The U.S. Mint doesn?t have clearance sales, but the language of Mint Director Ed Moy would be familiar to any merchant comtemplating one.
?We?ve been doing a lot of work taking a look at what we have in inventory here,? Moy told Numismatic News July 31.
The things the Mint is looking at range from the 12 gold Sacagawea dollars that had been stored at Fort Knox, Ky., until they were sent for display to the American Numismatic Association?s World?s Fair of Money Aug. 8-12 in Milwaukee, Wis., to First Day Covers.
?Whatever we have belongs to the American people,? he said. He added that he thought the Mint should ?share them with fans all over the place ... on a fairly regular basis.?
Moy considers the ANA a perfect forum, he said. He added that the inventory process is in its early days.
?What is the best way to be a good steward of this?? is the guiding question in this evaluation process.
There is also a promotional motive. The Mint is still obligated by law to strike and issue Sacagawea dollars, Moy pointed out, and the display of the gold ones ?allows us an opportunity to raise awareness.?
Are Buffalo gold bullion coins cannibalizing sales of the older American Eagle bullion coin series?
?It is easy to speculate, but hard to know what the facts are,? he said.
Moy said that collectors are interested in the first and last issues and very little in between. He also noted that it is a ?down market for gold.?
On the other hand, the Mint is now exploring ethnic markets and he pointed out that the Chinese hold a high regard for pure gold as is found in the Buffalo coins and many are unaware of the coin?s .9999 fineness.
Moy touched upon the re-evaluation of the First Spouse program for next year in light of the quick sellout of the first two coins in the series. He said the Little Rock commemorative ties to a September anniversary date and the Mint is looking into what more it might do.
?I?m not sure yet,? he stated.
When asked specifically about Presidential First Day Covers, Moy said, ?That goes into a broader question about our whole portfolio of products.? He said he was going to have the Mint ?put some more thinking in it.?
Moy said he always values collector opinions and was looking forward to holding a collector forum at the ANA.
The other voices he listens to come from Congress. He said if Congress mandates removal of ?In God We Trust? from the edges of Presidential dollars, ?We will be ready to implement it immediately.?
On the other hand, the Mint is working to reduce the incidence of Presidential dollar errors involving the edge.
?We?ve beeing making some dramatic improvement,? he declared.
No matter which option is chosen, Moy said, the Mint is prepping for either.
Like any true merchant, Moy is responsive to the requirements of his collector and congressional customers.