By Bullion Shark LLC ……
Thomas J. Uram, a longtime leader within the numismatic community, has signed an exclusive deal with Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) to personally hand-sign labels for coins they grade, which will only be available from Bullion Shark.
A coin collector since the early 1970s when he began collecting Lincoln pennies, Tom’s numismatic interests grew as he got older to include other American coin series like three-cent pieces and world coins. He is also a published author, having written in particular on coins that are curved in shape as well as British Maundy coins and others.
He is currently president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN), a former member of the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) Board of Governors and a past president of the George Washington Numismatic Association. He is also active in many other numismatic groups, including his local coin club.
Last fall, Tom ended his second term serving on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) in the position recommended by the Speaker of the House. He once called this experience “the Super Bowl of numismatics.”
His initial appointment began in 2012, and he spent the final two years of his term serving as the group’s chairman. The CCAC plays a key role in the process of creating American coins by reviewing the designs that appear on U.S. coins and medals and making recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury about those designs.
Father of the New Silver Dollars
Perhaps the most significant achievement of Tom’s eight years on the CCAC was being the father (along with Michael Moran) of the new 2021 Morgan silver dollar and 2021 Peace silver dollar program who worked tirelessly with the Congress and the United States Mint to make those coins a reality.
In September 2021, when NGC announced their deal with Tom to hand-sign certification labels for NGC-graded coins, Tom noted “It was a great honor to be part of the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act to commemorative this important moment in numismatic history,” adding that he was “proud to collaborate with NGC to highlight these fantastic coins.” Tom recently said he is also delighted to be working with Bullion Shark, which is the exclusive seller of these coins.
The CCAC is by law allowed to make recommendations for commemorative coin programs, and Tom played a key role in two of the most successful programs in modern Mint history: the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coins, which included a curved five-ounce silver Proof coin that received the 2021 Coin of the Year award; and the new Morgan and Peace silver dollar program that began last year and will continue in the future.
While serving on the CCAC, Tom and his colleague numismatic expert and author Michael Moran came up with the idea of reissuing the iconic Morgan and Peace dollars to mark the centennial of the final Morgan dollar issued in 1921 and the first Peace dollar issued the same year. With modern minting technology and the Mint’s original assets from the classic series, it would be possible to create virtually flawless versions of those coins.
Beginning in early 2019, Tom and Mike began lobbying key members of the U.S. Congress for a 2021 commemorative coin program that would include collector versions of those coins struck at different mints – including two special ones with privy marks for the Carson City and New Orleans Mints.
Since those Mints no longer operate, they could not put mint marks on them. They explored the possibility of transporting coin presses from the Philadelphia Mint to the locations where those mints used to operate but that was not economically feasible. On the 2021 CC and O coins, those privy marks appear as raised ovals with the original mint marks incused on top.
Surcharges from the sale of those coins would go the American Numismatic Association and regional numismatic associations, which would have made it the first federal coin program that would directly benefit the numismatic community.
Unfortunately, the initial legislative effort was not successful due to stiff competition from other commemorative coin proposals in Congress*, so the two men devised a different approach. Instead of issuing them as one-year commemoratives, the coins would be issued as an ongoing series of legal tender numismatic products similar to the Proof and Burnished Uncirculated versions of the American Silver Eagle.
This approach had strong bipartisan support and was approved by the House and Senate in 2020, resulting in Public Law 116-286 that was signed into law by then-President Donald J. Trump in January 2021.
While developing their proposals for a new silver dollar program, Tom and Mike also made several suggestions for special numismatic products that could be issued with the new coins. Those include a special set that would pair the coins with silver medals that reproduce former U.S. Mint Chief Engraver George T. Morgan’s most famous pattern coin designs, the Shield Earring and the Schoolgirl.
Another proposal was to pair a new Morgan dollar with a reproduction of the 1886 $5 silver certificate that has an image of the Morgan dollar on it. The Mint is considering these proposals, but as of now, they are planning to issue Proof versions of the 2022 Morgan and Peace silver dollars. That will give collectors an opportunity to own a Proof example of these iconic coins at affordable prices. Proof versions of the original Morgan dollars are very expensive, and no Proofs were ever issued for the Peace dollar.
The 2021 silver dollar program was a major success for the Mint, which helped it to earn more profits from the sale of numismatic programs than it has in many years. Those profits also enabled the Mint to send $120 million to the United States Treasury General Fund to help reduce the national debt after all costs were deducted. The Mint receives no taxpayer funding.
Prior to the end of his term on the CCAC, Tom also worked to develop some proposals for programs related to the upcoming semi-quincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the founding of the American Republic.
NGC hand-signed labels with Tom’s signature are a great way to celebrate this amazing coin program, the new Morgan and Peace dollars, and the hard work of Tom and his colleagues to create them. We will also be carrying other coins with Tom’s signature on the label such as classic Morgan dollars.
*Only two commemorative coin programs can be issued each year.