The chair of David Rittenhouse has finally been filled after remaining empty for over seven years.
David J. Ryder was confirmed by the United States Senate as director of the United States Mint March 21.
The Mint directorship is both a hands-on management position and a political office. Both elements need to be mastered by the incumbent.
Ryder is a good choice to accomplish this. He has held the office before. He was Mint director in 1992-1993, appointed by President George Herbert Walker Bush. His time in the job was cut short by a change of the political party in power.
The office is also a keeper of historical memory. Last year, the Mint celebrated 225 years. A Mint director will be expected to foster the traditions that make it a great national institution and carry it on toward its next significant anniversary.
There have been other Mint directors who have had two bites of the apple. But Ryder is unusual in that the gap is almost 25 years.
James Pollock served 1861-1866 and 1869-1873. He alternated with Henry Richard Linderman, who sat in the chair 1867-1869 and 1873-1878.
George Roberts held sway 1898-1907 and again 1910-1914.
Ryder made good use of the intervening years since his first time as director. He leavened his government credentials with private sector experience. He has been manager and managing director of currency for Honeywell Authentication Technologies and CEO of Secure Products Corporation, which Honeywell acquired in 2007.
Doesn’t this resume make him a perfect fit for dealing with the growing counterfeiting problem that is plaguing the numismatic field? I think so.
It is important that the Mint take a lead role in stamping out the fakes that call into question the legitimacy of all coins. Other national mints are. The U.S. Mint should do so as well.
Do lower American Eagle sales this year have anything to do with counterfeits that have been found and reported? Perhaps not, but the problem will only get worse if there is no concerted government action to set things right.
It would appear Ryder is the perfect person for the job on paper.
The Industry Council’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force stands at the ready to help.
Naturally, as important as that task will be, coin collectors will also look upon Ryder as a sort of numismatic Santa Claus. There is always something new that we would like to see produced or some policy to change. But he probably got used to that the first time around.
Then there is the aspect of Mint director as rock star. Crowds will clamor for his attention if he will come join us at our conventions and shows. Let’s invite him.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2019 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.