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The Mint Can Help Coin Collecting

Updated on December 30, 2014

Silver American Eagle Coin

This is a silver bullion coin from the United States Mint.
This is a silver bullion coin from the United States Mint. | Source

The Mint Can Help Coin Collecting

The United States Mint produces coins, and it would seem the United States Mint would be the first to instill a desire to become a coin collector in young people. Well, the Mint does do some things, including making commemorative coins and selling some circulating coins. But, the circulation coins sold by the United States Mint should be an inexpensive entry into the hobby. This is an opportunity for the Mint to make an impact.

2015 Coin Book

Inexpensive Collectible Coins Are Possible

Looking at the current practices, first of all the circulation coins include half dollars, presidential dollars, and even America the Beautiful quarters. So, what is the problem? The United States Mint charges a premium for its circulation coins. And, to make it more of a problem, quarters minted at the San Francisco Mint and Half Dollars from both the Denver and the Philadelphia Mints are circulation pieces only because the United States Mint says so, they are not intended to circulate. If you want a half dollar from the current year, or the S mintmark on a current year quarter, you will pay a premium. Fine, it is less than double, so why not simply buy the coins needed for a collection? While it is less than double the face value, the coins cannot be purchased from the Mint one at a time. They must be purchased in rolls, in bags, or as parts of sets with a higher premium. Why should a collector pay the Mint for money, and why would a collector buy forty quarters that are all alike just to get one? Why cannot a quarter be worth a quarter, a half dollar worth fifty cents, or a dollar worth a dollar? Banks do not pay a premium for money, why should coin collectors? Oh, you can also “buy” other coins, the same coins the bank receives at face value, the Denver and Philadelphia Mint current quarters, for example..

I realize there could be an argument here that the people working for the Mint must be paid, but other mints sell coins at face value. The Royal Canadian Mint is especially coin collecting friendly. The Royal Canadian Mint makes colorized quarters that it seals in clear packages and sells at face value! One can also buy loony dollars at face value. Well, Canadians can. These are low mintage coins and sold only to Canadian addresses, with a strict limit per address. I believe authorized dealers can also acquire these coins in larger quantity, but I am not certain of this.

How does this impact the Royal Canadian Mint? With more interest in coin collecting the Royal Canadian Mint has more customers for its commemorative coins. Getting the young collectors interested and the Royal Canadian Mint has the potential to develop a customer base for future years. The United States Mint could do the same.

In some cases the Royal Canadian Mint seeks coin collectors from both Canada and from the United States. The 20 for 20 series of fine silver coins has the Royal Canadian Mint producing twenty dollar denomination coins, and selling them for twenty dollars. These are made available at a limit of three coins per household in both Canada and in the United States. These attract United States collectors and invite them to expand their collecting interests. After the initial success, a one hundred for one hundred program was started, where a one hundred dollar fine silver coin is sold for one hundred dollars. Apparently the price was too steep for some, as a fifty for fifty coin series was then started. These face value coins allow a person to acquire nice, uncirculated coins directly from a mint with no real risk. They can be spent in Canada.

Which other world mint would see this as a viable way of establishing its future customer base while expanding its present customer base? The answer is not the United States Mint, but the United Kingdom’s Royal Mint, which now has emulated the Royal Canadian Mint with its own twenty for twenty coin series. In this case it is a twenty pound coin that is sold for twenty pounds.

The tests have been run in both Canada and the United Kingdom with success, so when will the United States Mint follow? We have to await an Act of Congress before anything can be done.

More recently, I have become aware of France having collectible coins for face value.

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