By Steve McGowan
As what seems to be the new “norm” for the U.S. Mint, there was a fiasco on the Nov. 14 release of the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof silver Eagle.
Why release a second Enhanced Reverse Proof silver Eagle in the same year anyway? Was the intent of the Mint to displace the 1995-W from its lofty pedestal? It seems so by them minting 125 fewer. Why are certain dealers listing dozens and dozens of the new coin? How many folks were paid by these dealers to help crash the Mint’s website? My friends all failed to get in on the feeding frenzy. All we wanted was one of the coins.
What the Mint should’ve done was to randomly pick 30,000 collectors (not dealers) with accounts and ask in emails if they wanted the coin. That would’ve been the right thing to do. The U.S. Mint is driving the little guy out of the collecting hobby. I wonder what David Harper’s opinion is on this? The Mint’s note on the 19 XE Product number is cute and laughable, “Currently Unavailable.” Like anyone is going to return any of the coins. The Mint owes us better. And the numismatic world keeps asking why they cannot attract new collectors to what once was a great hobby.
The article by Jim Bisognani in the NGC Market Report Thursday, Nov. 14, on this very subject gives good insight as to why the regular collector cannot compete with the special interest groups of speculators, buying groups and the like. It seems that there are special purchase deals for buying in bulk to certain Mint customers.
Jim is correct, though, about the 1995-W being safe from being knocked off its pedestal only because there are so few of the coins graded at PF-70. The new Eagle will most certainly grade out at 70 at a much higher quantity.
But the point is, there seems to be favoritism shown to those with deeper pockets than the “regular Joe.” It smells like politics, greed, shady deals and handshakes. While most regular collectors purchase coins to have and hold and admire their treasures, we don’t buy coins to instantly “flip” them for outrageous profits. Instances like this latest Mint fiasco are a stain on coin collecting. The top 1 or 2 percent get the gravy; the little guys get the cold potatoes stuck at the bottom of the plate.
Perhaps the Mint thinks we are all gullible and stupid as well. I just received an email about an upcoming Mint release from the U.S. Mint.
It states, “Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to US Mint products, the Mint will not accept and will not honor orders placed prior to the official on-sale date at 12:00 Noon.”
Gee, I was not aware that the Mint even allowed these things to occur (joking). I wonder further, what the Mint means by “members of the public?” I didn’t know that, as a citizen, I had to have a membership in order to be included in the public. And what is the Mint’s definition of fair and equal access? I’m certain the Mint will “spin” their explanation.
Here then is a suggestion for the U.S. Mint. If we as the regular, average collector are to take to heart the Mint’s questionable and dubious claim that they want “fair and equal access” to their products for us, simply do this: Produce 125 fewer Enhanced Reverse Proof coins in 2020 or 2021 than the 2019-S. Then, weed out all the dealers and speculators from their computer banks and randomly offer the coins to the “regulars” via email. What would be really funny then, is to see how the dealers and speculators would react and to see how much they’d be willing to pay us for the coins.
This, of course, will never come to fruition. For myself, if I were to receive one of those coins, like the entire collection I have amassed, I wouldn’t part with it. Personally, I don’t sell my coins. I collect them and enjoy them. My collection is indeed a treasure and will be passed on to my heirs. To all the regular collectors, let us UNITE and take back our hobby from the greedy!
This “Viewpoint” was written by Steve McGowan, a collector from Algonac, Mich.
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