by Louis Golino for CoinWeek ……
Customers of the U.S. Mint have frequently complained that they do not have enough notice about upcoming U.S. Mint products. This year, in particular, there were several months when virtually no information was made available on forthcoming coin releases, which many customers found frustrating.
To address those concerns, as part of an enhanced focus on listening to its customers, the U.S. Mint has released the first detailed and largely complete schedule of upcoming products in a couple of years.
The schedule (See Below) was made available to members of the numismatic media on December 11. It includes dates and listings for most of the coins and sets the Mint will issue next year with the exception of the $10 First Spouse gold coins, which will be added later. Information on pricing, which is of course subject to change for precious metal products, will also be made available soon.
This effort to release the coming year’s coin program at the end of 2012 is part of the Mint’s current focus on doing what it can to address the interests and needs of its customers. For example, many people have indicated that it is easier to plan and budget for their purchases if they know when different coins are coming out.
In addition, effective January 2 the Mint is also launching a major organizational restructuring that is also designed to apply the Mint’s resources as effectively as possible to the focus on the consumer.
Acting Mint Director Richard Peterson announced the leadership changes and noted that “From the avid collector, to the bullion investor, to the retailer who uses our circulating coins, to our Congressional Gold Medal and commemorative coins honorees, to our leadership at Treasury, to each other as fellow employees, and most fundamentally to the American taxpayers, the Mint needs to rededicate itself to customer service at all levels.”
Highlights of the announced changes including an effort that will headed by B.B. Craig to create a model master plan and calendar for the distribution and production of circulating, numismatic, and bullion coins.
In addition, a marketing communications team and an operations-focused team are being set up; a Customer Voice Initiative is being set-up to “chart optimal touch points with our various customer segments and create a comprehensive outreach and marketing communication plan”; the Acting Chief Engraver will return to his previous position advising the Director of Manufacturing, and the position of Lead Sculptor will be posted.
In terms of the 2013 coin program, the information made available will be updated as required later, but it does give collectors a good idea of what to expect in the coming year. I expect it will be posted soon on the Mint’s web site (www.usmint.com)
Ongoing coin series and sets will continue like the annual proof and mints sets, the five-ounce America the Beautiful (AtB) silver coins and accompanying quarters, presidential dollar rolls and coin and stamp covers, proof gold eagles and the one-ounce uncirculated gold eagle, etc.
The design for the 2013 Native American dollar, which honors the Treaty of Delaware, was recently revealed, and can be seen on the Mint's web site in the press room section.
In 2013 some of the more well-known presidents will be honored on dollar coins such as Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, which may result in increased interest.
The final design selections for the 2013 AtB quarters were recently made available and can also be seen at the Mint’s web site , which also was recently upgraded.
So far collector reaction to the designs has been mixed, especially to the Mount Rushmore design, which shows a close-up of two of the presidential faces while sculptors work on them. Some people feel it makes President Jefferson’s nose look too prominent, though it does provide a different view of the monument than the traditional one.
The proof American silver eagle will be released very early next year on January 24, and the burnished uncirculated version will be available on May 13.
Also on that date the Mint will start selling the 2013 American Buffalo one-ounce gold proof coin. It is possible that this coin will be a special reverse proof to mark the 100th anniversary of the Buffalo nickel, and it is also possible that the design could be changed the following year, but none of that is clear at this point.
Collectors of American silver eagles will definitely be interested to learn there will be a special two-coin West Point Mint set, but it is not yet known whether that set will include a reverse proof coin, or something else, and if it will be made to demand like the 2012 San Francisco Mint set.
However, the schedule indicates the set will be sold from May 13 to June 13, which suggests it will be another minted to demand program like the 2012 San Francisco silver eagle proof set. That set ending up selling fewer units than most people expected partly because collectors were not pleased when they found out one of the coins was being offered in a separate coin and currency set, and because the mint to demand approach drove some buyers away out of concern that the product would be too common. As I explained recently, , the San Francisco set sold 224,981 units, making it the second-lowest mintage silver eagle set issued so far.
The two commemorative coin programs will again launch early in the year, with the Girl Scouts Centennial silver dollar releasing on February 28, and the Five-Star Generals program on March 28 that will include a silver dollar, a $5 gold coin, and a clad half dollar.
On July 13 the American platinum eagle proof coin will be launched. Many collectors are also eagerly awaiting the proposed American palladium coin, but the Mint is still conducting a feasibility study of the market for that coin, which needs to show that there would be sufficient demand for it that it could be issued at no cost to the taxpayer.
Mint customers should also keep in mind that sales of both 2012 commemorative coins end at 5:00pm on Monday, December 17. On December 20 the Mint will release proof and uncirculated coins for Frances Cleveland, who was honored on an earlier coin, but who gets a second one because her husband, Grover Cleveland, served two terms. The Mint will also release a four-medal First Spouse set that uses the same designs as the gold coins.
And the Mint’s “Last Chance” sale of products from 2011 and 2012 ends on December 31 at midnight. This includes some coins that may end up having low mintages.
Bullion buyers will want to know that American gold eagles will be available to the Mint’s network of Authorized Purchasers starting January 2, and sales of silver eagles should begin about five days later. Some dealers are already accepting pre-orders now.
Finally, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Commission has recommended that a Liberty-themed circulating commemorative series be launched in which the coins would circulate alongside current circulating coins. Beginning in 2017 one coin would be launched a year, starting with the penny and ending five years later with a dollar coin.
There is no guarantee this series will ever see the light of day, but the proposal is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it shows that the committee is aware of the widespread interest in using more iconic or allegorical images of Liberty on modern American coins that I discussed recently . Second, it shows that the Congress is not the only entity that can propose new series, though to actually be minted, the series would need congressional approval. I would anticipate that such a series will generate new interest in American coins within the general population, perhaps the way the state quarter program did.
US Mint Press Releases:
2013 United State Mint Product On-Sale Dates
1/8/13 – 2013 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set™
1/15/13 – 2013 Birth Set
1/22/13 – 2013 United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Proof Set™
1/24/13 – 2013 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Proof Coin
1/28/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters® Bags and Rolls – White Mountain National Forest (NH)
2/12/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Three-Coin Set™ – White Mountain National Forest (NH)
2/12/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ – White Mountain National Forest (NH)
2/14/13 – 2013 United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Proof Set™
2/19/13 – Presidential $1 Coin Rolls, Bags, and Boxes – William McKinley
2/28/13 – Girls Scouts of the USA Centennial Silver Dollar
3/7/13 – 2013 United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Uncirculated Set™ (P&D)
3/19/13 – 2013 William McKinley $1 Coin Cover
3/21/13 – 2013 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Program
3/28/13 – 2013 United States Mint Proof Set®
4/13 - 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters® Bags and Rolls – Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (OH)
4/13 – Presidential $1 Coin Rolls, Bags and Boxes – Theodore Roosevelt
4/13 - 2013 United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set®
4/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Three-Coin Set™ – Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (OH)
4/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ – Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (OH)
4/13 – American Eagle Gold Proof Coins
4/13 – Native American $1 Coin Rolls, Bags and Boxes
4/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Uncirculated Coin Set™
5/13 – 2013 United States Mint Silver Proof Set®
5/13 – 2013 Theodore Roosevelt $1 Coin Cover
5/13 – 2013 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coin
5/13 – 2013 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin
5/13 – 6/13 - American Eagle West Point Two-Coin Silver Set (final product name TBD)
6/13 – 2013 American Eagle One Ounce Gold Uncirculated Coin
6/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters® Bags and Rolls – Great Basin National Park (NV)
6/13 – 2013 Kennedy Half-Dollar Bags and Rolls
6/13 – America the Beautiful Quarters Three -Coin Set™ – Great Basin National Park (NV)
6/13 – America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ – Great Basin National Park (NV)
7/13 – 2013 Presidential $1 Coin Rolls, Bags, and Boxes – William Howard Taft
7/13 – 2013 American Eagle One Ounce Platinum Proof Coin
7/13 – 2013 United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin Set
8/13 – 2013 William Howard Taft $1 Coin Cover
8/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters®Bags and Rolls – Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (MD)
9/13 – America the Beautiful Quarts Three-Coin Set™ – Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (MD)
9/13 – America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ – Ft. McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (MD)
10/13 – 2013 Presidential $1 Coin Rolls, Bags and Boxes – Woodrow Wilson
10/13 – 2013 Presidential $1 Four-Coin Sets
11/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters® Bags and Rolls – Mt. Rushmore National Memorial (SD)
11/13 – 2013 Woodrow Wilson $1 Coin Cover
11/13 – America the Beautiful Quarters Three-Coin Set™ – Mt. Rushmore National Memorial (SD)
11/13 – America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin™ – Mt. Rushmore National Memorial (SD
11/13 – 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters Circulating Coin Set™
12/13 – 2013 First Spouse Bronze Medal Series: Four Coin Set
Louis Golino is a coin collector and numismatic writer, whose articles on coins have appeared in Coin World, Numismatic News, and a number of different coin web sites. His column for CoinWeek, “The Coin Analyst,” covers U.S. and world coins and precious metals. He collects U.S. and European coins and is a member of the ANA, PCGS, NGC, and CAC. He has also worked for the U.S. Library of Congress and has been a syndicated columnist and news analyst on international affairs for a wide variety of newspapers and web sites.