By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek …..
If you followed our reporting last Friday concerning the United States Mint’s hobby stakeholder forum, then you already know that a large group of industry leaders, collectors and officials gathered last week in Philadelphia to work with the Mint in an effort to improve its product lines and customer experience.
The U.S. Mint also shared a tentative production and release plan for fiscal year 2017 and the beginning of fiscal year 2018, which we present here and comment on below:
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As reported earlier on CoinWeek, the 2016 Walking Liberty American Centennial gold half dollar is scheduled for a November 17 release.
The Mint will continue to offer the 2016 Ronald Reagan Coin & Chronicles Set until the product’s 150,000 Product Limit is met. Sales could ostensibly extend beyond the fiscal first quarter (October through December, 2016) of 2017. The Reagan Coin & Chronicles Set includes a 2016 Presidential $1 Reverse Proof coin struck at the San Francisco Mint and bearing the “S” mint mark; a 2016 American Eagle one ounce silver Proof dollar coin struck at the West Point Mint and bearing the “W” mint mark; a Ronald and Nancy Reagan bronze medal; and a Ronald Reagan Presidential portrait produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). This item is currently available on the U.S. Mint’s website for $68.95 retail.
As for new products, the Mint is planning to release a 2016 Limited-Edition Silver Proof Set and a 2016 Annual Dollar Uncirculated Set. Note: the Presidential One Dollar Coin Series ended in 2016 with the release of the Reagan coin.
Rounding out the first quarter is the release of the 2016 American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin.
The first major collectible coins of 2017 roll out in Quarter Two (January-March, 2017) with the release of the Lions Clubs International and Boys Town commemorative coin programs.
The Lions Clubs International Century of Service Commemorative Coin Act, authorized by Congress (Public Law 112-181) and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 5, 2012, instructs the United States Mint to produce up to 400,000 $1 silver coins weighing 26.73 grams each and made of .900 silver. The Lions Clubs International was founded in 1917 by Chicago business leader Melvin Jones (1879-1961). Jones portrait will feature on the obverse of the new coin.
The Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, authorized by Congress (Public Law 114-30) and signed into law by President Barack Obama on July 6, 2015, instructs the United States Mint to produce up to 50,000 $5 gold coins weighing 8.359 grams and made of .900 gold, up to 350,000 $1 silver coins weighing 26.73 grams and made of .900 silver, and up to 300,000 copper-nickel clad half dollar coins. The purpose of the program is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Nebraska-based charity by Father Edward Joseph Flanagan. Flanagan will feature on the obverse of the Boys Town $5 coin.
The level of enthusiasm that collectors will have for either program remains to be seen. Membership in public service organizations like the Lions Clubs International has been on the decline in recent years. While the organization boasts a worldwide membership of over 1.4 million people, its U.S. membership has dropped from its peak of 585,000 in the 1980s to 300,000, according to a 2014 report published in the McPherson Sentinel. The Boys Town program also faces an uphill battle as the charity reached the peak of its cultural awareness with Spencer Tracy’s starring turn in the 1938 film Boys Town.
Also slated for the second quarter are the 2017 American Silver Eagle Proof, the America the Beautiful Quarters Proof and Silver Proof Sets, the 2017 American Eagle Gold Proof Coin, and the 2017 Clad Proof Set.
Eight major releases make for a full slate in Quarter Three (April-June).
The two headliners are the 2017 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin and the recently announced 2017 American Liberty Silver Medal.
The 2017 gold coin will carry a face value of $100 and be struck on .999. The silver medals will feature a similar design but carry no legal tender denomination. United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Justin Kunz designed the obverse of the coin. U.S. Mint medallic sculptor Phebe Hemphill (View Designer’s Profile) executed the design.
Other planned bullion releases include the 2017 American Buffalo Gold Proof, the 2017 American Eagle Gold Uncirculated and 2017 American Eagle Silver Uncirculated coins.
Collectors can also look forward to the Quarter Three release of the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarter Uncirculated Set, the 2017 Mint Uncirculated Set, and the 2017 Silver Proof Set.
Rounding out the year in Quarter Four are two headline programs: the 20th Anniversary Platinum Proof Coin and the 225th Anniversary of the U.S. Mint Enhanced Uncirculated Set. The United States Platinum Eagle Program debuted in 1997. The coin’s obverse was designed by John Mercanti (View Designer’s Profile). The reverse on the 2017 coin recalls the series’ original reverse designed by Thomas D. Rogers, Sr.
First Quarter FY2018
And finally, to be as complete as possible, the first quarter of fiscal year 2018–which covers the last three months of 2017–sees the release of the 2017 Limited-Edition Silver Proof Set and the 2017 America the Beautiful Circulated Set.
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Please note, these are tentative plans subject to change. CoinWeek will keep you updated.
2016 American Liberty High Relief Silver Medals Currently Available on eBay