VDB coin using the same design as the 1909-S VDB and satisfying the part of the law that required collectible coins be made in copper. The law did not specify the design. What a collectible that would have been!

    The mess caused by the missing edge lettering on the presidential dollar is a failure in quality control and manufacturing diligence. How long did it take for the Mint to significantly lower the the rate of faulty or missing edge lettering? And they are still producing edge letter errors, much to the delight of error collectors.

    Although the American Silver Eagle saw an upsurge in demand, it was under Moy’s leadership that the lack of supply chain management caused shortages. Moy said under testimony to a congressional oversight committee that the shortage of planchets was not because of the lack of metals, it was the lack of being able to procure made planchets. In 4 1/2 years he finally has a supplier other than the Perth Mint for planchets. That is a failure of leadership and foresight.

    Finally, the failure of the U.S. Mint in its processes to procure, strike, and sell the 5-ounce silver bullion coin in a timely manner was his coup de grace in destroying the credibility of the U.S. Mint. Moy was more concerned about his "Pet Crime" that he was able to get the Ultra High Relief within a year and yet is struggling to get a coin required by law sold to the public.

    These issues, along with the issues I wrote on my blog (see http://bit.ly/fSstRv) will not bode well for Moy’s history at the U.S. Mint.

    I hope he enjoys his new life in Seattle. But I hope that President Obama finds a real leader whose experience includes manufacturing, supply chain management, and customer service.

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