John M. Mercanti, the 12th Chief Engraver of the US Mint, has agreed to individually hand sign certification labels exclusively for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®). The most famous US coin engraver of the modern era, Mercanti is best known as the designer of the reverse of the extremely popular American Silver Eagle coin.
Mercanti was incredibly prolific during his 36 year tenure at the US Mint, which lasted from 1974 until his retirement in 2010. He designed well over 100 coins and medals—more than any other employee in the history of the US Mint.
Many of these coins and medals are among today’s most recognized and widely collected US modern coins. Besides the American Silver Eagle, Mercanti designed the obverse of the American Platinum Eagle, which has been used for all four denominations since the program’s inception in 1997.
He also designed eight commemorative coins, including the 1984 Olympic Gold $10, the 1986 Statue of Liberty Silver $1, the 1989 Congress Bicentennial Gold $5, the obverse of the 1990 Eisenhower Centennial Silver $1, the obverse of the 1991 Mount Rushmore Gold $5, the obverse of the 1991 Korean War Memorial Silver $1, the obverse of the 2005 John Marshall Silver $1 and the 2007 Jamestown Silver $1.
Mercanti adapted the designs for the five states in the groundbreaking 50 State Quarters Program: Arkansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. His work with US Mint Medals included several Congressional Gold Medals, President George H.W. Bush’s 1989 Inaugural Medal, the reverse of the 1991 Persian Gulf War Medal and the 1992 White House Bicentennial Medal.
In recognition of his decades of outstanding work, Mercanti was appointed the 12th Chief Engraver of the US Mint by Mint Director Edmund C. Moy in 2006. The position had previously been vacant for 15 years after Elizabeth Jones retired. NGC also has an exclusive arrangement for Jones to individually hand sign NGC certification labels.
After his retirement from the US Mint, Mercanti has continued to be actively involved in numismatics. In 2014 he created an Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle design for the Perth Mint, which is now used for an annually issued series of silver and gold coins. Mercanti also wrote American Silver Eagles, A Guide to the US Bullion Coin Program with Michael “Miles” Standish, an NGC vice president. Two editions of that book have already been printed.
As part of his exclusive agreement with NGC, Mercanti will individually hand sign NGC certification labels that will be encapsulated with a variety of modern coins. These Mercanti-signed NGC labels will be available from select retailers starting next month.
“I am honored to be associated with NGC, the hobby’s premier third-party coin grading company,” says Mercanti. “I am very excited and look forward to working with them on a variety of future programs.”
“John Mercanti’s impact on the world of modern coins can hardly be overstated and it is an honor that he has agreed to work exclusively with NGC on a hand-signed label program,” adds Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of NGC. “These limited-edition labels enhance the presentation of modern coins and add a personal touch from this living legend.”
Mercanti joins Edmund C. Moy, the 38th Director of the US Mint, and Elizabeth Jones, the 11th Chief Engraver of the US Mint, who have also agreed to sign certification labels exclusively from NGC.
About Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®)
NGC, the world’s largest and most respected third-party coin grading service, was founded in 1987. From the beginning, NGC has committed itself to developing an impartial, trusted standard of consistent and accurate grading. To uphold this commitment, NGC’s full-time grading professionals are no longer active in the commercial coin marketplace, and are prohibited from buying or selling coins to ensure impartiality. As NGC has grown to become the leader in third-party grading services, we have maintained a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to this standard. Learn more at NGCcoin.com.