Q. David Bowers
Sales and Minting
1992-P Proof dollars were produced at the Philadelphia Mint. Uncirculated 1992-D dollars were minted in the Denver facility. Eleven ordering options were given, the following of which included silver dollars:
Single silver dollar Proof: pre-issue price (August 28, 1992 through October 9, 1992) $27; regular price $31.
Two-coin Proof set: pre-issue price $34; regular price $38. Three-coin Proof set: pre-issue price $220; regular price $250.
Single Uncirculated silver dollar: pre-issue price $23; regular price $28.
Two-coin Uncirculated set: pre-issue price $27; regular price $32.
Three-coin Uncirculated set: pre-issue price $205; regular price $230.
Six-coin Proof and Uncirculated set: pre-issue price $445; regular price $495.
A letter included with order forms for the Columbus coins introduced the new Acting Director of the Mint, David]. Ryder. (Ryder was named acting director by President Bush after over a year had passed, following Mint Director Donna Pope's resignation in January 1991. When it came to making Mint appointments, President Bush often let things drag. After ElizabethJones' position of chief engraver was not renewed, Bush ignored the situation, and for the two-year balance of his administration, the post was vacant! During his 1989-1993 tenure, Bush showed virtually no personal interest in either the Mint or American coinage, and never visited a minting facility.)
Bulk orders had a minimum amount of $5,000, with all 11 order options available; the prices for this type of order were lower than the pre-issue discounts.
As of August 18, 1992, sales of the Columbus silver dollar coins were as follows: Proofs, 152,592; Uncirculated coins, 39,404, as reported in Numismatic News, October 13, 1992. The November 10, 1992, sales figures had reached to 285,821 in Proof format and 74,413 in Uncirculated, according to the same source. Once again buyers were showing their preference for Proof specimens.
Commemorating: The 500th anniversary of Columbus' sailing to America.
Obverse motif: Full-length portrait of Columbus standing, a flagged pole in his right hand and rolled-up map or scroll in his left hand. A mounted globe appears to his left, with a small scene of his three vessels at Sea above. COLUMBUS QUINCENTENARY appears below, as does statutory inscriptions.
Reverse motif: Half of Columbus' sailing vessel Santa Maria" and half of the space shuttle Discovery with Earth and star in the background, the two halves forming the central device.
Authorization date: May 13, 1992,
Date on coins: 1492 1992.
Date when coins were actually minted: 1992.
Mints used: Denver (Uncirculated coins), Philadelphia (Proofs).
Maximum quantity authorized: 4 million (combined Proof and Uncirculated).
Total quantity minted: Not known at press time.
Quantity melted: Not known at press time.
Net number distributed: Incomplete data, as of December 25, 1992, showed these sales figures: 1992-D Uncirculated 98,820; 1992-P Proof 361,001.
Issued by: U.S. Mint, Box 41998, Philadelphia, PA. 19101-1998 (Customer Service Center, United States Mint, 10001 Aerospace Road, Lanham, MD 2(706), .
Standard original packaging: Various options.
Official sale prices: Uncirculated 1992-D $23 pre-issue, later $28; Proof1992-P $27 pre-issue, $31 later.
Designer of obverse: U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver John Mercanti.
Designer of reverse: U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr.
Interesting fact: The numismatic community greeted the 500th anniversary of Columbus' "discovery" of America with a large unstifled yawn. Indeed, little interest materialized on the part of the public, either.