By Bullion Shark LLC ……
On June 15 the entire U.S. Senate approved Ventris C. Gibson to be the 40th Director of the United States Mint in a voice vote. She is the first African-American to hold the position and the seventh woman to lead the Mint since its founding in 1792. She took the oath of office on June 17.
She is a Navy veteran who most recently served as Director of Human Resources for the government of the District of Columbia. In that position, she provided oversight of human capital programs and services for more than 37,000 employees.
Before that, Gibson served for over 40 years in leadership positions at a wide range of federal government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and many others. At the VA she was the highest-ranking female veteran and directed human resources programs for 230,000 employees.
On December 13, 2021, President Biden nominated her to the position, and the nomination reached the Senate on January 7, 2022. On April 6, she testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs – the committee that has jurisdiction over the Mint.
Compared to most recent nominations for Mint Director, especially during the Obama administration when his nominee never even received a vote in the Senate, Gibson was approved in record time.
The prior director, David J. Ryder, who was nominated by President Trump and who served from April 12, 2018 to October 1, 2021, announced his resignation on September 24. Initially, Alison Doone served as acting director after that, but on October 25, the Treasury Department announced that Gibson would become Deputy Mint Director and Acting Director.
2023 Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars
During her April 6 testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Gibson was asked about the announcement the Mint had on March 14 about not issuing any Morgan and Peace silver dollars. She responded that, given the other coins the Mint produces, and especially considering the current shortage of silver coin planchets and the congressionally-mandated bullion program for American Silver Eagles, the Mint would not be able to produce enough silver dollars in 2022 to satisfy customer demand and that the Mint would focus instead on making sure it could produce enough silver dollars in 2023.
Although no formal announcement has been issued, on June 28 a notice was published in the Federal Register regarding the pricing for the 2023 Morgan and Peace silver dollars, which listed the products to be issued next year and how much they will cost from the Mint.
The coins include Uncirculated and Proof versions of both designs, plus a two-coin set with one of each coin struck in Reverse Proof – the first Morgan and Peace dollars made with that finish.
The Uncirculated coins were priced at $67 USD, the Proofs at $73, and the set at $175 – prices that mirror those for the collector versions of the American Silver Eagle. They should come as a pleasant surprise to collectors since they are lower than the $85 charged for the 2021 Uncirculated coins.
Details on mintages and which branch mint will produce the 2023 coins have not been revealed yet.
The market for the 2021 silver dollars remains strong, with the key date among MS70 coins now being the 2021-D Morgan dollar, which is the one that the Mint reported was most likely to have imperfections on it that occurred during production. Examples in MS70 have recently sold for around $900. A PCGS First Day of Issue coin recently brought $1,500 and a PCGS Advance Release in MS70 brought $1,025.
On June 21, Marilynn Malerba was announced as the next Treasurer of the United States, who will be the first Native-American to hold this position. She is the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe.
The Treasurer oversees the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, Fort Knox, and is a key liaison in the Federal Reserve. Her signature will appear on a new series of U.S. currency.
Nobel Medal Sells for Record $103.5 Million
The 2021 Nobel Peace Prize gold medal sold on June 20 for a record $103.5 million, shattering any prior records for coins and medals of any kind. The auction was held to raise money for UNICEF, the United Nations’ Child Refugee Fund.
The medal had been given last year by the Nobel Committee to Dmitry Muratov, who in 1993 established the Novaya Gazetta, a Russian newspaper that has played a major role as a source of independent journalism in that country at a time when independent voices there are increasingly under attack by the regime of Vladimir Putin.
The previous record for a gold Nobel Peace Prize medal was $4.1 million plus fees, or $4.76 million – far below what the 2021 medal garnered, which was because of the proceeds going to a good cause rather than for the value of the medal itself.
The final bid went from $16.6 million all the way to the $103.5 million.
Struck by the Mint of Norway, the medal’s obverse features a portrait of Alfred Nobel – the Swedish chemist and engineer whose fortune established the Nobel Prizes, while the reverse shows an image of three male figures standing with their arms around each other.