May 10, 2000
The Internet is a fantastic place for coin collectors.
Not only can you buy older collectible coins from websites such as the one you're now on, but you can purchase new Mint products through the US Mint Online Product Catalog.
Products from the Mint's first-ever Spring 2000 Catalog are now available online. The Mint made this catalog available on April 17, 2000. New products being offered include Golden (Sacagawea) Dollar jewelry and jewelry featuring the Massachusetts quarter, the first of the 2000 quarters in the 50 State Quarters Program. Other new products from the 50 State Quarters Program will be added to the Mint's Online Product Catalog as they become available.
The Spring Catalog also features jewelry items featuring 2000-dated American Eagle Gold and Platinum coins.
The Mint has produced catalogs before, but they've always been in hard copy. Last Christmas, a colorful catalog was mailed to Mint customers offering such things as coins mounted in decorations, which can be hung from a Christmas tree.
The Mint has come a long way recently. Traditional coin dealers have nothing to fear as the Mint sells new rather than older coins. Dealers who specialize in offering new Mint products could have a problem with the new Mint Internet effort to sell its products online. Then again, the established dealers tend to sell to known collectors while the Mint effort online is aimed at new collectors from non-traditional sources.
The Mint is doing a lot of things it never used to do. No one is quite certain what may have motivated the Mint to come out of its traditional shell and begin to aggressively seek new markets, but one factor may have been several trips by the Mint director and part of his staff to the annual Basel International Coin Fair in Switzerland. This show, held every January, is where the world Mints unveil their new product lines for the coming year.
Attendance at the show by anybody, not just Mint personnel, is an eye opener. This is truly where the big boys make their noise.
Regardless of the motivation behind the new Mint thrust, they are eager to draw more of the public into purchasing coins than ever before. The new Spring catalog offered online is yet another indication the Mint is now eager to stay in step with modern technology.
Another indicator of the modernization of the US Mint is in the new technology now being applied to coins. The Sacagawea dollar is one example. The demonstration that the Mint is capable of preparing working dies for five different quarter dollar reverses each year is another. Yet a third indication of this is new ringed bimetal Bicentennial of the Library of Congress coin now about to be released.
Commerce on the Internet is growing quickly. It is obvious the US Mint wants to be part of its success. Coin dealers and collectors will both benefit from this new effort by the Mint, as it draws curiosity seekers in for the first time. Some may never advance, but other new collectors will seek older coins next and continue to deepen their interest in collecting coins.
This new online catalog should be interesting not just from the standpoint of what the Mint can sell, but also for what it can do for the hobby.
To view the spring catalog, click on US Mint Online Product Catalog.
Richard Giedroyc is a numismatic writer, researcher, auction cataloger and coin dealer. He has been in the hobby and business most of his life, now having more than three decades’ experience in this fascinating hobby field. During this time Giedroyc has been the owner of Paris Bergman Galleries, owner of Classical Coin Newsletter, international editor of Coin World and owner of Giedroyc-Anderson Interesting World Coins. He is currently a numismatic consultant. He has written more than 2,000 byline numismatic stories and contributed to several coin catalogs.
Festive 1997-1999 ornaments from the US Mint.