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Community Voice Responses (November 20, 2018)

From the Oct. 26 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:


Can the U.S. Mint bring newcomers to coin collecting?

Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

No. Not with the current junk that Congress mandates as coins for the Treasury to mint.

Wesley Ellis
Portland, Ore.

Look at the United kingdom’s Royal Mint and their Portrait’s of Britain; Beatrix Porter; and New Paddington programs.

I recall there being a contest on the Portrait’s of Britain where collectors finding the first coin(s), released at the sites, could log into the Royal Mint’s site and track their finds for each site released.

I am sure this has brought many new collectors into their fold.

Look at the Royal Canadian Mint and their programs.

Both are more collector oriented than the U.S. Mint, and they are following collector market research and providing what the collectors want at a reasonable price.

Lorne LaVertu
Herndon, Va.

Absolutely NOT. The Mint continues to issue poorly designed, ugly coins and charges too much for them. The disgusting condition of the metals used in the coining process doesn’t help either. When young people, the target group for new collectors, see the computer-designed, ugly coins being offered, and the extremely high price charged by the Mint for those ugly coins, they rightly exhibit no interest in our hobby.

Rick Anderson
Tucson, Ariz.

It’s possible, but only if they expand their marketing. People buy what they see advertised. Unless a person is on the Mint’s mailing list or email list, most people have no knowledge of Mint products.

In Patrick Heller’s article about the Mint’s intentions, he mentioned new products, new packaging and even new characters to attract younger collectors, but there was no mention of how the Mint intends to get this information in front of potential newcomers.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

No, the Mint cannot create new collectors, but they can turn off new collectors by producing large volumes of issues (crap) which have no reason to exist besides to have a product to use to separate them from their money.

Coinage used to be a vehicle to celebrate and display images of general importance to the nation. In the last couple of decades we have seen an enormous proliferation of issues that do or should not qualify such as, for example, the Capitol Visitor Center coins, the 5-ounce silver “quarters,” reverse proofs, enhanced uncirculated, etc.

The Treasury Department has discovered the joy of raising money for the government without raising taxes. Unfortunately, they have become subject to the sales department, which now invents new products solely for their potential to raise money.

Tom Miller
Santa Rosa, Calif.

Yes, but I think the U.S. Mint may br talking to the wrong people.

Of those 60-70 of invited guests that attended the meeting, how many were under 18 years old or under 12 years-old?

They need to be talking to the people they what to target.

While I think talking to older, seasoned collectors is a good start, they need to be talking to the people they want to target, kids.

Ask young collectors what excites them about coin collecting, and also ask young non-collectors what sorts of things would get them interested coin collecting.

Apparently at the meeting some market research was presented, but at least in the article, there is no breakdown of how that research was conducted or who was included.

I think the U.S. Mint could take a hint from some other past hot collectables, like POGS and non-sports cards, PEZ dispensers and others. This all had one thing in common, most were easy to get, but there were some rare ones as well that everyone chased after. The fun for kids is in the hunt. But you can’t make it too hard.

I’ve been in PR and marking for over 40 years and a coin collector for over 50. I know a little about both.

Ken Freeze
Martinez, Calif.

Yes, this has been an age old problem, how to get new collectors. A listing of coin shows has dwindled over the years. So have coin clubs for that matter. Perhaps even people are dying off, without taking into account for a someone to pick up the banner on this. A couple of coin clubs used to have 75-80 members attend. Before moving out of the area, this was down to half. Even a couple of clubs folded because of lack of interest, and funds.

Perhaps some shows can be done in some halls, instead of some hotels. Less cost, fewer dealers may be the answer (in part). With less table fees to collect, instead of one or two times a year, two to four times a year may prove worthwhile. I am sure nonprofits can use the rental income, as well as venues using potential savings. What a concept! Think about it, and let some local operators know. After all, in time it will not hurt.

Gary Kess
Sherman, Texas

My answer is no, because the prices of their coins are a little high.

Robert Odulio
Address withheld

I hope so. It would be nice to have the younger generation’s energy and fresh ideas. The Mint hit a home run with the state quarter program and got a lot of non-collectors checking their pocket change to fill boards and albums. Many people have less interest in the ATB program. Cutting- edge commemorative themes and designs might be a way to attract new collectors. Think about the buzz created by the concave design of the 2014 baseball coins!

Mark Vezzola
Address withheld

If the images on the coins hold little sway over the viewer, why should they find them adoring? When producing different effects on the coins depends on technology rather than a craftsman’s ability, why marvel? The shadow of the dichotomy looms even as another delights in the machine not the hand. When the future of money looks away from the tangible to the intangible why stick with it other than to savor its last days? What does a mint mean when it produces a product that isn’t the basis of money?

Rchard Koch
Address withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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