The U.S. Mint in the past week made two announcements about forthcoming new coin issues that brought the numismatic hobby extra news coverage. As a result, the anticipated increase in coin collecting is already starting to develop.
When the Mint announced that the first two women who will be featured on 2022-dated quarters would be writer Maya Angelou and astronaut Sally Ride, it also announced that the public would now be able to submit names of other women for consideration of appearing on the following 18 coins. I encourage readers to submit their own suggestions by going here. This link only allows one woman to be listed on each submission, but the public is welcome to send in as many names as they choose – just use a separate link for each one.
The Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 directed that the Smithsonian Institution American Women’s History Initiative, the National Women’s History Museum, and the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus create the list of women for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to consider to be honored on the U.S. quarters. It did not include public participation in the choice of which women to appear on these coins, though the law did allow the public to submit design ideas once the names had been finalized.
On Feb. 10, I sent a letter to U.S. Mint Director David Ryder to encourage public participation in identifying which women to recognize on the 2022-2025 quarters. I don’t know if this letter had any effect on opening up the selection process to the public, but I am pleased that has occurred.
Incidentally, the first two women to be honored on the quarters both had died within the past 10 years. I think this will help publicize the program as many in the public would be aware of these women. However, I hope that this does not indicate a bias toward recognizing the achievements of recent women at the expenses of those in past centuries.
The Mint has also pinned down the details on the composition, range of issues, mintages, prices, order dates and shipping dates of the 2021-dated Morgan and Peace silver dollars. There will be five different Morgan dollars and one Peace dollar, all struck in a satiny uncirculated condition (such as produced for recent commemorative silver dollars) and offered for sale at $85 per coin. Mintage limits for each of the Morgans will be 175,000, and up to 200,000 Peace dollars will be sold. Households will be limited to ordering 25 of each of the six different coins. As with all U.S. Mint sales now, orders must be placed online at www.usmint.gov.
The first two coins going on sale, beginning May 24, will be Morgan dollars struck at the Philadelphia Mint but bearing privy marks of “CC” (for the closed Carson City Mint) or “O” (for the closed New Orleans Mint) to recognize the past striking of Morgans in those two facilities. The privy marks will be located in the same spot as the original mintmarks appeared.
Next, the 2021-D and 2021-S Morgan dollars, struck at the Denver and San Francisco Mint respectively, will go on sale June 1. Finally, the 2021 Morgan dollar and Peace dollar, both struck at the Philadelphia Mint, will go on sale June 7.
While these coins will weigh the same gross weight and dimensions of the Morgan and Peace dollars issued in 1921, all of the 2021-dated Morgan and Peace dollars will be struck of pure .999 fine silver, as the Mint has done for all silver coins issued beginning in 2019. The original Morgan and Peace dollars were struck of an alloy of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Consequently, the new coins will contain 0.858 of a troy ounce of silver, about 10.9 percent more than 0.77344 of a troy ounce of silver contained in the past issues.
The increased silver content in the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars will establish a one-year variety for the series that is just about guaranteed to spark higher demand for these coins.
When the American Buffalo silver dollar commemorative came out in 2001, we predicted an almost instant sellout, followed by far higher prices. That is exactly what happened. For the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars, I consider the mintage limits to be so low and the retail price to be so reasonable that I again expect almost immediate sellouts. Then, I look for prices to quickly increase.
An interesting change in delivery by the Mint is that shipment of the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars will not start before October. That could result in interesting secondary market trading after people have placed their orders but before they actually receive the coins.
By the way, in my Jan. 28 column, I discussed how prices of circulated common-date Morgan and Peace dollars were already increasing in anticipation of forthcoming 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars.
At the time, prices for the common-date issues in Choice MS-63 and higher grades had not started to take off, though I wrote to expect that to happen in the coming months. Prices are now significantly higher and supplies are almost impossible to locate on the wholesale market. I anticipate that prices will rise further in the coming months.
As I have previously written, my judgement is that the 2021 Morgan and Peace silver dollars, the 2022-2025 women on quarters, and the other coming design changes will spark a new surge in numismatic collecting interest. Good times in the hobby are underway and will continue for several years.
Patrick A. Heller was honored as a 2019 FUN Numismatic Ambassador. He is also the recipient of the American Numismatic Association 2018 Glenn Smedley Memorial Service Award, 2017 Exemplary Service Award, 2012 Harry Forman National Dealer of the Year Award and 2008 Presidential Award. Over the years, he has also been honored by the Numismatic Literary Guild (including twice in 2020), Professional Numismatists Guild, Industry Council for Tangible Assets and the Michigan State Numismatic Society. He is the communications officer of Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., and writes Liberty’s Outlook, a monthly newsletter on rare coins and precious metals subjects. Past newsletter issues can be viewed at www.libertycoinservice.com. Some of his radio commentaries titled “Things You ‘Know’ That Just Aren’t So, And Important News You Need To Know” can be heard at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday and Friday mornings on 1320-AM WILS in Lansing (which streams live and becomes part of the audio archives posted at www.1320wils.com).