Entries from September 2009 ↓

James K. Polk Dollar Mintage

James K. Polk DollarThe mintage for the James K. Polk Dollar has been revealed by the US Mint. Throughout the year, the overall mintages for the Presidential Dollar coins have been falling, but the Polk Dollar breaks the trend.

The Philadelphia Mint produced 46,620,000 coins and the Denver Mint produced 41,720,000 coins. This represents an overall mintage of 88,430,000 coins, which just edges out the overall mintage of the prior John Tyler Dollar at 87,080,000.

While the rise was very small, it will be interesting to watch if it signals a change in the trend of continually declining mintages. The dollar series honoring the Presidents started off with huge mintages, with more than 300 million George Washington Dollars produced. Nearly each subsequent release had a smaller mintage. Have we finally hit bottom with the James K. Polk Presidential Dollar?

America the Beautiful Quarters

The US Mint recently announced a new series of quarters called America the Beautiful Quarters. This is the series that most people had been previously referring to the National Park Quarters. It follows our new found coin tradition of altering designs frequently to create a collectible series.

America the Beautiful Quarters will feature a National Park or National Site located in each of the 50 states, each of the 5 US territories, and the District of Columbia. The reverse design will feature an image representative of the site and the obverse will feature a portrait of George Washington, which is a restored version of the 1932 Washington Quarter obverse.

The quarters will be released at a rate of five designs per year, starting in 2010, and ending in 2021 with a single quarter release. The sites and locations to be featrured in 2010 include:

  • Hot Springs National Park – Arkansas
  • Yellowstone National Park – Wyoming
  • Yosemite National Park – California
  • Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
  • Mt Hood National Forest – Oregon

I have mixed feelings about the new series. While it was a joy to collect the State Quarters series, and be surprised by finding new designs in pocket change, all of the follow up “rotating design” series have taken their toll. Rotating designs have been featured on the nickel, a second quarter series for the territories, the Presidential Dollar, another series of dollars, and the Lincoln Cent.

I think the oversaturation might actually start to turn off some collectors and the broader public. It’s gotten to the point that if a new coin design was announced that would be a static design intended to be used for the foreseeable future, collectors and the public would be more excited. With yet another series of rotating designs, I think most people’s reaction is “Again?”

Sarah Polk First Spouse Gold Coin

The fourth First Spouse Gold Coin of the year went on sale yesterday. This year there will be a total of five different coin designs released, so another one is coming in the winter months. This release was the Sarah Polk First Spouse Gold Coin.

Sarah Polk First Spouse Gold

Sarah Polk devoted much of her marriage to furthering the political career of her husband, James K. Polk. After he was elected President, she served as his personal secretary, the only First Lady to take on this capacity. The reverse of the coin depicts her working with her husband in the White House.

The coins are minted in 24 karat gold and contain one-half ounce of gold. They are minted in uncirculated and proof version at the West Point Mint. The coins were priced at $654 for the proof coin and $641 for the uncirculated coin. This was an increase over the recent prices for the coins due to the higher market price of gold.

Mintage for the recent First Spouse coins have been dwindling, which might make this series more interesting in the long run.

US Mint Selling 2009 Lincoln Cent Proof Set

2009 Lincoln Cent SetAbout a week ago, the US Mint started selling a separate Proof Coin Set, which just includes the 2009 Lincoln Cents. This means the four different reverse designs are included featuring the Birthplace, Formative Years, Professional Life, and Presidency.

The sets are priced at $7.95. It looks like the coins are included in the same sort of plastic lens that the 2009 Lincoln Cents have been packaged in for the full 2009 Proof Set. A newly designed outer cardboard box will be used.

This is an interesting offering because it splits up the annual proof set again. The US Mint already sells a separate 2009 Quarters Proof Set for $14.95 and a separate Presidential Dollars Proof Set for $14.95. Incidentally the full proof set is priced at $29.95.

It’s also interesting because many enterprising individuals and coin dealers had taken to selling separate 2009 Lincoln Cent Proof Sets already. Before the US Mint began selling the same product, these sets had to be broken out of the full 2009 Proof Sets. The individual Lincoln Cent Proof Sets had been selling for about $15 to $20. Is the US Mint’s offering a reaction to these homemade offerings?