Time to plan a first strike ceremony for the just approved 2009 ultra-high-relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Collectors will certainly be excited by the arrival of the new coin on the market. The Mint has a winner, but it should be more than just a financial event for the Mint and a personal event for collectors.
There needs to be a ceremony to firmly root the coin in our numismatic history. The Treasury secretary should be there to press the button. He should be accompanied by the Mint director and the Presidents of the American Numismatic Association and American Numismatic Society.
There should be other hobby figures present. There should be dealers, scholars and a few journalists, too.
It needs to be an event where future collectors will say that they wish they had lived in 2009 when such exciting things were going on in numismatics.
Perhaps this ceremony, which I assume would be at West Point, can be held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention and the American Numismatic Society?s annual January dinner.
Perhaps a little extra exhibit material can be added to the ANS exhibit at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Perhaps a Saint-Gaudens lecture can be added to the NYINC program.
You get the idea even if some of these specifics don?t work out:
Gold. First strike. Dignitaries. Excitement. History. Higher sales.
Let the Mint hold a drawing to make one of its entrants an extra special dignitary entitled to acquire one of the first strikes of that first day event.
The possibilities are many. I am sure readers can write me with their own ideas and suggestions.
There is more than half a year to plan this and get it whipped into shape.
I throw this idea out there to see if there is any interest. I think it is important. I think we need the symbolism and the fire and excitement that goes with it.
There is a mystery to the Mint and a prestige that goes far beyond its simply being a factory that manufactures coins. But it doesn?t hurt to nurture that reputation once in a while. It will build up a lot of good will the next time there is a Web site problem or a backed-up ordering issue.
I know private firms can create ad campaigns that make would-be buyers just drool over the possibility of spending their money. Can the Mint?
This is the big chance. This offers the possibility of outshining the first proof Buffalo gold pieces.
We can see the eBay posse going crazy trying to figure the angles. We can see average collectors trying to squeeze already squeezed personal budgets to come up with the cash to buy one because of its unusual nature.
The coin will be considered a success regardless, but will it be the proverbial home run? Will it be the Mint offering that everyone will be talking about for many years to come?
The best thing, though, is that being remembered for an ultra-high-relief campaign beats being remembered for steel cents.