From the Jan. 2 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Should the successful cupped baseball coins be followed by more U.S. cupped issues?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
I believe that cupped coins can be an effective selling tool for the Mint. It could start a new type of collection of these type of coins here and from other nations with similar programs.
I also believe that coins that are colorized would be a big hit, so let’s do it. This would be especially good for young collectors as a very appealing starting point.
Back to the cupped coins. A commemorative coin celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing would be perfect for a cupped coin.
High Bridge, N.J.
I would have to say no, unless it is used for a subject matter that would benefit using a cupped coin. The baseball and glove were perfect for one. Offhand, I can’t think of anything else that would look good using a cupped coin. Any ideas anyone? I put some of my coins in albums and they aren’t designed for such a coin.
In regard to cupped coins, especially those sold at an inflated price in a precious metal, to be brutally frank, I don’t particularly like them!
They are not real coinage in the usually accepted sense of the word! They can be called decorative pieces or any other descriptive name even if they have a nominal value, they are no longer true coinage of the realm.
However, I suppose we could argue that is a new area of our broad range hobby, if we are embracing it.
It happened in Australia some years ago, and those with numismatic or investment interests are now splitting into two camps that occasionally overlap.
As a noncirculating legal tender novelty, I would probably accept an occasional issue if it appealed and I considered it value for money (with potential) but, personally, I feel that these are now entering the realm of ornamental exonumia, just like many other decorative, so-called commemorative pieces, now flooding the International market in increasingly plethoric numbers.
Many will end up back in the melt after the issue has run its commercial course.
The storage of these unusual items will possibly prove to be a nuisance in the short term. Flat, average-sized coins have their advantages, as I’m sure most traditional numismatists will agree.
New types of specialized storage will be needed if this becomes a boutique collector trend (and an extra money spinner for the Mint if they are virtually an unredeemable issue) and that can be an extra impost if we collect our stuff by Mint output.
Graeme E. Petterwood
My opinion is to leave the baseball cupped coins as is and do not mint any more cupped version of anything.
This was a successful program and to mint additional coins with a cupped theme will only detract from the original design.
If the Mint is searching for new designs, which I suspect it is always looking for something, do a sports series in the design of the sport itself; use a football shaped coin, a tennis ball, a hockey puck, a basketball, a soccer ball and a volley ball.
Create a series of different shapes, but leave past shapes alone. It only minimizes the overall appeal of a very successful program. The only acceptable addition to a cupped coin series would be to change the original mintage by using different dates, mints and/or metal content.
How about a football shaped coin? Could be struck this year for the 95th anniversary of the league, or wait until 2020 for the centennial.
Jeffrey F. Bernberg
It made sense to have the baseball coin cupped, since a real baseball is cupped. Unless the Mint is honoring or commemorating anything other than stick and ball sports or other round objects, it should probably not mint any cupped coins.
Tom DeWell, President
St. Paul Liberty Coin Club
Absolutely not! The baseball coin will become just another gimmick by the Mint and its allure will get lost in the shuffle.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
In my opinion, the U.S. Mint’s issue of a cupped coin should be a one-time novelty and no more should be issued. I would, however, like to see a U.S. circulation bimetallic coin.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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