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Community Voice Response: July 7, 2020

From the June 12, Numismatic News E-NewsLetter

How would you feel if the U.S. Mint discontinued mintmarks on U.S. coinage? Do you think it ever will?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers.

Searching for coins by date and mintmark is one of the most exciting parts of numismatics for so many people. The stories over the years of collectors like Q. David Bowers, who says he started his collecting looking for the rare 1909-S VDB and 1914-D cents, and the modern hunt for the 2019 and 2020-W quarters is still one of the first ways that new collectors start out in numismatics. The Mint already has eliminated mintmarks (1965-1967) and eventually restored them in 1968. I hope they never try that experiment again!

Ryan Kordziel
Schenectady, N.Y.

Mintmarks from mints are one of the things that makes collecting so unique and it’s part of the hobby. If the Mint discontinued to mintmark coins, I think that it would hurt the hobby. It would devalue the coins because all the coins would be the same. It would do to coin collecting what the United States Post Office did to stamps when they created the Forever stamps and killed the hobby.

Harry Schwarz
West Park, Fla.

I hope not. This is a main reason why we pay more for some issues than others. This is how a rarity is made. This is how the Mint management can determine the cost effectivity of one over the other. The making of coins is different, one mint from the other. This can be traced to age of machinery, die cuts, crew experience, and other factors, unique to each mint. They’re not all the same, as proven on inspection.

John T. Gallagher
Chicago, Ill.

If the U.S. Mint discontinued mintmarks it would not go over well with collectors. They did that in 1965-1967 and it wasn’t popular. If anything, the hobby needs a circulating boost to cents. Bring back the “S” San Francisco mintmark to the circulating cent for a few years. Kids and adults will start looking like they did in 1968.

Bruce Beasley
Clinton, Iowa

I wouldn’t like it if the mints stopped using a mintmark. And I don’t think that the mints will stop doing it in the future.

Michel Pauze
Las Vegas, Nev.

I hope they keep the mintmarks, it’s part of the search. If they don’t, then you may pay a premium for those mystery coins. Most of us know how scarce these are to find in Mint-70, First Release, First Struck, or anything else they can come up with.

Tim Kenyon
Mechanicsburg, Pa.

What about the 1916 Mercury dime without a “D” or “S?” They’d all be the same value. Die varieties by mintmark are more easily identified. Collectors in the east like to search for the “S” dates that are more elusive. Most of us like to know where the coin originated and quantity minted. Elimination of the mintmark would also lessen interest in the hobby, thereby making it less attractive for any potential newcomers.

Horst Seeley
Manchester, N.H.

Wow! Another one of those questions that every once in a while generates commentary, like eliminating the cent or removing the motto, “In God We Trust.”

Mintmarks have been stamped on our nation’s coinage nearly 200 years, and each current United States branch mint has its professional and historical presence to be recognized. The original intention has long been lost and wrought worthless; but, the meaning and prominence to each branch mint continues.

Of course, on the other hand, the average guy and gal don’t flip or look for mintmarks when buying a Mars candy bar. Better effort should be addressed to how to encourage more hobbyists into our world of money hobby rather than mintmark or not.

Michael S. Turrini
San Vallejo, Calif.

Collecting type sets, I am not interested much in mintmarks, and wouldn’t care if they were eliminated. However, hard-core numismatists and dealers who are interested in rarity via numbers of coins issued and obscure mint venues might be thwarted in their collecting strategies.

Stephen Fry
Culver City, Calif.

I think it would reduce sales to individual collectors. Institutions would get cases from the mint in boxes indicating where they were minted, send them to grading services, and create new collectibles and high prices. Not interested.

Gary Brown
San Antonio, Texas

And what purpose, pray tell, would that serve? Absolutely NOT! Since mintage numbers are reflected based on a given mint’s production number; and since the value of coins may, in fact, be a direct result of those numbers, it would result in decreases in value! But then what recently has the Mint actually done right?

Gary Double
via Facebook

I don’t think they would remove mintmarks. They can charge higher prices for special mintmark releases.

Ernesto Aguilar
via Facebook

If they have a real purpose, then leave them on. But if they’re just added for our sake, then I guess they should be removed. Otherwise, it seems fake.

Mark Shure
via Facebook

I prefer mint marks.

William Rainey
Kokomo, Ind.

No, I do not think the U.S. Mint should stop making mintmarks

Doug Fields
Laredo, Texas

I would hate it. It's a big part of what is left of America

John Dunkle
Address Withheld

It would certainly put the collector world at a loss!

Jeff Iverson
Address Withheld

I believe that if the US mints decided to eliminate mint marks it would greatly affect the hobby negatively. As Numismatists, we base a lot of our collecting choices on mint marks. Imagine if there had never been a mint mark for New Orleans or Carson City. I hope my advice is taken.

B. Bruce Wasz
Address Withheld

I do not think the U.S will ever stop putting on mint marks because we won't know what coin came from which mint. Also if they do I will be very surprised.

Conner Hopfer
Address Withheld