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Mint director at last?

It is not exactly the case of the missing U.S. Mint director, but the chair that has been empty since Ed Moy left in 2010 might at last be about to be filled.

The Mint gave me a heads up about a Senate confirmation hearing for Rhett Jeppson next Tuesday, March 15.

I wish him luck. I am optimistic.

The routine nature of the proceedings seems to indicate Jeppson will be waved through.

The hearing will also consider two other individuals, both nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

If a roast was planned, he would not likely have been bundled with the SEC nominees. There is some urgency in getting the SEC positions filled.

Mint director is a position that dates back to David Rittenhouse and the founding of the institution in 1792.

Certainly neither the position nor the institution are as important as they were in the 18th century. The federal government has grown so much larger.

The sums the Mint generates seem to be a drop in the bucket compared to the $4 trillion annual federal budget.

But for the Mint itself and for collectors, it is important to have someone with the director title. It is a boost.

That might sound strange, but you cannot help but wonder about any organization that has not had the top job filled for six years however competently run it has been in the interim.

For collectors, there is a connection. The Mint director is the face of much that we hold dear.

We collectors have a groupie side to us. The director is our star.

We are not particularly deferential. Collectors are not bashful about throwing brickbats of criticism when a coin program doesn’t go as it should. But that is because collectors care so much about the Mint.

To a degree, it is our Mint and the position is our director.

There is a large reservoir of respect among collectors that a director could call upon if needed.

In 2016, we all know respect is harder to come by than it used to be. But it is there no matter how cynical collectors can sometimes seem.

Having a Mint director is therefore very good news.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."