Today’s Mail Bag question is likely going to generate a fair amount of debate. Is the United States Mint producing too many products? That’s the question Jeff posed and it is certainly a valid question to ask given the number of items the Mint releases each year. But is that a bad thing?
I have a question that I think is an important one to ask. Is the Mint making to many things to sell? It seems like there is always a special or something that they are pushing that I think devalues the other things. Do we need a privy mark American Eagle? I don’t think so. I think the proof and uncirculated ones are all we need and adding a third one just muddy’s the water.
Also, do we need a three coin set for every new ATB (America the Beautiful) quarter that comes out? No, I don’t think so.
Change my mind!
Thanks for the site and for responding.
First Jeff, thank you for taking the time to write and to read the site. Without you and other readers, USCoinNews.com doesn’t exist!
The debate of if the Mint is producing too many products has come up more and more over the past few years with a seemingly endless flow of special packages, new product offerings, and one-offs. From a Numismatic perspective, I’m hardly going to disagree with you. I do think the Mint is making too many products and it is watering things down a bit. I think your point about a privy mark on the American Eagle 1-ounce coins is a great example. Do we need it? No, not really. I get why (commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II) but would that be better to do as a proper commemorative (which, I know, is another product)? But equally, I think there are some products that are new that make sense. I think the 3-coin ATB sets are great because it gives people an opportunity, at a reasonably low cost, to add these coins to their collections each year. Truthfully, I’d rather see these continue and the annual Birth Set and Congratulations Set be eliminated.
On the other hand, the United States Mint is a business. It needs products, which it can make a profit on, to keep things going. Yes the Mint is government funded but these products help balance out the costs of producing the circulating coinage we get each year. These profits help with jobs as well as (Clinton ducks) provide a way for yet more new products!
Ideally, I think a smaller subset of what the Mint offers would be better as a collector but as one who sees the why behind all these products (profitability), I get it as well. But equally, it wasn’t all that many years ago where the Mint really didn’t like or support collectors so maybe we embrace what the Mint produces each year, say it is what it is, and focus only on those things that really interest us.
What are your thoughts everyone? Is the Mint over producing products these days? Leave a comment (be nice!) and give me your thoughts.
If you have a Mail Bag question, you can send it in through the About page here on the site.