Budget cuts at U.S. Mint hit collectors

Budget cuts at U.S. Mint hit collectors as no 1982 or 1983 Uncirculated sets produced. This From the Memory Bank article was first published in the March 23, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
Privately issued 1982 and 1983 Uncirculated Mint sets - Cash In Your Coins - image courtesty of SilverTowne

Privately issued 1982 and 1983 Uncirculated Mint sets are found today in a variety of packaging options. The 15-coin 1982 set show is housed in an envelope and in sheet-type coin holders.

New collectors are often puzzled by the fact that the U.S. Mint did not produce Uncirculated Mint sets for the years 1982 and 1983.

The gap in Uncirculated set production occurred ostensibly because of across-the-board budget cuts ordered by President Reagan soon after he was sworn into office in January of 1981. Reagan had won election on a platform of holding down federal hiring and government expenditures.

In April of 1981, Treasurer Angela “Bay” Buchanan told members of Congress that in order to meet the President’s mandates the Mint would request funding for 179 fewer full-time positions in the 1982 budget and that because of the reduction in the workforce something else had to go. Continue reading

1982 U.S. Proof sets

U.S. Mint guaranteed delivery for 1982 U.S. Proof sets 11 months after ordering. This From the Memory Bank article was first published in the February 23, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
1982 US Proof Set - photo courtesy of Coin World

Collectors who ordered 1982 Proof sets were guaranteed delivery by Dec. 31, even though ordering began in February of that year.

Would you wait 11 months for your Proof set to arrive?

Back in 1982 collectors were surprised to find order forms for Proof sets arriving in their mailboxes the last week of January. The order forms were about three months ahead of schedule because the Mint was gearing up to deal with orders for the new commemorative program later in the year. Continue reading

Adna Wilde makes history at Mint’s 1982 striking event for Washington commems

Adna Wilde makes history at Mint’s 1982 striking event for Washington commems. This From the Memory Bank article was first published in the January 26, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
Adna Wilde at Denver Mint - photo courtesy of Coin World

Adna G. Wilde Jr. proudly shows the 1982 George Washington commemorative half dollar he struck July 1, 1982, at the Denver Mint.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. on July 1, 1982, Mint Director Donna Pope and Denver Mint Superintendent Nora Hussey led attendees at the ceremonial striking of the Uncirculated George Washington commemorative half dollar from the press briefing room down the corridor at the Denver Mint.

I noticed that Superintendent Hussey slowed her pace and turned to talk with American Numismatic Association President Adna G. Wilde Jr., who was a couple of steps ahead of me. As we approached the wide stairs leading to the lower coin production area, I caught up with Wilde and we descended the stairs together. He had a big smile on his face and told me the superintendent had just invited him to strike a coin.  Continue reading

FUN Show 2015

FUN show logo

FUN Show/Convention 2015 Orlando, Florida 32819

Have you made your plans to attend the 60th Annual FUN Show, a popular show and convention for coin collectors, on January 8th through the 11th? If not, you can get additional information about hotel accommodations,  exhibits, the schedule and more at the FUN Convention website.

Admission to the show is FREE so make your plans now to unwind after the holidays and mingle with 15,000 other collectors like yourself.

FUN Show 2015
Orange County Convention Center
9800 International Drive, Hall WD
Orlando, Florida 32819

CIYC2 book imageI will be at the Whitman Publishing booth on the FUN bourse floor from 2 to 3 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 8., to sign copies of the second edition of Cash In Your Coins and answer your questions.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

Denver Mint ceremonial first strike helped uncover information – From the Memory Bank, part 24

Early arrival at a Denver Mint ceremonial first strike helped uncover information. Unexpected initials ‘MP’ found on reverse. This article was first published in the December 22, 2014 issue of Coin World, available here.

Arriving early at the Denver Mint on July 1, 1982, for the ceremonial first strike of the Uncirculated version of the George Washington commemorative half dollar paid dividends.
Commemorative expert Anthony Swiatek and I comprised the Coin World reporting team.

Although no longer used by the U.S. Mint, galvanos were mounted in a reduction-engraving machine, which precisely traced designs, reduced the size, and cut exact replicas into the blank faces of die steel to create master hubs.

Anthony Swiatek and Donna Pope - photo courtesy of Coin World

Anthony Swiatek and Donna Pope discuss the “MP” initials on the 1982 Washington half dollar, which were those of Matthew Peloso. Looking on at left is Adna Wilde, president of the American Numismatic Association.

The galvanos of the coin, each about the size of a large dinner plate, were on display and afforded an opportunity to see minute details. Swiatek noticed that Chief Sculptor-Engraver Elizabeth Jones’ initials were on both sides, above the horse’s back and next to Washington’s right arm on the obverse; in the grass below the colonnade on the right side of the reverse. Then he spotted “MP” on the left side of the reverse in the shrubbery next to Mount Vernon. Continue reading

George Washington 250th Anniversary Silver Half Dollar

George Washington 250th Anniversary Silver Half dollar history unfolds but coordinating coverage in Coin World proved a challenge. This article was first published in the November 24, 2014 issue of Coin World, available here.
George Washington 250th Anniversary silver half dollar - image courtesy of Coin World

Coordinating coverage of production of the George Washington 250th Anniversary silver half dollars provided a challenge for Coin World in 1982.

Providing timely coverage of ceremonial first strikes of the first modern commemorative coin — the silver half dollar honoring the 250th anniversary of George Washington’s birth — presented a nightmarish challenge for a weekly publication such as Coin World in the summer of 1982.

However, Editor Margo Russell with her “can do” attitude was determined to provide eyewitness coverage (complete with photographs) despite the realities:

The ceremonial striking events were to be held on the same day (Thursday, July 1) at the Denver Mint and San Francisco Assay Office — thousands of miles away from and in different time zones than Coin World’s Sidney, Ohio, production facility.

Coin World’s weekly edition went to press (without fail) at 1 p.m. on Friday of each week.

The stories had to be written and entered into the Amos Press production system and the film had to be processed, printed, and prepared for the presses in Sidney — all within the span of less than 29 hours after the start of the first striking event in Denver.

This was before the Coin World editorial department had a FAX machine and over a decade before email or electronic transmission of images for print media. Continue reading