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Question On Minting Of Commemoratives

 
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 Posted 07/30/2012  11:36 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Tjmcman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Where are the commemoratives minted? Both present day and historically. Do the Federal mints run these coins?

Thanks,
Terry McManus
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 Posted 07/30/2012  11:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The ones that are US currency which are the ones I believe youre asking about are minted by the feds. The classic ones (eg pre 1960) were minted at three of the present day mints depending on the coin there are ones from SF, Denver and Philly.

The current ones are minted at all four mints (the previous 3 mentioned and west point) I believe. I could be wrong but I believe the majority of the modern gold ones if not all come from west point as well
Edited by basebal21
07/30/2012 11:45 pm
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 Posted 07/30/2012  11:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Fuzzy317 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
speaking for the modern era, commemoratives have been produced at all four current mint locations.
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 Posted 07/31/2012  3:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
To expand just a bit upon the answers already provided:
  • The first commemorative coin struck at the US Mint in Philadelphia was the very first US commemorative coin struck -- the 1892 Columbian Exposition half-dollar.
  • The coins struck for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition were the first San Francisco commemorative strikes. The half-dollar, gold dollar, gold quarter-eagle and the two gold $50 coins were all struck at the San Francisco branch mint and featured the 'S' mintmark.
  • The first Denver branch mint commemorative coin was the 1933-D Oregon Trail Memorial half-dollar (Oregon Trail half-dollars had previously been struck in Philadelphia [1926 and 1928] and San Francisco [1926]). The coins included the 'D' mintmark.
  • The branch mint at West Point struck its first 'W' mintmarked commemorative in 1984, it was a gold half-eagle ($10) issued as part of the 1983-84 Los Angeles Olympics coin program.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 08/01/2012  12:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tjmcman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks.

Now I guess what I'm curious about is how did the practice get started, or why.

Many of the commemeratives are very regional in nature and to convince the federal mint to print a coin cellebrating such regional aspects of our history I would expect there must have been quite a competition.
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 Posted 08/01/2012  02:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The selection process for choosing commemorative coin designs back in the 1920s and 1930s was notoriously flawed and corrupt, by modern standards. It reached its nadir with the Cincinnati Music half dollar, the story of which can be read in the CCF coin history page - it "commemorates" no actual historic event at all!
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 Posted 08/01/2012  10:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Now I guess what I'm curious about is how did the practice get started, or why.

The first US commemorative coin was the 1892 Columbian Exposition half-dollar. The organizers of the Exposition were in need of funds to support staging the event and approached the US Congress regarding a "souvenir coin." The idea was for the Exposition to "buy" genuine US coins from the Mint at face value (50 cents) and then sell them to fair goers for $1.00 -- the profits going to support the Exposition. Congress agreed to direct the Mint to strike up to 5 million souvenir half-dollars with a special Exposition design, and passed a law to such effect.

This "souvenir coin as a fundraiser" mentality was a primary driver behind every US commemorative coin that followed.



Quote:
Many of the commemeratives are very regional in nature and to convince the federal mint to print a coin cellebrating such regional aspects of our history I would expect there must have been quite a competition.

The US Mint isn't actually the one that decides which or when commemorative coins are struck, it is the US Congress that decides such things. The Mint acts upon the direction it is given by Congress.

So, the competition you referred to really took place in Congress with Senators and Representatives in each chamber trying to get their pet coin bill passed so that they could please their constituents. US commemorative coins start with some (typically) local group wanting a coin to support their efforts to mark some "important" historical anniversary or current event. The group then enlists their US Senator/Representative who tries to work a coin bill through Congress. If successful, the bill is presented to the President for approval and signature. Only after approval by the President does the US Mint strike the coins. This is why so many US commemoratives have a very local theme -- the idea for them started at a very local level.


Hope that helps!

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 08/03/2012  03:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tjmcman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That is really informative. I really appreciate the input.

Terry McManus
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