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2019 was an exciting year for numismatics. The United States Mint introduced a number of "first-evers" including unprecedented collaborations with other renowned mints, a number of historic releases from the West Point Mint Branch, and the lowest mintage Silver Eagle to date! While Mints around the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and the Lunar Year of the Pig with stunning coin releases.
By far the most controversial and popular coin issued by the U.S. Mint in 2019 was the San Francisco struck Enhanced Reverse Proof Silver Eagle. It has a mintage of only 30,000 pieces. That mintage makes this issue the lowest in the series. It sold out within minutes of release leaving many collectors out in the cold. Secondary market premiums on the issue have been robust as registry set collectors scramble for the all-new key date specimens.
-First “W” Lincoln Cents: The Mint issued the first Lincoln Cents to bear a “W” mint mark. These stunning coins were offered as premiums with various annual set offerings. A Proof cent was included with the 2019 Clad Proof Set. To date the Mint has sold 467,213 of those standard proof sets. A Reverse Proof was included with the 2019 Silver Proof Set with 332,334 sets sold to date. A cent featuring the Mint’s “Burnished” or Uncirculated finish was included with the Uncirculated Set. That set has 281,836 units sold so far this year. These special cents continue to use the current Shield Reverse design.
- First “W” Quarters for circulation: This year was also the first year for a “W” mint mark to appear on circulating quarters. The mint struck and released 2,000,000 of each of the five America the Beautiful designs: the Lowell Industrial Park, MA quarter, the American Memorial Park Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands quarter, the War in the Pacific Guam quarter, the San Antonio Misisons TX quarter and finally the Frank Church River of No Return, ID quarter. The coins were released to coincide with the Mint’s anniversary this year and to mark the 2019 “National Coin Hunt” which was designed to increase visibility and participation in Numismatics.
The United States Mint embarked on a mission to release a series of 1oz. Presidential Medals struck in .999 pure silver. The designs are from the historic and highly collectible bronze Presidential Peace Medals. The first, and highest mintage to date in this silver series is the George Washington Medal with 22,383 sold as of November. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison follow with decreasing mintages. The final release in the year for this series was James Monroe with a mere 9,437 units sold to date. There may be some interesting numismatic opportunities here for collectors of Presidential and political items.
The United States Mint also honored the 100th anniversary of the American Legion with a silver dollar, clad half and $5 gold coin. The $5 gold coins have the lowest reported sales of any of the modern $5 gold commemoratives and the coins are quietly generating not only collector interest but a significant premium for examples in the sought after 69 and 70 grade levels.
The U.S Mint continued this year with their technological innovation by striking a series of coins marking the 50 years since the Apollo 11 mission. These stunning coins feature a high relief domed coin featuring a depiction of Neil Armstrong’s lunar footprint and Buzz Aldrin’s iconic photo of the lunar landscape reflected in the visor of a space helmet.
Also to mark the anniversary of the moon landing some highly sought after Robbins Medals replicas were issued. Robbins Medals were mission specific medals that were flown in space. A limited number of these highly prized collectibles exist. The obverse features the famous Apollo 11 mission badge or patch with an Eagle landing on the moon with the Earth shown overhead. (This same familiar image was used on the Eisenhower Silver Dollar and Susan B. Anthony reverses). The reverse features inscribed astronaut names and dates of the mission. Sunshine Minting also struck silver plated copper-nickel and copper examples for collectors. This stunning Robbins Medals are a ModernCoinMart exclusive offering!
With a mintage of only 110,000 the Pride of Two Nations Set is a stunner for all-time. The West Point struck enhanced reverse proof American Silver Eagles in this set likely will be a semi-key date in the series. The set consists of the aforementioned American Silver Eagle and a stunning proof 1 oz. Silver Maple. These coins have been stalwarts in the market for private ownership of silver since they were introduced. This marks the first collaboration between the Royal Canadian Mint and the U.S. Mint. With the success of this set, we will be seeing more collaborations between the U.S. Mint and the mints from freedom-loving countries all over the world in the future.
The Royal Australian Mint teamed with the U.S. Mint this year to issue a unique set of coins commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. The dome-shaped U.S. silver dollar features the same Armstrong footprint and Aldrin photo design on the domestically produced silver dollar. The Aussie $5 1 oz. silver coin also features a dome-shaped design: a lunar landscape with a colorized image of the Earth overhead and an obverse featuring dialogue associated with the mission. The Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II and an image of the Australian satellite communications dish used during the mission round out the design.
The Perth Mint did not disappoint collectors as 2019. This year marked the final issue in their second Perth Lunar series. Each series has a remarkable 12 issues in it making this one of the most longstanding and popular bullion series of the last quarter century. Perth Lunars are some of the most widely collected coins on the planet.
The Perth Mint artisans also issued their own low-mintage (7,500!!!) Apollo commemorative in observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.
They also struck the latest additions to beloved collector favorites in the Kookaburra series, the Koala series and several issues with other Australian wildlife and with the ever-popular Asian-inspired Dragon imagery.
2020 promises to be another exciting year in coin collecting and bullion stacking. The new year will see the final issue of the original ASE design, additional installments in the Silver Presidential Peace Medal series, a 2020 Congratulations Set, the 2020 Platinum Proof Coin - Pursuit of Happiness, a new Perth Mint Lunar III series and much, much more!
Be sure to check out MCM’s InfoVault articles and our Coming Soon page for breaking Numismatic news, exciting release info and coin updates!
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