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Full text of "U.S. Mint's commemorative coin program : hearing before the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy of the Committee on Banking and Financial Services, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, July 12, 1995"

\V \ U.S. MINT'S COMMEMORATIVE COIN 
^ PROGRAM 

Y 4. B 22/1 : 104-25 

\i.$. Hint's Connenoratiye Coin Prog... 

, sV.? HEAKING 

' ( 9 ^ S^^l BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY POLICY 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND 
FINANCIAL SERVICES 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 



JULY 12, 1995 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Banking and PMnancial Services 

Serial No. 104-25 







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U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
92-168 CC WASHINGTON : 1995 



For sale by the U.S. Go\eninieiu Pnniing Oitice 

Superintendent of Documents. Congressional Sales Office. Washington. DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052113-0 



\V \ U.S. MINT'S COMMEMORATIVE COIN 
^ PROGRAM 

Y 4. B 22/1 : 104-25 

U.S. flint's Connenorative Coin Prog... 

., HEARING 

(9 "1 Sti. BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON 
DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY POLICY 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND 
FINANCIAL SERVICES 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS 
FIRST SESSION 






JULY 12, 1995 



Printed for the use of the Committee on Banking and Financial Services 

Serial No. 104-25 







U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 



92-1G8CC WASHINGTON : 1995 



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052113-0 



HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES 



JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa, Chairman 
BILL MCCOLLUM, Florida, Vice Chairman 



MARGE ROUKEMA, New Jersey 

DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska 

TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin 

RICHARD H. BAKER, Louisiana 

RICK LAZIO, New York 

SPENCER BACHUS, Alabama 

MICHAEL CASTLE, Delaware 

PETER KING, New York 

EDWARD ROYCE, California 

FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma 

JERRY WELLER, Illinois 

J.D. HAYWORTH, Arizona 

JACK METCALF, Washington 

SONNY BONO, California 

ROBERT NEY, Ohio 

ROBERT L. EHRLICH, Maryland 

BOB BARR, Georgia 

DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan 

FRANK CREMEANS, Ohio 

JON FOX, Pennsylvania 

FREDERICK HEINEMAN, North Carolina 

STEVE STOCKMAN, Texas 

FRANK LOBIONDO, New Jersey 

J.C. WATTS, Oklahoma 

SUE W. KELLY, New York 



HENRY B. GONZALEZ, Texas 
JOHN J. LaFALCE, New York 
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota 
CHARLES E. SCHUMER, New York 
BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts 
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania 
JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II, Massachusetts 
FLOYD H. FLAKE, New York 
KWEISI MFUME, Maryland 
MAXINE WATERS, California 
BILL ORTON, Utah 
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 
LUIS V. GUTIERREZ, Illinois 
LUCILLE ROYBAI^ALLARD, California 
THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 
NYDIA M. VELAZQUEZ, New York 
ALBERT R. WYNN, Maryland 
CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 
MELVIN WATT, North Carolina 
MAURICE HINCHEY, New York 
GARY ACKERMAN, New York 
KEN BENTSEN, Texas 

BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont 



Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy 

MICHAEL CASTLE, Delaware, Chairman 
EDWARD ROYCE, California, Vice Chairman 
FRANK LUCAS, Oklahoma FLOYD H. FLAKE, New York 

JACK METCALF, Washington BARNEY FRANK, Massachusetts 

BOB BARR, Georgia JOSEPH P. KENNEDY II, Massachusetts 

DICK CHRYSLER, Michigan CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York 

FRANK LOBIONDO, New Jersey LUCILLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, California 

J.C. WATTS, Oklahoma THOMAS M. BARRETT, Wisconsin 

SUE W. KELLY, New York CLEO FIELDS, Louisiana 

ROBERT NEY, Ohio MELVIN WATT, North Carolina 

JON FOX, Pennsylvania 

BERNARD SANDERS. Vermont 



(II) 



CONTENTS 



Page 

Hearing held on: 

July 12, 1995 1 

Appendix: 

July 12, 1995 49 

WITNESSES 
Wednesday, July 12, 1995 

Deisher, Beth, Editor, Coin World 4 

Diehl, Philip N., Director, U.S. Mint, Chairman, Citizens Commemorative 

Coin Committee 20 

Ganz, David L., President and Legislative Counsel, American Numismatic 

Association, Member, Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee ... 17 

Stack, Harvey G., Numismatist, Auctioneer, Appraiser, Stack's, New York 13 

Stahl, Alan M., Curator, American Numismatic Society 10 

APPENDDC 

Prepared statements: 

Castle, Hon. Michael N 50 

Deisher, Beth 53 

Diehl, Philip N 108 

Ganz, Davia L. (with attachments) 85 

Stack, Harvey G. (with attachments) 74 

Stahl, Alan M 68 

Additional Material Submitted for the Record 

Torres, Hon. Esteban E., a Representative in Congress from the State of 

California, prepared statement 135 

Biographies: 

Deisher, Beth 67 

Diehl, Philip N 134 

Ganz, David L 106 

Stack, Harvey G 84 

Stahl, Alan M 73 

(III) 



U.S. MWrS COMMEMORATFvnE COIN 

PROGRAM 



WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1995 

House of Representatives, 
Subcommittee on Domestic and 
International Monetary Policy, 
Committee on Banking and Financl\l Services, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in room 
2128, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Michael N. Castle 
[chairmEin of the subcommittee] presiding. 

Present: Chairman Castle, Representatives Lucas, LoBiondo, 
Watts, Kelly, Flake, Maloney, Roybal-Allard, and Barrett. 

Also present: Representative Hayes. 

Chairman Castle. If the subcommittee could please come to 
order. 

I realize the attendance is not quite 100 percent at this point for 
the Members of the subcommittee, but you, all of you, have been 
here before at one time or another and I think you understand how 
this place works. People will come and go as the hearing goes on, 
and what you state is extremely important for the record regard- 
less of whether Members are here directly or not. 

You are also aware that we are in session. In fact, the bells have 
already gone off. If a vote is called, I will probably wind it down 
to about 10 minutes left in the vote, then take a break for 15 min- 
utes to vote and get back. You always hope that there won't be a 
lot of votes when you are running these nearings, but one never 
knows what is going to happen. 

I have an opening statement which I would like to read, but I 
was talking to Mr. Diehl, who has done a superb job I think at the 
Mint, and I indicated that I don't know what the right solution is, 
and he said he didn't know either, but there might be several, and 
that is probably correct. I think we agree that one of them is prob- 
ably not to continue the Commemorative Coin program as it is, and 
so perhaps some changes are needed. 

But let me just start with my opening statement and then I am 
going to turn to you in order and I will introduce each of you. 

Since the United States Mint resumed its Commemorative Coin 
program in 1982 after a 28-year hiatus, interest groups supported 
by Congress have progressively expanded that program both in 
numbers of coins and mintage levels beyond the ability of collectors 
to absorb these issues. Organizations nave learned now they can 
put a government agency and government factories to work for 
their cause with no risk or involvement. 

(1) 



The generous surcharges awarded to the beneficiary organiza- 
tions have led more and more to use this route to painless funding 
of their cause. All of these coins in rapid succession and especially 
in ever-greater mintages with little or no intrinsic numismatic in- 
terest have combined to glut the market. 

The failure of recent issues to cover their costs to the Treasury 
threaten to leave the taxpayer holding the bag. In the case of the 
World Cup Soccer Commemorative Coin, that bag has a price tag 
for the taxpayer in the millions of dollars, while World Cup USA 
paid its executives $7,7 million in deferred salary and bonuses. 

As a result of such problems, the Commemorative Coin program 
of the U.S. Mint has reached a perilous state. The situation has 
historical precedent. 

In the past when Congress has been unable to restrain its im- 
pulse to commemorate personages and events of interest to con- 
stituents, the market for these products has become saturated and 
production has ceased. Recently there has been a precipitous fall- 
off in collector support as numbers of programs have mounted and 
mintage levels have soared. 

Historically, 90 percent of the commemorative market has been 
composed of numismatic collectors. It is to this rather narrow 
group of hobbyists that one organization after another, abetted by 
their congressional sponsors, has turned for funding of their respec- 
tive projects. 

These coins are purchased not by individuals who freely elect to 
pay the substantial surcharges in support of the various causes 
who will benefit, but by hobbyists, and in some cases, investors, 
who have been courted by their government and induced to pursue 
collections of commemorative coins. 

These collections have been undermined and cheapened by the 
proliferation of issues that have produced the beginnings of a 
movement to boycott future issues. This is understandable since an 
Elvis collector plate ordered out of the Sunday comic section is like- 
ly to retain its investment value about as well as a recent proof set 
of commemoratives from the U.S. Mint. 

More programs were enacted by Congress last year than had 
been enacted over the previous 6 years combined. Since 1986, Mint 
annual commemorative coin sales have fallen by 80 percent. For 
the period 1995 to 1998, Congress has already enacted six pro- 
grams for a total of 23.55 million coins. 

One program alone, the Atlanta Olympic games commemora- 
tives, calls for the production of 17.95 million coins. Already in the 
104th Congress, nine additional House bills have been introduced 
that would mandate the minting of an additional 7.35 million coins 
during the 1995 to 2001 period for 13 new programs. Most of these 
coins, 6.55 million, would be minted between 1995 and 1997. 

In 1994, sponsoring organizations received more than $23.3 mil- 
lion in surcharges while the Mint experienced a net loss of about 
$3.5 million. The revenue generated through commemoratives in 
1994 did not cover all the Mint's overhead expenses, largely due to 
the poor selling performance of the World Cup Soccer coins. 

Only 1.5 of the 10.75 million coins authorized by Congress were 
ever sold. Still, sponsoring organizations can receive the entire sur- 



charge on every coin sold, even though the Mint loses millions of 
dollars. 

The commemorative programs mandated by Congress have be- 
come raids on the purses of those collectors who purchase the coins. 
They thereby support the various nonprofit beneficiary organiza- 
tions even though they are denied tax deductions that a direct do- 
nation would earn. 

No one can claim that the causes benefited to date by coin pro- 
grams are the most worthy or the most needy; they simply have 
had the most influence. It is unseemly to have government fac- 
tories and personnel put to work for the exclusive benefit of a nar- 
row group of politically endorsed private interests. 

To make matters worse, these groups share none of the risk, un- 
dertake none of the marketing and distribution costs and receive 
their surcharges from the first coin sold. Nevertheless, every coin 
bill states that manufacture and sale of a commemorative coin, 
quote, "shall not result in any net cost to the Federal Government," 
end of quote. 

Public Law 102-390 established the Citizens Commemorative 
Coin Advisory Committee, CCCAC, to designate the topics the sub- 
committee recommends be commemorated during the 5-year period 
succeeding the year in which such designation is made. In its first 
report in 1994, the CCCAC indicated its support of a 1993 Sense 
of Congress Resolution requesting the Senate and House Banking 
Committees not to report or otherwise clear for consideration by 
the House or Senate, legislation providing for more than two com- 
memorative coin programs for any year. 

Notwithstanding this endorsement, the committee recommends 
acceptance of an average of four or more programs for each of the 
next several years. This could be a recipe for disaster. It also would 
reflect badly upon the responsibilities of Congress. 

We are here today to review the entire commemorative program. 
It may be that radical measures must be taken to preserve the tax- 
payer from risk in a program that is heading out of control. 

If that is determined to be the case, this Congress will need to 
take the action necessary to rectify this situation. Above all, we 
were elected to preserve the taxpayers' interest. 

We have a number of you who will testify and we do expect 
Members to come in, but I think we have to proceed as best we pos- 
sibly can, I will ask each of you to try to limit your comments to 
5 minutes. 

I may make an exception with Mr. Diehl, who obviously has sub- 
stantial responsibilities, which means you all will probably start 
looking at your notes to be sure you can do this in 5 minutes. We 
will give you a slight bit of latitude but in order to finish the work 
at hand, we need to make sure that we keep it within some time- 
frame. 

I have short introductory statements and I have learned that 
perhaps it is helpful to read these so that people here in the audi- 
ence and even staff members can know exactly who you are. This 
is the all-star game of coin numismatic interest and individuals in 
America today. That may not be known by a lot of the public, but 
I was duly impressed by the resumes of each and every one of you. 



and I think you all have a tremendous amount to offer and we look 
forward to your testimony today. 

And we will just do it in the order across the table here. We will 
start with Beth Deisher, who is editor of Coin World, the world's 
largest weekly publication in the field of collectible coins, bullion 
coins, medals, tokens, paper money and any objects once used as 
money. She joined Coin World as news editor in 1981 and become 
executive editor in 1984. In 1985, Ms. Deisher was named editor. 

Ms. Deisher was also editor of the 4th and 5th editions of the 
"Coin World Almanac," the most authoritative one-volume ref- 
erence available about U.S. coinage and has supervised updates of 
"Coin Collecting Made Easy," "Basic Knowledge for the Coin Collec- 
tor and Investor," the 1988 publication of "Collector's Log of U.S. 
Coins," a record-keeper and checklist for organizing one's collection 
by denomination and type, and "Collecting Money," a guide book 
for beginning collectors. She served as copy editor for the first edi- 
tion in 1989 and subsequent yearly editions of "Coin World Guide 
to U.S. Coin Prices and Value Trends." 

Let me say, we have copies of course of your testimony. I have 
had the opportunity to read them. Hopefully, other Members will 
as well, and several of you may want to read from excerpts of that, 
but you can assume that we have it here to reference or we have 
read it. 

And with that, Ms. Deisher, if you would please start us off. 

STATEMENT OF BETH DEISHER, EDITOR, COIN WORLD 

Ms. Deisher. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to thank 
you and the subcommittee for inviting me to testify today. 

The concerns I raise before you are those of the vast majority of 
U.S. collectors interested in the modem U.S. Commemorative Coin 
program. It is important to understand that our primary readers 
are the U.S. Mint's core customers, the same customers who have 
purchased approximately 90 percent of all the commemoratives 
sold by the U.S. Mint since the striking of commemoratives re- 
sumed in 1982, thus our customers are the primary buyers of the 
products, the coins that you, Congress, authorize and order the 
U.S. Mint to manufacture and market. 

So what are our/your customers telling us? They are telling us 
that there are too many commemorative coin programs, there are 
too many commemorative coins being produced. The surcharges are 
an unfair form of taxation and serve only as an incentive for the 
special interest, nonprofit groups to tap tax free funds they would 
unlikely be able to obtain through the appropriations budget 
process. 

Also, they are telling us that the increasing proliferation of com- 
memoratives and the increasing expense of collecting U.S. com- 
memoratives, is frustrating to the point that many are simply say- 
ing: "That is it, I quit." 

The first step in addressing the frustrations of our/your cus- 
tomers is to understand why he or she is your customer. A coin col- 
lector is a hobbyist. He or she will often select a particular series 
or type of coins to collect. The historical importance of the coins, 
their designs, their affordability, and their availability are prime 



considerations in deciding to begin a collection and what will be in- 
cluded in that collection. 

Coin collectors are goal oriented. Once they select a series and 
begin collecting, the overriding goal is to collect a complete set. 
When and if the prices and numbers of coins to keep that set com- 
plete approach the upper limits of the money that they have re- 
served for this portion of their hobby, they face the prospect of 
trimming back to a subset of the complete set, and if they cannot 
do this, they will simply stop collecting and abandon their goal of 
a complete set. 

Currently, the faithful collector who has purchased one of every 
modern commemorative coin issued since 1982 would have 127 
coins in his or her collection. If he purchased from the Mint at the 
most advantageous price possible at the time of issue, our collector 
has paid the U.S. Mint $9,715 for the privilege of owning a com- 
plete set and continuing his hobby. 

I call your attention to a chart that is in my prepared testimony 
that shows each of the individual programs and the number re- 
quired. As the decade of the 1990's approached, it was evident that 
the nonprofit, special interest groups had discovered commemora- 
tive coins, the new cash cow. Consequently, a virtual avalanche of 
commemorative proposals has descended upon Congress. 

I would like to emphasize just the most recent programs — our 
collector was forced to spend $547 to buy 10 coins in 1991, $941 
to buy 14 coins in 1992, $880 to buy 12 coins in 1993, $715 to buy 
16 coins in 1994, and this year, our collector will have to shell out 
$2,776 for 40 coins. Is it any wonder that our/your collector cus- 
tomer is bewildered and disillusioned? 

Unless Congress quickly and decisively controls the number of 
commemorative coins being struck and offered for sale, there is 
very strong evidence that the collector base for U.S. commemora- 
tive coins will soon evaporate. 

In the prepared testimony, there are a number of charts that we 
invite you to look at. The most compelling chart is the one that 
looks at the commemorative coin collector base. We determined 
that by dividing the number of coins sold in a given year by the 
number of coins constituting a complete set available that year. 
The trend is unmistakable. Collectors are leaving the modem U.S. 
commemorative market in droves. The collector base has dropped 
dramatically from 3.5 million in 1982 to barely 200,000 in 1994. 

If you look at the most successful years, those with the highest 
collector base, you will find common success factors. The subjects 
being commemorated were national in scope, the designs were in- 
novative and aesthetically pleasing, the coins were affordable for 
most collectors, and the number of coins constituting a complete set 
was reasonable. 

The problems are rooted in the legislative process, and as we 
have already mentioned, the ability for nonprofit groups to tap this 
revenue stream. One important thing that we would like to empha- 
size is that surcharges have no relationship to the value of the 
coin. They are determined solely on the basis of how much money 
the benenciary organizations think they can wring out of the coin 
buyer. 



For example, the surcharges on silver dollars started out at $7 
per coin, then escalated to $10. The 1995 Capitol Bicentennial 
Commemorative carried a hefty $15 surcharge, three times the 
value of the silver content of the coin. The reason this is important, 
if there is no demand in the marketplace, the ultimate value of 
that coin is the value of the silver. 

It is quite evident that the surcharges are the tail that wags the 
commemorative dog and have been the single most important fac- 
tor driving the proliferation of commemorative coins. 

Congress has shown little ability to just say no. Every nonprofit 
organization presents its worthy cause and insists it has a divine 
right to collect surcharges. 

We have a couple of solutions that we would like to offer, and 
in looking for solutions, we looked to history. Even though there 
were some abuses in the programs that produced 154 coins be- 
tween 1892 and 1954, they do offer us some insight and suggest 
a possible remedy to our current predicament. 

There were no surcharges then. In all of these programs. Con- 
gress authorized the U.S. Mint to strike coins and set the limit — 
mintage limitations. The U.S. Mint manufactured the coins and 
sold them at face value to the beneficiary organization and then 
the beneficiary organization was responsible for marketing. This 
leads us to propose that Congress seriously consider redirecting 
what we call the commemorative welfare program to a workfare 
program. 

Chairman Castle. Ms. Deisher, may I interrupt you? We do 
want to try to keep this on schedule. If you could start to come to 
a conclusion. 

Ms. Deisher. Just a couple of more statements. 

The workfare would include asking these organizations to pur- 
chase at bulk discount and then they would be allowed to keep the 
profits on those that they sell, and those sold by the U.S. Mint 
would then go to the government stream of revenue. 

In tandem with eliminating the surcharge, Congress must sum- 
mon the courage to legislatively limit the number of programs. We 
would recommend a maximum of three programs or subjects to be 
included or commemorated in any given year with the maximum 
number of coins being produced at six. We would further urge con- 
sideration of instituting a circulating commemoration program. 
That way, all the people in our country would understand and 
know what we are honoring. 

We hope that the solutions and ideas offered in our written testi- 
mony will give you some ideas of how to approach this problem. 
You have already established an advisory committee to recommend 
appropriate topics and suggest mintage levels. We ask you to seek 
and heed the committee's advice; most of all, to listen to and re- 
spect your customers. They cherish the expression of our Nation's 
history and achievement through medallic art. Treat them fairly 
and they will reward you and the U.S. Mint and the marketplace. 

Thank you. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Ms. Deisher. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Beth Deisher can be found on 
page 53 in the appendix.] 



Chairman Castle. Mr. Stahl, before we go to you, since we start- 
ed on time, I wanted to give the Members who ioined us an oppor- 
tunity to make an opening statement if they wisn. 

Mr. Flake, of course, is the ranking Member, a wonderful person 
to work with, I might add, and I know he wants to make an open- 
ing statement. Ms. Roybal-Allard may want to and Mr. Lucas may 
want to. 

Let me turn to Congressman Flake. 

Mr. Flake. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you 
for recognizing me at this time. 

I have to go to the Justice Department and hope that those who 
are on the panel will excuse me, understanding that — to get Ms. 
Reno to meet with us this morning, to get on her schedule is ex- 
tremely difficult. 

Mr. Chairman, as we begin to address the question of what the 
national policy should be concerning the production and sale of 
commemorative coins, I feel the subcommittee would do well to 
study very closely the current national policy or lack thereof which 
has resulted in politicizing our decisionmaking process and has 
produced a glut of over 17 million coins for one event. 

Furthermore, coin collectors are so dissatisfied with our com- 
memorative process that they are boycotting some of the most re- 
cent coins. Some have suggested that the boycott is responsible for 
lagging sales of World Cup coins. 

I must also remind the subcommittee that this process has an 
additional failure to produce any coins to honor or commemorate 
the achievements and contributions of African-Americans for the 
last 50 years. I am fiilly aware of the public consensus that there 
is a saturated market of commemoratives, but I believe that the 
Nation should not be deprived of the opportunity to mark and to 
celebrate the exceptional events and people by the traditional 
means of appropriate coins merely because of past action and legis- 
lation that controlled the coin production. 

Whatever policy we adopt as a result of these deliberations, we 
must make certain that the policy is sufficiently flexible and inclu- 
sive to permit national recognition of people and events that are of 
significant and lasting historical importance and that we not cut off 
production of appropriate coins for that purpose. 

To this end, I wish to call to the subcommittee's attention coin 
legislation for Martin Luther King and Thurgood Marshall, and 
H.R. 1776, which would authorize the minting and sale of 500,000 
silver dollars to help finance the construction of a memorial on the 
mall honoring the more than 5,000 men and women who fought, 
died and otherwise served in the American Revolution. This fact of 
American history has long been neglected in the pages of our his- 
tory books. 

Now, we as a subcommittee have the golden opportunity to make 
the only memorial to African-American patriotism ever to be pro- 
posed a reality for all Americans, indeed for all of the world to rec- 
ognize. 

The 1995 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative 
Coin Act clearly demonstrates the need for providing exceptions to 
any restrictive coin policy that we may adopt. Given the poignant 
history of black Americans fighting and dying to make this Nation 



8 

free, we in Congress cannot afford to allow their last chance to be 
memorialized because of a victim of restrictive coin policies. 

Now, Mr. Chairman, I look forward and hope that you can sup- 
port this particular memorial at the same time that we are making 
what I consider to be very necessary changes as it relates to our 
coin policy. 

Thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Flake, for your in- 
teresting observations. 

Mr. Lucas, do you wish to have an opening statement? 

Mr. Lucas. No. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. Ms. Roybal-Allard. 

Ms. Roybal-Allard. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

And I would like to thank you for holding this hearing on the 
Commemorative Coin program, and I welcome the opportunity to 
listen to the testimonies of our distinguished panel of witnesses. 
This is a new issue for me. 

I am particularly interested in preserving the integrity and the 
viability of the program, and as Congressman Flake pointed out, it 
is an extremely important and valuable program, and I believe that 
if the program is managed properly, that the Commemorative Coin 
program can flourish and provide coin collectors with the incentive 
to pursue their hobby and at the same time allow commemorative 
coins to provide a wonderful source to recognize the subjects of na- 
tional and historical significance. And I certainly look forward to 
working with you on this issue to make sure that the integrity of 
the program is kept in place and that we are able to recognize 
the important and historical significant issues dealing with our 
country. 

Thank you. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. 

It is a difficult issue. And Mr. Watts. 

Mr. Watts. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, it is my hope that this subcommittee acknowledge 
in these deliberations the consensus of opinion among coin collec- 
tors and others interested in coins, that there is a noticeable ab- 
sence and therefore a very real need for commemoration in honor 
of people who helped to birth the Nation, people who actually gave 
the supreme sacrifice during this Nation's defining moment. 

The policy to be adopted by our subcommittee should be an intel- 
ligent one that recognizes the need for commemoration in order to 
render honor to those who exceptionally deserve a lasting and his- 
torical recognition. The government says that monuments which 
are to adorn our Nation's landscape must be of preeminent histori- 
cal and lasting significance to the Nation. I believe that we should 
keep these cnteria in mind when deciding what policy should be 
implemented in the minting of commemorative coins. 

A prime candidate, and Mr. Flake has mentioned this, is the 
Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative Coin. This coin 
as proposed by H.R. 1776 would be a very small issue of only about 
500,000. This fact renders the coin almost automatically rare as it 
would be offered to more than 5 million coin collectors alone, to say 
nothing of the American public in general and the 25 million Afri- 
can-Americans in particular. The U.S. Mint is thus assured of re- 



couping its production costs and a very noble purpose will have 
been achieved. 

As most of us are aware, part of the proceeds from the sale of 
this coin would be allocated to the construction cost of the Black 
Revolutionary War Patriots Memorial on the last available spot on 
the National Mall. Unless construction of this memorial is begun 
by October 1996, there will be nothing ever in that space tnat 
would be — that would appropriately face the Lincoln Memorial, 
paying tribute to the lasting historical significance of African- 
Americans, Revolutionary War Patriots. But monumental tributes 
to military women, to Vietnam veterans, to Native-Americans, to 
victims of the Holocaust and others will abound. 

As Harry Beecher Stowe wrote about the black men and women 
who served in the Revolutionary War, quote: "It was not for their 
own land they had fought, nor even for the land which had adopted 
them, but for a land that had enslaved them and whose laws, even 
in freedom, more often oppressed than protected. Bravery under 
such circumstances has a peculiar beauty and merit." 

The fact is, men and women of all colors have been involved in 
every aspect of this country from its founding davs. We are full 
partners in the history, bloodshed and tears that have made this 
Nation great. 

Without the commemorative coin, it is fairly certain that the me- 
morial to black American patriotism will never appear on the Na- 
tional Mall. In my opinion, we in the Congress cannot afford to let 
that happen. 

What we need to examine in determining whether to produce 
commemorative coins is the actual merit of the individual coin and 
whether it is of preeminent historical and lasting significance. As 
we are looking at all government programs and seeking to elimi- 
nate the waste, fraud and abuse, while streamlining those that are 
effective, we too need to take into consideration that there are 
some coins that are not just pet projects but actually serve a patri- 
otic purpose that can reduce the debt and allow millions of Ameri- 
cans to pursue their hobby. 

So with that, I say thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much. Mr. Watts, we appre- 
ciate your statement and vantage point. 

We will resume now with our witnesses, and we will go next to 
Dr. Stahl. 

Dr. Stahl, the Curator of Medieval Coins and Medals for the 
American Numismatic Society in New York City. He has served as 
past President and Board Member of the American Medallic Sculp- 
ture Association and as USA Delegate and Member of the Execu- 
tive Committee of the FIDEM, International Medal Federation. He 
also has been Councillor of the National Sculpture Society and past 
President and Historian of the New York Numismatic Club. 

He has written numerous books and articles on medieval coinage 
and has been editor of The Medal in America and author of articles 
on American medals from the colonial period to the present. Dr. 
Stahl received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Penn- 
sylvania in 1977. 

We welcome you. Dr. Stahl. 



10 

STATEMENT OF ALAN STAHL, CURATOR, AMERICAN 
NUMISMATIC SOCIETY 

Mr. Stahl. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the subcommittee, the revival of the 
Commemorative Coin program in 1982 aroused considerable antici- 
pation among coin collectors, artists, and the public in general. Fol- 
lowing the successful Bicentennial circulating coinage of 1976, and 
the less successful Anthony dollar a few years later, the commemo- 
rative program held the promise of breathing new life into the 
Nation's coinage, which for the most part had been ignored for 
decades. 

The events commemorated touched a broad range of shared 
American identity, from the anniversary of Washington's birth to 
the first Summer Olympics on our soil in half a century, to the 
Centennial of the Statue of Liberty. Great attention was paid then 
to making the new coins visually exciting, achieved through a co- 
ordinated effort of the new Chief Engraver, the Fine Arts Commis- 
sion, and competitions among artists within and outside the Mint. 
The public response was enthusiastic, with many people buying 
sets who had never before collected new Mint issues. 

Today the public appears to have lost interest in the commemo- 
rative coin series. Few members of the general populace are aware 
of recent issues, and even dedicated collectors of American coinage 
no longer buy each coin. The program is widely viewed as a way 
to squeeze money from collectors while dispensing political favors. 

The new issues are no longer considered a genuine part of our 
national coinage, but have become lost in a crowd of competing 
medals, bullion coins, and private and foreign issues. 

The visual quality of the commemorative series has also declined. 
Many of the recent issues have a confused and cluttered look on 
the obverse which appears to result from the transfer of drawn or 
painted images directly onto the coin surface, and a reverse which 
is a pastiche of coin cliches and graphic logos. 

These coins reflect a lack of involvement of trained numismatic 
artists, the inadequacy of the design oversight allowed to the Fine 
Arts Commission and the Citizens' Committee on Commemoratives 
and the long vacancy in the Office of Chief Engraver at the Mint. 

In these prepared remarks, I will concentrate on improving the 
quality of designs of the commemorative coinage as that is the area 
in which I am most conversant and as I expect my colleagues on 
the panel will address the issues of the choice of commemorative 
subjects and marketing of coins. I will, of course, be glad to offer 
my opinion on these subjects as well. 

Good coin design is not merely an aesthetic consideration. Buyers 
of special issue coins, be they established collectors or members of 
the general public who have never before bought a coin, respond 
in large measure to whether they like the way the coin looks. With 
the proliferation of competing coin-like objects and a well-based 
skepticism about the investment potential of new numismatic is- 
sues, collectors make their purchase choices to an ever-greater ex- 
tent on the appearance of the pieces. 

A well-designed coin is an object with artistic integrity which rec- 
ognizes the potentialities and limitations of the medium itself. The 



11 

aspects of coins which distinguish them from other visual media 
are obvious, but nonetheless frequently ignored. 

Coins are small, monochromatic, round objects whose images re- 
sult from the play of light on tiny differences of surface relief and 
texture. They have two sides which are never seen at the same 
time but which work in a complementary fashion to complete an 
image. 

Now, the scene of a large group of people engaged in an historic 
act which might be clear and evocative on a large scale can easily 
become meanmgless or clumsy when reduced to the small scale of 
the coin. Graphic depictions which rely on color or shading for defi- 
nition can produce a very different effect when rendered solely by 
shadows on bright metal. Images which do not fit gracefully into 
a circular format leave gaping spaces on a coin's surface. Among 
these are standing individuals and large low buildings, too fre- 
quently prescribed as the subjects for coin imagery. 

Inscriptions are an important aspect of coin design which must 
also respond to the nature of the medium. A small coin is an inad- 
equate medium for carrying a message more than a few words 
long. Moreover, the expectation that a commemorative coin carry 
the distinctive phrases of the circulating coinage further limits the 
space for the verbiage in the composition. In essence, coins are a 
pictorial medium. 

Improvement in the design of our commemorative coins must 
begin with program planning which takes into account those as- 
pects which distinguish coins from other media and are likely to re- 
sult in good desi^. Those who propose or advocate specific subjects 
for commemoration on the Nation's coinage cannot be allowed to 
dictate the design of the coins if they do not understand and re- 
spect the basic elements of coin art. 

The drafters of enabling legislation need not be experts in coin 
design themselves, but they should be careful to set up a situation 
in which good coin design is encouraged, rather than constrained. 

Successful coin designs can come from various sources within 
and outside the Mint, and different sources may be appropriate for 
different issues. Whatever system of design selection is chosen, it 
must be clearly stated in advance and remain fair and above board 
to all participating. 

It should also be established in such a way to encourage artists 
to come up with truly original and unexpected designs which will 
generate interest and excitement among the public. The design 
process in general should be approached as an opportunity to cre- 
ate new images, rather than to reproduce familiar ones in coin 
format. 

I would like to close with a few thoughts on the relation of com- 
memorative coinage to circulating coinage. The aspect of a com- 
memorative coin which establishes it as distinct from a medal is its 
perceived relationship to the circulating coinage of the Nation. To 
many Americans, the only true commemorative coin issued in their 
lifetimes is the Bicentennial quarter, as it was the only one which 
circulated. 

The integration of commemorative designs into the circulating 
coinage, as was done for these Bicentennial issues, might be the 
best way to stimulate genuine popular interest in the Commemora- 



12 

tive Coin program. It could also mark the beginning of the consid- 
eration for new designs for the circulating coinage as a whole, 
which many believe to be appropriate as we plan for the currency 
of the next century. 

Thank you. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Dr. Stahl. We appre- 
ciate that. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Alan Stahl can be found on page 
68 in the appendix.] 

Chairman Castle. And we will turn now to Mr. Stack, but Con- 
gressman Hayes, who unfortunately is not a Member of this sub- 
committee or even the Banking Committee, we would love to have 
him, will perform the introduction of Mr. Stack. 

Mr. Hayes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

I requested never to serve on the Banking Committee, certainly 
not because of any of the personalities there, but having resided as 
Louisiana State Bank Commissioner and closed 29 institutions, 
it appeared I wasn't real good at furtherance of most of those 
objectives. 

I came this morning because it is rare for me and maybe unique 
for me to actually know every single person on a panel of witnesses 
before a congressional subcommittee, at least one that was not in- 
volved in a criminal act. And I am going to take advantage of tak- 
ing Mr. Kennedy's seat because it is appropriate for me to pick that 
one. He may be the only person on this subcommittee who has two 
relatives on a U.S. Coin Commemorative. 

The opportunitv that I most wanted to take, however, was to in- 
troduce Mr. Stack. It is a personal relationship that goes back to 
the time I was a teenager. I know a great deal about the subject 
matter about which they are discussing because for over 40 years, 
I was intimately involved in collecting. 

I served on the board of the American Numismatic Society of 
New York. It is the only thing I have to disclose in my financial 
disclosure form, by the way, and since I am not paid anything, in- 
cluding travel expenses, it seems pretty ridiculous to have to dis- 
close that. 

Ms. Deisher and I have been friends for many years. Mr. Ganz, 
I have known since before he was in his present position. Mr. Diehl 
I know more by reputation; I have had a chance to meet with him. 

But Mr. Stack is the reason I began gathering the information 
that distinguishes numismatics from coin collecting. When I was a 
teenager and wandered into his shop, I had questions, not what 
coins were, I could figure that out even at a younger age, but how 
do you find out about their history, how do you find out about their 
nuances, about the manner in which they are designed, how do you 
know who made them and how do you tell some of the interesting 
minutia variations that leads to the science of numismatics as op- 
posed to just gathering some coins. 

Fifty years after his firm was established, in 1984 in their 50th 
anniversary, Mr. Stack, at my choice and none other, conducted a 
sale of what had been my collection and what has become in some 
opinion a landmark sale at the time. So I entrusted decades of edu- 
cational experience, and indeed a great deal of money into the ca- 
pable hands of what I think is the best firm in the United States. 



13 

I have not bought a coin from his firm in over 10 years after I quit 
collecting, and yet he and his associate and young Larry Stack and 
I are still the best of friends and still speak as late as a few days 
ago about a collection in New York State. That is the kind of busi- 
ness that this country has got to legislate toward protecting and 
preserving. 

What I came to tell you this morning is simply this: No matter 
what the fads of collecting are, no matter what the merchandising 
programs are, this family is going to still be around, and for that 
reason, they care so much, every family member, with the excep- 
tion of Mr. Stack's wife, works in that shop on West 57th Street, 
123 — I can still remember the address. Those are the kinds of busi- 
nesses that care the most about how we legislate because they have 
an obligation to their customers that extends far beyond the sale. 
That is why they care about the MDC; that is why they care about 
the designs. 

Having said that, I simply want to welcome my friend and my 
other friends to the subcommittee today and I assure you that I in- 
tend to work with those on both sides of the aisle witn whom I am 
closely acquainted to perpetuate your story long enough to try to 
improve our legislative capacity. 

Thanks so much to all of you for being here. 

Chairman Castle. Before you start, Mr. Stack, I would just say 
to Jimmy, if he could get reassigned to this subcommittee, we 
would appreciate it. His knowledge is probably much more exten- 
sive than any of the rest of us. That was a great introduction. 

I think we have a vote. But why don't we go through your testi- 
mony and then perhaps we will break for the vote. 

STATEMENT OF HARVEY STACK, NUMISMATIST, AUCTIONEER, 
APPRAISER, STACK'S, NEW YORK 

Mr. Stack. I would like to take a moment to thank Jimmy for 
the wonderful introduction and I guess the commercial that came 
along with it. I have known Jimmy for many, many years and col- 
lectors like him have been part of my life and blood. 

My business is a family business, has been actively engaged in 
coins since 1934, and I have been active myself since 1947. I am 
here today not only representing my firm, but I am really here rep- 
resenting the Professional Numismatists Guild, which is a non- 
profit trade association that has the top coin dealers as its mem- 
bership. We were founded in 1955 and our motto has always been, 
knowledge, integrity and responsibility. I was the former president 
of the PNG. 

I would like to address my statement now if I may. 

First of all, I must thank the chairman for, let's say, precluding 
some of the statements I was to make because of the full under- 
standing of the problems that are confronting our industry, the 
coin collector, and the public in general. It is a very broad under- 
standing and I think that sometning could be accomplished from 
this. 

There are just too many U.S. commemorative programs with too 
many coins being produced. They are being sold by tne Mint for too 
much money and under too many implied promises of future profit 
for the buyers. These are not rare coins. They are only — the only 



14 

thing rarer than these modern commemoratives is to find somebody 
who is wilHng to buy them if you have them for awhile. 

If a private mint engaged in the marketing tactics and reaped 
the profit margins that the U.S. Mint is enjoying, I suspect that the 
Federal Trade Commission would take a closer look at that com- 
pany. Investigative reporters and "60 Minutes" would have a field 
day. 

Since 1982, Congress has authorized and the U.S. Mint has pro- 
duced and marketed 126 different kinds of commemorative coins. 
For the 1996 Olympic Games alone, a record of 32 different coins 
are being marketed and if one were to buy one of each at a mini- 
mum cost, it would cost you $2,261. 

The explosive growth continues elsewhere in commemoratives. 
There are at least 18 pieces of commemorative legislation now 
pending before the i04th Congress. That is the Senate and House 
side. 

Congress has never expressly mandated that the U.S. Mint be- 
come a profit-making entity with these programs, but that is what 
has happened. 

I was only able to get information up to 1993. The other has not 
been released to us, so if you don't mind, I will just talk in those 
numbers that I have. Between 1982, when the modern commemo- 
rative program began, and 1993, the latest year for which I have 
the figures, the U.S. Mint's total sales revenues for commemorative 
coins was $1.4 billion. 

Its gross profit on these sales is more than $550 million, a half 
a billion dollars. Its net profit was $120 million. If they are losing 
money in 1994 and 1995, we are not aware of it yet. The U.S. Mint 
is not merely making money; it is making unusually high profits 
on commemorative issues, profiteering at the expense of collectors. 

In addition to the Mint's profit, surcharges included within the 
official issue price of each coin have benefited special causes, such 
as the Statue of Liberty, the Los Angeles Olympic Games, refur- 
bishing the White House and now the Atlanta Olympic Games. 

From 1982 to 1993, total surcharges given to various special 
causes amounted to $245 million. An additional $70 million in sur- 
charges was given to reduce the national debt. Perhaps maybe 
some more money should go to reducing the national debt and tak- 
ing away some of these special interests that may be influencing 
Congress. 

These surcharges are not tax deductible. The Ways and Means 
Committee has been considering a proposal to allow deductions for 
purchases of commemorative coins from the U.S. Mint, at least a 
tax advantage to the purchasers. 

I mentioned earlier it would cost $2,261 to purchase these coins 
of the Atlanta Olympic Games. What can buyers of these coins ex- 
pect when they eventually decide to sell? While past performance 
is no guarantee of future prices, I can say with the utmost con- 
fidence that the buyers of these overpriced souvenirs will be bit- 
terly disappointed. 

I am 67 years old. I have a better chance of winning the Olympic 
marathon than any collector will have of making a profit on these 
coins. About the only way to make a profit on these coins is if gold 
happens to soar to $800 an ounce again, and the Hunt Brothers 



15 

propel silver back to $50 an ounce. Then these coins could be sold 
for a profit as a bullion-melted item. 

So what happens to the person who buys the coins from the Mint 
and wants to sell them? I think I would like to tell you one quick 
story about an elderly lady who came into our shop on West 57th 
Street with a group of commemorative coins that she purchased 
since 1983 for her grandchildren. It seemed that her grandchildren 
needed the money to go to college and she decided to sell the coins. 
She brought these coins in, bought the coins directly from the Mint 
and paid over $5,200 for the various issues. What we could offer 
her as the fair market price when she came in was $2,200, and she 
thought we were trying to cheat her. 

Altnough Stack's does not sell modern commemorative coins on 
a regn^lar basis, we showed her she could easily purchase the exact 
same coins fi-om other dealers for $2,600, half of what she origi- 
nally paid for them. She left our store very upset. 

I include in my remarks a chart showing the actual current mar- 
ket prices and the current costs, and so forth. Despite the Mint's 
extreme suggested advertising that these are heirlooms and limited 
editions, there is virtually no secondary collector market for most 
of these coins, except for the bullion content. 

The Mint uses its seal in its advertising to give false security to 
the value of the product. As many of you are aware, in 1994 they 
included a card with a tax refund check to promote the World Cup, 
and unfortunately, that wasn't even successful. They presently 
have the 1995 Special Olympic one in the current tax checks. At 
a time when people are getting a refund, they are now trying to 
solicit some of that money for these special programs, something 
that no normal commercial house can do. 

If one was to look at the overall picture, the 89 coins sold 
through 1994, you would find that if you — with 13 issues, you 
would probably make a dollar or two profit. A couple of them you 
would break even, and you would lose money on 74 others. For 
some coins, the financial loss could be as great as 60 percent. 

Coin dealers face an unfair competition from the Mint's advertis- 
ing, and when dealers do sell these coins, they have to do some- 
thmg that the government doesn't; they have to charge local and 
State sales taxes. The Mint does not. 

Municipal and State governments are also losing revenues. Col- 
lectors have become disappointed with the proliferation of com- 
memoratives, disappointed with the themes, and designs and dis- 
appointed with the high prices. The disappointment now has 
turned to disgust. As mentioned before, there are now campaigns, 
grass-root ones, to start boycotting future commemorative issues. 

Recently, one of our members of the PNG, David Sundman, 
looked at commemorative stamps. Since 1945, there was 2,000 dif- 
ferent commemorative stamps issued, all at face value, by the way, 
and there were in the same 50 years only nine new coin designs 
were issued for circulation. I, as the others, have advocated a cir- 
culating commemorative which would cost nothing to the people 
but would project history. 

Once again, I would like you to review what I said before. Con- 

fress OKs and the collector pays. There was — as of 1993, there was 
1.4 billion worth of commemorative coins sold; $552 million of that 



16 

was for government profit, $245 million is surcharges given to spe- 
cial groups, and $70 million surcharge to reduce the national debt, 
and $121 million of that profit. We — it has been a high-priced coin 
after high-priced coin, and losing money discourages collectors. 

I thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to speak before you 
today. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you, Mr. Stack. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Harvey Stack can be found on 
page 74 in the appendix.] 

Chairman Castle. As you probably heard the bells, we are about 
8 minutes away from the completion of a vote on the floor. So Mr. 
Lucas and I have to go over there. When we come back, we will 
resume with Mr. Ganz's testimony, then Mr. Diehl's, and then 
questions. I think I will tell you my first question before we break 
so you can be thinking about it. 

At least among this panel — I don't mean to suggest this is the 
whole universe of everybody interested in coins — amongst this 
panel and based on what we have heard and I have read in the 
other testimony, there seems to be as much agreement as disagree- 
ment, maybe more agreement than disagreement. 

I would be interested — maybe staff could help with this — if we 
could get some reading of what everyone does agree on should be 
done, because all of you are basically suggesting we need changes, 
and then maybe run on down to the things you don't agree on, look 
at the summary of the various things you stated. 

You might be thinking about that a little bit because from that 
we can get a snapshot of everyone's conclusions here, because there 
seems to be a number of things that I suppose we should be doing 
based on what we are hearing today. 

Thank you so far. 

We will stand in recess until about 5 minutes after this vote and 
we will resume then. 

Thank you. 

That should, by the way, be in about 15 minutes. 

[Recess.] 

Chairman Castle. If we could resume the hearing. 

Our next witness will be Davis Ganz. David Ganz is the current 
president of the American Numismatic Association and has been 
an elected member of the board of governors for the past 10 years. 
He is also a Life Fellow of the American Numismatic Society. He 
was appointed a chartered member of the Citizens Commemorative 
Coin Advisory Committee in 1993 and reappointed in 1995. 

Mr. Ganz is the managing partner and principal litigator for the 
law firm of Ganz and Sivin, P.A. in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and 
Ganz, HolHnger & Towe in New York City. He has previously testi- 
fied before the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and other sub- 
committees of the House Banking Committee numerous times since 
1974. 

A prolific writer, he has authored books and articles on a wide 
variety of topics. His coinage book articles have included "Toward 
a Revision of the Minting & Coinage Law of the United States"; 
"Probative Value of Currency Dating for Income in Respect of a De- 
cedent"; "Valuation of Coin Collection and Drop Dollar Bills"; "We 



17 

Need $1 Coins." He also edited a book on "America's Coinage 
Laws." 

Mr. Ganz received his law degree from St. John's University Law 
School and graduated from the School of Foreign Service at George- 
town University. He has also studied law at Temple University 
Philadelphia Law School in Rome, Italy. As a member of the New 
York State Bar, he is qualified in the first panel of certified arbitra- 
tors for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New 
York and New Jersey. 

Somehow there seems to be a connection between this legal back- 
ground and coin collecting. I am not sure that I fully understand 
that. 

We welcome you, Mr. Ganz, and look forward to your testimony, 
sir. 

STATEMENT OF DAVID GANZ, PRESmENT AND LEGISLATIVE 
COUNSEL, AMERICAN NUMISMATIC ASSOCIATION, MEMBER, 
CITIZENS COMMEMORATIVE COIN ADVISORY COMMITTEE 

Mr. Ganz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle, Members of the subcommittee, I am pleased to 
appear before you once again, this time for the first time as Presi- 
dent of the American Numismatic Association, which, with 28,000 
members, is the largest educational nonprofit organization of coin 
collectors in the world. I have a rather extensive formal presen- 
tation with written prepared remarks and appendices, and with the 
Chair's permission, I would ask that this be placed in its entirety 
in the record. 

Chairman Castle. Mr. Ganz, anything that anyone submits here 
in writing will be placed in the record, and we appreciate those of- 
ferings, because the record will be then complete. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Ganz. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Citizens Advisory Committee, of which I am a member, is- 
sued its first report to Congress in September of last year. The rec- 
ommendations were unanimous. 

There is a strong and compelling need to reduce both the number 
of commemorative coins produced each year; there is also an over- 
whelming need to reduce the almost staggering number of new is- 
sues to minimize the mintage of those coins that have been author- 
ized but not yet produced. 

The committee also made a unanimous recommendation that 
Congress give serious consideration to the issuance of a circulating 
legal tender commemorative coin, a coin without a surcharge, 
which would have its designs regularly changed to exemplify con- 
temporary commemorative themes. The purpose of this would be to 
stimulate the general public to look at their pocket change much 
the way a Colonial Drummer Boy did a generation ago with the 
Bicentennial. 

A rather extensive presentation as to the merits of such a pro- 
posal was made by me to the Advisory Committee in February of 
last year, and as Mr. Diehl and my colleagues sitting behind me 
would tell you, it is a theme that I have repeated and reiterated 
at every meeting of the Citizens Advisory Committee. It is time to 



18 

issue circulating legal tender commemorative coins with no sur- 
charges. 

The mission of the American Numismatic Association is to pro- 
mote public awareness of coin collecting and its educational aspect 
and it is our belief that there is no better means of accomplishing 
this than with a new circulating commemorative coin, emblematic 
of the very values that has made our country great. 

The Bicentennial commemorative coinage of 1976 shows this 
clearly. Today, a whole generation later, you can look at your pock- 
et change and still see tne Colonial Drummer Boy. Every time that 
I see one, it reminds me of how important a tale our coins have 
to tell, not only for today's collector, but also for millions of Ameri- 
cans and visitors to our country of our ideals, our country's goals 
and our country's aspirations. 

As this subcommittee holds its oversight hearings on the prob- 
lems associated with modern commemorative coins, I think that 
the starting point of any discussion should be the first report of the 
Citizens Advisory Committee, and I would ask that even though it 
is not attached to my testimony, that the Chair consider making 
the entire report a part of the record. 

[The information referred to can be found on page 98 in the 
appendix.] 

A circulating commemorative coin is essential, in my judgment. 
It avoids most of the abuses of the current system, principally by 
giving the profit, all of it, to the government. Other countries have 
utilized the concept of a circulating commemorative coin to great 
effect. Canada is one recent example, striking one coin for each of 
the Provinces. 

Let me talk very briefly about the other types of commemorative 
coins, the noncirculating legal tender types. Commemorative coin- 
age has a long and illustrious history in our country and some 
truly important events and distinguished Americans have been 
honored. But there has always been one problem. Someone is al- 
ways looking to cash in. 

What causes this problem? Let me briefly summarize, and to pick 
up on the question that the Chair asked a little bit earlier, I think 
that there is probably widespread agreement on most of these. Too 
many coins are being authorized, the programs themselves are not 
market tested, but driven by the underlying legislation. 

The programs are driven by the financial needs of the sponsoring 
organization rather than timely commemoration and inability on 
the part of the Mint to be responsive to the perceived demands in 
the marketplace, contrived commemorations, such as the 38th an- 
niversary of the end of this war or that, repetitious design themes, 
and an overly large ambitious program. 

In a very different context, if the Mint were a private company 
and asked to produce soap, no one could imagine that they would 
be asked to do something without researching it thoroughly, check- 
ing out the packaging, and then the advanced marketing, and yet 
that is precisely what Congress asks the Mint to do in each 
instance. 

Every group that lobbies Congress for its own commemorative 
program believes that they have a different marketing strategy and 
that their group is somehow going to help sell this out. 



19 

Mr. Chairman, with due respect to the remarks made by at least 
two of the Members this morning, it has never happened, hasn't 
happened in 100 years, and it isn't ever going to happen. In fact, 
between 85 and 90 percent of eveiy single commemorative program 
is purchased by the Nation's coin collectors, the people on the 
Mint's mailing list time after time, and frankly, the surcharge that 
is on each of these coins is little more than a tax and it is some- 
thing that is deeply resented. 

Let me briefly summarize, if I may, Mr. Chairman, several points 
that I made in an article that appeared in the Cleveland State Law 
Review 18 years ago when I talked about commemorative coins at 
a time that they had not yet been started again in their modern 
mode. 

I proposed then a commission similar to the Postal Stamp Advi- 
sory Committee, which in fact is what the Citizens Advisory Com- 
mittee is today. That article suggested that up to three differently 
designed commemorative coins be authorized each year, that the 
designs be determined by the committee in consultation with the 
Commission on Fine Arts, that the coins be legal tender, that they 
be struck in clad metal, as well as other metals which at that time 
included the possibility of gold and silver and perhaps today could 
include other metals, that they be struck as proof and uncirculated, 
and perhaps, most importantly of all, that the profits derived from 
the sale accrue to the General Fund of the Treasury. 

There are no easy answers to the commemorative coin problems, 
Mr. Chairman, but I am certain that this subcommittee, by having 
this hearing, is taking the very important first step of trying to 
solve this critical problem. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. David Ganz can be found on 
page 85 in the appendix.] 

Chairman Castle. Thank you very much, Mr. Ganz, and we 
thank you for your written testimony as well. We look forward to 
having you for the questions. 

And we will now turn, finally, to Phillip Diehl. 

Let me just say that in some circumstances, Mr. Diehl might 
have been on a panel of his own, might have gone first or what- 
ever, but I thought it was appropriate in this case that he hear the 
testimony of everyone else so that we can structure all this to- 
gether. Because, first of all, I don't know how much he disagrees. 
He probably agrees with a lot of this. 

Second, I think it makes for a more meaningful discussion. So I 
thank him for his cooperation. 

We have also indicated if he needs more time to be expansive on 
some of these subjects, he is welcome to it. Mr. Diehl is the current 
Director of the U.S. Mint. Previous to that appointment, he served 
as Counselor to Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and Chief of Staff at the 
Department of the Treasury. 

He was also the Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee 
under Senator Bentsen and served as the Senator's Legislative Di- 
rector. Mr. Diehl has also served as Vice President of Regulatory 
Affairs at International Telecharge Inc., and as Director of Tele- 
phone Regulation for the Texas Public Utility Commission in Aus- 



20 

tin, Texas. His M.A, was earned in government from the University 
ofTexas at Austin. 

He has been a pleasure to work with at the Mint, and thank God 
there is one person in government who recognizes there are prob- 
lems we have to work on together. So we look forward to hearing 
from Mr. Diehl. 

STATEMENT OF PHILIP DIEHL, DIRECTOR, U.S. MINT, 
CHAIRMAN, CITIZENS COMMEMORATIVE COIN COMMITTEE 

Mr. Ddehl. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

During my Senate confirmation hearing last year, I made a com- 
mitment to the Congress and to my customers that one of my top 
priorities would be to work with the two banking committees to 
work with the Mint's troubled Commemorative Coin program. I am 
pleased to appear before you today in my roles as Director of the 
Mint and as Chairman of the Cfitizens Advisory Committee, to 
begin the process which I hope we will make major changes in the 
way the commemorative coin programs are authorized by the Con- 
gress and the way they are administered by the Mint. 

Mr. Chairman, I know you share that goal. In the 6 short months 
you have been chairman of this subcommittee, you have dem- 
onstrated great insight and leadership in moving us in the right di- 
rection. Your strong public statement last January regarding the 
need to restrain the proliferation of commemorative coins enacted 
by Congress has slowed the momentum of some two dozen propos- 
als now pending before Congress. 

What is more significant, you have raised the threshold require- 
ments under which this subcommittee holds hearings on commemo- 
rative proposals. You have also provided strong support for the 
Mint's Revolving Fund proposal, a crucial component in our efforts 
to lower the cost and prices of our commemorative products. And 
now today you have called this important hearing to air issues sur- 
rounding the Mint's Commemorative Coin program. For that, I 
thank you on behalf of all of us at the U.S. Mint who must admin- 
ister these programs, and, I think, as well on behalf of the million 
and a half Mint customers who buy these commemorative products. 

Before I proceed, I would like to introduce the members of the 
Advisory Committee who are with us today. Of course, we have 
David Ganz, who has already been introduced. We have Mrs. Elsie 
Sterling Howard, who is Consultant Director with Women's Serv- 
ices, Women's Health Care Specialist and recipient of many rec- 
ognitions, including the Alumni Award of Merit from the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania. 

We also have Mr. Reed Hawn, businessman with interests in oil 
and gas, ranching and numismatics as a collector, trader and inves- 
tor and student. 

And we also have Mr. Danny Hoffmann, 18 years old and newly 
graduated from high school, a member of several coin associations 
and also the author of published numismatic articles. 

We have two members who could not be with us today, including 
Mr. Thomas Shockley, Executive Vice President of Central and 
Southwest Corporation in Dallas, a member of the Board of Direc- 
tors of Central Power and Light, M-Bank of Corpus Christi and the 
Economic Development Corporation in Corpus Christi, and we also 



21 

are missing Mrs. Elvira Cain-Stefanelli, who is Executive Director 
of the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion. She is also the author of books, brochures and articles about 
history and numismatics, and I know Lisa would very much like 
to be with us, but she is recovering from surgery, and her physical 
therapist would not allow her to join us this morning. 

Mr. Chairman, today we have heard a great ofeal of what is 
wrong with these commemorative programs. Indeed, there is much 
to be said on that subject, and I will add my assessment, and I 
know you know that I am a critic of the status of those programs 
as we stand here today. But I think it is also important to recog- 
nize some things that are right. 

I am pleased to include in my testimony the results of a survey 
of 1,100 randomly selected Mint customers conducted earlier this 
year by the survey research firm of Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas. 

I thmk all of the witnesses here today would like to speak to 
these issues for the American coin collector. That is as it should be. 
But, Mr. Chairman, these poll results provide us a way to hear di- 
rectly from our customers. 

First, those customers give the Mint very high marks as a sup- 
plier of commemorative and other products. Fully 87 percent of our 
customers rate us as very good or excellent, and only 1 percent rate 
us as fair or worse. I would say that most private sector enterprises 
would give their eyeteeth for customer evaluations like this. 

Given the controversy surrounding the commemorative program, 
however, one might expect that our commemorative customers are 
more critical. That doesn't appear to be the case. Commemorative 
buyers consistently give us good to excellent ratings of between 85 
and 99 percent on a wide variety of evaluations covering order ac- 
curacy, product quality, customer service and timeliness of deliv- 
eries. Even with respect to price, almost 80 percent of our com- 
memorative buyers rate the purchase of their most recent com- 
memorative purchase as good to excellent. 

A real surprise, Mr. Cnairman, came when we asked our com- 
memorative customers if the Mint produces too many commemora- 
tive programs. A majority actually said no; 46 percent thought the 
number of programs was about right and 5 percent thought there 
were too few. 

Nonetheless, 44 percent said there were too many programs, an 
evaluation which I subscribe to and which I know the Members of 
this subcommittee subscribe to. But in summary, the Mint's cus- 
tomers on the whole are far less critical of the state of the com- 
memorative program than you would be led to believe by reading 
the editorial pages or letters to the editor in the numismatic press. 

This is understandable, for, after all, coin collecting is a hobby 
meant for enjoyment. I make this point, Mr. Chairman, because I 
think we need some perspective on the matter before we discuss 
the consensus that is building around how we need to change this 
program. 

This survey found no reason to believe there is a ground swell 
among our commemorative customers for ending the modern com- 
memorative series administered by the Mint. In fact, all evidence 
points to strong support for continuing the program while fixing 
what is wrong with it. 



22 

There is more that is right with these programs, Mr, Chairman. 
They are a money-maker for the U.S. Treasury. Since 1982, the 
Mint's commemorative programs have generated almost $650 mil- 
lion in net revenue for the Federal Treasury in program profits and 
proceeds from the sale of gold and silver from the Nation's stock- 
piles. That is $650 million in taxes that didn't have to be borne by 
American taxpayers, or $650 million in deficit spending we were 
able to avoid. 

It is a symptom of the problems that have emerged in recent 
years, however, that over 90 percent of these profits earned came 
during the first 10 programs. The profitability of the nine pro- 
grams, since 1992, has been marginal at best. But I am convinced, 
Mr. Chairman, that if we fix what is wrong, we can return these 
programs to profitability. 

Mr. Chairman, there is much that is good here for American coin 
collectors, for the American taxpayer, and for the American people, 
if we are able to reform the Mint's commemorative program and 
put it on the right track. 

Now, one of the criticisms of the Mint's commemorative program 
you have heard today is that the Mint earns inordinate profits from 
these pro-ams. As publicly available financial records of the Mint 
reveal, this simply is not true. 

I have included in my testimony a summary of costs, revenues 
and profits of every modem commemorative program through 1994. 
This chart demonstrates that the average profit margin tor these 
programs has been a modest 12 percent. In fact, profits have de- 
clined during the 1990's as the Mint has struggled to maintain 
sales in the face of a glut of commemorative programs, excess mint- 
age levels, and rising surcharges imposed by Congress. Between 
1982 and 1991, the average profit margin was 14 percent. In the 
past 4 years, profit margins have fallen to 7 percent, and in 1994, 
the Mint actually registered a loss in its commemorative line of 
business. 

Furthermore, the claims we have heard that the Mint itself has 
reaped unconscionable profits from these programs is dead wrong. 
Since profits from commemorative programs have been deposited in 
the Mint's Public Enterprise Fund beginning in 1993, these pro- 
grams have generated little or no profit. Since 1982, virtually all 
commemorative profits have gone to the general fund, not to the 
Mint. 

Finally, the claim that the sale of gold and silver through our 
commemorative programs has reaped unreasonable profits for the 
Treasury is also misinformed. This claim is based on the fact that 
the government's books carry silver at $1.29 per ounce and gold at 
$42 per ounce, while the Mint purchases these metals for our com- 
memorative programs at current market prices. 

At first blush, the difference between a $42 book value and $380 
market value for gold might lead one to conclude that the Treasury 
earns a huge profit from these transactions. However, this over- 
looks the fact that the $42 book value is an artificial historical 
price that is many decades old. If we consider the time value of 
these assets, plus the expense of storage and security over many 
decades, I suspect the government is merely recovering its costs in 
these transactions. 



23 

Moreover, the alternative to selling these assets at market value 
would be to allow coin collectors to acquire them at a discount off 
the market. Mr. Chairman, I can assure you that I would look for- 
ward to setting new sales records if I were able to sell gold and sil- 
ver at a discount off market, but I think it would be a difficult 
practice to justify to American taxpayers. 

All that said, however, I will agree that the prices of the Mint's 
commemoratives are too high, not because the profits are excessive, 
but because the cost basis for these programs is too high and the 
surcharges imposed by Congress have been rising. 

We are taking aggressive action to trim overhead costs at the 
Mint, and I am hopeful that congressional approval of a Mint-wide 
revolving fund will allow us to reduce prices in the next 12 to 18 
months. If the Mint continues to lower costs of these programs as 
we intend, and if Congress passes the Mint Revolving Fund pro- 
posal, which we think has a good chance of happening this year, 
while also exercising restraint in the approval of mintage levels 
and in setting surcharges, I believe we will be able to lower prices 
and increase secondary market values of our commemorative 
products. 

I turn now, Mr. Chairman, to the advisory committee's rec- 
ommendations for reforming the Mint's commemorative programs 
contained in greater detail in the committee's first annual report 
to Congress issued last November which Mr. Ganz has asked be in- 
cluded in the report. 

First, Mr. Chairman, as you know, Congress is approving too 
many programs. Since 1982, Congress has mandated 28 commemo- 
rative programs. Only seven were approved during the first 9 years 
from 1982 to 1990. The demand for new programs skyrocketed as 
more organizations discovered that coin programs often produce 
revenues more quickly and reliably than the congressional appro- 
priations process. 

As a result, nine programs were approved for issuance oyer the 
last 18 months, more programs than were mandated during the 
first 9 years combined. 

As a result, domestic commemorative coin sales have been in de- 
cline over the past decade as collectors have grown increasingly 
frustrated with their lack of an effective voice in the commemora- 
tive coin approval process. Unfortunately, skepticism and resent- 
ment among our core customers is affecting sales of many of our 
1994 and 1995 commemorative programs. Domestic commemora- 
tive sales have been weak for eight of the nine programs launched 
since January 1994. 

Even more important than limiting the number of coins each 
year, however, we must reduce the maximum authorized mintages 
of these programs. Restricting supply creates potential for com- 
memorative coins to retain their value in secondary markets, there- 
by rewarding collectors who bought them and generating greater 
interest in subsequent commemorative programs. 

But beyond these necessary steps, preserving the viability and 
profitability of commemorative programs requires fundamental 
change in now commemorative coins are authorized. Toward that 
end, the committee urges Congress to adopt legislation giving the 
Secretary of Treasury authority to select commemorative coin de- 



24 

signs, components and mintages. Congpress, of course, would retain 
oversight over commemorative programs. Without a dramatic 
change in the current practice, I fear commemorative coin pro- 
grams will continue to increase in number as Congress taps their 
fund-raising potential and overlooks market considerations. 

I would like to depart for a minute here to give you a flavor for 
the challenge that we face with our commemorative line of busi- 
ness. We are essentially a business enterprise that does not control 
its own product line in the commemorative line of business, and I 
can illustrate some implications of that very directly by referring 
to the 1995-96 Olympic coin program that we are marketing right 
now. 

The Olympic coin program has an authorized mintage of 18 mil- 
lion coins. There is no way we can meet the Atlanta or the USOC 
expectations for the sale of that many coins by selling them directly 
to our domestic numismatic customers, or even into international 
markets. 

In order to come anywhere close to realizing their expectations, 
we have undertaken in only a few months what it would take prob- 
ably a year-and-a-half for a private sector enterprise to do, and 
that is to become a mass marketer, to convert ourselves from being 
a mail-order firm into a mass marketer of commemorative prod- 
ucts. We have done this through partnerships with major house- 
hold-name retailers such as Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney. 

We have a list of about 20 retailers that we are partners with, 
and we have a very sophisticated just-in-time delivery system for 
providing product into their stores all across this country. We will 
take advantage of this retail initiative for about 18 montns in sell- 
ing Olympic coins. We will raise far more in revenues and make 
this program far more profitable for the Federal Treasury than if 
we had not developed this mass marketing potential. 

But the irony is that when the Olympic program is over our 
newly created retail capability will wither because we have no up- 
coming commemorative programs which are of the appropriate 
theme or the appropriate size that we can continue to fill these 
channels into the retail market. 

If the Secretary of the Treasury had greater control over the se- 
lection of commemorative themes and the size of programs, we 
would be able to take advantage of this new marketing capabilitv 
we have developed and continue it over the years and have it avail- 
able for these large programs when they come along. 

For example, I have no doubt, given that Salt Lake Citv has won 
the bid for the 2002 Olympic games, that some time in the not too 
distant future we are going to hear suggestions for a commemora- 
tive coin program in honor of those games, and I am sure, since 
they are here in the United States, tnat the organizers will have 
high expectations for the surcharges we can raise. 

Mr. Chairman, the advisory committee's report also contains pro- 
posed legislation to establish a permanent annual commemorative 
coin program managed and operated by the Mint, with advice on 
the themes and mintage levels provided by this committee. The leg- 
islation would establisn a mechanism to limit the number of yearly 
programs, and it suggests the mintage levels to be authorized for 
those programs. 



25 

For 1995 through 1997, the advisory committee recommends au- 
thorizing the six coin programs proposed in the CCCAC's report to 
Congress and recently consolidated into companion bills, H.R. 1753 
and S. 885. 

And I want to depart for just a moment and respond to observa- 
tions that I have heard this morning, which I have heard before, 
about the irony of this committee coming forward with as many 
coin proposals as it has advocated for the next 5 vears. We wrestled 
with that, and I want to share our reasoning with you. 

The CCCAC understood and established as our top priority the 
need to restrain the number of programs and the mintage levels for 
those programs. However, two considerations came into play in the 
number of programs we selected. 

One was that there are two commemorations of particular inter- 
est to our core customers, the coin collectors of the United States. 
One of the biggest problems with the themes chosen by Congress 
is they have not reflected the interest, in many cases, of our core 
collectors. We have boycotts being organized by some State numis- 
matic associations because Congress failed to heed the interest of 
coin collectors and did not pass a program to celebrate the bicen- 
tennial of the U.S. Mint back in 1992. Even though we are 3 years 
bevond that date, this omission still sticks in the craw of many coin 
collectors, and four or five State coin collecting organizations have 
called for a boycott of Mint commemorative programs until Con- 
gress passes a program honoring the bicentennial of the U.S. Mint. 

We think it is too late to do that. It is too late in 1995 or 1996 
to celebrate an event that occurred in 1992, but this committee has 
found another worthy commemoration that can be used to celebrate 
the bicentennial of the Mint, and that is to celebrate the bicenten- 
nial of the production of the Nation's first gold coins, which oc- 
curred in 1795. That program is one of those that the CCCAC has 
recommended. But in order to fit this program in this 5-year plan, 
we had to recommend it for this year, even though three coin pro- 
grams with maximum Mint authorized mintages of 12 or 13 million 
coins have already been enacted into law. 

A second recommended program of great interest to our core col- 
lectors recognizes the 150th anniversary of the founding of the 
Smithsonian Institution. This program interests our core collectors 
because a portion of the proceeds, at least 15 percent of the pro- 
ceeds from the surcharges of this program, would go to support the 
National Numismatic Collection. That collection is basically the gift 
of our country to American coin collectors, a $2 billion-plus collec- 
tion of coins, not only of the United States but from around the 
world, including ancient coins. The CCCAC had to recommend 
these programs for 1995 and 1996 in order to be timely, and so we 
have attempted to work on that. 

The tradeoff we have made is to make the mintage levels as low 
as possible, but we feel it is very important to act on the interest 
of our coin collectors in these two programs. 

On the subject of surcharges, Mr. Chairman, I think it is impor- 
tant, and this committee believes it is very important, to revise the 
manner in which beneficiary organizations receive funds from the 
sale of commemoratives. The present practice calls for a fixed dol- 



26 

lar surcharge to be added atop our production, minting, marketing 
and distribution costs. 

We are calling for a change in that practice. In place of a sur- 
charge, we are proposing that the Mint be allowed to set a specific 
profit level for each commemorative program. That profit would 
then be divided between the Mint's Public Enterprise Fund and the 
beneficiary organization. This agreement would create a more busi- 
nesslike relationship between the Mint and the beneficiary organi- 
zations and would motivate the beneficiary organizations to con- 
tribute more to the success of these coin programs rather than just 
sit back and take what comes to them. 

In summary, Mr. Chairman, the Mint and Congress face a per- 
sistent challenge to the long-term viability of the Mint's commemo- 
rative program. That challenge threatens to surpass collectors' will- 
ingness to buy and the Mint's ability to produce and market in a 
businesslike manner. To correct this situation, the advisory com- 
mittee emphasizes the urgency of restraining the number of pro- 
grams, limiting mintages, reforming the manner in which coin 
programs come into being, and adopting legislative initiatives that 
facilitate market pricing in the Mint's operations. 

As always, Mr. Chairman, my staff and I are available to discuss 
these proposals at your convenience and it would be with great 
pleasure that I answer any questions you would have. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Philip Diehl can be found on 
page 108 in the appendix.] 

Chairman Castle. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Diehl. We ap- 
preciate your testimony on this. 

I have some questions and the others may as well, and perhaps 
we can — ^because there are only a few of us here, we can dispense 
with the 5-minute rule, we can open it to the floor to the questions 
the Members have. 

I want to get to the definition of what we agree on as the prob- 
lems and the solutions, but I have a couple of questions of you first, 
just things I don't fully understand. Because I share your interest 
that we need to change this, but I want to make sure we under- 
stand what we are changing. 

Let me say first that tne first annual report of the Citizens Com- 
memorative Coin Advisory Committee is part of the record. It is an 
important piece of reading for all of us on the subcommittee. But 
one — I don t know how you would do this. One group that is not 
really represented at this table are the beneficiaries of these 
programs. 

They are in the room, but not at the table. It is done by a politi- 
cal process. There is no question that there is all kinds of political 
shenanigans, if you will, in both the Senate and the House, in 
terms of who gets put into different pieces of legislation in some 
sort of a rider form in order to be one of the qualified organiza- 
tions. So some that are perhaps less qualified than others end up 
being the beneficiaries of^all of^this, but nonetheless, there is to me 
some public good in all that. 

I am not suggesting that the — if you took the list of the last 12 
who qualify, they are the 12 that should have qualified, but on the 
other hand, I can't tell you that there is any of those organizations 
that do anything but basically good, well-intended, good-purpose 



27 

endeavors for whatever they represent for this country. And for 
that reason, is there some offset to whatever potential pubHc loss 
there is, and can you make the further argument that, gee, coin 
collectors are free not to subscribe if they don't want to, so does it 
really hurt to issue these coins? 

I am not necessarily advocating these positions. I am playing 
devil's advocate, but I can see some argument on that side that 
perhaps is not being made here. I would be interested in your com- 
ments on that. 

Mr. DiEHL. I would completely concur that there are many good 
things that come out of the surcharges that are raised through 
these programs. We restored the Statue of Liberty with the 
programs. 

We train Olympic athletes through these programs. We have 
built major training facilities in Colorado Springs for the U.S. 
Olympic Committee. There are probably 25 different beneficiary or- 
ganizations that I think all of us would agree in virtually every 
case are worthy recipients of these funds. 

I think what we are talking about is not ending their ability to 
raise funds through these programs but changing the way in which 
they do it. Rather than having a surcharge of, say, $10 for each sil- 
ver commemorative coin that we sell, we are proposing a profit- 
sharing arrangement, whereby the beneficiary organization might 
receive 70 percent of the profits, the Mint's Revolving Fund receive 
30 percent of the profits, and in that fashion we address a number 
of the problems we have had with the commemorative program. 

One problem we have had 

Chairman Castle. Who would determine the beneficiary organi- 
zation under this restructuring? Would it be done by the new com- 
mittee that has been formed, the CCCAC, or 

Mr. DiEHL. Well, we have purposely left that open for discussion. 

Chairman Castle. Big question. 

Mr. DiEHL. It is a big question, and I think there is a very appro- 
priate role for the banking committees to continue to play in that 
function. There may be a role for the Secretary of Treasury to play. 

I can assure you that as long as I am Director of the Mint, it is 
not a role that I want to have responsibility for, deciding who are 
the winners and who are the losers. But I think it is an issue that 
we need to wrestle with and one that I think may most appro- 
priately reside in the hands of the two banking committees, in de- 
termining which recipient organizations get the benefit from these 
programs. 

But what we are talking about is insuring that the financial in- 
centives that those recipient organizations have are the same that 
the Mint faces. We have a situation today where a beneficiary orga- 
nization, and some of them have actually done this, have attempted 
to drive the Mint to spend, for example, $15 to market a coin that 
they get a $10 surcharge for, because there is no net-out of the ex- 
pense of these programs. 

You have a situation with the World Cup program, which has 
been discussed, in which the program lost money and yet we raised 
$10 million for the sponsoring organization. We would eliminate 
those possibilities by doing a profit-sharing arrangement. Bene- 
ficiaries would have the same interest that we have in assuring we 



28 

get the biggest bang for the buck for our marketing dollar if we 
made this a profit-sharing arrangement, and we would not have a 
situation any longer in which a beneficiary organization makes a 
profit from a program and the Federal Government does not. 

Chairman Castle. Let me interrupt you again. 

When you say profit-sharing, does that mean that you have to 
get to a certain number of sales before you get into a profit-sharing 
arrangement? 

Mr. DiEHL. Yes. 

Chairman Castle. And the Mint would underwrite the initial is- 
suance. They wouldn't ask the organization for money at that 
point. They wouldn't get a profit either. 

Mr. DiEHL. That is right. 

Chairman Castle. Then after you have gone through whatever 
the issuance would be, the cost of it, then at that point establish 
a break even, and then there would be a profit-sharing between the 
organization and the Mint. It is simplified, but something like 
that? 

Mr. DiEHL. That is correct. That is exactly right. The organiza- 
tion would not bear any risk. The government would continue to 
bear the risk. The risks would be much lower under this arrange- 
ment than they currently are, but the government would bear the 
risk. No sponsoring organizations would ever lose a penny through 
a commemorative coin program, but we would have to reach a 
break-even threshold on the sale of a coin before they could expect 
to receive any of the benefits from it. And then they would reap, 
in the example that we are using, 70 cents out of every dollar, and 
the Federal treasury, through the Public Enterprise Fund, would 
get the other 30 cents. 

Chairman Castle. Let me ask one more question, then we are 
going to have to break again for another vote. 

On the World Cup Soccer, I don't remember the numbers, but 
something like 10 million were authorized and a million and a half 
or so were actually issued. But the key word is "authorized." They 
were never mintea; they were authorized by the Congress and then 
the Mint had some discretion in terms of how many could actually 
be minted and distributed. So there is some ability to maintain 
costs within that structure? 

Mr. DiEHL. Yes. When Congress authorized the 10.75 million 
coins for the World Cup program, we do not mint that many. This 
is an art rather than a science, but we will project what we expect 
the sales to be and we will mint to that projection of demand. So 
in the World Cup program, we initially projected sales in the neigh- 
borhood of, I think, about 2 million coins. 

It may have ended up being less as we lowered the projections 
when we saw the initial response, but we ended up producing more 
coins than we could sell. We produced more than the 1.5 million 
we sold, and there was a loss associated with that. It was a rel- 
atively small portion of the total $3.5 million loss, but it was a loss 
nonetheless. 

One of the reasons why the projection was high on the World 
Cup program was that when we were planning that program in 
late 1993, it was the only commemorative program authorized by 
Congress for 1994. Then at the last minute, in November, signed 



29 

into law by the President in December of 1993, five additional coin 
programs were authorized for 1994 alone. So when we were making 
the projections of sales and setting prices for that program, making 
all the other plans for the program, we thought there were no other 
competing commemorative coin programs in the entire year 1994. 
When we actually got into the marketplace, there were five other 
programs competing with it, a number of them much more popular 
with our collectors than World Cup Soccer was. 
Chairman Castle. Thank you. , o. ,, t j 

We do have a vote. We have about 8 minutes left. Mr. Lucas and 

I need to go vote. , , ^ 

I would like to resume the panel, though, in about 15 more min- 
utes and, hopefully, for your schedules, we would finish up some- 
time probably before 1:00 o'clock. Of course, it depends on votes 

over there. 
So with that in mind, we stand in recess and we will resume in 

about 15 minutes. 

[Recess.] 

Chairman Castle. Because we are going to be dancing between 
votes all day, I think it is probably better to resume and try to 
cover as much as we can, and hopefully pick up other Members as 
they come in and want to ask any questions. 

One — and again, I want to eventually get to a bottom line, but 
one figure that was in several of your written statements and was 
stated here at least once, is that 85 to 90 percent of all the coins 
issued by the Mint are essentially purchased by collectors; they are 
not purchased by the interested parties. 

As a matter of fact, there is probably a lot of misrepresentation 
by the various groups in terms of the great interest in collecting 
these coins that would be issued by these various groups. Is that 
something that you all agree to or is that in dispute? 

Mr. DiEHL. Well, I would give you a couple of caveats to the gen- 
eral rule. I think the general rule is correct, that over 90 percent, 
the vast majority of these programs are sold to hard-core numis- 
matic collectors. Some programs are an exception, notably those for 
which the sponsoring organization has resources they can bring to 
the table and the leadership to exploit them, but those are rel- 
atively few and far between. Every now and then you have a pro- 
gram that has retail or international distribution opportunities. 

And so in the 1996 Olympic program, the vast majority of the 
coins we sell will not be to our core numismatic customers. They 
will be into the retail markets and into international numismatic 
and retail markets. 

That was also true, for example, of the Statue of Liberty program 
in 1986 and for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic program, but as a 
general rule, I think it is safe to say that between 90 and 99 per- 
cent of these coins are sold to the Mint's core numismatic cus- 
tomers. T^. 1 1 T 

Chairman Castle. You would know this I think, Mr. Diehl. is 
it — and this is something I am surmising and perhaps I should 
know. But is it not correct that a great number of the approval of 
these coins does not go through a normal system up through this 
subcommittee and this committee, but ends up in — as riders to a 
bill in the Senate, reconciliation bills, or whatever, so it is sort of 



92-168 0-95-2 



30 

a haphazard, very pohtical process that designates who gets these 
and who does not? Again, I am not saying anything derogatory 
about the associations that get it. But it is not a very fair and bal- 
anced process, as I see it, that makes that selection, 

Mr. Deehl. I think that is especially true with programs that 
have been approved in the last 18 months or so. That is my impres- 
sion, although my own experience has only been over about the last 
20 months. 

Chairman Castle. Mine, too. 

Mr. DiEHL. My impression is that in the past, there was a more 
deliberative process, here on the House side at least, in which typi- 
cally the sponsoring organizations came before this subcommittee 
and there was a hearing and there was discussion. There has very 
rarely been that kind of hearing process on the Senate side. 

But in the last IV2 years, we have seen an increasing number of 
these proposals being approved en masse, in groups of six, for ex- 
ample in which there is never a hearing held, and in some cases, 
we have not even known about a proposal at the Mint before it ba- 
sically was hitched on to some other bill. 

Also, Members of Congress have learned that if you move coin 
legislation as part of bigger, more important legislation, there is no 
way for the President to veto individual coin programs without a 
line item veto. There is no way for the executive branch to exercise 
any discretion. So you attach it on to some large popular bill that 
otherwise they know will not be vetoed, and off it goes, and they 
have their coin program. 

Chairman Castle. This invites a moment to speak on the line 
item veto, which I am totally in favor of and believe the President 
should have. 

One other question of a technical nature. As I understand this 
program, and again I am simplifying, but essentially as the years 
have gone by, recent years have gone by and more and more dif- 
ferent commemorative coins have been authorized by Congress and 
the Mint has had this responsibility to issue them, the profits in 
this have diminished because primarily the coin collectors are just 
being overwhelmed by this and the costs are so high, a lot simply 
can't afford it. 

From this we judge in the last couple of years the Mint may ac- 
tually be losing money on these issuances, had a reduction in po- 
tential profits and may now be losing money. My question to you, 
and I know nothing about this, is the methodology by which you 
calculate those costs. I mean, is this fair or are there, for instance, 
advertising costs and other costs that aren't built into it? 

Would a good accountant say this is a lousy system, you are ac- 
tually making more money than you think or you are losing more 
money than you think? Has anyone looked at the accounting sys- 
tem for all this? 

Mr. DiEHL. That is a very good question, and it is a common 
misperception that you give me the opportunity to address with 
this question. When we say that the Mint has lost money in a com- 
memorative coin program, I don't think a private business enter- 
prise would claim that it had a loss in that same situation. 

Let me give you an example of the way we handle the finances 
with respect to the World Cup program, because there is a lot of 



31 

talk about the $3.5 million loss in that proCTam. The World Cup 
proCTam covered all the direct costs of producing and marketing 
those coins, including the metal costs, the manufacturing costs, the 
advertising. All the direct costs related to that program were cov- 
ered by that program. „ . j 

Before we launched that program, though, we allocated a portion 
of the overhead expense of the Mint, such as the expense of my ot- 
fice to that program, and all the other numismatic programs ot the 
Mint That program drew, if memory serves me, about $9.5 million 
in overhead costs. Six million dollars of that overhead was also cov- 
ered on top of all the direct expense of that program. But $3.5 mil- 
lion of the overhead was not covered, and that is the loss that 
we announced and confirmed back in May with our report to this 

subcommittee. , . i -^ i ^t^a ^^i,^^ 

If Adidas were looking at each product line to ask, Uid this 
product make a profit, or did it not," they would not do their books 
like we have done. Because this is the first program that clearly 
was going to be at a loss, I thought it was inappropnate for the 
Mint to change its accounting treatment in the middle of that pro- 
gram because doing so would certainly give the appearance thau we 
are trying to avoid the appearance of a loss for the program. 

But I am convinced that we need to change the way we account 
for the profits and losses of these programs and we are in the proc- 
ess of doing that. In fact, we have begun to change the way we re- 
port profits and losses on individual programs, the financial per- 
formance of these programs, to this subcommittee and to the ben- 
ate Banking Committee. But within the context of how we ac- 
counted for program losses and profits in 1994, the World Cup pro- 
gram suffered a loss. ^ ^ . ■ -, ^ r ^ j. i. 

Chairman Castle. Thank jyou for that, and it is helpful to have 
that information; something I certainly didn't know before. 

I have other questions, but let me see if Congressman Lucas or 
Congresswoman Kelly might have any questions. 

Congresswoman Kelly. 

Mrs. Kelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a couple of ques- 
tions, things that I find of interest to me. 

Mr. Diehl said that coin collecting is a hobby meant for enjoy- 
ment I agree. I have family who are interested in it and it is a 
very enjoyable hobby, but a lot of other people look at it as a way 
of savings and making money, and I am interested in the way that 
the Mint has offered its products, and basically I really would have 

a question for you, and Mr. Stack t i i j ^ a/i Cfo^v. 

I want to know about the fact that when— I looked at Mr Stack s 
testimony and there is a chart in there showing these dramatic 
losses for practically all of the commemorative coins offered by the 
Mint Why do you think, I don't know which one of you wants to 
go first on this, why do you think these commemorative coins, par- 
ticularly those that are issued between 1982 and 1989 especially, 
have failed to maintain values that are equal to their issuance 
cost? And I wonder how you think the consumer feels about having 
micVi l3.r?G I0SS6S 

Mr DiEHL. I will be happy to start off with an answer to that. 
I am not going to endorse the specific numbers that are shown on 
those charts, but I will agree that the majority of our coins, and 



32 

probably the vast majority of our commemorative coins, have lost 
value in secondary markets. There have been some exceptions but 
not a lot of them, not as many as I would like to have as the head 
of this business enterprise, but I think they have lost value for 
probably two main reasons. 

One is the practice of adding a surcharge to the coin. And so 
clearly identifying the surcharge makes it relatively easy for the 
secondary marketers to discount immediately the surcharge from 
the value of the coin. And typically, when you look at secondary 
market values, what you often see after a program is over is the 
immediate drop in the value of the coin, and the size of that drop 
is often equal to the size of the surcharge that was imposed on the 
coin. 

The second reason why those coins don't hold their value is sim- 
ply the laws of supply and demand. Congress is approving too 
many programs and too many coins in each of those programs, and 
therefore, there are far too many on the market to support the sec- 
ondary market value. 

That is one of the reasons why we think it is very important that 
we limit not only the number of programs each year, but the total 
mintage level for each of those programs. 

Now, let me give you an example of a program that has not lost 
money. It was one of our programs for last year. In fact, it was the 
only program that I would call really a success last year. That was 
the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thom- 
as Jefferson. 

It was a program that was a Mint Director's dream because Jef- 
ferson is a founding father of the U.S. Mint. He is the founding fa- 
ther of the decimal coinage system that we have today. He had a 
direct personal involvement and interest in coinage matters. It was 
a great way for us to educate our core collectors and ourselves 
about Jefferson's role, and to celebrate Jefferson's role. And 250 is 
a nice round number. 

The commemorative was for 250, instead of 38, 29, or something 
like that, and the cause that we were raising the money for, which 
was the preservation of Monticello, was one that our customers 
could get behind. 

The other crucial component was that the program had a rel- 
atively low mintage level. It was 600,000 coins. We sold out those 
600,000 coins in 5 weeks. 

I think we sold them for about $32 or $33. We saw the secondary 
market value of that coin after we sold out go up to between $50 
and $60. And I don't know what the present value is, but my guess 
is it is still substantially above what we issued that coin at. 

In the context of all the other coin programs in 1994 that were 
disappointing in performance, and undoubtedly were disappointing 
in performance in the secondary market for our customers, the Jef- 
ferson program is an illustration of what we can do when we do 
things right. 

Mrs. Kelly. Thank you. 

Mr. Stack, would you like to address this? 

Mr. Stack. Yes, I would like to address it. I think that people 
don't understand as much about the commemorative coins and 
Mint being the marketer as I would like to try to explain to you. 



33 

It seems that when the government fixes a price on something, 
if you fix a price on a stamp, let's use a stamp against it. You put 
a price of 32 cents on a stamp because that is what the current 
postage is. You buy a block, a sheet, whatever, you pay it to the 
government agency, the face value times the numoer of stamps you 
buy. If you don't like the stamp after awhile for any reason in your 
collection, you take it, paste it on your envelope, it gives you the 
goods and services. 

There is in the coin an implied fair market value. I think this 
is the problem that Mr. Diehl and myself have been at odds about 
and I spoke to the Commemorative Coins Committee last year 
about the same thing, that there seems to be an implied value. The 
use of the U.S. Mint Seal gives integrity to the product. So you 
have got two things going for it. 

I personally have advocated for many, many vears that the Mint 
should not be the merchandiser. I think they should be the maker 
of the coins; there are many, many more commemorative things 
that should be commemorated. 

I don't disagree with it. I brought with me today, for example, 
just as you can see, back from 1892 to 1954, there were private 
commissions, dealers, who did the distribution. They provided the 
wrappings. They provided the promotions. And the — most of the 
commemorative issues were 25,000, 50,000 at a time. And they 
were sold, made at face value at government expense, given to 
them at 50 cents because they were 50 cent pieces, most of them, 
and then the commissions sold them for a $1.50, $2 apiece, and 
that was the surcharge of the advertising that went to whatever 
these commissions are. 

I believe that the U.S. Government, being the manufacturer and 
distribution, has caused a problem within the industry. And they 
are also assuming the amount of collectors. 

I disagree with the statistics personally. There aren't 600,000 or 
700,000 collectors in the country. And the best way to prove it, if 
you add up the total publication of Coin World, which is a verv im- 
portant publication in our business. Numismatic News, all the 
Members of the American Numismatic Association and a few other 
publications of that type, they don't add up to 600,000, and that 
is assuming that everybody only buys one publication. I can tell 
you many, many people buy multiple publications. 

So to say that vou are selling it strictly to coin collectors, that 
is a little bit hard to say. I believe the public is getting the coins. 
And I found offensive, and as I brought out in my testimony ear- 
lier, I found offensive that the government, at the time when some- 
body is getting a few dollars back from their taxes, a promotional 
piece for, in this case, the World Cup, and I just — in fact, I just got 
the other day the Special Olympics. 

Now, I have nothing against these programs, but I don't believe 
the government should be using its seal, because it has got the 
Mint Seal on it, and promoting a product which is in an envelope 
that is also giving money back from the government. It is like say- 
ing, we gave you a $100 refund. Give us another $33 for a coin. 

Just to give Mr. Diehl a current market on the Jefferson coinage 
which came out at $27 originally and then $32 was the afler-sale, 
$31 on the approved specimen, and $35, the current retail price is 



34 

$35, but the bids are $30 and $33 on them. So they really have not 
gone back up again. They go up for a little while and then they 
drop. There are just too many. They adjust the production number 
against the supply and demand and that is the answer. 

Mr. DiEHL. May I respond to one particular suggestion? That is, 
that the Mint should manufacture the coins but not market them 
and turn them over to the sponsoring organization or to coin deal- 
ers or anyone else to sell them. We have been down that road 
before. 

The modem commemorative coin program dates from 1982. But 
the Mint began its commemorative coin program, its initial com- 
memorative program, more than 100 years ago. We continued it 
until the early 1950's when finally Congress and the President shut 
down the program. There is a good deal of documentation to sup- 
port why the President and Congress discontinued commemorative 
programs, and we will be happy to provide that to the Chairman 
for inclusion in the record. It is not our documentation; it is from 
other government sources. 

One of the primary reasons why this occurred was because of 
marketing abuses from this very practice of the Mint producing the 
coins and turning them over to third parties to market them. 

The Mint has been extraordinarily careful in the 2 years I have 
been at the Mint. And this wasn't my doing. This was inculcated 
to me by my staff, about making inappropriate claims about the fi- 
nancial advantages of buying these coins. 

We are very cautious about that because the record is absolutely 
clear: these are not good investments. These are keepsakes, they 
are souvenirs. We compete basically with T-shirts. At the Special 
Olympics Games just last week in New Haven, Connecticut, we 
sold them right next to the starter T-shirt and sweatshirt centers. 
We sell these as mementos of commemorations. There are some of 
them that end up being good investments, but be that as it may, 
we never sell them as investments. 

And I think it would be a significant error and a repeat of an 
error that Congress has made in the past to turn these products 
over to third parties to sell. It is very simple to understand whv 
it would be a mistake. Those organizations usually go to the well 
of coin collectors one time. They will never have another commemo- 
rative coin program that they can make money fi*om. So they will 
use every device they can to sell as many coins as possible, make 
the maximum profits they can for their charitable cause. 

There is a balance to be struck between maximizing sales and in- 
suring the viability of the commemorative coin market, and I think 
the Mint and the Treasury Department are in a much better posi- 
tion than anv third party in attempting to preserve the viability of 
the coin market. 

Chairman Castle. Mr. Stack, I will give you a moment to re- 
spond, but let me say something first. 

First, Mr. Lucas also has questions. We want to get back up to 
Mrs. Kelly, a vote again. But I agree a lot with what Mr. Diehl 
said. 

I would just say one thing. I think the American public generally 
views coins differently. They don't view it as being just commemo- 
rative and just tokens. They think when they put money into it, 



35 

there is an imputed value to it. So we have to be more cautious 
with the selHng of coins than other things because it easily could 
be mismarked. 

Mr. Stack. First of all, I agree with you 100 percent. The public 
perceives it as a product. However, when the government and all 
literature does consider them heirlooms, they consider them a piece 
of history, they use the words "limited edition." I mean, any of 
these words imply, if not suggest, that there is a value there. 

They are also selling a piece of money. The money itself never 
loses its integrity. The half dollar is still a half a dollar if you were 
to spend it, and the dollar is still a dollar if you want to spend it. 
It is not like a T-shirt that when it wears out, you throw it away, 
unless we want to monetize the coin, which I have never heard of. 

But what I am maintaining here is that the private — I happen 
to have been involved personally because I was in business already 
with the Iowa Commemorative, which was 1946, and the Booker T. 
Washington series, which came out, three coins each struck from 
1946 to 1951, and in 1951 they came out with a secondary issue, 
which was the Washington Carver issues, and what happened was 
they just asked for too many issues. In other words, nobody wanted 
so many repeat issues. 

They made 4 years of Washington Carver; 6 years of Booker T. 
Washington. If they would have changed the subject, they would 
have had successful sales. What they have promised I can't be re- 
sponsible for, nor can Mr. Diehl be responsible for. They could do 
1 year at a time. So I think there is a different— Mr. Diehl and my- 
self have a different approach to the same problem. 

Chairman Castle. Mr. Ganz wants to say something, I hope 
briefly, because I am sure Congresswoman Kelly probably has 
other questions. 

Mr. Ganz. I will be very brief, Mr. Chairman. The American Nu- 
mismatic Association has had a position 

Chairman Castle. Could you use a microphone, please? 

Mr. Ganz. The American Numismatic Association has had a posi- 
tion on having private enterprise doing the selling on the primary 
basis of commemorative coins for more than 50 years. We have con- 
sistently opposed it. 

The chairman of this full committee, Chairman Cochran, in 1939, 
issued a very definitive report during the 76th Congress detailing 
exactly what the abuses were and exactly why it had to be done 
by the Mint and not by private enterprise. The Association main- 
tains that position today. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. 

Congresswoman Kelly. 

Mrs. Kelly. I just simply want to say, Mr. Diehl, that it is inter- 
esting to me that you are willing to sit here and say that this is 
a hobby, that these are commemoratives, souvenirs. Basically what 
you are saying is the U.S. Mint is publishing commemoratives, just 
like Mr. Stark is saying, T-shirt types of souvenirs. 

These are high-priced souvenirs essentially and people need to be 
aware that when they invest in these commemorative coins, they 
are not going to get the value for their money. They may not. And 
if Mr. Stark's chart is correct, it looks as though they probably will 
not. 



36 

I would like to go back to this. I don't know when you are going 
to call this vote, but I don't want to keep us from the floor, but I 
would like to come back to this if possible. 

Chairman Castle. We will break here and we have 2 or 3 more 
minutes, we wanted to go further here. And Mr. Lucas has ques- 
tions and I would like to get to him as soon as we can. 

Mrs. Kelly. I just would like to ask Mr. Stack what he thinks 
about the Mint's merchandising techniques along the lines that I 
just brought up. 

Mr. Stack. I just feel it is a very slick type advertising. They are 
using very good promotional means and they are going down right 
to the public and not only to collectors. 

They are not just proposing history. They are going down to the 
public where they — in newspaper ads you see them. You see them 
as inserts in magazines. I think that they have wonderful pro- 
motion. I think private companies would love to have their adver- 
tising agencies sometimes promote a government-endorsed product 
and they put the seal in there. 

Now, there was a case, a case I would like to bring up quickly. 
There was a case of somebody selling another Mint product, which 
was the $10 gold piece which is made in the gold series, eagle se- 
ries, and they advertised with the Mint seal on it. They said they 
were this new Mint gold coin. 

The Treasury Department — we filed a complaint immediately. 
The Treasury Department, the Postal Service, everybody else, 
closed the guy down right away because you can't put the seal on 
it because it implies integrity. 

Chairman Castle. Based on the opinion polls I have seen of the 
government, I am surprised that any government-endorsed product 
would sell so well. I am a little surprised to hear you say that. 

I think we should break. I apologize, unfortunately, we are vot- 
ing constantly. 

If you could stay with us a little bit longer, there are still some 
more questions. I have a few more. We will try to wrap it up as 
quickly as we can. 

Thank you. 

[Recess.] 

Chairman Castle. OK, again, I am sorry for the interruptions. 

We do need to keep pressing because Grod only knows when the 
next one will be. Probably momentarily, and Congresswoman Kelly 
may have more questions. But I would like to turn it Congressman 
Lucas at this time, if I may. 

Mr. Lucas. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate the time 
and I point out to the very esteemed panel here, I have only been 
a Member of this subcommittee for a matter of months, so if I ask 
some rather simplistic questions, please bear with me. 

First, to the esteemed Director of the Mint, could you tell me for 
just a little bit, since the primary function of the Mint is to produce 
coins, to promote commerce and those kinds of things, tell me 
about your capacity situation and how this commemorative coinage 
fits into that. I realize from what I have read you are running at 
99 percent or something like that. 

Mr. DiEHL. Yes. We are running at very high capacity right now 
in the production of circulating coinage. Last year, we produced 



37 

19.4 billion circulating coins, the second highest in our 202-year 
history. 

This year, we will approach or perhaps even surpass that level, 
and we may well repeat the same levels next year. So we are strug- 
gling to keep up with demand, especially seasonal demand, peak 
seasonal demand during certain times of the year, this being one 
of them. So that is a challenge. 

However, the production technologies we use to produce circulat- 
ing coins is a very different technology from what we use to 
produce commemorative coins. It is a very different line of busi- 
ness, with a very different technology, and in fact, in some cases, 
we produce the circulating coins in totally different facilities, facili- 
ties that we really could not use to produce circulating coins. So it 
is sort of an apples and oranges situation. 

Mr. Lucas. So you go to the root of my next question, probably 
a majority being 1-cent pieces literally of what you produce, but at 
that higher rate, that 19 billion, you are satisfying commerce's re- 
quest for circulating coinage? 

Mr. DiEHL. Well, the Federal Reserve Bank is our customer, our 
single customer for all circulating coins, and last year, we had to 
restrain and manage their demand for pennies. We were able to 
meet their demands for nickels, dimes and quarters, which are 
really the workhorses of American coinage, but we had to manage 
demand for pennies in order to free up production technology and 
manpower to concentrate on the larger denominations. We are 
doing some of that now this summer, not as much as we did last 
summer, but managing that demand and working very closely with 
the regional banks of the Federal Reserve, we have been able to 
meet their needs up to this point. 

Mr. Lucas. Thank you. 

Turn to you, Mr. Stack, and I would ask you first and, of course, 
anyone else who would offer any insights into this. Tell me about — 
with your institutional history, tell me about the period of 1954, 
1955 when that apparently first, I guess you would almost call it, 
era of commemorative coinage came to an end. Was that an action 
of Congress? Was that the executive branch? 

Mr. Stack. We believe it was an act of Congress. It just stopped. 
A six -year issue from 1946 to 1951 of the Booker T. Washington 
commemorative, three issues, three different mints were issuing 
them. Then they came out with 1954. The sales started diminish- 
ing in 1952, and whether Congress authorized it or the Commission 
got the orders, they kept ordering 1953, 1954 and that is when a 
lot of the problems seemed to develop and bad publicity seemed to 
develop. 

But first they held them back; then they released a whole bunch 
of them. So it was maybe better internal management but I don't 
think you can blame the whole commemorative program on one 
group of commemorative coins. I have never heard a comment 
against the Iowa 1946, and most of the Booker T. Washington- 
Carvers, we have none. I believe it started — otherwise Congress 
would not have authorized a 1951 issue of Booker T. Washington, 
Washington Carver coins, if the Booker T. Washington series was 
a problem before. I believe it would have stopped earlier. 



38 

Something happened between 1951 and 1954. It was my early 
years in the business. I started in 1947. To give you the exact his- 
tory, we would have to look it up for you. 

Mr. Ganz. Mr. Lucas, if I could be quickly responsive. Starting 
about 1929, there were a series of Presidential vetoes, in the Hoo- 
ver Administration and into the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisen- 
hower Administrations of a number of different commemorative 
coin bills for many, many different topics that Congress had in fact 
passed. 

President Truman, in the 1940's, indicated that with the — ^first 
the Iowa coin and then the Booker T. Washington and Washington 
Carver, that these would be the last issues that he would approve 
as President, and President Eisenhower, after that issued a veto 
for a commemorative for New York City, and by that time it was 
fairly locked in stone, and this is all detailed actually in the sub- 
committee's files going back to hearings in 1963 for the predecessor 
to this subcommittee. 

Mr. Lucas. Thank you. 

And I only have a couple more questions left, Mr. Chairman, and 
I would address this one to anyone on the panel who would care 
to respond. 

Is there any system in the world among other governments that 
functions similar to ours? Does anybody else do it this way? 

Mr. DiEHL. I haven't been able to find one. I think this is imique 
among the ways in which coin programs are run by my fellow Mint 
Directors around the world. Typically in the best run mints, the de- 
cisions to issue commemoratives are exercised by the Minister of 
Finance, the equivalent of the Secretary of Treasury, and they re- 
spond to marketing recommendations that have come up through 
the chain of command, either through the Central Bank or from 
the Mint. I am not entirely sure, but I think in some cases they 
are used as fund-raising mechanisms for private organizations. 

But I think that is the exception rather than rule. I don't think 
we are unique in that respect. But the degree to which the fund- 
raising potential of these coins drives the authorization process 
here in the United States is unique. I don't think anybody else does 
it like this. 

Mr. Lucas. Mr. Stahl. 

Mr. Stahl. In at least some other countries, commemorative 
coins are actual coins, that is, they do circulate. They are not just 
made as souvenirs. 

Mr. Lucas. And one last question, and I think I would direct that 
to the whole panel and especially those of you involved in the in- 
dustry or hobby, depending on which side of the counter you might 
be on. Obviously, we have a system here that is driven by the 
funds that are raised from these coins. I suppose the more idealis- 
tic view of what coins should be, I would think, are more than ar- 
tistic outlet, an opportunity to preserve our history. 

Just from each of you going down the row, if you would care to 
respond, which do you view the optimum intent for this kind of a 
program to be if we have a program? Should it be as it appears to 
have been off and on for the last — since the turn of the century, 
a way to raise a fast buck or should this be an opportunity to pro- 
mote our artistic talents in this country. 



39 

Ms. Deisher. Actually, I think we can have a little bit of both. 
The commemorative coin speaks to the American people. Unfortu- 
nately, most of the American people are not aware of our com- 
memorative programs. That is why you hear us talking about a cir- 
culating commemorative. 

There could be collector versions of a general circulating coin 
from the copper nickel. The fact that now this program has been 
tapped for fund-raising has created a blemish in the mind of our 
core market, but I think that situation can be turned around. 

One of the things I would like to point out, this was brought into 
the discussion earlv on by a couple of Members of the subcommit- 
tee, is always you have to be aware of the primary market for this 
product, and it has been a shrinking market over the last few 
years. 

To make the assumption that all people will buy the coins as 
presently constituted is a very dangerous assumption, and in my 
written testimony are some charts and graphs that show that dra- 
matically. But I think a move toward the circulating coins could 
give us — circulating commemorative program could perhaps answer 
both concerns. 

Mr. Stahl. I think there is value in a noncirculating program as 
well as circulating. I think the important thing is they nave got to 
be special. I think what has happened is people no longer view 
these things as U.S. coins. They are just commemoratives and they 
just are part of a lot of other commemoratives, including T-shirts, 
and what we need is to focus on making them something special 
again in order to reach the public. And I think for that, one of the 
things is — what we need to commemorate is events and people of 
truly national importance and to revitalize the Mint's medal pro- 
gram to deal with special interest commemorations which I think 
are properly what a medal should be commemorating, 

Mr. Stack. I would like to answer the question as a numis- 
matist, as a collector person. If coins did not exist at all through 
history, the history of the world, many parts of it would have been 
gone. It seems that we go back to 700 BC when Lydia made its 
first coins and you had something happening commemorating — 
they had Olympic games commemorated on Greek coins. The his- 
tory of the world was preserved because the coin was metal and it 
survived, rather than paper or some other type of document. 

As Dr. Stahl could probably tell you, we would not know where, 
exactly where Alexander the Great traveled through the Greek is- 
lands and around while he conquered were it not for the fact that 
he struck coins and put a Mint mark on where he was. The Mint 
mark was, I made it in this city or that city and they were able 
to trace him that way. 

The portraits of kings and queens and rulers and dukes and 
duchesses are prolific in world coins, and what is happening is that 
we have been selective in our commemoratives and we should try 
to make it more historical. Because the history of the United States 
could be preserved in metal and it could be in coins. And I find that 
when it starts becoming a — and most of these coins — virtually all 
these coins were struck for circulation through the centuries, I am 
going back down to 700 BC. They struck them for circulation, and 
the coin also told a story. So you got both. 



40 

You have a circulating — I also advocate a circulating commemo- 
rative. And I spoke to the Commemorative Coins Committee last 
June about this. I suggested to them that maybe we will start off 
like Canada, 12 dominions, provinces, we could do the first 13 
States and issue new commemorative coins every year or two that 
would commemorate the other States as they came into the Union, 
and then cover at least the first 50 States. 

It would be historical. It would have information about entering 
into the Union or this type. It was an idea. It was an idea perpet- 
uating history and giving, let's say, an idea when the State became 
part of the Union. I don't say that is the answer to the problem, 
but it is another idea proposed. 

Chairman Castle. I might say it is a brilliant idea, Mr. Stack. 
Delaware was the first State. 

Mr. Stack. One of the first 13, sir. So there wouldn't be any ar- 
guments and no Senator or Congressman would argue against his 
own State. 

Mr. Ganz. Mr. Lucas, to be responsive to your question, I think 
that I find myself in agreement with my fellow panelists and col- 
leagues that there is a need to have both, both circulating com- 
memorative coinage and that of a more artistic nature, designed 
primarily for coin collectors. I think that is viable, that it would 
work, and Mr. Stack's idea for the 13 original Colonies, starting 
first with Delaware, Mr. Chairman, is a wonderful idea. 

Mr. DiEHL. I don't find much here to disagree with. I think we 
have a consensus that we can pursue goals both of commemorating 
truly significant events and personalities and at the same time 
raising mnds for appropriate charitable purposes. The problem is 
that the current system is out of balance, and we need to strike a 
more reasonable balance. And we need to develop a system of ap- 
proval of commemoratives that gives coin collectors, who ultimately 
buy the vast majority of these coins, a much stronger voice in the 
themes and the designs. To that end, the advisory committee has 
recommended that the advisory committee itself be given a much 
stronger role. Rather than act just in an advisory capacity, the 
committee should be given a stronger role in selecting themes and 
selecting designs as well. 

Mr. Lucas, If I might, Mr. Diehl, while we were discussing that 
a couple of thoughts come to my mind sitting here. Reading this 
stuff obviously in the 1930's and 1940's and 1950's, the 50-cent 
piece was the vehicle of choice, new commemorative work, and the 
majority of the time it seems in this modem area of commemora- 
tives, it is the old size, $1.00 coin. 

Is there any appreciable difference in effects on your capacity or 
on your cost between which vehicle is used when a commemorative 
is created? 

Mr. DiEHL. No. The size difference between a 50-cent piece and 
a silver dollar reallv would not have any substantial impact. The 
only difference would be in the amount of silver that is used, and 
between a 50-cent piece and a dollar that would represent a very 
small fraction of cost of producing the coin. 

In terms of the cost of marketing, the cost of fabrication, no im- 
pact whatsoever. The silver dollar actually is, I think, a better ve- 
hicle for commemoratives because it is a larger coin. You can show 



41 

more detail on it, and we have had greater success, I think, selling 
silver dollars than silver half dollars when we have sold those in 
the past. 

Mr. Lucas. And I will try and make this my final question. The 
comments and insights from some of your fellow panelists in regard 
to the potential for a commonly circulating commemorative pro- 
gram, thinking back of course toward the 1975, 1976 Bicentennial 
program, what effect would that have on your capacity situation? 
Would we have to create more capacity to do it right, so to speak? 

Mr, DiEHL. Yes. In that respect, the production of a circulating 
commemorative coin would have impact on my ability to meet de- 
mand for regular circulating coinage, and that is a concern to me 
over the short term, because we are struggling to keep up with de- 
mand for circulating coinage. 

I think the ideal situation would be to give the Secretary of the 
Treasury discretion as to when we would begin introducing a cir- 
culating coin so that as the demand for coin begins to turn down 
with the business cycle and we begin to have excess capacity at the 
Mint, then we can move to fill that excess capacity with the pro- 
duction of a circulating coin. 

So I would urge that Congress not give us a mandate to produce 
circulating coin, if you are inclined to give us a mandate at all in 
that regard, until probably the year after next. But the best situa- 
tion would be to leave it in the hands of the Secretary of Treasury 
when to do it. 

Mr. Lucas. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. Congressman Lucas. 

And I don't know, Congresswoman Kelly, if you had more ques- 
tions, but we would like to go back to you if you do. 

Mrs. Kelly. My only question is, and you will have to forgive 
me, I am a fi-eshman, I am new on this. 1 don't know a whole lot 
about it, but a couple of things. One thing that I am concerned 
about, now, Mr. Diehl, I just am so appreciative of the fact that you 
too are working to try to find a solution here. I think that is won- 
derful that you are open to suggestions and 

Mr. Deehl. Thank you. 

Mrs. Kelly. But my concern is that we have people like grandma 
buying commemorative coins for their grandchildren and saying, 
now, honey, if you hold on to this it is going to be valuable some 
day, when in fact it may not. And I just am at a loss at how you 
would attack that particular problem. Because people buy these 
with the idea that by holding them over a period of time, they will 
have an added value, which could be not true. 

Are we, the Congress, responsible for how you present these 
coins when you publish your advertising? 

Mr. Diehl. Let me address that in this way. I believe the basic 
problem with the expectations about coins is not with the way the 
Mint presents them and advertises them. I think it is with the 
product itself. 

There is an expectation in the minds of consumers that those 
products have a reasonable chance of at least holding on to the 
original value. Talking to my customers and looking at the polling 
results that I discussed earlier in my prepared testimony, it is very 
clear that our customers on the whole, the vast majority of them, 



42 

don't expect to make a lot of money on these programs, but they 
are also sorely disappointed when they discover that their coin col- 
lection is worth one-third or one-half of what they paid. 

They typically are not inclined to sell off their collections for 
their own purposes. They want to give them away as a legacv to 
their children or their grandchildren, and quite frankly, they don't 
want to look foolish for having spent $9,000 or $15,000 on a collec- 
tion that ends up being worth $5,000 or $7,000. 

So it is in the nature of the product itself where these expecta- 
tions come in. It is not an expectation that is fed by Mint advertis- 
ing. 

Now, the question is, how do you attack the problem? Do you 
lower the expectations through advertising or do you fix the under- 
lying reasons why these products are not holding their value? 

I think the answer is the latter. The reason these products are 
not holding their value is exactly the same reasons why we are 
here today: we are approving too many coins, too many programs 
of secondary interest to coin collectors, because what's driving the 
approval of these programs is not the intrinsic value of the com- 
memoration, but the fund-raising value of the coin. 

Mrs. Kelly. Anybody else care to address that? 

Mr. Stack. 

Mr. Stack. Well, how else would you approach it? When there 
was a problem with smoking, the attorney—Surgeon General said, 
put a warning on the pack of cigarettes and go out and buy it if 
you want. Nobody says you shouldn't buy it. 

I don't believe that the Mint would put a notice on that there 
was excess surcharge put on this coin and therefore don't expect to 
have a growth of the thing, but it might be the answer, put a ca- 
veat on. I am not saying that I would like to see it, but that is 
what it is going to. It is going to something where people get the 
implied idea. 

Now, I can tell you this. You know, the Commemorative program 
started in 1982. If you would look at the coin history — the markets 
in 1979, 1980, 1981, they had skyrocketed. Our markets have real- 
ly skyrocketed. There was a flee to tangibles. 

Around the time that the Hunts decided to make the silver $50 
and gold followed it up to $850 and much lower levels. It was 
shortly after the time that you had a couple of oil scares, where the 
oil people were going to rule the world and people were fleeing to 
tangibles, and coins are one of the things people went to. The Mint 
all of a sudden made a product and everybody told you that was 
going to go up. 

Unfortunately, it has not and I find that is the problem, that 
there has to be a change in how it is presented to the public, that 
the grandmother that came into my place didn't expect to make 
money or even get even. She said, in putting away for something 
historical for the children to have, that they remember this hap- 
pening or that happening. That is what I would like to see happen. 

If I may, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle. Please go rapidly. 

Mr. Stack. Mr. Diehl made — in his prepared statement, said 
that the information about the gain of the product was incorrectly 
quoted. As I said in my prepared statement, I was only able to get 



43 

information through 1993. I have in front of me a report from the 
Department of the Treasury, dated November 24th, 1993, is where 
I got my numbers, and that is where I found out that $121 million 
worth of profit went to the Greneral Fund. I didn't say that the 
Mint took it, put it in their pockets or somebody ran away with it, 
but there was an additional $121 million made, and this is the 
Treasury Department's own literature. I didn't make these up. I 
will tell you, it took me 4 months to get the information. It was 
pretty hard to get it from the government. 

Mrs. Kelly. Thank you. 

Chairman Castle. You, I think, wanted to say something. I 
didn't mean to scare you off by 

Ms. Deisher. May I quickly respond to Congressman Kelly's 
question? 

There is a very basic understanding that we must all focus on. 
The reason the prices are going down is there are fewer buyers. 
The buyers are discouraged because of the proliferation and be- 
cause of the excessive numbers. 

The buyers are collectors who want to complete sets. If we have 
more people participating, the values would hold up. But Mr. 
Stack's case, the grandmother came in to him to sell him the coin. 
There are fewer buyers, so therefore, the price is going lower, and 
the whole focus of this hearing hopefully will address that, because 
there is a chart that I shared in my written testimony and that is 
very, very disturbing to anybody who participates in this market- 
place. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. 

Thank you, Congresswoman. 

Mr. Diehl, I would like to — did you want to respond to all of 
that? Very briefly, sir. We don't want an argument here, 

Mr. Diehl. Let me say one thing about the suggestion that a 
warning be placed on advertising about the future value of these 
products. I think that is an untenable position to put the U.S. Mint 
and U.S. Treasury Department in, where Congress mandates us to 
sell a product and also to place a warning about the value of that 
product. Before we were to do something like that, I would urge the 
Secretary of the Treasury to oppose any future commemorative coin 
programs. 

Chairman Castle. But I think, isn't it fair to say that maybe we 
as Members of Congress who become advocates for certain groups, 
and dealing with you as head of the Mint and the Treasury Depart- 
ment, should exercise whatever abundant caution there is? We 
shouldn't be so zealous in our efforts to market these things that 
we are sort of overmarketing them. It is a good warning I think 
that we need to look at it all. 

Mr. Diehl. That is completely appropriate advice, and it is a 
completely appropriate mandate for us to exercise caution in rais- 
ing expectations. My objection is to Mr. Stack's recommendation, 
suggestion, whether it is serious or not, to put a warning on our 
advertisements and our products. 

Chairman Castle. Let me ask a couple quick questions. The first 
one you are not going to want to touch with a 10-foot pole. I am 
just curious, it is sort of off this. Should we eliminate the penny? 



44 

And I will tell you one reason I ask. We were doing the dollar 
coin polls and I asked, should we eliminate the penny? It was 
about 95 in favor in a Lion's club and a senior citizens group. And 
I realize that is a huge capacity issue, a huge cost issue, tremen- 
dous State issue, with sales tax and everything else. 

I didn't know whether you had ever opined on this. As Director 
of the Mint, you probably don't want to nere, but I just wanted to 
ask you. 

Mr. DiEHL. If you will allow me, I will approach that issue with 
two 10-foot poles. I will give you on the one hand and then on the 
other. 

First of all, the Treasury Department does not — and the Admin- 
istration does not — ^have a position on the elimination of the penny. 
But in my informal, unscientific polls of parties at public events 
and such, I have also found considerable support for eliminating 
the penny because it is considered a nuisance coin. 

The fact of the matter is, there is no financial imperative or even 
strong reason for eliminating the penny. The penny is a profit- 
maker for the Federal Grovernment, not a big one, but it is a profit- 
maker. We have a profit margin of between about 20 and 25 per- 
cent on the production of the penny, so we actually create seignior- 
age that goes into reducing the cost of financing the Federal debt. 
So until the penny becomes a net loser, there is no financial reason 
for eliminating it. 

On the other hand, about 70 percent of our annual production of 
coins is pennies. Last year, it was about 13.6 billion coins, and we 
don't produce pennies for our health. We produce pennies because 
the Federal Reserve orders them, and they would have ordered 
more than 13.6 billion of them if we had not managed demand. So 
there is very clear demand in the marketplace for pennies. 

But I think the truth of the matter is that the penny has become 
a disposal product. If you drop it on the street, you pick it up out 
of habit or superstition, not because of its intrinsic value. At more 
and more stores, you see the ubiquitous penny cup where cus- 
tomers can choose whether or not to take the pennies. 

I think it is a good question, whether the penny continues to 
have a role in American currency. If it doesn't nave a role, I don't 
think there is any reason in terms of finance or other type of rea- 
son to continue producing it. 

I will say this: I think my coin collectors have a sentimental at- 
tachment to the penny, and so you may find a very different reac- 
tion if you were to poll people at a party of coin collectors or con- 
vention of coin collectors than if you did the general public. 

Also, what we have found is that people in Illinois have a very 
distinct attachment to the pennv. It is the site of our commemora- 
tion of President Lincoln and the Lincoln Memorial, so inevitably 
you run into a cross current. 

Chairman Castle. Yes, I have learned this about coins. They all 
seem to have a constituency, just like Delaware will become the 
first State issue. 

I will say, though, at some point I think the public will — is im- 
portant in all this. Pennies have become a real inconvenience to ev- 
erybody. I think that outweighs the relatively small amount of 
money that the Mint engendered for the government and even the 



45 

collectors' interests. I think it is getting to the point where its nui- 
sance value is at least to be questioned. 

I am going to ask you this question, Mr. Ganz. I think everybody 
has now mentioned it. You mentioned it first, I think. I am going 
to keep this as brief as possible. 

If everyone wants to follow-up, follow-up in 15 seconds. I may not 
be using the correct expression, but a circulating commemorative 
coin has been used here, which to me would be a silver coin, a 50- 
cent piece which would be in the form of a commemorative cir- 
cumstance, issued, I guess, at face value, which we would all have 
access to. It has been cited here some other states, Canada, have 
done it to much greater extents. 

Would this be in lieu of the commemorative coins we presently 
do, or in addition to it, or how would that work? I mean, to me — 
I mean, there is an argument that we change stamps regularly. We 
have Elvis stamps and Marilyn Monroe stamps being talked about, 
if not issued, and we don't do much with the coins. I am not sure 
how all of that fits into the commemorative coin programs. If you 
can do it briefly. I know it is a complex question. 

Mr. Ganz. I will try and be brief, Mr. Chairman. 

Commemorative coins and circulating commemorative coins actu- 
ally have a long history in the United States. Back in 1931, Con- 
gress decided that the 200th anniversary of the birth of George 
Washington merited commemorative commemoration, and the ac- 
tual law says that there was a Washington coin to do that. The 
Washington quarter was the very first of the modern circulating 
commemorative coins. 

The Bicentennial coin in 1975 and 1976 is another example, and 
Mrs. Stefanelli who is on the Citizens Advisory Committee, and not 
able to be with us today, was on the design panel at that time in 
order to try and create a coin that was specifically designed to com- 
memorate 200 years of freedom. 

It is circulated. It was in pocket change. But there was also a col- 
lector's version that was available in silver, because Congress man- 
dated it that way, and also in uncirculated as well as a proof 
version. 

So this would really be in addition to a scaled-down version of 
the programs that are existing right now. It would not take sur- 
charges away from the organizations. But with respect to the pro- 
duction of these coins, the — there would be no surcnarge. It would 
strictly be the seigniorage, which is still actually a very substantial 
profit, that would accrue to the General Fund. 

Chairman Castle. So there is a balance. You take each of them 
into consideration when you do it; is that correct? 

Mr. Ganz. Yes, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle. Back to you, Mr. Diehl. 

Is the Citizens Advisory Committee working well or should we 
make changes in it? This report seems to be comprehensive, but I 
don't know enough about it to say it is an excellent or fair or good 
report. You have some of the members here. 

What are the views of that at this point? 

Mr. Deehl. I think the committee is working well within the con- 
straints that it faces, and the chief constraint it faces is that it has 
really no authority. It is an advisory body altogether, advisory to 



46 

the Secretary of the Treasury, especially on coin designs, and I 
think we have seen — as I have outlined — some very important ac- 
complishments of the advisory committee. Among those is the im- 
provement of the designs of the commemorative coins that have 
been approved since the committee was created. 

On the matter of sorting out the problems in the commemorative 
coin business, the jury is out. We have come forward with rec- 
ommendations that are an attempt to balance both the interests of 
the numismatists whom we represent and the political realities of 
getting any package like this through Congress, given the inevi- 
table interest of many Members of Congress and individual pro- 
coin programs. 

Whether we struck the right balance, I have no idea at this 
point, but I think this represents a reasonable attempt to strike 
those balances. And as we discussed earlier, I think there are prob- 
ably several appropriate answers to the question of how to fix the 
program. 

Chairman Castle. Another very off-the-wall question, Dr. Stahl, 
for you. Can you specify for us a coin that you think is of particu- 
larly outstanding artistic merit, being worldwide or in the United 
States, and why, very briefly? 

It is unfair. We had all the dollar coins here for a hearing we 
had earlier, I thought the Greek dollar coin was a rather interest- 
ing coin, for example, but 

Mr. Stahl. Well, I guess I can just say that among the current 
series of commemoratives, the first few had some very good coins 
in them. The George Washington on horseback, it is very hard to 
do a person on horseback in a facing portrait, and it came off very 
nice, and the gold Statue of Liberty commemorative. 

Chairman Castle. Do the coins sell because of the artwork, in 
your opinion? 

Mr. Stahl. I think they do. I think — except for those people who 
have to fill in every hole in their little book and have everything 
issued, they do make a choice, and if they don't like the looks of 
a coin, they won't buy it. 

Chairman Castle. Is there an actual boycott of coin programs 
going on now? I mean, we know that there is a slowdown here in 
1993 and 1994, or is it an economic question, people can't afford 
to buy all the coins that are being issued? 

Mr. Ganz. I am going to jump in and try and answer that if I 
can, Mr. Chairman. 

I think it is a combination of two different things: People use dis- 
cretionary income to buy coins. Nobody has to buy a coin. And as 
you look at the overall number of coins that have been added to 
the package, in 1995, for example, you are spending thousands of 
dollars in order to do it. 

The surveys of the American Numismatic Association suggests 
that our Members spend on average about $2,000 a year buying 
coins, and that is not only new issues, but also older issues. So they 
are now faced with the critical choice of not being able to acquire 
each of them. And as Ms. Deisher suggested, both in her oral pres- 
entation and in her written charts, they are making an election to 
stop collecting coins entirely. 



47 

Chairman Castle. I never asked the question I was going to 
start with, and I don't think I am going to because of both time 
and because it is perhaps too complex to answer, which is simply, 
what is — what we agree to is the problem, what do we agree to as 
the solutions. I think it actually is in your various answers in one 
way or another. 

To me, there seems to be agreement here that there certainly is 
a problem and that Congress has mandated too many commemora- 
tive coin programs, it is taxing the Mint, it is taxing the collectors 
in terms of their ability to purchase these. It may actually be cost- 
ing the taxpayers money. 

The winners are obviously the groups which are able to come 
down here and lobby for and achieve success in having their par- 
ticular coin approved, because they have absolutely no risk whatso- 
ever and virtually everybody else is a potential loser, the groups 
that don't get it, the collectors are, if they are overburdened with 
collecting, and the Mint is, which ultimately is the taxpayers of 
this country. So clearly we need to address it in some way. 

Nobody seems to be able to derive an opinion here at least as to 
who should do this, and certainly I wouldn't want to be that Solo- 
mon-like person who would have to do it, but it should be some sort 
of a fair standard system, I think recognizing a lot of the criteria 
which you have talked about here today, in terms of when they are 
issued, for what organizations they are issued, the artistic work 
that goes into them, or whatever it may be. 

But I think that we should take this under our wing and con- 
tinue to look at it. There seems to be, I think, also a common 
agreement that we just cannot continue to go in the direction that 
we are going, and hopefully we can get word out to other Members 
of Congress that we are not in a very good situation to be just 
doing this, coming in the back door. It is not helpful to the future 
of this country. 

I particularly get concerned when I think these programs are ac- 
tually costing the taxpayers money. I think I also gleaned a great 
deal of other information from this hearing which we will try to re- 
view and see what legislation, if any, we should come up with. 

So let me, rather than try to go through a definition of what this 
is, let me see if Congressman Lucas has anything further for any 
of you. 

Mr. Lucas. No, Mr. Chairman. 

Chairman Castle. And let me see if anyone here has something 
that has not been said or needs to be restated before we close. Be- 
cause I want this to be as definitive as we make it when we go 
back and review our notes, and even if we have further questions 
to send to you by mail, that we have all the answers that are need- 
ed to try and review this program and determine where we are 
going. 

We have 5 minutes. 

Mr. DiEHL. This will take about 30 seconds. 

Questions were raised in Mr. Stack's testimony about whether 
the Mint has the right to make a profit. In fact, he stated the Mint 
has never been given congressional authority to make a profit on 
these programs. I anticipated that claim because I have heard it 
from Mr. Stack before. 



48 

I have attached Exhibit 9, which cites specific congressional au- 
thority that gives the Treasury Department authority to make a 
profit on these programs and other authority, as well, beyond spe- 
cific legislation, but I just want to point that out to you. 

Chairman Castle. Thank you. 

Mr. Stack. 

Mr. Stack. In response to that, if the mandate is there, I don't 
think the mandate said how much to make and I think that should 
be possibly limited. We do one against the other. 

I am not saying that — look, I never advocated that we should 
give away $42 gold for $42. If it is $380 today, that is what you 
sell it for, if you went out in the open market. But I think that the 
overall price structure, maybe the amount of money put into adver- 
tising has to be restated. I don't know. I think there is too much 
cost to the collector to overcome when he tries to resell it. 

Chairman Castle. I think the points have been made. 

Is there anything else to add? 

I know this has perhaps been a little longer than you expected 
to be here. We appreciate hearing from you. We appreciate the 
written statements, the attachments you had to your oral testi- 
mony here today. 

As you know, this is not pursuant to a particular piece of legisla- 
tion, but we wanted to put the problem on the table and start to 
address it. I sensed from the beginning of mv chairmanship of this 
committee that there was some inherent problem with all this that 
we need to look at and hopefully this will help us a great deal to 
galvanize what we are doing and come up with solutions. 

So thank you very, very much for your time today. 

We stand adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 1:35 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] 



49 



APPENDIX 



July 12, 1995 



50 



Opening Statement of Chairman Michael N. Castle 
Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy 
Commemorative Coin Hearing - July 12, 1995 

Since the U.S. Mint resumed its Commemorative Coin Program in 1982 after a 28 year 
hiatus, interest groups supported by Congress have progressively expanded that program both in 
numbers of coins and mintage levels beyond the ability of collectors to absorb these issues. 
Organizations have learned how they can put a government agency and government factories to 
work for their cause, with no risk or investment. The generous surcharges awarded to the 
beneHciary organizations have led more and more to use this route to painless funding of their 
cause. All of these coins in rapid succession and especially in ever greater mintages with little or 
no intrinsic numismatic interest have combined to glut the market. The failure of recent issues 
to cover their costs to the Treasury threaten to leave the taxpayer holding the bag. In the case 
of the World Cup Soccer Commemorative Coin that bag has a price tag for the taxpayer in the 
millions of dollars, while World Cup USA paid its executives $7.7 million dollars in deferred 
salary and bonuses. 

As a result of such problems, the Commemorative Coin Program of the U.S. Mint has 
reached a parlous state. This situation has historical precedent. In the past, when Congress has 
been unable to restrain its impulse to commemorate personages and events of interest to 
constituents, the market for these products has become saturated and production has ceased. 
Recently, there has been a precipitous fall-off in collector support as numbers of programs have 
mounted and mintage levels have soared. 

Historically, 90 percent of the commemorative market has been composed of numismatic 
collectors. It is to this rather narrow group of hobbyists that one organization after another, 



51 



abetted by their Congressional sponsors, has turned for funding of their respective projects. 
The coins are purchased not by individuals who freely elect to pay the substantial surcharges in 
support of the various causes who will benefit, but by hobbyists and in some cases investors, 
who have been courted by their government and induced to pursue collections of commemorative 
coins. These collections have been undermined and cheapened by the proliferation of issues that 
have produced the beginnings of a movement to boycott future issues. This is understandable 
since an Elvis "collector" plate ordered out of the Sunday comic section is likely to retain its 
investment value about as well as a recent proof set of commemoratives from the United States 
Mint. 

More programs were enacted by Congress last year than had been enacted over the 
previous six years combined. Since 1986, Mint annual commemorative coin sales have fallen by 
80 percent. For the period 1995-1998, Congress has already enacted six programs, for a total of 
23.55 million coins. One program alone, the Atlanta Olympic Games Commemoratives, calls for 
the production of 17.95 million coins. Already in the 104th Congress, nine additional House 
bills have been introduced that would mandate the minting of an additional 7.35 million coins 
during the 1995-2001 period for 13 new programs. Most of these coins, 6.55 million, would be 
minted between 1995 and 1997. 

In 1994, sponsoring organizations received more than $23.3 million in surcharges, while 
the Mint/taxpayer experienced a net loss of about $3.5 million. The revenue generated through 
commemoratives in 1994 did not cover all of the Mint's overhead expenses, largely due to the 
poor selling performance of the World Cup Soccer coins. Only 1.5 of the 10.75 million coins 
authorized by Congress were ever sold. Still, sponsoring organizations can receive the entire 
surcharge on every coin sold, even though the Mint loses millions of dollars. 

The commemorative programs mandated by Congress have become raids on the purses of 



52 



those collectors who purchase the coins. They thereby support the various non-profit beneficiary 
organizations, even though they are denied tax deductions that a direct donation would earn. 
No one can claim that the causes benefited to date by coin programs are the most worthy or 
even the most needy, they simply have had the most influence. It is unseemly to have 
government factories and personnel put to work for the exclusive benefit of a narrow group of 
poUtically endorsed private interests. To make matters worse, these groups share none of the 
risk, undertake none of the marketing and distribution costs and receive their surcharges from 
the first coin sold. Nevertheless, every coin bill states that manufacture and sale of a 
commemorative coin "shall not result in any net cost to the Federal Government." 

Public Law 102-390 established the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee 
(CCCAC) to designate the topics the Committee recommends be commemorated during the five 
year period succeeding the year in which such designation is made. In its first report (1994), the 
CCCAC indicated its support of a 1993 Sense of Congress Resolution requesting the Senate and 
House Banking Committees not to report or otherwise clear for consideration by the House or 
Senate, legislation providing for more than two commemorative coin programs for any year. 
Notwithstanding this endorsement, the conunittee recommends acceptance of an average of four 
or more programs for each of the next several years. This could be a recipe for disaster. It also 
would reflect badly upon the responsibility of Congress. 

We are here today to review the entire commemorative program. It may be that radical 
measures must be taken to preserve the taxpayer from risk in a program that is heading out of 
control. If that is determined to be the case, this Congress will need to take the action necessary 
to rectify this situation. Above all, we were elected to preserve the taxpayers' interest above all. 



53 



TESTIMONY OF BETH DEISHER, EDITOR, COIN WORLD 

before the HOUSE BANKING 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY POLICY 

HEARING REGARDING THE U.S. COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAM 

July 12, 1995 



Mr. Chairman, my name is Beth Deisher. I am editor of COIN 
WORLD, the largest and most widely circulated weekly publication 
serving collectors of coins, medals, paper money, and any objects 
once used as money. I would like to thank you and the 
Subcommittee for inviting me to testify today. 

The concerns I raise before you are those of the vast 
majority of U.S. collectors interested in the modern U.S. 
commemorative coin program. In preparing this testimony, I 
consulted with my colleagues in the publishing field -- editors 
and publishers of other weekly and monthly periodicals serving 
collectors of U.S. coins. We find that our customer readers are 
generally expressing the same opinions, whether it be through 
Letters to the Editor, Guest Commentary, Viewpoint, conversations 
at coin shows, or individual telephone conversations. 

It is important to understand that our primary readers are the 
U.S. Mint's core customers -- the same customers who have 
purchased approximately 90 percent of all of the commemorative 
coins sold by the U.S. Mint since the striking of U.S. 
commemoratives resumed in 1982. Thus our customers are the 
primary buyers of the products (coins) that you (Congress) 
authorize and order the U.S. Mint to manufacture and market. 

So what are OUR/YOUR customers telling us? 

*There are too many commemorative coin programs. 

*There are too many commemorative coins being produced. 

*The surcharges are an unfair form of taxation and serve only 
as an incentive for special-interest/non-profit groups to 
tap — tax free — funds they would unlikely be able to obtain 
through the appropriations/budget process. 

*The increasing proliferation of commemoratives and increasing 
expense of collecting U.S. commemoratives is frustrating to 
the point that many are saying, "That's it. I quit!" 

The first step in addressing the frustrations of OUR/YOUR 
customers is to understand WHY he/she is YOUR customer. 



54 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 2 

A coin collector is a hobbyist. He/she often will select a 
particular series or type of coins to collect. The historical 
importance of the coins, their designs, their af fordability, and 
their availability are prime considerations in deciding to begin 
a collection and what will be included. Coin collectors are goal 
oriented. Once they select a series and begin collecting, the 
overriding goal is to complete the set. 

The commemorative coin collector is the U.S. Mint/Congress' 
customer because the U.S. Mint is the ONLY source of new U.S. 
commemorative coins. Only Congress has the authority to authorize 
a new coin. And only the U.S. Mint is legally empowered to strike 
and initially offer for sale U.S. commemorative coins. In other 
words, the U.S. Mint enjoys a monopoly status. It has no 
competitor in product or pricing. The U.S. Mint determines 
availability and purchasing options. And the U.S. Mint decides 
when it will deliver its product. It is not subject to the 
Federal Trade Commission's Mail Order-Telephone 30-day delivery 
rule (as are other entities doing businesses in the United 
States). Thus, collectors are often required to pay for their 
U.S. commemorative coins in cash and accept delivery three to six 
months or even a year later. 

Although there are various approaches to collecting the 
modern U.S. Commemorative series, the three most prevalent are: 

1. Collecting a specimen, by date and Mint mark, of each coin 
issued, including Proof and Uncirculated versions. 

2. Collecting a specimen, by date and Mint mark, of all 
silver and copper-nickel coins issued, including Proof and 
Uncirculated versions. 

3. Collecting a specimen, by date and Mint mark, of all gold 
coins issued, including Proof and Uncirculated. 

If U.S. Mint officials or members of Congress were to spend 
time talking to OUR/YOUR customers who have faithfully purchased 
commemorative coins offered since 1982, you would quickly find 
out that once a set is begun, most collectors have a very strong 
compulsion to complete their set. If they had a choice, most 
would collect all coins issued in the series. But they have to be 
realistic. When and if the prices and numbers of coins to keep 
their sets complete approach the upper limits of the money they 
reserve for this portion of their hobby, they face the prospect 
of trimming back to a subset of the complete set or abandoning 
their goal of a complete set. 



55 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 3 

Currently, the faithful collector who has purchased one of 
every modern commemorative issued since 1982 would have 127 coins 
in his/her collection. (Actually he may have paid for all but may 
be awaiting delivery of 28 to 32 coins in the 1995-96 Olympic 
set.) If he purchased from the Mint at the most advantageous 
price possible at time of issue, our collector has paid the U.S. 
Mint $9,715 for the privilege of owning a complete set and 
continuing his hobby. 

Please refer to the chart below, which shows the number of 
commemoratives issued yearly and best pre-issue option available 
to OUR/YOUR customer. 

U.S. COMMEMORATIVE COINS 



YEAR 



NUMBER OF COINS 



BEST PRE-ISSUE OPTION 



1982 
1983-84 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1989 
1990 
1991 
1992 
1993 
1994 
1995* 



2 

13 

6 

4 

4 

6 

2 

10 

14 

12 

16 

40 



$ 19 

2,039 

340 

465 

510 

435 

48 

547 

941 

880 

715 

2,776 



TOTAL 



127 



$9,715 



♦Includes purchase of 32-coin 1995-96 Olympic set 



56 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 4 

I call your attention to the first year, 1982. Our collector 
bought two silver coins for $19. The next program, the 1983-84 
Olympic coins, was legislatively envisioned as a six-coin set 
(1983 silver dollar in Proof and Uncirculated, a 1984 silver 
dollar in Proof and Unc, and a $10 gold coin in Proof and 
Uncirculated). The U.S. Mint's Olympic Marketing Task Force, in 
order to spike sales, created seven additional coins by having 
the Mint strike coins with different Mint Marks. This marketing 
ploy -- a throwback to the abuses of the 1920s and 1930s rampant 
in the America's first commemorative series -- caused a backlash 
in the collecting community. Rep. Frank Annunzio, chairman of 
the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage, got the 
message. He made sure the next commemorative bill, the 1986 
Statue of Liberty program, carried specific language prohibiting 
the U.S. Mint from striking more than one design of a 
commemorative coin at any one Mint facility. That language has 
been incorporated in each subsequent commemorative bill gaining 
Congressional approval. 

As a result, over the next five years a more reasonable 
issuing pattern evolved -- one program offering one, two, or 
three coins in both Proof and Uncirculated with yearly 
expenditure ranging from a low of $48 to a high of $510. 

But as the decade of the 1990s approached, it was evident. 
Non-profit, special-interest groups had discovered commemorative 
coins, the "new cash-cow," to replace the pork-barrel hand-outs 
endemic to the ways of political Washington. Consequently, a 
virtual avalanche of commemorative proposals descended upon 
Congress. Powerful and politically well-connected lobby groups 
and those with Senators and Representatives as members of their 
advisory groups and boards of directors pushed through Congress 
more and more programs. Our collector, to keep his collection 
complete, was forced to spend $547 to buy 10 coins in 1991; $941 
to buy 14 coins in 1992; $880 to buy 12 coins in 1993, $715 to 
buy 16 coins in 1994. And this year? Our collector will have to 
shell out $2,776 for 40 coins I 

It is any wonder that OUR/YOUR collector customer is 
bewildered and disillusioned?! 

COIN WORLD'S 1995 readership study, completed in March 
1995, reports that our typical customer reader spent $1,640 on 
additions to his numismatic collections in the past 12 months. 
Does Congress and the U.S. Mint realistically expect collectors 
to spend all of their hobby funds on U.S. commemoratives in any 
given year? 



57 



Deisher Testimoney 
Page 5 

More and more collectors tell us the proliferation of 
commemorative coins and the expense of continuing to collect is 
forcing them to re-evaluate their hobby objectives. What they see 
on the horizon is more of the same, an endless sea of coins. 
Already Congress has authorized programs mandating the minting 
of 500,000 silver dollars for each of the years 1996, 1997, 1998 
and 2002. Since the 104th Congress convened in January, no less 
than 21 bills seeking issuance of commemorative coins have been 
introduced. If all gain approval, the U.S. Mint would be forced 
to try to sell an additional 12.7 million coins between 1996 and 
2001. 

Unless Congress quickly and decisively controls the number 
of commemorative coins being struck and offered for sale in a 
given year, there is very strong evidence that the collector base 
for U.S. commemorative coin will soon evaporate. 

I refer you to the following chart which lists each program 
beginning with the George Washington commemorative in 1982. It 
details the number of coins sold and the maximum number of coins 
authorized for each program. 



Commemorative Program Total Coins Sold 


Maximum Authorized Mintage 


1982 Geofqe Washinqton 


7,104,502 


10,000,000 


1983.«4 U» Anoeles Ofympic 


8,045,474 


•:- 62,000,000 •1 


1986 Statue of Ubertv 


15,491,169 


35,500,000 


1987 Constitution 


4,064329 


11,000,000 ' 


1988 Olympics 


1,895,112 


11,000,000 


1989 Congress 


2,040,640 


8,000,000 "^ 


1990 Eisentiowef 


1,380,694 


4,000,000 


1991 Mount Rushmore 


1,941,419 


5,500,000 


1991 Korean War Memorial 


831,537 


1.000,000 


1991 USO 


446,233 


1,000AX) 


1992 0(vnipic 


1,478,469 


10,500,000 


1992 White House BIcentswiial 


499,652 


500^00 i 


1992 ColumtXiS Discovery QuincentennlaJ 


1,122,211 


10,500,000 


1 993 aa o« FBqhte/ James Ma<Sson 


1,513,962 


2,200,000 


1993 World War II (1991-1995) 


1,048,860 


3,300,000 


1994 Thomas Jefleraon 


599,952 


600.000 


1994 Soccer World Cup 


1 ,462,744 


10,750,000 


1994 Women ki Mtfitary Service 


264,437 


600,000 


1994 Vietnam Veterans MemoriaJ 


281,487 


500,000 


1994 Prisoners o) Waf Memortal 


273,024 


500,000 


1994 U.S. Capitol BicentenniaJ 


342,846 


500,000 


^995 Cna W^-BattSefieMs 


691,954' 


3,300,000 


1995 Sped aiCHympics 


155,3123 


800,000 


J 995-96 AJfante Centennial CUvmolcs 


» 


17,950.000 


1. Sales data as of May 25, 1995. 

2. Sales data as of July 6, 1995. 

3. Sales data incomplete as of July 1. 1995. 



58 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 6 

Next, we invite you to look at this chart which graphs 
units of sale by year. In the box to the right are the actual 
numbers of coins sold yearly. Years in which multiple programs 
were offered, the total represents all coins sold. If you just 
look at this chart, you might be lulled into concluding that the 
market is humming along at approximately 3 million a year. But 
look again, especially the period from 1987 through 1994. 



16,000,000 



14,000,000 



12,000,000 



10,000,000 



8,000,000 



6,000,000 



4.000,000 



2,000.000 



U.S. Commemorative Coin 
Sales by Year 




1982 1983-84 1988 1987 



1988 



1989 



1990 



1991 



1992 



1993 



1994 



59 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 7 

Using our next chart, we loo 
which we determined by dividing th 
given year by the number of coins 
available that year. We recognize 
complete set each year, but we do 
market for these coins -- would st 
each year. Thus, by applying this 
Collector Base. These charts show 
Collector Base. The chart at upper 
1994. The chart at lower left focu 
the right is the Trend Line for th 



COMMEM COLLECTOR BASE 

1982 thai 1994 



k at the Commem Collector Base, 
e number of coins sold in a 
constituting a complete set 
that not every person bought a 
know collectors -- the core 
rive to collect a complete set 
formula, we arrive at the 
a dramatically declining 

left is for the years 1982- 
ses on the years 1987-1994. To 
e data in each chart. 

COMMEM COLLECTOR BASE 

1982 thru 1994 




lM3««3-«4»«« ia«7 NM 



1990 IMI 1003 1M3 1M4 




io«a mt-94 tt«e lotr am im« i«oq wqi 1902 «e» 



COMMEM COLLECTOR BASE 

1987 thru 1994 



COMMEM COLLECTOR BASE 
1987 thru 1994 




«e7 n«e s«9 imo n>i »«: ssa vn 




t9e7 nes sss nso nat tan nsa «»< 



MAXIMUM NUMBER OF COLLECTORS IN COMMEMORATIVE CORE MARKET 



1982 3,552,251 

1983-84 338,113 

1986 2,581,862 

1987 1,016,157 

1988 473,778 

1989 340, 106 



1990 690,347 

1991 321,919 

1992 221,452 

1993 213,569 

1994 201,531 

1995 ? 



60 



Deisher Testimoney 
Page 8 

The trend is unmistakable. Collectors' are" leaving the modern 
U.S. commemorative market in droves! The collector base has 
dropped dramatically from 3.5 million in 1982 to barely 200,000 
in 1994. 

If you look at the most successful years -- those with the 
highest collector base -- you will find common success factors: 
The subjects being commemorated were national in scope, the 
designs were innovative and aesthetically pleasing, the coins 
were affordable for most collectors, and the number of coins 
constituting a complete set was reasonable. The steadily 
declining collector base signals loud and clear. The marketplace 
is telling the manufacturer that the products are not meeting the 
customer's expectations. Over and over again, our Letters to the 
Editor and communications received from collectors convey the 
same message: There are too many commemoratives and the average 
collector can no longer afford or think in terms of keeping 
his/her collection complete. Also frustrating to a collector is 
the fact that the secondary market for U.S. commems is very weak 
to non existent. If a collector chooses to liquidate, it's 
difficult to find a buyer and he/she can reasonably expect to 
receive from 50 to 65 percent of purchase price for an entire set 
of modern U.S. commemoratives. 

The problem of too many commemoratives is rooted in the 
legislative process and the fact that the U.S. Commemorative Coin 
Program has evolved into a Welfare Program for non-profit 
entities who have the ability to flex political muscle. It is the 
most lucrative fund-raising scheme known today. The organization 
hires a high-powered lobbyist with good political connections or 
leans on its politically powerful friends in Congress. 
Legislation mandating the coin program specifies that surcharges 
to the tune of from $2 to $50 per coin be collected by the U.S. 
Mint. Once the legislation is signed into law, government 
employees and government resources are used to manufacture and 
market the coins. Surcharges are paid directly to the beneficiary 
organization as the coins are sold. 

Our next chart shows the amount of surcharges collected from 
the sales of U.S. commemorative coins and the entities that 
received them. 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 9 



61 



Surcharges from sales of 
U.S. Commemoratives 



Program 


Surcharges 
In millions 


Beneficiary 


1983-84 Olympics 


$73.5 


U.S. Olympic Committee, LAOOC 


1986 Statue of Uberty - Ellis Island 


$83.2 


Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation 


1987 Bicentennial of the 
ConslitLrtion 


$52.8 


Treasury general fund 


1988 Olympics 


$22.9 


U.S. Olympic Committee 


1989 Bicentennial of Congress 


$14.6 


U.S. Capitol Preservation Fund 


1990 Eisenhower Centennial 


$9.7 


Treasury general fund 


1991 United Service 
Organizations 


$3.1 


USO. Treasury general fund 


1991 Korean War Memorial 


$5.8 


Korean War Veterans Memorial Fund 


1991 Mount Rushmore Memorial 


$12.1 


Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society 


1992 Olympics 


$9.1 


U.S. Olympic Committee 


1992 White House 


$5.0 


White House Endowment Fund 


1992 Columbus 


$7.6 


Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation 


1993 Bill of Rights/Madison 


$8.7 


J. Madison Memorial Fellowship Trust Fund 


1993 World War II 


$7.6 


Memorials in Washington. D.C. and 
Normandy, France 


1994 Thomas Jefferson 


$5.0 


Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation 


1 994 Soccer World Cup 


$9.3 


Worid Cup Organizing Committee 


1994 Women in Military Service 


$2.6 


Memorial for women in military service 


1994 Vietnam Veterans Memorial 


$2.8 


Repair and upkeep of Vietnam War Memorial 


1994 Prisoners of War Memorial 


$2.7 


National POW Museum 


1994 Capitol Bicentennial 


$5.1 


U.S. Capitol Preservation Commission 


•1995 Civil War Battlefield 


$4.6 


Acquisition & preservation of Civil War 
battlegrounds 


•*1995 Special Olympic 


$1.5 


Special Olympics International 


"•1995-96 Atlanta Centennial 
Olympics 




USOC/ACOG 



•As of May 25. 1995. 

•• Sales as of July 5, 1995. 

*" Sales Incomplete. 

Between 1983 and May of 1995 purchasers of U.S. 
commemorative coins have been forced to contribute $347.8 million 
in the form of surcharges to the beneficiary organizations. Most 
collectors view surcharges as an unfair tax. They point out that 
had they voluntarily contributed directly to the beneficiary 
organizations they could have received tax deductions. But the 
surcharge is not viewed by the IRS as a gift and in opinions 
rendered by the Treasury Department, surcharges are not deemed to 
be tax deductible. 

Surcharges have no relationship to the value of the coin. 
They are determined solely on the basis of how much money the 
beneficiary organization thinks it can ring out of the coin 
buyer. For example, surcharges on silver dollars started out at 
$7 per coin, then escalated to $10. The 1995 Capitol Bicentennial 
commemorative carried a hefty $15 surcharge, three times the 
value of the silver content of the coin! 



92-168 0-95-3 



62 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 10 

During the 10 years that I have been editor of COIN WORLD, 
representatives from virtually every organization that has 
remotely contemplated seeking legislation for a commemorative 
coin program have contacted COIN WORLD. In every instance their 
primary objective was stated in terms of "We need to raise $XX 
million. How many and what type of coins do you think collectors 
will buy?" These organizations show virtually no concern for the 
coin collector or the state of the commemorative market. They are 
"sure" everyone one in the United States is waiting breathlessly 
to buy "our" coin or coins. And they always point out that their 
constituency group "will buy lots of coins." History has proven 
them wrong every time. Coin collectors on the U.S. Mint's Mailing 
List have purchased approximately 90 percent of all modern 
corainemorative coins sold by the U.S. Mint! 

It is guite evident that Surcharges are the Tail That Wags 
the Commemorative Dog and have been the single-most important 
factor driving the proliferation of commemorative coins. Congress 
has shown little ability to "Just Say No." Every non-profit 
organization presents its "worthy cause" and insists it has a 
"divine right" to collect surcharges. 

For solutions, let us turn to history. First, a little modern 
history. The first modern commemorative program, honoring the 
250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington, carried a 
surcharge, but not in the form we know it today. The authorizing 
language specified that the price of the coin be "egual to the 
cost of minting and distributing the coins (including labor, 
materials, dies, use of machinery, promotion, and overhead 
expenses) plus a surcharge of not more than 20 percent of the 
cost." The surcharge was earmarked "to be used only to reduce the 
national debt. " 

Although important, the surcharge was not the driving factor 
in authorizing the commemorative issue. Honoring an important 
milestone was the primary objective. But ranking a high second 
was testing whether coins could be a viable method of selling 
government silver. The government in the early 1980s possessed 
huge stockpiles of silver. Efforts to offer large enough 
quantities of silver in the marketplace to make it practical for 
the government to initiate a sales effort only served to depress 
the market. Coins were looked upon as an easy way to sell lots of 
silver in a way that did not disrupt the bullion marketplace. The 
Reagan Administration was very perceptive. It quickly grasped the 
concept that collectors buy and hold silver in the form of coins 
in their collections. Collectors are typically not speculators. 
Thus, the Reagan Administration turned back 30 years of 
government opposition to commemorative coins and went on record 
as saying a carefully managed program in which the government 
would received the proceeds would be acceptable. 



63 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 11 



Virtually as soon as the ink was dry on the document 
authorizing the Washington coin program, the U.S. Olympic 
Committee and the Los Angeles Olympic Committee came to Congress 
pressing for passage of a mammoth commemorative coin program, 
replete with "surcharges" to help finance the training of U.S. 
athletes for the 1983-84 Olympic Games. Congress approved a 
program, much smaller in scope that the USOC/LAOOC wanted, but it 
did set a precedent. For the first time surcharges were mandated 
to be collected and paid directly to the beneficiary (the 
Olympic committees) as the surcharges were collected. Government 
audits later proved that only about one-third of the $73.5 
million of the 1983-84 surcharge money was used for training 
athletes, which the authorizing legislation had mandated. 
But nonetheless, surcharges guickly gained a permanent foothold 
in commemorative programs. (It is interesting to note that the 
Olympic movement in the United States has received more than 
$105 million or one-third of all surcharge money and is back tor 
more with its 32-coin program for 1995-96). 

The chart below shows that commemorative coins have been an 
extremely effective way of selling government surplus silver as 
well as newly mined gold in the United States. Commemorative 
coins have proven to be quite profitable for the U.S. Mint 
(government). We had hoped to update this chart, which was 
published in COIN WORLD in December of 1993. However, 
approximately one week after requesting the information, I was 
informed July 5 by a spokesman for the U.S. Mint that 
"information in this form is no longer available" at the U.S. 
Mint. 



■■BTinl^B 


ToUl 
sates 


Program 
ooerating 


Prolit 
on sale 


Pratll Sutctiarges 
on sale (e) 


Profit 


prograinS:-' 


reveiwes eipenses 


olsilvei 


olgold 






G, Washinglon 


S71-6 


$30 3 


$21.7 (c) 


N/A 


N/A 


$14 4(bl 


1984 Olympic 


$315.3 


$104.2 


$28.6 (c) 


$98.7 


$73.5 


$103 


Statue ol Liberty 


S290,0 


$120.3 


$23.7 (d) 


$34 2 


$83.2 


$28 6 


Constitution 


$256.4 


$682 


$14.8 (d) 


$86 


$52.8 


$34 6 


1968 Olympic 


$111.0 


$451 


J6.0 (d) 


$36 1 


$22.9 


$0.9 


Congress 


$70.8 


$293 


$3^(d) 


$177 


$14.6 


$60 


Eisenhower 


$40.0 


$27 3 


$4.1 (d) 


N/A 


$9.7 


($11) 


Mount Rushmore 


$622 


$25.8 


$2.0 (d) 


$120 


$li1 


$10.3 


Korean 


$22 5 


$12.7 


$1.6 (d) 


N/A 


$5.8 


$24 


United Service 














Organizations 


$120 


$8.0' 


$0 8 (d) 


N/A 


$3.1 


$0.1 


1992 Olympic (a) 


$46.6 


$24.5 


$1.5 (d) 


$7.9 


$9.1 


$3.6 


White House (a) 


$13.3 


$6-4 


$1.0 (d) 


N/A 


$5.0 


$0,9 


Columbus (a) 


$36.3 


$145 


$1.0(d) 


$77 


$7.5 


$56 


Madison (a) 


$44.4 


$24.0 


$1.8 (d) 


$7.1 


$8.7 


$2.8 


World War II (a) 


$28.7 


$13.4 


$0.7 (d) 


$6.0 


$6.9 


$1.7 



(a) Eslimaled (Final linancial statements not 
prepaied as ol Nov 23. 1993) 

(b) Profrt numbers reported tn the past ($41.5) 
included S14 4 ol operating prolit plus 
S27 I government prolit on sale ol silver 

(c) Represents prolit on Iieasury silver 

(d) Represents payments to Defense Logistics 
Agency 

Source: U.S. Mini 



(e) too percent ot ConslKution and Eisenhower 
surcharges deposited to the General Fund 
50 percent ol Mount Rushmore and USD 
surcharges deposited to the General fund, 
remaining 50 percent distributed to outside 
organizations. Remaining programs 
surcharges distributed to outside 
organizations 

Dollar tigures given in millions 



64 



Deisher Testimoney 
Page 12 



Now let us turn to an earlier chapter in commemorative history 
for instruction. Even though there were some abuses in the 
programs which produced 154 coins between 1892-1954, they do 
offer us some insight and suggest a possible remedy to our 
current predicament. There were NO SURCHARGES then. In all of 
those programs, Congress authorized the U.S. Mint to strike 
commemorative coins and set mintage limitations. The U.S. Mint 
manufactured the coins and sold them at face value to the 
beneficiary commission or organization. The beneficiary 
organization was responsible for marketing, and usually sold the 
coins at double face value, reaping a tidy profit. The salient 
point here is that the beneficiary organization WORKED for the 
money it received! 

This leads us to propose that Congress seriously consider 
redirecting the Commemorative Welfare program to a Workfare 
program! 

The first step would be to eliminate the Welfare 

SURCHARGES. The second step would be to provide a work incentive. 

It would be unrealistic to expect the U.S. Mint to sell 
modern commemoratives at face value, because the face value 
stated on the coin has nothing to do with the real market value 
of the coin. (Most modern commemoratives are made of silver and 
gold.) Thus for modern commemoratives, we suggest that the Mint 
make available to any beneficiary or "constituent group" coins at 
bulk discount rates, similar to the programs offered to coin 
dealers in some of the earlier programs. The group would be 
required to pay cash for any coins bought at discount rates. 
If the group is successful in selling to its constituency group, 
then it should reap the profit. Profits on all coins sold by the 
U.S. Mint to its collector customers on its Mailing List should 
be returned to the government: a reasonable portion to be 
retained by the U.S. Mint to maintain and/or replace equipment to 
keep the Mint at efficient productive capacity and the remainder 
to be earmarked for the Treasury General Fund for reduction of 
the national debt. 

At such point in time that the national debt becomes a 
surplus, the money would be available to Congress to fund 
programs having to do with national purposes, such as maintenance 
and upkeep of the National Numismatic Collection in the 
Smithsonian Institution. 



65 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 13 

In ta-ndem with eliminating the surcharge, Congress MUST summon 
the courage to legislatively limit the number of commemorative 
coin programs and coins that can be produced in any given year. 
Our suggestion would be a maximum of three programs or subjects 
to be commemorated in any given year with a maximum of six coins, 
including Proof and Uncirculated versions. Various combinations 
would be available, but under no circumstance would we advocate 
more than six coins being produced in any given year. 

We would further urge consideration of instituting a 
circulating commemorative program, so all the people of the 
United States could become aware of what and whom our nation may 
be choosing to honor via depiction on our coinage. 

These ideas may seem revolutionary to some. However, there is 
historical precedence for each and market appeal to each. 

The one thing we will predict with certainty is that if 
Congress chooses to put its head in the proverbial sand and be an 
ostrich, the commemorative program as it is presently constituted 
will die because of lack of customer participation. 

Sadly, to date Congress has paid little to no attention to 
former chairmen of this subcommittee when they spoke out about 
the need to curb the number of commemorative coin programs. 
Congress promptly forgot its 1993 Sense of Congress Resolution. 
And Congress virtually ignored Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd 
Bentsen's 1994 plea, warning of the consequences of 
proliferation. Even the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory 
Committee, created by Congress, has found it difficult to live by 
its stated guidelines that there should be no more than two 
commemorative programs in any given year. 

There is an additional concept I would like to address which 
we believe you should bear in mind as you contemplate the future 
of commemorative coins in the United States. 

Members of Congress commonly send out "Dear Colleague Letters" 
seeking support for their commemorative coin proposals. Virtually 
all state that these programs operate at "no net cost to the 
taxpayer" implying that the proceeds (surcharges and profits) are 
a free bonanza just waiting to be plucked. Yes, the surcharges 
are in fact unearned, tax-free money given (with no strings 
attached) to special-interest groups. But these programs do cost 
every taxpayer in an indirect way. Government employees and 
government resources are being required to subsidize these 
special interest groups. There is no other example in government 
we are aware of in which the taxpayer is so blatantly being 
scammed. 



66 



Deisher Testimony 
Page 14 

Taxpayers are the ultimate shareholders of the U.S. Mint. 
Congress serves as its board of directors, with oversight 
responsibility for the Mint, a manufacturing and marketing 
entity. To the extent the beneficiary groups are able to 
commandeer the Mint's resources, including its proprietary 
customer base, they are unfairly benefiting and may ultimately 
destroy the Mint's natural markets. When the Mint loses, the 
taxpayer shareholder/owner loses also. 

Commemorative coins have a linage dating back more than 2,000 
years. In the United States commemorative programs, instituted 
more than 100 years ago, have presented many challenges. We 
encourage you to learn from past mistakes. It is possible to 
limit by statue the frequency of the issues and to require them 
to be national in character. You already have established an 
advisory committee to recommend appropriate topics and suggest 
mintage levels. Seek and heed the committee's advice. Most of all 
listen to and respect OUR/YOUR customers. They cherish the 
expression of our nation's history and achievement through 
medallic art. Treat them fairly and they will reward YOU and the 
U.S. Mint in the marketplace. 

Again, thank you for the opportunity to discuss these 
important concerns. If you have questions, I shall be happy to 
answer them. 



67 



Beth Deisher 



Beth Deisher is editor of COIN WORLD, the world's largest weekly 
publication in the field of collectible coins, bullion coins, 
medals, tokens, paper money, and any objects once used as mcney. 
She joined COIN WORLD as news editor in 1981 and became executive 
editor in 1984. In 1985 Ms. Deisher was named editor. 

Ms. Deisher was also editor of the 4th and 5th editions of t-hc COIN 
WORLD ALMANAC, the most authoritative one-volume refer sncs 
available about U.S. coinage and has supervised upiotes o*' COIN 
COLLECTING MADE EASY, BASIC KNOWLEDGE FOR THE COIN COLLECTOR AND 
INVESTOR, the 1988 publication of COLLECTOR'S LOG OF U.S. COINS, a 
record keeper and checklist for organizing one's collection by 
denomination and type, and COLLECTING MONEY a guidebook for 
beginning collectors. She served as copy editor for the first 
edition in 1989 and subsequent yearly editions of COIN WORLD GUIDE 
TO U.S. COIN PRICES & VALUE TRENDS. 



68 



IfcLEPHONb 
(212) ?34 3130 







lELEfAX 
(212) 234-3381 



THEAAERICAN?iUA\I5A\ATIC-50CIETY 

(FOUNDED ISSe • INCORPORATED 18651 

Broadway AT 155T" Street 
ISew York- N.Y. 10032 

Subcommittee on Monetary Policy Alan M. Stahl 

House Committee on Banking American Numismatic Society 

July 12, 1995 New York, NY 

Testimony on the Commemorative Coin Program 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee: 

The revival of the commemorative coin program in 1982 aroused considerable anticipa- 
tion among coin collectors, artists, and the public in general. Following the successful 
bicentennial circulating coinage of 1976, and the less successful Anthony dollar a few years 
later, the commemorative program held the promise of breathing new life into the nation's 
coinage, which for the most part had been ignored for decades. The events commemorated 
touched a broad range of shared American identity, from the anniversary of Washington's 
birth, to the first summer Olympics on our soil in half a century, to the centennial of the Statue 
of Liberty. Great attention was paid to making the new coins visually exciting, achieved 
through a coordinated effort of the new Chief Engraver, the Fine Arts Commission, and com- 
petitions among artists within and outside the Mint. The public response was enthusiastic, with 
many people buying sets who had never before collected new Mint issues. 

Today the public appears to have lost interest in the commemorative coin series. Few 
members of the general populace are aware of recent issues, and even dedicated collectors of 
American coinage no longer buy each coin. The program is widely viewed as a way to squeeze 
money from collectors while dispensing political favors. The new issues are no longer con- 
sidered a genuine part of our national coinage but have become lost in a crowd of competing 
medals, bullion coins and private and foreign issues. 



69 



Stahl testimony, 7/12/95 page 2 

The visual quality of the commemorative series has also declined. Many of the recent 
issues have a confused and cluttered look on the obverse which appears to result from the 
transfer of drawn or painted images directly onto the coin surface, and a reverse which is a 
pastiche of coin cliches and graphic logos. They reflect a lack of involvement of trained 
numismatic artists, the inadequacy of the design oversight allowed to the Fine Arts Commis- 
sion and the Citizens' Committee on Commemoratives, and the long vacancy in the office of 
Chief Engraver at the Mint. 

In my prepared remarks today, I will concentrate on improving the quality of the designs 
of the commemorative series, as that is the area in which I am most conversant and as I expect 
that my colleagues on the panel will address the issues of the choice of commemorative sub- 
jects and the marketing of the coins. I will, of course, be glad to offer my opinions on these 
subjects as well in the question period should you so desire. 

Good coin design is not merely an aesthetic consideration. Buyers of special issue coins, 
be they established collectors or members of the general public who have never bought a coin 
before, respond in large measure to whether they like the looks of a coin. With the prolifera- 
tion of competing coin-like objects and a well-based skepticism about the investment potential 
of new numismatic issues, collectors make their purchase choices to an ever-greater extent on 
the appearance of the pieces. 

A well-designed coin is an object with artistic integrity, which recognizes the 
potentialities and limitations of the medium itself. The aspects of coins which distinguish them 
from other visual media are obvious, but nonetheless frequently ignored: coins are small, 
monochromatic, round objects, whose images result from the play of light on tiny differences 
of surface relief and texture. They have two sides, which are never seen at the same time, but 
work in a complementary way to complete an image. 

The scene of a large group of people engaged in an historic act which is clear and evoca- 
tive on a larger scale can become meaningless or clumsy when reduced to the small surface of 



70 



Stahl testimony, 7/12/95 page 3 

a coin. Graphic depictions which rely on color or shading for definition can produce a very 
different effect when rendered solely by shadows on bright metal; for this reason, portraits in 
profile are usually much more successful than facing portraits in coin design. Images which do 
not fit gracefully into a circular format leave gaping spaces on a coin surface; among these are 
standing individuals and large low buildings, too frequently prescribed as the subjects for coin 
imagery. 

Inscriptions are an important aspect of coin design which must also respond to the nature 
of the medium. A small coin is an inadequate medium for carrying a message more than a few 
words long. Moreover, the expectation that a commemorative coin carry the distinctive phrases 
of the circulating coinage further limits the space for verbiage in the composition. In essence, 
coins are a pictorial medium. While the two sides of the coin are never seen together, they 
must be consistent in tone and style in order to produce a unified object. This is most certainly 
achieved by having both faces of the coin the work of the same artist, but appropriate interven- 
tion by the Chief Engraver can serve to achieve unity in designs of disparate origin. 

Improvement in the design of our commemorative coins must begin with program plan- 
ning which takes into account those aspects which distinguish coins from other media and are 
likely to result in good design. Those who propose or advocate specific subjects for com- 
memoration on the nation's coinage cannot be allowed to dictate the design of the coins if they 
do not understand and respect the basic elements of coin art. The drafters of enabling legisla- 
tion need not be experts in coin design themselves, but they should be careful to set up a situa- 
tion in which good coin design is encouraged rather than constrained. 

Successful coin designs can come from various sources within and outside the Mint, and 
different sources may be appropriate for different issues. The primary focus of coin design 
must be the engraving staff of the Mint, comprising talented artists with long experience in 
coin making. The Mint artists must be given a full and fair chance to participate in the process 
of coin design, as such an opportunity is the key incentive for keeping expert engravers at the 



71 



Stahl testimony, 7/12/95 page 4 

Mint. The final responsibility for the successful realization of all designs must rest with the 
Chief Engraver, who must be a master of both numismatic art and modern production require- 
ments. 

Many of our most successful coins of the past century, circulating as well as com- 
memorative, have been designed by artists outside the Mint commissioned for a specific coin. 
In order for this approach to be successful, the artist so chosen must have extensive knowledge 
of bas-relief sculpture and medallic design, if not specific coinage experience, and must work 
with the full cooperation and assistance of the Mint staff. 

An option which proved successful in the early years of the current commemorative 
program is the invited competition, in which a handful of artists outside the Mint are invited to 
compete among each other and Mint engravers for the design of a coin or series of coins. 
Though nominal compensation is usually offered for participation in such a competition, the 
only incentive likely to persuade artists of high caliber to commit the requisite time to such a 
process is the prospect of having their ideas appear in an undamaged form on our nation's 
coinage. To this end, there must be guarantees that the selection process will be totally fair and 
that alterations on accepted designs will be limited to adjustments within the scope of the 
original guidelines of the competition. 

Open public competitions, such as that undertaken for the bicentennial coinage, offer the 
possibility that a wonderful design will come from an unknown source. They also offer an 
early opportunity to inspire popular interest in a coin. However, an open competition for coin 
design should be undertaken with the anticipation of a flood of entries which could result in a 
truly exciting design being lost in a sea of uninteresting ones and the expectation that an inter- 
esting design by a non-specialist will need much re-working by the Mint staff. 

Whatever system of design selection is chosen, it must be clearly stated in advance and 
remain fair and above-board to ail those participating. It should also be established in such a 
way as to encourage artists to come up with truly original and unexpected designs which will 



72 



Stahl testimony, 7/12/95 page 5 

generate interest and excitement among the public. The design process in general should be 
approached as an opportunity to create new images, rather than to reproduce familiar ones in 
coin format. 

Oversight bodies which consider coin design must be prepared to deal with historical, 
political, economic, aesthetic and technical questions and should therefore include members 
well equipped to deal with such issues. Above all, advisory commissions and committees must 
be allowed to intervene in a timely fashion and with an understanding that their participation is 
an integral part of the design process. It is essential to establish a schedule whereby a com- 
mittee's responses to proposals can be incorporated into the process and then revisions in con- 
cept or execution can be brought back to them before it is necessary to move on to the next 
stage of production. 

I would like to close with a few thoughts on the relation of commemorative coinage to 
circulating coinage. The aspect of a commemorative coin which establishes it as distinct from a 
medal is its perceived relationship to the circulating coinage of the nation. To many 
Americans, the only true commemorative coin issued in their lifetimes is the bicentennial 
quarter, as it was the only one which circulated. The integration of commemorative designs 
into the circulating coinage, as was done for the bicentennial issues, might be the best way to 
stimulate genuine popular interest in the commemorative coin program. It could also mark a 
beginning of the consideration of new designs for the circulating coinage as a whole, which 
many believe to be appropriate as we plan for the currency of the next century. 



73 



Alan Stahl 

Dr. Stahl is the curator of Medieval Coins and of Medals for the 
American Numismatic Society in New York, NY. He has served as past 
President and Board Member of the American Medallic Sculpture 
Association and as USA Delegate and Member of the Executive 
Committee of FIDEM (International Medal Federation) . He also has 
been Councillor of the National Sculpture Society and past 
President and Historian of the New York Numismatic Club. 

He has written numerous books and articles on medieval coinage, and 
has been editor of The Medal in America and author of articles on 
American medals from colonial period to present. 

Dr. Stahl received his Ph.D. in history from the University of 
Pennsylvania in 1977. 



92-168 0-95-4 



74 



HARVEY G. STACK 

Testimony before the 

U.S. House Banking Committee 

Subcommittee on Domestic & International Monetary Policy 

July 12, 1995 
Washington, D.C. 



Thank you for inviting me to appear before this committee. 

My name is Harvey G. Stack. I am the senior partner of 
Stack's in New York City, the oldest and best known coin 
dealership in the United States. The company has served 
collectors since 1934. 

I have been a professional numismatist for nearly 50 years, 
involved in all phases of the business: Buying, selling, 
appraising, research, and writing hundreds of auction sale 
catalogs and articles. 

I am here today representing the Professional Numismatists 
Guild, Inc. -- the P.N.G. -- a non-profit trade association of 
the country's top rare coin and currency dealers. Founded in 
1955, our motto is "Knowledge, Integrity, Responsibility." I am 
a former President of the P.N.G. 

Here is my statement. 

There are too many U.S. commemorative coin programs with too 
many coins being produced. They are being sold by the Mint for 
too much money and under too many implied promises of future 
profits for the buyers. 

These are not "rare coins." The only thing "rarer" than 
these modern commeraorat ives will be finding someone willing to 
give you a profit when you try to sell them! 

If a private mint engaged in the marketing tactics and 
reaped the profit margins the U.S. Mint is enjoying, I suspect 
the Federal Trade Commission would take a close look at that 
company. Investigative reporters and "60 Minutes" would have a 
field day. 

Since 1982, Congress has authorized and the U.S. Mint has 
produced and marketed 126 different kinds of commemorative coins. 



-1- 



75 



HARVEY STACK 



PAGE 2 



For the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, a record number of 32 
different kinds of coins have been authorized. If a collector 
wants to purchase one of each, it will cost a minimum of $2,261. 
And now, the U.S. Olympic Committee wants even more coins 
produced for next year! 

The explosive growth continues elsewhere, too. There are at 
least 18 pieces of comemorative coin legislation now pending 
before the 104th Congress. 

Congress has never expressly mandated that the U.S. Mint 
become a profit-making entity with these programs, but that is 
what has happened. 

Between 1982, when the modern commemorative programs began, 
and 1993 -- the latest year for which we have been able to obtain 
figures -- the U.S. Mint's total sales revenue for commemorative 
coins is more than $1.4 billion. It's profits on these sales is 
more than $552 million; a half billion dollars. 

The U.S. Mint is not merely "making money," it is making 
unusually high profits on commemorative issues; profiteering at 
the expense of collectors. 

In addition to the Mint's own profit, surcharges included 
within the official issue price of each coin have benefited 
special causes, such as the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, 
the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, refurbishing the White House, 
and next year's Atlanta Olympic Games. 

From 1982 to 1993, total surcharges given to various special 
causes amounted to nearly $245 million. An additional $70 
million in surcharge revenue has been used to reduce the national 
debt. 

Perhaps more money should be going to reducing the debt, and 
less to some of the special causes that are receiving 
unappropriated funds from lawmakers for their pet projects or 
their supporters in special interest groups and foundations. 

(Those surcharges are not "tax deductible." The Ways and 
Means Committee has been considering a proposal to allow 
deductions for purchases of commemorat ives from the U.S. Mint.) 

I mentioned earlier it will cost you at least $2,261 to 
purchase one each of the 32 different coins being struck by the 
Mint for the Atlanta Olympic Games. What can buyers of these 
coins expect when they eventually decide to sell them? 



-2- 



76 



HARVEY STACK 



PAGE 3 



While past performance is no guarantee of future prices, I 
can say with utmost confidence that buyers of these over-priced 
souvenirs will be bitterly disappointed. 

I'm 67. I have a better chance of winning the Olympic 
marathon than any collector will have of making a profit -- or even 
breaking even -- when they try to re-sell their 1996 Olympic 
coins in the coming years. 

About the only way to make a profit on these coins is if 
gold soars to $800 an ounce again, and the Hunt Brothers propel 
silver back to $50 an ounce. Then these coins could be sold for 
a profit -- as bullion to be melted. 

What happens when a person, who in good faith purchased 
coins directly from the Mint, wants to sell them later to a 
member of the Professional Numismatists Guild or at any 
neighborhood coin store? 

Not long ago an elderly woman came into our store on West 
57th Street in New York to sell a group of modern U.S. 
commemorative coins she specifically purchased since 1983 for her 
grandchildren. 

She bought those coins directly from the Mint over the years 
and paid a total of $5,200 for them. When we could only offer 
her the fair market price of $2,200, she thought we were trying 
to cheat her. 

Although Stack's does not sell modern U.S. commemorat ives, 
we showed her she could easily purchase the exact same coins from 
other dealers for about $2,600. Half of what she originally paid 
for them. She left our store — very upset. 

Despite the Mint's extremely suggestive advertisements that 
these are "heirlooms" or "limited edition," there is virtually no 
secondary, collector's market for most of these coins -- except 
for their bullion content. 



Between 1982 and 1994, the Mint struck and sold 89 different 
commemorative coins. If a collector purchased them directly from 
the Mint at the best possible pre-issue prices, and tried to sell 
them today, he would make a one or two dollar profit on only 13 
of those coins, break even on two of them, and lose money on the 
74 others. For some coins, the financial losses would be greater 
than 60 percent! 



77 



HARVEY STACK PAGE 4 



The 1994 World Cup Soccer commemorative program actually 
lost more than $3.5 million. Paradoxically, the World Cup coin 
program lost millions even with U.S. Mint advertisements for 
these items included with Treasury Department tax refund checks. 

Coin dealers face unfair competition from the Mint's 
advertising. And, when dealers do sells these coins, they have 
to charge local and state sales taxes. The Mint does not; 
municipal and state governments are losing the revenues. 

Collectors have become disappointed with the proliferation 
of commemorat ives, disappointed with questionable themes and 
designs for many of these coin programs, and disappointed with 
high prices. 

That disappointment now is turning to disgust. Collectors 
are angry about the exploitation. Hobby publications, such as 
the authoritative Coin World and Numismatic News, are seeing an 
increasing number of letters to the editor from collectors who 
will be boycotting future commemorative coinage programs. 

It is appalling that the United States has not had a 
circulating commemorative coin since the 1976 Bicentennial 
program when special quarters, half dollars and dollar coins were 
struck and placed into circulation. 

Every major country of the world frequently places new 
designs on their circulating coins to commemorate important 
people, places and events — except the United States. 

PNG member David Sundman of New Hampshire points out that 
since 1945 there have been more than 2,000 postage stamp designs 
issued by the U.S., but in those same 50 years there have been 
only nine new coin designs put into circulation. 

Once you get the public to look at their change, you help 
create collectors. But right now, it's "Congress OKs, the 
collector pays:" $1.4 billion in U.S. Mint commemorative coin 
sales revenues; $^52 million in government profits; $245 million 
in surcharges giv^n to special groups; and another $70 million in 
surcharges to reduce the national debt. 

It's been high-priced coin after high-priced coin. And 
losing money discourages collectors. 

I thank the Committee for the opportunity to address these 
issues, and I welcome any questions you may have. 



78 




Coha t MmMmI 



Introducing the World Cup USA 1994 Commemorative Coins. 

Limited-edition, legal tender coins issued by the U.S. Mint 

For the first time in history, the World Cup soccer tournament will be played in the 
United States. The U.S. Mint has captured this unique sports event on a series of 
beautifully rendered commemorative coins: a five dollar gold, a one dollar silver, 
and a half dollar clad. Each captures the excitement, drama, and prestige of this 
world-famous event. And they are the only official commemorative coins of the 
1994 World Cup. 

Fire doDar gold coin: Weight 8.339 jranu Composiuon 90% gold (0 24 troy ounces). 6% lilvet. 4% copper. 
Diin^ter 0,850 inch. One doUar iQver coin: Weight 26.73 grmni. Composition 90% litver (0.76 troy 
ounce). 10% copper. Dian^ter I JOO inchei. Half dollar dad cola: Cotnpositioo 92% copper (0J3 troy 
ounce), 8% nickel. Diameter I.20S inches. 

Also Available: Persian Gulf Veterans National Medal 

Show that you support our troops and are proud of their triumph in the Persian Gulf 
Conflict with this Congressionally authorized 1.5 inch diameter bronze medal struck at 
the Philadelphia Mint. According to Public Law 102-281, after expenses, the proceeds 
from your purchase will help give a silver medal to our Persian Gulf veterans or their ntat of kin. 

Use the order form on the back or call, toll-free: 1-800-216-0800. 




United States Mint 
_ World Cup USA 1994 Coins 

Yes, please send me the World Cup USA 1994 Coins I have indi- 
cated. I understand that orders are not valid until accepted by the 
United States Mint. The Mint reserves the right to limit quantities 
and may discontinue accepting orders at any time. Coins and 
medals may be delivered in multiple shipments. Please allow a 
minimum of 6 weeks for delivery. 
Please Print 

Name .^ — - 

Street Address 

City 



State. 



-2p_ 



Daytime Telephone Number 

Place this order form in an envelope, add firsKlass postage and 
mail to the United States Mint, PO. Box 41998, Philadelphia, 
PA 19101-1998. 

Use this card or pass it along to a friend. 



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this orter (orm. M sales are final and not subject to refund or exchange. Foe questiora 
about your order, can the U.S. Mint al (301) 436-7400. M-f. 9-5 EST. Please DO NOT 
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79 



COIN WORLD, Monday, June 19, 1995 



U.S. Mint piggybacks 
tax return checks 

The United States Mint is hoping to turn 
more than 40 million American taxpayers 
into coin collectors by salting order forms 
offering commemorative coins for sale in 
advertising included along with federal in- 
come tax return checks from the Treasury 
for the 1994 tax year. 

In previous years, the Mint has focused 
its offers, included with some 50 million 
federal income tax return checks, on a sin- 
gle coin program. This year, the Mint ran- 
domly placed order forms for five different 
commemorative coin programs in a total of 
42 million tax return check envelopes. 

Mint spokesman Michael White said of- 
fers for several options of the 1995 Civil 
War Battlefield coins, including the 1995-S 
Prestige Proof set, accompanied some 20 
million income tax return checks. Another 
7 million order forms offering the three 
1994 veterans coins — Prisoner of War, 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Women 
in Military Service to America — were 
placed in separate tax return envelopes. 

Order forms promoting the first four 
1995-1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympics 
coins, the 1994 Bicentennial of the U.S. 
Capitol silver dollars and the 1995 Special 
Olympics silver dollars were separately 
placed in 5 million tax return check enve- 
lopes each, for a total of 15 million enve- 
lopes. 

Some 50 million federal income tax re- 
fund check envelopes in 1994 received 
Mint promotional materials touting the 
1994 Worid Cup soccer coins. Prestige 
Proof set, and Ben Franklin Firefighters 
and Persian Gulf War medals. A like num- 
ber'iOf envelopes in 1993 were salted with 
advertisements for the 1993 James Madi- 
son/Bill of Rights coins. 

To get on the Mint's mailing list, write 
Customer Service Center, United States 
Mint, 10001 Aerospace Drive, Lanham, 
Md. 20706, or call (202) 283-2646. Q2) 



80 



Modern U.S. Commemorative Coins 


U.S. Commemorative Program 


Pre- 
issue 
price 


Issue 
price 


*Dealer 

sell 

price 


**Dealer 

buy 

price 


1982-D (Unc.) Washington silver 50-cent 


NA 


$8.50 


4.95 


3.25 


1982-S (Proof) Washington silver 50-cent 


NA 


10.50 


4.75 


3.25 




1983-P (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


8.95 


7.75 


1983-D (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


12.95 


9.00 


1983-S (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


12.95 


7.75 


1 983-S (Proof) Olympic silver $1 


24.95 


29.00 


8.95 


7.50 




1984-P (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


13.95 


12.00 


1984-S (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


24.95 


21.00 


1984-D (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


NA 


28.00 


24.95 


21.00 


1984-S (Proof) Olympic silver $1 


32.00 


39.00 


11.95 


9.25 


1984-W (Unc.) Olympic $10 gold 


NA 


339.00 


239.00 


205.00 


1984-P (Proof) Olympic $10 gold 


NA 


352.00 


229.00 


225.00 


1984-D (Proof) Olympic $10 gold 


NA 


352.00 


269.00 


225.00 


1984-S (Proof) Olympic $10 gold 


NA 


352.00 


239.00 


205.00 


1984-W (Proof) Olympic $10 gold 


NA 


352.00 


269.00 


205.00 




1986-D (Unc.) Statue of Liberty clad 50-cent 


5.00 


6.00 


5.95 


3.00 


1986-S (Proof) Statue of Liberty clad 50-cent 


6.50 


7.50 


6.95 


4.50 


1986-P (Unc) Statue of Liberty silver $1 


20.50 


22.00 


9.00 


7.75 


1986-S (Proof) Statue of Liberty silver $1 


22.50 


24.00 


9.25 


7.70 


1986-W (Unc) Statue of Uberty $5 gold 


160.00 


165.00 


125.00 


105.00 


1986-W (ProoO Statue of Uberty $5 gold 


170.00 


175.00 


125.00 


106.00 




1987-P (Unc.) Constitution Bic. silver $1 


22.50 


26.00 


8.95 


8.00 


1987-S (ProoO Constitution Bic. silver $1 


24.00 


28.00 


8.50 


7.25 


1987-W (Unc.) Constitution Bic. $5 gold 


195.00 


215.00 


125.00 


105.00 


1987-W (ProoO Constitution Bic. $5 gold 


200.00 


225.00 


125.00 


105.00 




1988-D (Unc.) Olym|iic silver $1 


22.00 


27.00 


17.50 


10.50 


1 988-S (ProoO Olympic silver $1 


23.00 


29.00 


8.95 


7.25 


1988-W (Unc.) Olympic $5 gold 


200.00 


225.00 


125.00 


105.00 


1988-W (ProoO Olympic $5 gold 


205.00 


235.00 


125.00 


105.00 



81 



Modern U.S. Commemorative Coins 


continued) 




U.S. Commemorative Program 


Pre- 
Issue 
price 


issue 
price 


•Dealer 

sell 

price 


••Dealer 

buy 

price 


1989-S (Proof) Congress Bic. clad 50-cent 


5.00 


6.00 


5.95 


4.50 


1989-D (Una. Congress Bic. clad 50-cent 


7.00 


8.00 


12.95 


9.00 


1989-S (Proof) Congress Bic.silver $1 


25.00 


29.00 


14.95 


12.50 


1989-D(Unc.) Congress Bic silver $1 


23.00 


26.00 


19.95 


17.50 


1989-W (Proof) Congress Bic $5 gold 


195.00 


215.00 


125.00 


105.00 


1989-W (Unc.) Congress Bic $5 gold 


185.00 


200.00 


125.00 


105.00 




1990-P (Unc.) Eisenhower silver $1 


23.00 


26.00 


19.75 


13.00 


1990-W (Proof) Eisenhower silver $1 


25.00 


29.00 


9.95 


9.25 




1991-S (Proof) Mt. Rushmore clad 50-cent 


8.50 


9.50 


13.95 


10.00 


1991-D (Unc.) Mt. Rushmore clad 50-cent 


6.00 


7.00 


13.95 


10.00 


1 991 -S (Proof) Mt. Rushmore silver $1 


28.00 


31.00 


29.50 


24.00 


1991-D (Unc.) Mt. Rushmore silver $1 


23.00 


26.00 


33.50 


26.00 


1991-W (Proof) Mt. Rushmore $5 gold 


195.00 


225.00 


139.00 


110.00 


1991-W (Unc,.) Mt. Rushmore $5 gold 


185.00 


215.00 


139.00 


110.00 


1 991 -S (Proof) Korean War silver $1 


28.00 


31.00 


15.95 


13.00 


1 991 -D (Proof) Korean War silver $1 


23.00 


26.00 


16.95 


11.00 


1991-S (Proof) USO silver $1 


28.00 


31.00 


24.95 


15.00 


1991-D (Unc.) USO silver $1 


23.00 


26.00 


33.50 


23.00 




1992-S (Proof) Olympic clad 50-cent 


8.50 


9.50 


8.50 


7.00 


1992-P (Unc.) Olympic clad 50-cent 


6.00 


7.50 


6.25 


4.50 


1992-S (Proof) Olympic silver $1 


28.00 


32.00 


32.50 


26.00 


1992-D (Unc.) Olympic silver $1 


24.00 


29.00 


31.25 


24.00 


1992-W (Proof) Olympic $5 gold 


195.00 


230.00 


155.00 


125.00 


1992-W (Unc.) Olympic $5 gold 


185.00 


215.00 


145.00 


115.00 


1992-S (Proof) White House Bic. silver $1 


28.00 


32.00 


49.95 


37.00 


1992-S (Unc.) White House Bic. silver $1 


23.00 


28.00 


46.95 


34.00 


1992-D (Unc.) Columbus clad 50-cent 


6.50 


7.50 


12.95 


9.00 


1992-S (Proof) Columbus clad 50-cent 


8.50 


9.50 


12.95 


8.50 


1992-D (Unc.) Columbus silver $1 


23.00 


28.00 


26.50 


22.00 


1992-P (Proof) Columbus silver $1 


27.00 


31.00 


26.50 


21.00 


1992-W (Unc.) Columbus gold $5 


180.00 


210.00 


189.00 


160.00 


1992-W (Proof) Columbus gold $5 


190.00 


225.00 


179.00 


165.00 



82 



Modern U.S. Commemorative Coins 


continued) 




U.S. Commemorative Program 


Pre- 
Issue 
price 


Issue 
price 


'Dealer 

sell 

price 


"Dealer 

buy 

price 


1993-W (Unc.) Bill of Rights-Madison silver 50-cent 


9.75 


11.50 


13.95 


10.25 


1993-S (Proof) Bill of Rigfits-Madison silver 50-cent 


12.50 


13.50 


9.50 


7.00 


1993-D (Unc.) Bill of Rights-Madison silver $1 


22.00 


27.00 


19.95 


16.00 


1993-S (Proof) Bill of Rights-Madison silver $1 


25.00 


29.00 


16.50 


14.00 


1993-W (Unc.) Bill of Rights-Madison gold $5 


175.00 


205.00 


189.00 


150.00 


1993-W (Proof) Bill of Rights-Madison gold $5 


185.00 


220.00 


179.00 


130.00 


1993-P (Unc.) WWII 50th clad 50-cent 


8.00 


9.00 


9.75 


6.50 


1993-P (Proof) WWII 50th clad 50-cent 


9.00 


10.00 


10.95 


8.00 


1 993-D (Unc.) WWII 50th Anniv silver $1 


23.00 


28.00 


27.75 


22.00 


1 993-W (Proof) WWII 50th Anniv silver $1 


27.00 


31.00 


27.95 


21.00 


1993-W (Unc.) WWII 50th Anniv gold $5 


170.00 


200.00 


179.00 


150.00 


1993-W (Proof) WWII 50th Anniv gold $5 


185.00 


220.00 


179.00 


122.00 




1994-D (Unc.) World Cup clad 50-cent 


8.75 


9.50 


9.75 


6.75 


1994-P (ProoO World Cup clad 50-cent 


9.75 


10.50 


10.50 


8.25 


1994-D (Unc.) World Cup silver $1 


23.00 


28.00 


25.25 


20.50 


1 994-S (Proof) World Cup silver $1 


27.00 


31.00 


27.95 


23.50 


1994-W (Unc.) World Cup gold $5 


170.00 


200.00 


179.00 


150.00 


1994-W (Proof) World Cup gold $5 


185.00 


220.00 


179.00 


150.00 


1994-P (Unc.) Jefferson 250th silver $ 


27.00 


32.00 


45.00 


30.00 


1 994-S (Proof) Jefferson 250th silver $ 


31.00 


35.00 


45.00 


33.00 


1994-W (Unc.) Women in Military silver $1 


27.00 


32.00 


30.95 


30.00 


1994-P (Proof) Women in Military silver $1 


31.00 


35.00 


34.95 


28.00 


1994-W (Unc.) Vietnam Veterans silver $1 


27.00 


32.00 


30.95 


28.00 


1994-P (Unc.) Vietnam Veterans silver $1 


31.00 


35.00 


34.95 


29.00 


1994-W (Unc.) Prisoners of War silver $1 


27.00 


32.00 


30.95 


28.00 


1994- P (Proof) Prisoners of War silver $1 


31.00 


35.00 


34.95 


28.00 


1994-D (Unc.) U.S. Capital Bic. silver $1 


32.00 


37.00 


39.95 


27.00 


1 994-S (Proof) U.S. Capital Bic. silver $1 


36.00 


40.00 


42.50 


32.00 



83 



Modern U.S. Commemorative Coins 


continued) 




U.S. Commemorative Program 


Pre- 
Issue 
price 


Issue 
price 


•Dealer 
sell 

price 


"Dealer 

buy 

price 


1995-S (Una.) Civil War clad 50-cent 


9.50 


10.25 


11.95 


NA 


1995-S (Proof) Civil War clad 50-cent 


10.75 


11.75 


12.95 


NA 


1995-P (Unc.) Civil War silver $1 


27.00 


29.00 


31.95 


NA 


1995-S (Proof) Civil War silver $1 


30.00 


34.00 


33.95 


NA 


1995-W (Unc.) Civil War gold $5 


180.00 


190.00 


NA 


NA 


1995-W (Proof) Civil War gold $5 


195.00 


225.00 


240.00 


NA 


1995-W (Unc.) Special Olympics silver $1 


31.00 


35.00 


39.95 


NA 


1995-P (Proof.) Special Olympics silver $1 


29.00 


31.00 


39.95 


NA 


1995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics clad 50-cent 


10.50 


11.50 


NA 


NA 


1995-S (Proof) Atlanta Olympic clad 50-cent 


11.50 


12.50 


NA 


NA 


1995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics clad 50-cent 


10.50 


11.50 


NA 


NA 


1995-S (Proof) Atlanta Olympics clad 50-cent 


11.50 


12.50 


NA 


NA 


1995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


27.95 


31.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-P (Proof) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


30.95 


34.95 


NA 


NA 


1 995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


27.95 


31.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-P (Proof) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


30.95 


34.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


27.95 


31.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-P (Proof) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


30.95 


34.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-D (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


27.95 


31.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-P (Proof) Atlanta Olympics silver $1 


30.95 


34.95 


NA 


NA 


1995-W (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics gold $5 


229.00 


249.00 


NA 


NA 


1995-W (Proof) Atlanta Olympics gold $5 


239.00 


259.00 


NA 


NA 


1995-W (Unc.) Atlanta Olympics gold $5 


229.00 


249.00 


NA 


NA 


1995-W (Proof) Atlanta Olympics gold $5 


239.00 


259.00 


NA 


NA 


* Price at which collector can currently purchase. 
•* Price a dealer would currently pay a collector. 
NA - not available 



84 



Harvey Stack 

Mr. Stack is the senior partner of STACK'S, a family owned coin 
dealership in New York, N.Y. STACK'S was founded in 1934, and 
specializes in coins, medals and paper money. Many famous 
collections have been organized through STACK'S, including the J.K. 
Lilly Collection, the Eliasberg Collection and the reconstruction 
of the Truman Library Collection. 

Mr. Stack has authored numerous auction sale catalogues and many 
opinion papers. He has appeared as a witness before Treasury on 
the issue of importation of gold coins, and also before Congress on 
the Hobby Protection Act. The Secret Service has also utilized his 
expertise in counterfeiting. 

Additionally, Mr. Stack has served as a Governor for the U.S. Assay 
Commission. He has been a director and officer, including 
President, of the Professional Numismatists Guild. He has advised 
the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution 
in addition to various coin-oriented societies and organizations. 



85 



PREPARED STATEMENT OF DAVID L. GANZ, PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC 
ASSOCIATION at OVERSIGHT HEARINGS ON COMMEMORATIVE COINS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE 
ON DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL MONETARY POLICY of the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING & 
FINANCIAL SERVICES at the RAYBURN OFFICE BUILDING, WASHINGTON D.C. JULY 12th. 1995 

Chaiiman Castle. Mr. Flake, distinguished members of the subcommittee. I am pleased once again to 
appear before you. today for the first time as President of the American Numismatic Association ("ANA"), the 
largest educational, non-profit organization of coin collectors In the world. 

The ANA has more than 28,000 members, located in each of the 50 states, and in many foreign countries. 
It also has more than 600 clubs throughout the U.S. that are members of our organization, ranging in size of 3,000 
members of the Tokens and Medals Society, and the 300-memt)er Professional Numismatists Guild, Inc., to their 
45 member Dover. Delaware Coin Club. 

Some of you may be aware that in addition to being the President of the ANA. I am also a member of the 
Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee, having being appointed to a one year term by Treasury 
Secretary Lloyd Bentsen in 1993. and reappointed again for this year. I am also a member of the Board of 
Directors of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA). and affiliate member of the Professional 
Numismatists Guikj, Inc., a life-fellow of the American Numismatic Society, and a long time student of American 
coinage law which is actually one of the areas of skill and expertise that I practice as an attorney in New Yorit, New 
Jersey, and the District of Columbia. 

The Committees charged with handling the coinage matters have a long history of holding oversight 
hearings on pressing contemporary issues. None is more crucial, in my opinion, than that pertaining to the 
proliferation of commemorative coin issues in the 1990's. The first time that I was invited to appear before a 
congressional subcommittee dealing with coinage matters was in March, 1974. In the intervening 21 years, I have 
appeared before the committee with jurisdiction on coinage matters many times, but none was perhaps as 
imf)ortant in its purpose as the oversight hearing on commemorative coins held today. 

The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee in which I am proudly a member since its 
inception, issued its first report to Congress in September of last year. The recommendations of the Committee 
were unanimous: there is a strong and compelling need to reduce the total number of commemorative coins 
produced each year and a need to depoliticize the process of issuing the coins. There is also an ovenwhelming 
need to reduced the almost staggering number of new issues, and to minimize the mintage of those coins that 
have t>een authorized but not yet produced. 

The Citizens Commemorative Coins Advisory Committee also made a unanimous recommendation - 
signed by all voting members of the Committee - that Congress give serious consideration to the issuance of a 
circulating, legal tender commemorative coin - a coin without surcharge - which would have its designs regularly 
changed to exemplify contemporary commemorative themes. 

The purpose of this would tie to stimulate the general public to look at their coins, and their pocket change, 
much the way that the colonial drummer boy on the reverse of the bicentennial quarter did a generation ago. 

I am proud to have been the Individual asked to draft the brief section of the Citizens Advisory 
Committee's Report on a circulating commemorative coin. 

A rather extensive presentation as to the merits of such a proposal was made by me to the Citizens 
Advisory Committee in Febmary of last year, and as Mr. Diehl and my colleagues sitting behind me would tell you. 
it is a theme that I repeated and reiterated at every meeting of the Commemorative Advisory Committee; it's lime 
to issue circulating, legal tender commemoratives with no surcharges. 

It is the mission of the American Numismatic Association to promote public awareness of coin collecting, 
and its educational aspects, and it is our belief that there is no belter means of accomplishing this that the 
introduction of new, circulating commemorative coinage thai is emblematic of the values that have made our 
country great. 

This is tme now, just as it was 22 years ago, when bicentennial coinage legislation was introduced in both 
houses at the request of the Mint. The original legislative proposal would have permitted commemoration only 
on the half dollar and dollar - neither of which really circulated. It was the compelling logic of a truly circulating 
coin to tell the story of 200 years of freedom that caused ANA'S then president John Jay Pittman to ask Rep. 
Leonor K. Sullivan, chair of the Consumer Affairs subcommittee (which had jurisdiction over coinage matters). 



86 



why a truly circulating coin - the quarter - couldnl be added to the program. 

I recall the events vividly - indeed, I wrote a book about them entitled 14 Bits: The Story of America's 
Bicentennial Coinage (1977). Specifically, I remember the opposition that the Mint staff initially had to the 
proposal. The arguments that were raised then Included the claim that the Mint simply couldnl produce enough 
of the coins in a one year period of time. 

So Congress found a solution to that: allow production to start in mid-1975, utilizing a 1976 date, until 
there was an adequate supply of the coin so that it could be put out into circulation. Where the Mint typically might 
have had to produce 800 million quarters annually, more than 1.2 billion circulating bicentennial quarters were 
produced. They circulated widely and were collected by a generation of school children, foreign visitors to the 
United States, and many people who never before even thought about their coins or pocket change. 

Today, a whole generation later, you still see the Colonial Drummer Boy coin in pocket change. Every 
time that 1 see one it reminds me how important it is for our coins to tell a tale to the world of our era, its ideals, 
its goals, and its aspirations. 

As this Committee holds oversight hearings on the problems associated with modem commemorative 
coinage, 1 think that the starting point of any discussion should be the first report of the Citizens Commemorative 
Coin Advisory Committee. 

The Report of the Advisory Committee was made to Congress last fall when copies were transmitted to 
the various committees with jurisdiction on coinage matters. It did not receive widespread dissemination, even 
though the Committee latiored for many months to establish criteria for selecting future themes, and then to 
propose a five year plan for such coins. 

I am concerned that future generations of historians, and numismatists, and Congress itself will not 
understand the context in which contemporary commemorative coinage was authorized because of the relative 
unavailability of the Report. Because this Report is so essential to the overall presentation, and to understanding 
the background to the contemporary problems, its inclusion in the record of this hearing would assure that there 
are enough printed copies circulated, and placed in federal repository libraries, to see that the Report and its 
contents have widespread dissemination. I therefore would ask permission from the Chair to include in the 
hearing record (in its entirety) the recommendations and report of the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory 
Committee. 

Let me briefly talk about the other type of commemorative coins: the non-circulating legal tender types. 
Commemorative coinage has a long and illustrious history in our country. Some truly Important events and 
distinguished Americans have been honored with this truly unique tribute that only a sovereign nation - with its 
legal coinage - can offer. 

Throughout commemorative coinage history, however, there has always been a problem: someone Is 
almost always looking to cash in. The very first year of issue, 1892, saw the sponsors of the Worid's Fair 
Exposition In Chicago promote special commemorative coins. They were acquired by the sponsor for a half dollar 
from the Mint, and then sold to the general public at $1 apiece. 

There was a consideratrfe amount of hype associated with commemorative coinage, even then. The very 
first commemorative coin ever struck - the 1892 Columbian Exposition half dollar coin - was purchased by the 
Remington Typewriter Company for $1 0,000, and then placed on display. And, while It doesnl sound like much, 
$1 was a lot of money back In 1892. 

There was controversy, even then. The monthly publication of the ANA, The Numisntatist. chronicled 
commemorative coinage as It first began (not surprising since TTie Numismatist began publication In 1888). It 
said of the 1893 Isabella quarter commemorative: 

In the Women's Building only, could be obtained the Isabella quarter dollar 
They are beautiful little pieces that sold on their merits... owing to the limited 
number coined, they will always command a higher premium than their half dollar 
brother", according to Dr. George Heath. 

Through the years, there were many other commemorative coins authorized, neariy all of which were 
produced by the Mint for a private committee or organization which acquired them from the Mint at face value and 
then resoM them to the public at a much higher price. These organizations frequently utilized official distributors 
to mercliandise their coins. Such luminary names as Bebee's of Chicago (and later Omaha) and Stack's of New 
York, vtrere among the official distributors making significant profits on selling these commemorative coins. Selling 
prices (in 1950, using 1950 dollars) were $8.50 for a set of three half dollars (one from Philadelphia, Denver and 



87 



San Francisco mints). Of course, the Mint received only $1 .50 for the three coins, and the Memorial Association 
$3 per set. The remaining sum represented pure profit. 

I recently looked at the Statistical Abstract of the United States and its chart on Consumer Prices, adding 
in the CPI from the earlier Economic Report of the President (1971), so that I could accurately calculate price 
changes over the last 40 years. Since 1950, prices have gone up an average of over 500%. 

For the simple half dollar set of 1950 consisting of three coins being sold, retail, for $8 50, that would 
mean that a 1995 price of $51 for the three coins would be the equivalent. But the U.S. Mint charges far less than 
that for the equivalent, meaning that today's collectors get a better value for their money, even in the face of 
charges of high profits. 

Eariy commemorative issues were rife with abuse. There were real, substantive abuses In the system, 
as well as outrageous prorits by private promoters and distributors. In 1939, the Chairman of the House Banking 
Committee, Rep. Cochran, determined that the abuses had to stop. House Report No. 101, 76th Congress. 1st 
session was the result; legislation to put a halt to the abuses resulted that same year and before long, after a string 
of Presidential vetoes, commemorative coinage was halted in 1954. 

I recall as a relatively young collector, and certainly, as a young vmter (for I have been writing 
professionally atwut coins since 1965) the arguments raised again and again that the Treasury Department ought 
to take a new look at commemorative coins and start to Issue them, again. 

I have certainly written extensively on the subject, both In technical law review articles, and In the 
commercial trade press, that commemorative coins are the life blood of the coin hobby Their designs can be 
changed more or less regulariy, where regular circulating coins has traditionally not had their design changed more 
frequently than once in 25 years (as mandated by the Act of September 26, 1890). 

It Is for this very reason that I argued so strongly at the first Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory 
Committee meeting, and at each subsequent one, that circulating commemorative coinage was so Important. 

It avoids most of these uses of the current system principally by giving the profit - all of It - to the 
govemment. The government profit Is called seigniorage, and It Is substantial. On a typical half-dollar coin, for 
example, the govemment makes more than 45^ "profit" as long as it Is made of copper nickel. 

It woukJ be easy to say that there aside from the bicentennial coin program, there Is no experience with 
circulating commemorative coins, but that is Inaccurate. In 1931, Congress directed the Secretary of the Treasury 
to produce a commemorative coin honoring the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington. The now-familiar 
design on the George Washington quarter was the result of what was to be a one-year coin effort. Other 

countries have utilized the concept of circulating commemorative coinage to great effect. Canada Is one recent 
example, striking one coin for each of the provinces. 

I examined the sut)ject at great length in the formal report that I prepared, and presented, to the Citizens 
Advisory Committee last year. I would ask the chair's permission that this Report, contained in the appendix to 
this prepared statement, be reprinted In the hearing record in its entirety. 

There are those who have criticized, and will continue to criticize, the wori< of the Citizens 
Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee. The criticism is understandable to those of us who have heard It, 
because In some sense, all of us share in the frustration of not being able to offer an Immediate fix or solution to 
the problem. 

What Is the cause of the problem? 
Let me summarize: 

Too many coins are being authorized. 

Authorizing programs that are not maricet-tested, but rather driven by the underiying 

legislation. 

Creation of programs that are driven by the financial needs of the sponsoring organizations, 

rather than a historically timely commemoration. 

Inability on the part of the Mint to be responsive to perceived demands In the mari^etplace. 

A shrinking marketplace for Items that are purchased with discretionary Income, and an Inability 

of the Mint to re-price, or to create new products that would be more competitive. 

Contrived commemorations, such as the 38fh anniversary of the end of the Korean War. 

Repetitious themes, such as the 1989 Congressional commemorative and the 1994 bicentennial 

of the Capitol building; 

Overiy large programs with too many designs or repetitious designs, such as the Worid Cup. 



88 



Let me put this in a different context. Suppose ttiat the U.S. Mint was producing a consumer good such 
as a detergent. The company's tward of directors meets and passes a motion that says 

later this year, you will produce a new brand of soap. We dont know if anyone wants tttis soap, 
but 10% of ttie proceeds from tt>e sale of it will go to a worthy cause. The package for the soap 
should have a picture on it as we direct. You will market it to your customers. And you can sell 
up to a million units of the product. Good luck. 

If this were proposed to Proctor & Gamble, they'd tell you that the proposal was crazy and made no sense. 
It wasnt market-tested; the design of the package wasnl part of a consumer survey. Yet that's precisely what the 
Board of Directors of the U.S. Mint - 535 members of the House and Senate - have done regularly with 
commemorative coinage. 

Inevitably, every coin authorized looks like a horse that is designed by a committee, but visually 
resembles a camel. 

I understand the position that many members of Congress and even those in the Executive Branch face; 
in fact, as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, I have been lobbied on behalf of many worthwhile 
projects, typical of a truly worthy goal, and each of which is meritorious to the funds that they are trying to raise. 
But there is a problem. 

The problem is that between 85% to 90% of every commemorative coin that is being produced is 
purchased by one of the nation's coin collectors. Because every contemporary commemorative coin has a 
surcharge, this constitutes little more than a tax on the nation's coin collectors - and it is the subject of 
considerable controversy, and resentment. 

Significantly, this pricing surcharge has the practical effect of making potential purchasers pay a tax going 
in, and then be the recipient of a second unhappy result: because there are too many coins for too few collectors, 
the price inevitably goes down. 

It's not true in every case, but can be factually seen in enough examples to assure many collectors that it's a better 
opportunity to make a purchase in the secondary martlet, a year after issue, than to buy the original. 

A recent issue of Coin World (dated July 3, 1995) contains advertisements offering modem 
commemorative coins for sale. Here are some examples: a 1 984 $1 gold piece in gem proof was sold for $352 
at the time of the Olympic Games. Today's price: $269, some 11 years later. Another example the 1989 
Congressional half dollar (sold originally for $7 in proof) now can be purchased for $5.95, six years later. These 
coins may be fun to collect, but they are simply not good investments. 

Every group that lobbies Congress for its own commemorative program, and everyone that thinks about 
undertaking such a program, has a different mart^efing strategy as to how their group will be the savior, and make 
the purchases necessary to sell-out the program, or to make it successful. It simply has never happened. 

It is true now, and frankly it was also tme a hundred years ago during the entire history of commemorative 
coins. The melting reconjs of the U.S. Mint bespeak the issue, even when the theme is one that should bring a 
sell-out. 

For example in 1926, the National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Association of Philadelphia, for the 150th 
anniversary of American Independence, was the principal issuer of a half dollar of which one million pieces were 
authorized and struck. Over 859,000 pieces were melted (net issuance: 141,120 at $1 apiece). 

Even when knowledgeable coin dealers were in charge of distribution, the number of coins that they 
ordered usually far exceeded the predicted demand. For example, in Bowers' book Commemorative Coinage of 
the United States of America (1991), he notes that the well-known firm of Stack's of New York City was exclusive 
distributor for the Robinson-Arkansas 1936 series (pp. 394-5). They offered the coins at $1.85 apiece (or a 270% 
maricup over cost). Their subscription application fomn noted on its back that '"From all outward appearances, this 
issue will t)e oversubscribed and sold the day the coins will be released". Mintage was set at a 25,000 minimum 
and 50,000 maximum. The results: only 25.000 coins were sold. 

(At least there wereni substantial meltings on that issue. In 1 946, for the Booker T. Washington issue. 
Stack's was not as lucky. Of 1 ,000,000 pieces minted at Philadelphia, 200,000 at Denver and 500,000 at San 
Francisco, Bowers estimates that some 450,000 were eventually melted). 

In fact, the statistics are a sorry lot for the history of the number of coins authorized, the number produced, 
and the number melted. In summary, some 34 million commemorative coins were authorized between 1892 and 



89 



1954 of wtiich about half (17.686,059) were actually minted If these, a/mos/ half were melted (8.2 million pieces) 
for a net of 9.473.923 pieces. A chart showing the specifics of this that I have prepared is attached in the 
Appendix as Table 1. 

You would think that, perhaps, that those who authorize commemoratives. or propose them, might have 
learned from the mistakes of the past, but this is not the case at all. Another chart that I have prepared (found 
in the Appendix, Table 2) shows similar statistics for modem commemorative coinage 

It shows that over 212 million commemorative coins have been authorized by Congress since 1982 - not 
counting toe Olympic program for 1995-96 or programs for future years - of which only about a quarter (49.9 
million pieces, or 23 49% to be precise) have been sold. (Very few pieces were melted, of course, since most 
issues in recent times are produced to the projected demand based on the science of orders received). 

These statistics are also interesting because it shows that, overwhelmingly, the coins sold are proof coins 
(86% on average) with only a small percentage (13%) uncirculated issues. 

What is striking about the modem commemorative statistics is that the market is shrinking. Fewer coins 
are t>eing sold even though there is an increased need from sponsors for more revenue. Several graphs that I 
have prepared are found in the app>endix showing the disturbing, downward trend line. 

For example, in 1985, the seminal issue of the Statue of Liberty raised $83 million in surcharges. The 
copper nickel 50 cent coin saw 7.8 million pieces minted (selling at $7 in proof, and $5 in uncirculated) The silver 
dollar saw 7.1 million pieces minted. The gold $5 coin had a mintage of almost 500,000. 

This is truly the benchmark that all other series have to be measured against, even though other series 
may have an occasional higher mintage 

Compare the goW coins today. The high point was the 1987 Constitution bicentennial, with 865,000 coins 
produced It declines to 21 1 ,000 for the bicentennial of Congress in 1987. 143.000 for the golden anniversary of 
Mount Rushmore, and just over 100,000 pieces for the Columbus quincentenary, Madison memorial coin, and 
Wortd Cup issues The graph in the appendix makes this very dear. 

Silver dollars included 2.2 million for the 1 983-4 Olympics, to the 7. 1 million for the Statue of Liberty, then 
to 3 1 million for the bicentennial of the Constitution, and then in a downward path that includes statistical blips 
such as the 1988 Olympic dollar and 1990 Eisenhower centennial coin. The 1992 White House (500,000 
authorized) and 1994 (dated 1993) Jefferson coins (600.000 authorized) sold out for practical purposes But 
mintages since are much lower, making even 300,000 coins no longer a sure thing. 

The recommendations that I am about to make will come as no surprise to those who are familiar with my 
writings. Back in 1977, 1 wrote a modest article entitled "Towanj a Revision of the Minting & Coinage Laws of the 
United States", which was published in the Cleveland State Law Review {\/o\ume 26, pages 175-257). It discussed 
the problems of commemorative coins in the past (at that time, commemoratives had not been struck in more than 
20 yeare) and proposed their future with seven different parts, utilizing a newly empowered Joint Commission on 
the Coinage (which had been authorized by the Coinage Act of 1965, but then slid into history). The Citizens 
Advisory Committee could be substituted tor the Joint Commission with these recommendations:' 

1 . The Commission may recommend and the Secretary may issue up to three differently-designed 
commemorative coins each yean 

2. Designs for commemorative coinage authorized pursuant to this section shall be determined by 
the Commission in consultation with the Commission on the Fine Arts; 

3. Such coins shall be legal tender in the amount of their face value 

4. The Secretary may authorize commemorative coins to be struck In clad metal or in such other 
metals as the Secretary may by regulation designate 

5. The Secretary may authorize commemorative coinage to be of any denomination that is not a 
circulating coin of the realm 

6. Commemorative coinage manufactured pursuant to this section may t>e struck as proof coins or 
in such other manner as the Secretary may by regulation prescrit>e, and shall be sold at a premium by the 
Seaetary. 

7. Profits derived from the sale of commemorative coinage shall accrue to the General Fund of the 
Treasury. 



Found in 26 Clavaland Slate L. Review 175, 238 at taction 303 of the proposed Act) 

5 



90 



The comments to the section suggest that "Selection of designs would be made... presumably utilizing 
an advisory committee similar to that used by the Postal Service in selecting the commemorative stamps to be 
Issued periodically each year." Gold and silver coins are contemplated, and other metals as well may be 
designated. This could include platinum, or non-precious metals. It is specifically noted that "there Is nothing 
mandatory about this section, however. II merely permits the Secretary to strike revenue-producing coins. As 
distinguished from prior issues of commemoratives, profits would accrue to the General Fund of the Treasury." 

I suggest to the Committee that the remedial actions suggested by me some 18 years ago are prescient 
and, to a remarkable extent, if accepted today, would do a great deal to remedy the problems associated with 
commemorative coins today. 

There are no easy answers to the commemorative coin problems of today. But I am certain that this 
Committee, by the chair calling this hearing, has taken an imporlant first step toward helping solve this critical 
problem. 



91 



Table 1 

Early American Commemorative Coin Issues 

(Mintlngs and meltings)' 



Btrtf Comm»iT>o™tiv« Coin lasiMs 






Surviving 


Date 


Type 


D«r>om 


« Authonzed 


«Uinted 


#me«8d 


Mintage 


1882 


Columbian 
Exposition 


50 


5.000,000 


SSO.OOO 




950.000 


1893 




50 




4,052,105 


2.S01.700 


1.550.405 


1693 


Expo Quartaf 


25 


40.000 


40,000 


15.809 


24.191 


1900 


Lafayette 


1 


50.000 


50,000 


14.000 


36 000 


1915 


PanPac 


SO 


200 000 


60,000 


32.896 


27.104 


1918 


Lincoln 


50 


100.000 


100,000 




100,000 


1920 


Main* C«nt 


50 


100.000 


50,000 




50.000 


1920 


Pilgnm 


50 


300.000 


200,000 


48.000 


152,000 


1921 




50 




100,000 


80.000 


20.000 


1921 


Alabama 


50 


100.000 


54,000 


SOOO 


49.000 




2-2 vanatY 




16.000 




16.000 


1921 


Mi«soun 


50 


2S0.000 


40.000 


29.600 


10.400 




Mnaoufi 2*4 


50 




10.000 




lo.ooa 


1922 


Grant 


SO 


250.000 


9S.0OO 


27.650 


67.350 


1922 


grant • 


SO 




5.000 


7S0 


4.2S0 


1923 


Monroa 
Cantennial 


50 


300.000 


274.000 




274,000 


1924 


Huguano(-Wal 
loon 


50 


300.000 


142.000 




142.000 


1925 


Calitomia 


50 


300.000 


150.200 


63.606 


86.594 


1925 


Ft Vancouvar 


50 


300.000 


50.000 


35.034 


14.966 


1925 


LaxingtooCooc 
ord 


SO 


300.000 


162.000 


86 


161.914 


1925 


Stona 
Mountain 


SO 


S.000.000 


2.314.000 


1.000.000 


1.314.000 


1926 


Oragon Trail 


50 


6.000.000 


48.000 


75 


47,925 


1926 


Or»9on (S) 


50 




100.000 


17.000 


83,000 


1928 


Oagon 


SO 




50.000 


44.000 


6,000 


1936 


Oregon 


50 




10.000 




10.000 


1936 


Oeaoo(S) 


50 




5.000 




5.000 


1937 


Oegon(D) 


SO 




12.000 




12.000 


1938 


Oregon 


SO 




18.000 




18,000 


1939 


Oregon 


SO 




9.000 




9.000 


1926 


Sasquican 


SO 


1.000,000 


1,000.000 


859.408 


140,592 


1927 


Varmoot 


SO 


40.000 


40.000 


11.892 


28.1 OS 


1928 


Hawaii Sasqui 


SO 


10.000 


10.000 




10.000 


1934 


Boona 


50 


600.000 


10.000 




loooq 


1935 


Boooe(PDS) 


50 




20.000 




20.000 


1935 


Boor>a<w/tmall 
1934) 


50 




10.000 




10.000 


1935 


Boooa (small 
1934 OS) 


SO 




4.000 




4.ooa 


1936 


Boona (PDS) 


SO 




22.000 




22.000 


1937 


BoonelPp§l 


50 




12678 




1?,?79 



^ Data taken from Q David Bowers. Comm»mor»tiv» Coinage of the United States (1 991 ) and A. Slabaugh, United States 
Commemorative Coins (2d ed 197S). 



92 



1938 


Boon«(PDS) 


SO 




15,000 


8,716 


6,284 


1934 


Mafyland 


50 




25,000 




25,000 


1934 


Taxas 


50 


1,500,000 


205,000 


143,650 


61,350 


1935 


Texas(POS) 


50 


1.500.000 


30,000 


12 


29,988 


1936 


T«xas(PDS) 


50 




30,000 


3,008 


26,992 


1937 


Texas(PDS) 


50 




24,000 


4,205 


19,795 


1938 


Texas (PDS) 


50 




15,000 


3,647 


11.353 


1935 


AiVantas(PDS 

) 


50 


500.000 


24.000 




24.000 


1936 


Arkansas 
(PDS) 


50 




30.000 


1.050 


28,950 


1937 


Aritansas 
(PDS) 


50 




16.500 




16,500 


1938 


Ari(ansas(PDS 

) 


50 




18.000 


8.550 


9,450 


1939 


Art(ansas(PDS 

) 


SO 




6.300 




6.300 


1935 


Connecticut 


50 


25,000 


25,000 




25,000 


1935 


Hudson 


50 


10,000 


10,000 




10,000 


1935 


Old Spanish 
Trail 


50 


10.000 


10,000 




10,000 


1935 


SanDwgo 
HaK 


50 


250,000 


250.000 


180,000 


70.000 


1936 


San Diogo (D) 


50 




180.000 


150,000 


30,000 


1936 


Albany 


SO 


25,000 


25.000 


7,342 


17,658 


1936 


Bridgeport 


50 


25.000 


25.000 




25,000 


1936 


Cincinnati 


50 


15.000 


15,000 




15,000 


1936 


Cleveland 


50 


50.000 


50.000 




50,000 


1936 


ColumbiaSesq 
ui 


SO 


25.000 


25.000 




25,000 


1936 


Delaware Terc 


50 


25.000 


25,000 


4,032 


20,968 


1936 


Elgin 


SO 


25.000 


25,000 


5,000 


20,000 


1936 


Gettysburg 


SO 


50,000 


50,000 


23,100 


26,900 


1936 


Long Island 


SO 


100,000 


100,000 


18.227 


81.773 


1936 


LyrKhburg 


SO 


20,000 


20,000 




20,ood 


1936 


Norfolk 


SO 


25,000 


25.000 


8,077 


16,923 


1936 


Rhode Island 


SO 


50,000 


50,000 




soood 


1936 


Robinson-Arfca 
nsas 


SO 


25.250 


25,250 




25.250 


1936 


SanFianci*co( 
S) 


50 


200.000 


100.000 


28,631 


71.369 


1936 


Wisconsin 


50 


25,000 


25.000 




25,Ood 


1936 


York 


50 


30.000 


25.000 




25,000 


1937 


Antietam 


50 


50.000 


50.000 


32,000 


18,00« 


1937 


Roanoke 


50 


50.000 


50,000 


21,000 


29,000 


1938 


New Roclwlle 


50 


25.000 


25,000 


9,749 


15,251 


1946 


Iowa 


50 


100.000 


100,000 




100,00M 


1946 


Booker T 

Washington(P 

OS) 


50 


5.000.000 


1.700.000 


450.000 


1.2SO.0OM 


1947 


BT 

Washington 

(PDS) 


SO 




300.000 


282.000 


18.000 


1948 


BT 
Washington 


SO 




60,000 


24.000 


36.000 


1949 


Washington(P 
OS) 


SO 




36.000 


18,000 


18.000 



93 



1SS0 


BT 

Wishinglor 

(PDS) 


50 




536.000 


462,000 


74,000 


1951 


C«rv*f-Wuhi 
nflton 


50 


3.415.631 


130.000 


90,000 


40,000 


1952 


C«rw-Wish( 
PDS) 


50 




2.022.000 


900,000 


1,122,000 


1953 


Carvw-Wash( 
PDS) 


50 




124.000 


20,000 


104,000 


1954 


C»rv«f-Wash9 
(PDS) 


50 




146.000 


80,000 


66,000 


1903 


Louisiana 


1 


250.000 


250,000 


215,242 


34,758 


1904 


L«wis & Clar* 


1 


250.000 


25.000 


15.003 


9,997 


1905 


Lewis & C\atV 


1 




35.000 


25,000 


10,000 


1915 


PanPac(S) 


1 


25.000 


25.000 


10,000 


15,000 


1915 


PanP»c 


$2 50 


10.000 


10.000 


3,268 


6,732 


1915 


P»nP»c 
Round 


SSO 


1,500 


1,500 


1,027 


473 


1915 


PanPac 
Octagon 


»50 


1.500 


1,500 


864 


636 


1916 


McKinkey 


1 


100.000 


20.026 


10.023 


10,003 


1917 


McKinlcy 


1 




10.000 


5,000 


5,000 


1922 


Grant 


1 


10.000 


5.000 




5,000 


1922 


Grant w/Star 


1 




5,000 




5,000 


1926 


Sesquicentenn 

iai 


2.50 


200.000 


200.000 


154,207 


45,793 




















TOTALS 


34.538.881 


17.686.059 


8.212,136 


9,473.92? 



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SS Dollar Commemoralive Sales 



95 




Prepared by Oavid L. Ganz, May 23. 1995 



96 



Half Dollar Commemorative Sales 



Comm Half Dollars 



1000000 
900000 
800000 
700000 
600000 
500000 
400000 
300000 
200000 




1989-1994 



Prepared by David L. Ganz, May 23. 1995 



97 



Silver Dollar Commemorative Sales 



Commem Dollars 



3200 
_2900 
^^2600 
■g2300 
§2000 
§ 1700 
o 1400 
iE 1100 
^ 800 
500 
200 




1983-1994 



Prepared by David L. Ganz, May 23, 1995 



98 



Report to the Citizens 

Commemorative Coin 

Advisory Committee on 

Circulating Commemorative 

Coins 

By DAVID L. GANZ* 

At its first meeting in 
Washington on December 14, 
1993, an issue raised before 
the Citizens Commemorative 
Coin Advisory Committee 
dealt with the issuance of 
circulating commemorative 
coinage as contrasted with the 
non-circulating legal tender 
commemorative coins that, in 
recent years, have been struck 
by the Mint as authorized and 
directed by Congress. 

Statutory Chair of the 
panel, Philip N. Diehl, 
executive deputy director of 
the United States Mint, 
requested that the Committee 
be briefed on the issues 
involving a circulating 
commemorative coin, 
consistent with the mandate of 



Member of the Citizens 
Commemorative Coin 
Advisory Panel, President, 
American Numismatic 
Association, member of the 
Board of Directors of the 
Industry Council for 
Tangible Assets, Life 
Fellow, American 
Numismatic Society. 
Unless otherwise stated, 
the views expressed are 
those of the author alone. 
This report is dated January 
20, 1994. 



the committee to make formal 
recommendations to Congress 
by year's end. 

The Committee has 
viewed its mandate broadly, 
and from this directive by the 
Chair, it is hoped that 
legislation or Congressional 
rulemaking will result in 
diminished criticism of the 
existing commemorative coin 
programs, while 
simultaneously increasing the 
sales of existing and future 
programs. 

To some extent, in my 
judgment, the Conunittee must 
be a lightning rod, and be 
audacious enough to take the 
lead on an issue where, by 
doing so, they can ultimately 
benefit all commemorative 
coin programs for the future. 

Brief History of 
Commemorative Coinage 

Commemorative 
coinage has existed since at 
least the time of the Roman 
Empire.' Coins of that era 
were utilized to pay homage 
to the Caesars,^ to celebrate 



If a broader 
deflnidoD is utilized, the practice of 
'making coin devices alluding to 
some locality, event or important 
personage... is nearly as old as 
coinage itself.' Anthony Swiatek & 
Walter Breen, The Encyclopedia of 
United States Silver A Gold 
Commemorative Coins 1892-1 9S9 
(rev. ed. 1989), p. xi. 

2. In Ganz, The 
World of Coins and Coin Collecting 
(2d ed, Scribner's, 1985), a 
pbotogra[^ and explanation appears 
of a coin bearing an elephant's 



victories on the battlefield,' 
and indeed, to communicate 
with the populace utilizing the 
one means —money— that 
every citizen utilizes for basic 
contact with the government. 
Indeed, these commemorative 
coins constitute a primary 
source for contemporary 
historical research as to what 
events took place in Roman 
times.* 

Elements of coinage 
design - circulating and non- 
circulating— are closely 
regulated, and the design 
elements have historically 
been considered of paramount 
importance. Indeed, when the 
original Mint Act of April 2, 
1792 was enacted, more time 
was expended in discussing 
the design elements on the 
coinage, and the portraiture 
that was to appear, than on 
the substance of the Mint's 
organizational structure.' A 



portrait, punning on the name of 
Julius Caesar's name. See Appendix 
A, page 1. darlemagne had coins 
struck to celebrate his coronation as 
Emperor of what is today referred to 
as die Holy Roman Empire on 
Christmas Day in the year A.D. 8(X). 

'. The Ramans issued 

coinage uitder Vespasian and Titus 
bearing the motto IVDAEA CAPTA 
(Judea captured), commemorating 
die fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. 

*. See PhiUp Hill, 

Undated Coins of Rome (Spink, 

1970). 

*. See Ganz, "Toward 

a Revision of the Minting and 
Coinage Laws of die United States,' 



99 



review of the early editions of 
the Annals of Congress ( 1 79 1 ) 
reveals a major debate as to 
whether George Washington's 
portrait, or that of an object 
merely representing Liberty, 
should be utilized." Many 
collectors are aware, and even 
collect, the pattern coins 
frequently described as 
"George Washington as King 
or Emperor," an allusion to 
the designs which were 
similar to that of King George 

m.' 

Congress initially 
decided that circulating 
coinage would bear a design 
emblematic of Liberty, 
verbiage for which is found in 
the original minting act of 
1792,' continued in the 
seminal Coinage Act of 1 873,' 
and in the 1982 codification 
that is presently in effect. 
Coinage design, during the 
Mint's first 100 years utilized 



26 Cleve. State L Rev. 175. 187 
(1977). HamiltoD spent a mere 21 
sentences discussing organizational 
structure, A. Hamilton, Report on 
the Establishment of a Mint (1791) 
reprinted in 7 Papers of Alexander 
Hamilton 473 (Syren ed. 1963). 

*. 3 Annals of 

Congress 1344 (1792). Taxay. U.S. 
Mint and Coinage (1966). 



page 2. 



See Appendix A. 



". Act of April 2. 

1792. cL 1. §10, 1 Stat. 264. 

'. Act of Feb. 12, 

1873. ch. 131, 17 Stat 424. 



portraiture of a feinale symbol 
of Liberty, appearing in a 
variety of different styles and 
designs. 

The first American 
circulating commemorative 
coin was probably a 
counterstamp)ed 1848 quarter 
eagle ($2.50 gold piece) 
struck at the Philadelphia 
Mint from Clalifomia gold. 
Known as the "C^al" quarter 
eagle, the coin has punched 
into its field the abbreviation 
"CAL.", intended to call 
attention to the great gold 
rush that began at Sutter's 
Mill.'" 

A half century later, in 
1892, promoters of the 1893 
International World's Fair and 
(Columbian Exposition in 
Clhicago proposed issuance of 
a special conunemorative coin 
that had a face value of 50 
cents, and an initial sales price 
of $1." The following year. 



^°. See Appendix A. 

p. for a photo of the coin and a 

brief background to its existence. 
The background was disclosed by. 
among others, R.S. Yeoman in his 
pioneer article — , published in The 
Numismatist in 1948. Q. David 
Bowers agrees that this is the first 
commemorative coin struck by the 
MinL See Commemorative Coins of 
the United States of America, op. 
ciL (1991) at 22. 

^\Actof Aug. 5, 1892, ch. 
381, 27 Stat 389 (Columbian 
exposition commemorative halves). 
The selling pice is substantial, 
because the average weekly wage at 
the time was between $5 and $7, 
Bowers. Complete Encyclopedia, op. 
cit.. p. 97. 



they proposed a woman's 
commemorative coin'^ with a 
portrait featuring an alleged 
likeness of Queen Isabella of 
Spain, the patron of Chistobal 
Colon. 

The half dollar 
authorized was produced 
bearing 1892 and 1893 dates 
in its authorized quantity of 
five million pieces. It was 
intended to raise several 
million dollars for the 
sponsors, who had the 
exclusive right to purchase 
from the Mint and then to 
resell to the public. Beautiful 
in design," the coin was to be 
sold as a souvenir at the Fair, 
not an unreasonable 
expectation.'* As events 
turned out, the sponsors were 
unable to make their predicted 



^2. Act of Mar. 3. 

1893. ch. 208. 27 Stat 586 (silver 
quarter legal tender for Columbian 
exposition [Isabella Quarter]) 



^'. See Cornelius 

Vermeule, Numismatic Art in 
America 91-93 (1971); Q.D. 
Bowers, Commemorative Coins of 
the United States: A Complete 
Encyclopedia (1991) p. 32. agrees, 
though he quotes an article 
appearing in the American Journal 
of Numismatics (1893) terming the 
design "a great disappointment*. 

'*. Total attendaiKe at tfie 
Fair was 27.5 million people, three 
times the number that attended the 
Centennial exposition in 
Wiiladelphia in 1876. See Eglit, 
infr-a, p. 9. 



100 



sales" and to recoup their 
investment, the sponsors 
placed hundreds of thousands 
of these Columbian exposition 
coins into circulation, where 
they eventually crept into 
pocket change. The coins 
circulated alongside regular 
issue pieces well into the 
1960's, and I recall in my 
youth receiving circulated 
specimens in change." 

At the same time the 
Columbian Exposition coins 
were authorized, there were 
alternatives for 
commemoration, as well as 
for revenue. Numerous 
medals were produced. Some 
were the size of coins and are 
referred to today as so-called 



.Not surprisingly, this 
has been a ccnsistent pattern in 
succeeding commemorative 
programs over the succeeding 
century. 

Of five millioD pieces audiorized, 
3.6 million were unsold Bowers, 
EncyclopedUi, op. ciu, p. 103. 

". When the price of 

silver rose, and passed $1.29 an 
ouKe, most silver coinage began to 
be withdrawn frcm circulation, 
including the Columbian 
commemorative, aiKl regular issue 
coinage. By 1965, many of these 
and other circulating silver coins had 
been withdrawn almost entirely frcm 
circulatioa Q. David Bowers 
repnts diat a worn 1893 half dollar 
was the fust coin that he acquired, 
as a gift from his maternal 
grandfather who took it from 
circulatioiL Q. David Bowers, 
Commemorative Coins of the United 
States: A Complete Encyclopedia p. 
13 (1991). 



dollars;" others were of 
larger, and smaller size, and 
are all conveniently 
catalogued for today's 
numismatist to collect and 
enjoy." 

In the 20th century, the 
first circulating 
commemorative was struck 
for the centennial of the birth 
of Abraham Lincobi, in 1909. 
The Annual Report of the 
Director of the Mint" simply 
noted that, "With the approval 
of the Secretary of the 
Treasury the new design for 
the bronze one-cent coin was 
adopted in April, 1909. On 
the obverse the head of 
Lincoln appears instead of the 
Indian head which this piece 
had borne since 1864. The 
engraver of the mint at 
Philadelphia was instructed to 
prepare dies and coinage of 
this piece was commenced in 
May...."^ 



^^ See Kibbler & 
Kappen, So CalUd Dollars (1961), 
pp. 20-31, portions of which are 
attached Appendix A, pages . 

'*. See Nathan Eglit, 

Columbiana: The Medallic History 
of Christopher Columbus and the 
Columbian Exposition of 1893 
(Chicago: Hewitt Bros. 1965) (143 
pages, listing approximately 6(X) 
different medals issued). 

For the fiscal year 
ended June 30, 1909, Treas. Doc. 
2568 (Washington: Government 
Printing Office, 1909), p. 11. 

^ The correspondence 
between the artist, Victor David 



In March, 1931, 
Congress enacted legislation 
overturning a portion of the 
Act of Sept. 26, 1890 
Oimiting design changes to no 
more frequently than once in 
25 years on circulating 
coinage) and specifically 
authorized and directed the 
Secretary of the Treasury "for 
the purpose of 
commemorating the 200th 
anniversary of the birth of 
George Washington, to change 
the design of the 25 cent 
piece so that the portrait of 
George Washington shall 
appear on the obverse, with 
appropriate devices on the 
reverse...."^' In 1946, the Mint 
produced a Roosevelt 
memorial medal, and also 
introduced a new circulating 
commemorative coin design 
for the dime, bearing the 
portrait of the late president of 
the United States, Franklin D. 
Roosevelt." Cornelius 



Brenner, and its principal sponsor. 
President Theodore Roosevelt, make 
clear that it was intended to 
commemorate the centennial of the 
birtL As Brenner remarked, his 
mind was "full of Lincoln". See 
Taxay, The U.S. Mint and Coinage 
330 (1966). 

'\ Aa of March 4, 
1931, ch. 505, 46 Stat 1523. The 
coin was 

originally to have been a half dollar 
which would have been struck with 
a commemorative medal. See Taxay, 
The U.S. Mint and Coinage 360 
(1966). 

22. Taxay, The U.S. 

Mint and Coinage 372 (1966) shows 



101 



Vermeule, a numismatic art 
historian, tenns the coin "the 
logical memorial for Franklin 
Roosevelt in the regular 
coinage."" A generation 
later, following the 
assassination of President 
John F. Keimedy, Congress 
enacted the law of December 
30, 1963," directing that the 
Franklin half dollar be 
replaced with a design "which 
shall bear on one side the 
likeness of the late president 
of the United States John 
Fitzgerald Kennedy," a motif 
which Vermeule terms a 
"hasty, emotional advent"" 
even though the design is "a 
tolerable, staidly handsome 
coin"." 

At the start of the 
IQTCs, another circulating 
commemorative coin was 
authorized, the Eisenhower 
dollar. The One Bank 
Holding Company Act of 



pattern designs bearing a 1945 date, 
made by Sinnock just after 
Roosevelt died. 



23 



Cornelius 



Vermeule, Numismatic Art in 
America 208 (1971). 

2*. Pub. Uw 88-256, 

T7 Stat 843 (Approved Dec. 30, 
1963). 

". Vermeule, 
Numismatic Art in America 209 
(1971). 



26 



Ibid, p. 217. 



1970" required a coin to 
"bear the likeness of the late 
President of the United States, 
Dwight David Eisenhower, 
and on the other side thereof a 
design which is emblematic of 
the symbolic eagle of ApxjUo 
1 1 landing on the moon." 

In 1973, Congress 
passed Public Law 93-127, 
which directed the Treasury 
Secretary to commemorate the 
bicentennial of the American 
Revolution with a reverse 
design change for the quarter 
dollar, half dollar and dollar 
coin, all of which were 
intended for circulation but of 
which only the quarter dollar 
really achieved circulation.** 
The colonial drummer boy on 
the quarter, dated 1776-1976 
(and produced in 1975 and 
1976 by the Mint) still can be 
found occasionally in 
circulation today, a imique 
reminder of our bicentermial 
celebration. 

The half dollar 
(bearing Independence Hall on 
the reverse), and the dollar 
(Liberty Bell imposed on the 
lunar surface) never really 
achieved circulation. 
Occasionally, examples of the 
half dollar are found in 



". Pub. L. 91-608. 
Tide n. 84 Stat. 1768 (Dec. 31. 
1970). 

^^ The half dollar and 
dollar hadn't really circulated in 
years. For a comprehensive history, 
see Ganz, 14 Bits: A Legal & 
legislative history of America's 
bicentennial coins (1976). 



circulation. Ctollector versions 
of the coins were struck in 
silver-clad material, as 
required by law.^ 

Most recently, in 1979, 
a dollar coin commemorating 
Susan B. Anthony was 
produced by the Mint.'" The 
reverse was directed to have 
"a design which is emblematic 
of the symbolic eagle of 
Apollo 1 1 landing on the 
moon." Its design was 
identical to that of the 
Eisenhower dollar authorized 
in 1970. The coin did achieve 
partial circulation in some 
areas of the country, and in 
that sense is a circulating 
commemorative coin," but 



. 45 miUion silver- 

clad coins were struck as directed 
by Congress. Many were not sold 
and were later melted. Other than 
metal content, the coins were 
identical to those issued for 
circulation in copper-nickel material. 

' . Authorized by the 

Act of Oa. 10. 1978. Pub. L. 95- 
447. 92 Stat. 1072. The coin was 
not a commemorative coin in its 
traditional sense; however, Congress 
legislatively directed that the one 
dollar coin authorized by the 
Coinage Aa of 1965 "shall bear on 
the obverse the Ukeness of Susan B. 
Anthony, and shall bear on the other 
side a design which is emblematic 
of die symbolic eagle of Apollo 1 1 
landing on the moon." 

'^.Commemorative 
coins may honor persons, places or 
events. Relative to U.S. coins, some 
persons who have been honored 
include Daniel Boone. Booker T. 
Washington. George Washington 
Carver, aikd many others; events 



102 



never achieved general 
circulation success. 
Foreign Country Experience 
Foreign countries have 
long utilized commemorative 
coinage in circulation— not 
intended primarily for 
collectors— as a means of 
commemorating contemporary 
events. For example. Queen 
Victoria's portrait changed 
several times during her long 
reign, and Queen Elizabeth n 
also has had portraiture 
change. Victoria's Jubilee was 



include the Columbian Expositioo of 
1892-3; the sesquicentennial of 
1926; the tercentenary of Long 
Island (N.Y.) of 1936, the 
centennial of many different states, 
and the contemporary occurreix:e of 
spotting events such as the 
Olympics or World Cup soccer. 
Places honored include (most 
recendy) the 10th anniversary of the 
Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 
Washingtoo, D.C., Mount Rushmore 
(also an event, its golden 
anniversary), and many others. 
Circulating commemorative coins, 
in the U.S., by contrast, are few; die 
presidential ponraits used on the 
cent, nickel, and dime are all of a 
commemorative nature but are not 
generally thought of as being 
commemorative coins. The 

Washington quarter was created as a 
commemorative, but its continuity of 
issuance, year after year, seems to 
preclude its status in the mind of 
collectors. That is probably true of 
the Kennedy half and Eisenhower 
dollar as well. A truer deflnition of 
the type of commemoradve that 
qualifies is the colonial drummer 
boy on the reverse of the quarter 
dollar, struck 1975-76 for the 
bicentennial Afterwards, it 

retreated into history — though its 
legacy remains in pocket change. 



celebrated with circulating 
commemoratives in 1887 
(marking her 50th year on the 
throne). In 1965, the 

commemorate the passing of 
Sir Winston CThurchill, a 
circulating Crown bearing his 
portrait on the reverse of the 
coin (Her Majesty Qaeen 
Elizabeth n apf)eared on the 
obverse of the coin) was 
authorized. 

Long before modem, 
contemporary commemorative 
coin issues, there is a history 
of circulating 
commemoratives for a variety 
of other themes. For 

example, Albania 
commemorated the Marriage 
of King Zog Ln 1938 with a 
circulating 20 franc gold coin; 
Australia utilized a 1 Florin 
coin in 1927 to commemorate 
the establishment of 
Parliament (2 million pieces 
were struck); Argentina 
honored the centennial of San 
Martin in 1950 with the 
striking of 37 million 20 
centavos pieces in nickel; for 
the centenary of the death of 
Franz Schubert, Austria struck 
6.9 million two schilling coins 
in 1928; for the 175th 
anniversary of the Birth of 
Mozart in 1932, a half million 
two schilling coins were 
produced by Austria. 

In 1936, Brazil struck 
a series of eight coins (in 
nickel, aluminum-bronze and 
minor metals) honoring men 
of outstanding achievement in 
art, industry and science. All 
circulated (and went on to be 
produced for several more 



years). Canada 

commemorated the 1939 
Royal Visit by King George 
VI with a silver dollar that 
was intended for circulation 
(1.3 million minted), while 
Egypt commemorated the 
1956 nationalization of the 
Suez Canal Cbmpany with a 
25 piastres coin (250,000 
pieces produced). In 1910, 
Germany marked the founding 
of the University of Berlin (in 
1809) with 200,000 three- 
mark coins (plus 2,000 proof 
pieces for collectors). 

Great Britain honored 
the coronation of Elizabeth n 
in 1953 with a 5 million 
production run for a crown 
(40,(XX) proofs for collectors); 
Israel produced 
commemoratives for the 
Festival of Lights (Hanukkah) 
in 1958 (a 1 pound copper- 
nickel coin produced 250,(XX) 
for circulation, and 5,(X)0 as 
proofs for collectors); New 
Zealand produced a 1 crown 
coin (1949) for a proposed 
Royal Visit that was 
ultimately cancelled (200,000 
pieces entered circulation, 
anyhow). There are many 
others." 

Contemporary Olympic 



'2. Thomas W. 

Becker, Pagent of World 
Commemorative Coins (1962) lists 
hundreds of contemporary issues on 
a variety of themes. Among them: 
the opening of the first road in 
Kweichow Province (a Chinese 1928 
one dollar coin featuring an 
automobile). 



103 



commemorative coinage, in 
the post-war period, was 
initially intended for 
circulation. The government 
issuers were content to make 
profits on the seigniorage 
alone (the difference between 
face value and the cost to 
produce the coin, including its 
metal content). 

For example, the 
Helsinki, Finland, Olympics 
of 1952 saw a 500-Markkaa 
coin issued (then worth a face 
of about $2). Just over 
600,(XX) pieces were issued in 
1951-2 (seigniorage: $1,027 
million)." In 1964, for the 
Winter Olympics, Austria 
struck a 50-Schilling piece 
(producing 2.9 million pieces 
with a seigniorage of about $3 
million, based on a face value 
of about $2 and metal (silver) 
content and production costs 
of about 85 cents apiece)." 
That same year, in 1964, 
Japan issued its first ever 
commemorative circulating 
coins for the Summer Games 
and produced 80 million 100 
Yen coins in .600 silver 
(seigniorage of $14.5 million) 
and 15 million pieces in 1,000 
Yen denomination (then 
valued at $3.35) for a 
seigniorage of about $36 
million." 

For the 1968 

''. Peter W. Broecker, 

Otympic Coins from Antiquity to the 
Present 25 (1973). 



35 



Ibid, p. 27. 
Ibid 



Olympics, Mexico issued a 
silver 25 peso coin for 
circulation (30 million were 
produced, with a seigniorage 
of about $48 million). In 
1972, for the Winter Games at 
Sapporo, Japan issued some 
30 million copper-nickel 100 
Yen coins, nearly all of the 
value of which was 
seigniorage.'* Germany 

issued silver coins for 
circulation (more than 100 
million pieces were produced 
in six different series, 
produced at four different 
mints, including a proof- 
rendering for collectors). 
They yielded over $200 
million in seigniorage. The 
coins circulated widely in 
Germany. 

By the time of the 
1980 Summer Olympic 
Games, there was a substantial 
commemorative coin program 
utilizing gold, silver and 
platinum coins for the Soviet 
Union. There also were 
copper nickel coins issued for 
the public at larger at face 
value. A one rouble coin 
commemorating the XII 
Olympiad Moscow was issued 
(8.6 million struck and issued 
for circulation and issued at 
face value, for example, on 
the coin depicting the 
Olympic Games emblem; 
other copper-nickel coins had 
mintages in the four to six 



^. Michelle Menard, 

Coins of the Modem Otympic 
Games, vol. 1 (1991) p. 67. 



million piece range)." 

Canada has issued 
circulating, legal tender 
commemoratives. In 1967, it 
celebrated its centennial with 
a series of design changes. 
On the quarter, for example, a 
walking wildcat replaced the 
familiar caribou with the dates 
1867-1967; some 49 million 
pieces were produced. The 
1973 centennial of the 
founding of the Royal 
Canadian Mounted Police on 
the 25 cent coin is another 
example. Some 134 million 
pieces were minted for 
general circulation before the 
caribou reverse returned 
(about 243,000 collector coins 
were also produced in special 
sets). 

Again using the 
Canadian quarter dollar in 
1992, the caribou was 
replaced utilizing a daring 
approach: "During each month 
of 1992 the Royal Canadian 
Mint issued a 25<ent coin 
bearing a unique design to 
represent one of the 12 
provinces and territories. 
Each coin was launched at a 
special event... The designs 
for the 13 coins [were] issued 
to celebrate the 125th birthday 
[of Canada] (a one dollar coin 
was issued for Canada Day 
1992)..."'* The average 

^^.Ibid, p. 120-125. 

'•. The Charlton 

Standard Catalog of Canadian 
Coins, 47th ed. 1003 (p. 109). The 
designs are found in Appendix A, p. 



104 



mintage for each of these 
circulating issues was above 7 
million coins; proof issues 
were also produced and sold 
at a modest price of imder 
$10 apiece). Each of these 
instances had a common goal: 
to popularize the coins 
themselves by producing a 
circulating counterpart. The 
circulating counterpart did not 
detract from the sale of the 
collector coins. On the 
contrary, it heightened the 
interest. 

Circulating coinage for 
various events such as 
centeimials of independence, 
or other similar anniversaries, 
are well-known throughout the 
world. As of 1973 (before 
the modern era of 
commemorative coin 
explosion), more than 57 
countries had in fact taken 
this approach to 
commemorative coinage, 
though many also produced 
precious metal versions for 
collectors." 

Simply by way of 
example, in 1969 Albania 



39 

The coins and the 
countries are collected conveniently 
in M. Russell, 'Statement before the 
Subcommittee on Consumer 
Affairs', in Hearings before the 
Subcomm. on Consumer Affairs on 
Bicentennial Coinage. 
Commemorative Medals. 
Commemorative Coins, Grants to 
Eisenhower College from Coinage 
Receipts, Comm. on Banking & 
Currency, 93rd Cong., 1st sess. 48- 
54 (1973). Mrs. Russell was the 
editor of Coin World at the time the 
testimony was offered. 



issued aluminum coins in 5, 
10, 20, and 50 quindarka and 
1 Lek commemorating the 
25th anniversary of liberation; 
Algeria did a 10th anniversary 
of independence and FAO 
(Food and Agriculture 
Organization of the United 
Nations) coin in copper nickel 
(1 dinar, 1972) and brass (20 
centimes). 

Argentina struck a 10 
pesos coin in nickel<lad steel 
for the sesquicentennial of 
independence in 1966, as did 
Brazil in 1972 (I cruzeiro in 
nickel, 20 cruzeiros in silver, 
and 300 cruzeiros in gold). 

More contem- 
poraneously, the Food & 
Agriculture Organization of 
the United Nations, oldest of 
the independent United 
Nations agencies (founded in 
1945), sponsored a program 
that uhimately encompassed 
more than 100 countries in 
issuing circulating coinage 
with a common theme: Grow 
More Food and for All. The 
FAO coin program*" started 
with the premise that coins 
are the sole means that every 
citizen of every country in the 
world has in maintaining 
contact with their government. 
By utilizing an important 



I was affiliated as 
a ccHisultant to the FAO program in 
1975 in Rome and participated 
subsequendy, as their counsel, in a 
variety of matters concerning the 
international marketing of the 
collector's version of the coins, and 
other matters. The views expressed 
are strictly my own. 



message (for example, grow 
more food) the government 
had the means of apprising its 
population of the perceived 
impxartance of this concept. 
Ultimately, diverse 
governments produced 
circulating commemorative 
coins with this theme.*' 



Concluding Comments 
It would be naive to 
suggest that the only 
commemoratives worthy of 
circulating in pocket change 
ought to be produced by the 
United States Mint or indeed 
any world minting authority. 
However, as the evidence 
shows, many countries outside 
the United States utilize 
coinage as a medium of 
expression to the population 
as a whole for certain 



*\ They included, among 
others, Algeria, Bahrain, 
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, 
Botswana, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, 
Cyprus, Dcaninican Republic, Egypt, 
Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Guyana, 
Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, 
Iran, Iraq, Isle of Man, Jamaica, 
Jordan, Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, 
Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, 
Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Oman, 
Order of Malta (Rome), Pakistan, 
Panama, Philippines, Poland, 
Rwanda, San Marino, Sao Tome & 
Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, 
Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, 
Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, 
Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad 
& Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, UgaiKia, 
United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and 
Vatican City. 



105 



commemorative themes. 

It is suggested that as 
a guidepost, the Citizens 
Commemorative Coin 
Advisory Committee adopt as 
a recommendation a resolution 
providing that at least one (1) 
coin issue each year be 
produced as a circulating 
commemorative coin issue; 
that a sufficient quantity be 
produced to effectively 
circulate the coin; that a 
special collector version (in 
precious metal, as a proof 
issue; or in base metal, as a 
proof issue, or both) be 
produced; and that any design 
or theme chosen be of a 
character of sufficient 
importance as an event to 
warrant its introduction into 
commerce as a circulating 
commemorative coin. 

The recent Canadian 
experience with its quarter 
dollar (and, indeed, the 
American experience with its 
bicentennial quarter) suggest 
that the 25 cent denomination 
could be utilized for this. If a 
small-sized dollar coin were 
to circulate (in substantial 
quantity), it would also be an 
appropriate vehicle for this 
commemoration. 



effectively circulate the coin; 
that a special collector version 
be produced as well for sale 
to the Mint list, and to others; 
and that any design or theme 
for such coin be of a character 
of sufficient importance to 
warrant its issue. 

c:\coinage\commrepo. 194 



Suggested Motion 
RESOLVED that the 
Citizens Commemorative Coin 
Advisory Committee 
recommends to the Secretary 
that at least one coin issue 
each year be produced as a 
circulating commemorative 
coin issue; that a sufficient 
quantity be produced to 



92-168 O - 95 - 5 



106 



DAVID L. GANZ 

DAVID L. GANZ is a 43 year old lawyer who is managing partner and principal litigator in the law firm 
of Ganz & Sivin, P.A. for Fair Lawn, NJ. and Ganz, Hoilinger & Towe in New York City. A prolific author in a 
variety of different fields, his books include A Critical Guide to Anthologies of African Literature (1973), 14 Bits: 
A Legal & Legislative History of 31 USC §§324d-i (1976), The World of Coins & Coin Collecting (Scribner's 1980, 
2d edition 1985), and a number of law review articles. These include: "The U.N. and the Law of the Sea", 26 
International & Comparative Law Quarterly 1-53 (1977), "Toward a Revision of the Minting & Coinage Law of 
the United States", 26 Cleveland State Law Review 177-257 (1977), "Probative Value of Currency Dating for 
Income in Respect of a Decedent," 51 N.Y.S. Bar Journal 487-491 (1978). More recently, his publications include 
"Valuation of Coin Collection," 5 Proof of Facts 3rd 577-655 (1989), "Legal Ethics: When A Lawyer's Obligation 
Begins (and Ends)," 125 N.J. Law J. 1742 (June 28, 1990), reprinted in Lawyer's Liability Rev. Q.J. 3-6 (April, 
1991), "Rent Control", in R. Irwin, ed., Handbook of Proper^ Management (N.Y.: McGraw Hill, 1986) pp. 333-350, 
and an interesting newspaper article, "Drop dollar bills; we need $1 coins," USA Today, May 23, 1990, p. lOA 
(Guest Columnist, "Face-Off"). He previously edited a book on America's Coinage Laws (1792-1894) (Bowers & 
Merena, 1991). 

A graduate of the School of Foreign Service at (Georgetown University (Class of 1973) where he followed 
President Bill Clinton by five years, he took a law degree at St. John's University Law School and did post- 
graduate legal studies in the masters of law program at New York University. He also studied international law 
at Temple Universitry (Philadelphia) Law School in Rome, Italy, while working for the Food & Agriculture 
Organization of the United Nations. In 1994, he was awarded the Order of St. Agatha (Commander) by the 
Republic of San Marino. 

He has been asked to testify before the Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and other subcommittees 
of the House Banking committee on more than a dozen occasions since 1974 and has an active legal practice. 
A former member of the Committee on State Legislation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 
and subcommittee chairman of the Evidence & Disclosure unit of the Civil Practice Law & Rules Committee of 
the New York State Bar Association, he is qualified in the first panel of certified arbitrators for the U.S. District 
Court for the Eastern District of New York, and New Jersey, and is an arbitrator and mediator in the Superior 
Court program in Bergen County, New Jersey. 

Widely respected by his peers, he is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory with an a-v rating 
(highest rating), and his accomplishments are listed in Who's Who of American Law, Who's Who in the East, 
Who's Who in New Jersey, Who's Who in American Numismatics and other publications. He has served as a 
member of the Board of Adjustment for Fair Lawn, N.J., appointed by the Mayor and Council since 1985, being 
elected Secretary in 1985, and Chairman of the Zoning Board in 1993. He lives in Fair Lawn and has three 
children, Scott, Elyse and Pamela. 

In his spare time, he is a coin collector. A life fellow (one of 200 voting members) of the American 
Numismatic Society, for the past 10 years has been an elected member of the Board of Governors of the 
American Numismatic Association, which is the largest, educational non-profit organization of collectors in the 
world. He became the organization's 48th president in July, 1993. In December, 1993, Treasury Secretary Lloyd 
Bentsen appointed him a charter member of the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee. He was 
reappointed in 1995 for a second one year term. For relaxation, he plays tennis, golf, and reads biography. 

c\M\«l|\b»|dl|MS 



1394 Third Avenue New YorK N.Y. 10021 
Telephone (212) 517 5500 Fax (212) 772 2720 



107 



David Ganz 

David Ganz is the current president of the American Numismatic 
Association, and has been an elected member of the Board of 
Governors for the past ten years. He is also a life fellow of the 
American Numismatic Society. He was appointed a charter member of 
the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee in 1993, and 
reappointed in 1995. 

Mr. Ganz is the managing partner and principal litigator for the 
law firm of Ganz & Sivin, P. A. in Fair Lawn, N.J. and Ganz, 
Hoi linger & Towe in New York City. 

He has previously testified before the Subcommittee on Consumer 
Affairs and other subcommittees of the House Banking Committee 
numerous times since 1974. A prolific writer, he has authored 
books and articles on a wide variety of topics. His coinage book 
was entitled The World of Coins & Coin Collecting. His many 
articles have included Toward a Revision of the Minting & Coinage 
Law of the United States; Probative Value of Currency Dating for 
Income in Respect of a Decedent; Valuation of Coin Collection and 
Drop Dollar Bills; We Need $1 Coins. He also edited a book on 
America's Coinage Laws. 

Mr. Ganz received his law degree from St. John's University Law 
School, and graduated from the School of Foreign Service at 
Georgetown University. He has also studied international law at 
Temple University (Philadelphia) Law School in Rome, Italy. As a 
member of the New York State Bar, he is qualified in the first 
panel of certified arbitrators for the U.S. District Court for the 
Eastern District of New York and New Jersey. 



108 



STATEMENT OF PHILIP N. DIEHL 

DIRECTOR - UNITED STATES MINT 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY POLICY 

HOUSE BANKING COMMITTEE 
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 1995 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

During my Senate confirmation hearings last year, I made a 
commitment to the Congress — and to my customers — that one of 
my top priorities as Director of the United States Mint would be 
to work with the two Banking Committees to reform the Mint's 
troubled commemorative coin program. It is with considerable 
pleasure that I appear before you today in my separate roles as 
Director of the Mint and Chairman of the Citizens Commemorative 
Coin Advisory Committee (CCCAC) to launch formally with you the 
process by which I hope, by the end of this session of Congress, 
we will have wrought major changes in the way commemorative coin 
programs are authorized by Congress and in the way they are 
administered by the Mint. 

Mr. Chairman, I know you share that goal. In the six short 
months you have been chairman of this committee, you have 
exercised insight and leadership to moving us in the right 
direction. Your strong public statement last January regarding 
the need to restrain proliferation of commemorative programs 
enacted by Congress has slowed the momentum of the two-dozen 
proposals now pending before this body. What's more significant, 
you have raised the threshold requirements under which this 
subcommittee holds hearings on commemorative proposals, again 
slowing the rush to enact more and more programs. You also have 

1 



109 



provided strong support for the Mint's revolving fund proposal, a 
crucial component in our efforts to lower the costs and prices of 
our commemorative products. 

And now today, you have called this important hearing to air 
issues surrounding the status of the Mint's commemorative coin 
program. For that, I thank you — on behalf of all of us at the 
U.S. Mint who must administer these programs and also, I think, 
on behalf of a million-and-a-half Mint customers across this 
country. 

Before I proceed, I would like to introduce the members of 
the CCCAC who are with us today: 

• Mrs. Elvira Cain-Stefanelli — Executive Director of the 
National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian 
Institution's National Museum of Natural History. She is 
the author of books, brochures, and articles about history 
and numismatics. 

• David Ganz — President and Legislative Counsel of the 
American Numismatic Association ... a practicing attorney 
. . . author of numerous legal and numismatic articles 
reprinted in The Congressional Record. 

• Mrs. Elsie Sterling Howard — Consultant Director with 
Women's Services, Women's Healthcare Specialists, the 
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Miami Heart 
Institute . . . recipient of many recognitions, including the 



110 

Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania. 

• Mr. Reed Hawn — Businessman with interests in oil & gas, 
ranching, and numismatics as a collector, trader, investor 
and student. He has contributed to leading numismatic books 
and provided research for auction and sales companies. 

• Mr. Danny Hoffman — 18 years old and newly graduated 
from high school ... a member of several coin associations 
. . . also the author of published numismatic articles. 

• Mr. Thomas Shockley — Executive Vice President of 
Central and South West Corporation in Dallas . . . former 
President and CEO of Central Power and Light Company ... a 
member of the Board of Directors of Central Power and Light, 
M-Bank of Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi Chamber of 
Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation, and the 
Board of Governors of United Way. 

This committee has much to be proud of, and for the record I 
have included a summary of the committee's achievements in its 
first 18 months. 



Ill 



ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CCCAC IN ITS FIRST 18 MONTHS 

• Issued our first annual report to the Congress proposing a 
five-year plan of national commemorations, including two programs 
of special interest to the numismatic community: a recognition of 
the bicentennial of the U.S. Mint with a 1995 program 
commemorating 200 Years of U.S. Gold Coinage and a 1996 program 
providing significant financial resources to the National 
Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian Institution 
commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Smithsonian. 

• The CCCAC report also includes a comprehensive package of 
reforms of the U.S. Mint's commemorative coin program including 
changes in the way programs are authorized, enhancement of the 
authority of the CCCAC in the authorization process, limitations 
on the size and number of programs authorized each year, 
elimination of the practice of adding surcharges to coin prices, 
and changes in the rules under which commemorative legislation is 
considered by the House and Senate Banking committees. 

• Enlisting the support of Treasury Secretary Bentsen during 
the summer of 1994, the CCCAC aggressively opposed passage of a 
second package of commemorative programs under consideration by 
the Congress. The proposals subsequently died with the 
adjournment of the 103rd Congress. 

• The CCCAC has persuaded the U.S. Olympic Committee and the 
Atlanta Committee for the Organization of the Games to support a 
substantial reduction in the 1996 mintages of the 1995/96 Olympic 
coin program. Senator Sam Nunn has agreed to carry legislation 
making this reduction. This will be the first time any modern 
commemorative program has had mintages reduced after enactment of 
authorizing legislation. 

• The CCCAC has played an important educational role in raising 
awareness of the need for comprehensive reform of the Mint's 
commemorative coin program. It has played that role through 
briefing of members of Congress and their staff, public and 
private discussion forums with numismatists and sponsoring 
organizations, and through ready access to the numismatic press 
and individual coin collectors. 

• Through its review authority over Mint commemorative designs, 
CCCAC has assisted in improving the quality of designs appearing 
on Mint commemoratives since the 1994 Jefferson coin program. 



112 



CUSTOMER ASSESSMENTS OF THE MINT'S COMMEMORATIVE PROGRAM 

Mr. Chairman, today you have heard a great deal about what 
is wrong with these commemorative programs. Indeed, there is 
much to be said on the subject, and I will add my assessment. 
But I think it is also important to recognize some things that 
are right. As Director of the Mint, I am pleased to be able to 
include in my testimony the results of a survey of 1,100 randomly 
selected Mint customers conducted earlier this year by the survey 
research firm of Schulman, Ronca, & Bucuvalas, Inc. 

I think all of the witnesses here today would like to speak 
to these issues for the American coin collector. That's as it 
should be. But, Mr. Chairman, these poll results provide us a 
way to hear directly from the Mint's customers, and I suspect 
you'll be as interested in the results as I have been. 

First, it is clear that our customers give the Mint very 
high marks as a supplier of commemorative and other numismatic 
coins and bullion products. Fully 87 percent rate us "very good" 
or "excellent" and only 1 percent rate us fair or worse. Mr. 
Chairman, I dare say that most private sector enterprises would 
give their eyeteeth for customer evaluations like this. 

Given the controversy surrounding the commemorative 
programs, one might expect our commemorative customers to be more 
critical. That doesn't appear to be the case. Commemorative 
buyers consistently give us very good to excellent ratings of 
between 70 percent and 90 percent on a wide range of evaluations 
covering order accuracy, product quality, customer service and 



113 



timeliness of deliveries. Our only possible weakness is in the 
area of price. Nonetheless, almost 80 percent of our 
commemorative buyers rate the price of their most recent 
purchases as good or better. 

A real surprise, Mr. Chairman, came when we asked our 
commemorative customers if the Mint produces too many 
commemorative programs. A majority said no. 4 6 percent thought 
the number of programs was about right and 5 percent thought 
there were too few. Nonetheless, 44 percent said there were too 
many programs, an evaluation which I subscribe to. It should be 
noted that this question focused on the number of programs, not 
on the mintage levels of those programs. I suspect we would have 
gotten very different results if we had asked if the mintages 
associated with those programs are too high. 

So in summary, the Mint's customers are far less critical of 
the state of the commemorative program than you would be led to 
believe by reading the editorial pages or letters to the editor 
in the numismatic press. This is understandable, for, after all, 
coin collecting is a hobby meant for enjoyment. I make this 
point, Mr. Chairman, because I think we need some perspective on 
the matter. This survey found no reason to believe there is a 
groundswell among our commemorative customers for ending the 
modern commemorative series administered by the Mint. In fact, 
all evidence points to strong support for continuing the program 
while fixing what's wrong with it. 



114 



Exhibit 2 



U.S. MINT CUSTOMER ASSESSMENTS OF MINT 

PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND PRICES 

Source: 1995 U.S. Mint Customer Satisfaction Survey 

Q: Overall, how would you rate the Mint as a supplier of coins 
and other products? 

Excellent 56% 

Very good 31% 

Good 12% 

Fair or worse 1% 

Q: Overall, how would rate Mint products as an investment? 
(Responses limited to those who purchased for investment.) 



Excellent 


10% 


Very Good 


28% 


Good 


29% 


Fair 


14% 


Poor or Worse 


11% 



74% 


21% 


5% 


less than 1% 


68 


25 


6 


less than 1 


52 


30 


14 


2 


41 


31 


18 


7 


41 


32 


14 


3 


40 


29 


15 


4 


19 


22 


21 


13 


13 


10 


4 


2 



Results for the following questions are limited to customers who 
have purchased commemorative coins in past two years. 

Q: How would you rate the Mint on ....? 

Excellent Very Good Good Fair or Worse 

Order accuracy 
Product quality 
Delivery reliability 
Timely delivery 
Customer Service 
Responsiveness 
Prices 
Handling Complaints* 

* 71% of respondents stated they never had a complaint. 
NOTE: Responses may not add to 100% due to "no opinions." 

Q: Overall, how would you rate the quality and price of the 
products you received from your most recent purchase? 

Excellent Very Good Good Fair or worse 

Quality 66% 23% 4% less than 1% 

Price 21 34 24 15 

Q: Do you think that t.he Mint produces too many commemorative 
programs, too few, or about the right amount? 

Too many 44% 
.\bout right 4 6% 
Too few 5% 



115 



A PROFIT CENTER FOR THE TREASURY 

There is more that is right with these programs, Mr. 
Chairman. They are a money-maker for the U.S. Treasury. Since 
1982, the U.S. Mint's commemorative programs have generated 
almost $650 million in net revenue for the federal treasury in 
program profits and in proceeds from the sale of one million 
ounces of gold and 30 million ounces of excess silver from the 
nation's stockpiles. That's $650 million in taxes that didn't 
have to be borne by American taxpayers, or $650 million in 
deficit spending we were able to avoid. 

It's a symptom of the problems that have emerged in recent 
years, however, that over 90 percent of the profits earned came 
during the first 10 programs. The profitability of the last nine 
programs, since 1992, has been marginal at best. In fact, the 
only two programs in the entire series that have posted a net 
loss came during 1994 when Congress mandated six programs in a 
single year, as many programs as we had in total between 1982 and 
1989. But I am convinced, Mr. Chairman, that if we fix what is 
wrong we can return these programs to profitability. 

A LEGACY FOR AMERICAN NUMISMATICS 

Finally, despite the controversy associated with the 
practice of adding surcharges to the price of our commemorative 
coins — a practice I personally would like to end — there has 
been considerable good that has come from the funds raised for a 
wide variety of philanthropic purposes. Since 1982, the Mint's 



116 



commemorative programs have raised over $300 million . . . 

• for restoration of the Statue of Freedom on the Capitol dome 

• for construction of a visitors center at the Capitol to guide 
Americans who come to see this temple of democracy 

• for study and teaching fellowships related to the U.S. 
Constitution 

• for restoration of the Statue of Liberty and the White House 

• for construction of U.S. Olympic training facilities and for 
the training of American Olympic hopefuls 

• for preservation of national landmarks such as Monticello, 
Mount Rushmore, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and — among the 
most sacred ground in America — battlefields of the American 
Civil War. 

This is only a sampling. There are many other worthy causes 
that have benefitted from the largess of American coin 
collectors. 

Mr. Chairman, there is much that is good for American coin 
collectors, for the American taxpayer, and for the American 
people — if we are able to reform the Mint's commemorative 
program and put it on the right track. 

MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING COMMEMORATIVE PROFITS 

One of the criticisms of the Mint's commemorative program 
you have heard today is that the Mint earns inordinate profits 
from these programs. Based on publicly available financial 
records of the Mint, this simply is not true. 



117 



DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY 
UNITED STATES MINT 
COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAMS 



l1-Jul-95 
THROUGH FISCAL YEAR 1994 (S IN MILLIONS) 



Exhibit i 



PROGRAM 


TOTAL 

NET 

SALES 

REVENUES 


PROGRAM 
OPERATING 
EXPENSES 


SUR- 
CHARGES 

(B) 


PROFIT 

ON SALE 

OF GOLD 4 

SILVER 

(C) 


PROGRAM 

PROFIT 

TO THE 

GENERAL 

FUND 

(0) 


PROGRAM 

PROFIT 

TO THE 

U S MINT 

PEF FUND 


PROGRAM 
PROFIT 
MARGIN 

(E) 


82 GEORGE WASHINGTON 


S71.8 


530.3 


N/A 


527.1 


$144 




20% 


84 OLYMPIC 


53153 


51042 


$73.5 


51273 


$103 




3% 


86 STATUE OF LIBERTY 


S2900 


5120.4 


5832 


557 8 


$286 




10% 


87 CONSTITUTION 


$2564 


5684 


552.7 


5100.7 


$346 




34% 


83 OLYMPIC 


$111 1 


5451 


5229 


542 1 


$10 




1% 


89 CONGRESS 


$71 2 


5297 


$14 6 


$20 9 


560 




8% 


90 EISENHOWER 


$40 


5272 


$97 


54 2 


(51.1) 




22% 


91 MT PUSHMORE 


S62.7 • 


5263 


$12.1 


514 


510 3 




16% 


91 KOREAN 


5225 


512 7 


$58 


51 6 


52.4 




11% 


91 USO 


5120 


581 


$3 1 


508 


500 




13% 


92 OLYMPIC 


5466 


5262 


$92 


59.4 


51.8 




4% 


92 WHITE HOUSE 


513.4 


566 


$5.0 


51 


508 




6% 


92 COLUMBUS 


536 3 


514 


$7.6 


58.7 


560 




17% 


93 MADISON 


5468 


525.0 


$9.2 


591 


535 




7% 


93 WORLD WAR II (A) 


532.0 


5133 


$78 


57 2 




537 


12% 


94 WORLD CUP (A) 


5442 


5291 


591 


58.7 




($2.7) 


-6% 


94 JEFFERSON 


5187 


511.1 


560 


514 


50.2 


1% 


94 VETERANS (A) 


5176 


59.7 


56.6 


51 7 




(50.4) 


-2% 


94 CAPITOL (A) 


517 


531 


50.7 


50 1 




(522) 


N/A 


TOTALS 


$1,510.3 


$610.5 


$338.8 


$443.8 


$118.6 


($1.4) 


12% 



(A) Preliminary resutts as of 09/30/94 The Veterans program incorporates three separate commemorative programs: 
Women in Milrtary ServKC, Vietnam Veterans Memonal. and POW/MIA, 

(B) 100% of Constitution and Eisenhower surcharges were deposited to the General Fund 50% of USO surcharges were 
deposited to the General Fund and 50% were distributed to the USO Surcharges of all other programs were distnbuted 
to outside organizations 

(C) Profrt on silver is market value less SI 29 For George Washington and 1984 Olympic, this profit was on Treasury silver, 
for all other commemoratives it was payments to Defense Logistics Agency Profit on gold is market less S42 22. 

(D) Profits do not include surcharges deposited to the General Fund See footnote B. 

(E) Program profit margin calculations include surcharges deposited in the General Fund 



10 



118 



I have included in my testimony a summary of the costs, 
revenues and profits of every modern commemorative program 
through 1994 . This chart demonstrates that the average profit 
margin for these programs has been 12 percent. In fact, profits 
have declined during the 1990s as the Mint has struggled to 
maintain sales in the face of a glut of commemorative programs, 
excessive mintage levels, and rising surcharges. Between 1982 
and 1991, the average profit margin was 14 percent. Since 1991, 
margins have fallen to 7 percent, and in 1994 the Mint actually 
registered a loss in its commemorative lines of business. I will 
note here, Mr. Chairman, that I expect a return to profitability 
in 1995, largely due to the success of our Olympic coin program. 

Furthermore, the claims we have heard that the Mint itself 
has reaped unconscionable profits from these programs is dead 
wrong. Since profits from commemorative programs have been 
deposited in the Mint's Public Enterprise Fund beginning in 1993, 
these programs have generated little or no profit. Since 1982, 
virtually all commemorative profits have gone to the General 
Fund, not to the Mint. 

Finally, the claim that the sale of gold and silver through 
our commemorative programs has reaped unreasonable profits for 
the Treasury is also misinformed. This claim is based on the 
fact that the government's books carry silver at $1.29 per ounce 
and gold at $42.22 per ounce while the Mint purchases these 
metals at current market prices. It should be noted that the 

11 



119 



difference between the book and market value accrues not to the 
Mint but to the General Fund. 

At first blush, the difference between a $42 book value and 
$380 market price for gold might lead a naive observer to 
conclude that the Treasury earns a huge profit from these 
transactions. However, this analysis overlooks the fact that the 
$42 book value is an artificial, historical price that is many 
decades old. If we consider the time value (inflation adjusted) 
of this asset plus the expense of storage and security over many 
decades, I suspect the government is merely recovering its costs 
in these transactions. 

Moreover, the alternative to selling these assets at market 
value would be to allow coin collectors to acquire them at a 
discount off market. I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that I 
would look forward to setting new sales records if we were 
allowed to sell gold and silver at a discount off the market, but 
I think it would be a difficult practice to justify to American 
taxpayers. 

COMMEMORATIVE PRICES ARE TOO HIGH 

I will agree, however, that the prices of the Mint's 
commemoratives are too high — not because the profits are 
excessive, but because the cost basis for these programs is too 
high and surcharges have been rising. We are undertaking 
aggressive action to trim overhead costs at the Mint, and I am 
hopeful that Congressional approval of a Mint-wide revolving fund 

12 



120 



will allow us to reduce prices in the next 12 to 18 months. We 
have put a lid on price increases since the 1994 Jefferson 
program, more than a year and eight programs ago. Over that 
period, price increases have been largely the result of 
differences in Congressionally-mandated surcharges. 

When I came to the Mint in late 1993, it soon became clear 
to me that my customers had three fundamental complaints. One 
complaint was with the slow delivery of products, a problem we 
have solved to rave reviews of our customers and the numismatic 
press. 

The second and third complaints were with rising prices and 
low secondary market values of our commemorative products. These 
two problems are linked, and with your help, Mr. Chairman, I 
believe we can solve both of them over the next year. If the 
Mint continues to lower the cost-basis for these programs and 
Congress passes the Mint's revolving fund proposal while 
exercising restraint in the approval of mintage levels and in 
setting surcharges, I believe we will be able to lower prices and 
increase secondary market values of our commemorative products. 

REFORMING THE MINT'S COMMEMORATIVE PROGRAM 

As Chairman of the CCCAC, I turn to the CCCAC's 
recommendations for addressing the challenges faced in reforming 
the Mint's commemorative program, recommendations contained in 
greater detail in the CCCAC's first annual report to the Congress 
issued last November. In that 60-page document, the committee 

13 



121 



concluded that the serious decline in the commemorative coin 
market dictated that first priority must be to halt proliferation 
of commemorative coin programs. In saying so, the committee 
reinforced a conclusion Congress reached in 1992 when it 
established the CCCAC and repeated in a Sense of the Congress 
Resolution in 1993 — namely, that Congress is authorizing a 
rapidly expanding number of coin programs while the market for 
commemorative coins is shrinking. 

Curtailing Excess Programs 

To give you an idea of the problem's seriousness: Since 
1982, Congress has mandated 28 commemorative coin programs. 
Congress mandated that seven programs be produced during the 
first nine years, the period including 1982 through 1990. Demand 
for new programs rocketed as more organizations discovered that 
coin programs produce revenues more quickly and reliably than the 
Congressional appropriations process. Congress mandated nine 
programs to be produced during 1994 and 1995 — more programs in 
two years than were mandated during the first nine years — 
including the largest coin program in U.S. history, 18 million 
coins. 

In today's market, the Mint generally expects to sell no 
more than 3 to 4 million coins a year, regardless of how many 
millions are authorized. In fact, commemorative coin sales have 
been in decline over the past decade as collectors have grown 
increasingly frustrated with their lack of an effective voice in 

14 



122 



the commemorative coin approval process. 

Unfortunately, skepticism and resentment among our core 
customers appear to have produced an informal boycott of several 
of our 1994 and 1995 commemorative programs. Domestic 
commemorative sales have been weak for eight out of nine programs 
launched since January 1994. The 1994 Jefferson coin program was 
the sole exception, and 1995 Olympic commemorative sales have 
been stronger than expected thanks to a vigorous international 
effort and strong initial retail demand, offsetting weaker than 
expected domestic numismatic demand. 

Reducing Mintages 

As the CCCAC further recognized in its Report to Congress, 
even more important than limiting the number of programs each 
year, we must reduce maximum authorized mintages of these 
programs. Restricting the supply of coins creates potential for 
commemorative coins to retain their value in secondary markets, 
rewarding collectors who bought them and generating greater 
interest in subsequent commemorative programs. That's why the 
CCCAC supports legislation which lowers the mintage levels for 
the 1995-96 Olympic coin program and why we have worked long and 
hard to persuade sponsoring organizations to lower their 
expectations regarding authorized mintage levels. 



15 



123 



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16 



124 



Making Fundamental Changes 

But beyond these necessary steps, preserving the viability 
and profitability of coirnnemorative programs requires sweeping, 
fundamental change in how commemorative coins are authorized. 
Toward that end, the CCCAC urges Congress to adopt legislation 
giving the Secretary of the Treasury authority to select 
commemorative coin themes, components, and mintages. Congress, 
of course, would retain oversight over commemorative programs. 
Without a dramatic change to current practice, I fear that coin 
programs will continue to increase in number as Congress taps 
their fund-raising potential and overlooks market considerations. 

The CCCAC 's report to Congress contains proposed legislation 
to establish a permanent annual commemorative coin program 
managed and operated by the Mint, with advice on the themes and 
mintage levels provided by the CCCAC. The legislation would 
establish a mechanism to limit the number of yearly programs, and 
it suggests the mintage levels to be authorized. 

For your information, I understand that GAO also is 
examining the issue of commemorative coin program reform. They 
are addressing the issue on two fronts: from a general 
perspective by reviewing the entire program and from a more 
narrow view by proposing stricter financial accountability from 
recipient organizations. We are working closely with GAO on 
these efforts and will continue to do so as they finalize their 
recommendations . 

17 



125 



Proposed Programs 

For 1995 through 1997, the CCCAC recoininends authorizing the 
6 coin programs proposed in the CCCAC 's report to Congress and 
recently consolidated into companion bills, S-885 and HR-1753. 

A 1995 program expected to enjoy enormous popularity among 
collectors — the 200th anniversary of U.S. gold coinage — is 
included in this package. This program is expected to be popular 
because it is the last opportunity to celebrate the bicentennial 
of U.S. Mint in 1992. It was a great disappointment to 
collectors that Congress did not recognize the Mint's 
bicentennial by authorizing a coin program, so the CCCAC 
recommended the 2 00th anniversary of gold coinage as way of 
acknowledging the numismatic community's interest in celebrating 
the anniversary of the Mint and its gold coinage. However, it 
now will need to be postponed until 1996 because of the lateness 
of the year and the Mint's lead-time requirements. 

Low-mintage programs featuring themes like the 150th 
anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution and the 200th 
anniversary of U.S. gold coinage will once again attract interest 
among the coin community. They also would concentrate on 
numismatically significant themes, streamline the Mint's 
numismatic business, and remove inefficiencies created by 
overlapping coin programs authorized at the last minute and 
rushed into production. 



18 



126 



Surcharges 

In addition, Mr. Chairman, it's important to revise the 
manner in which beneficiary organizations receive funds from sale 
of commemoratives. Present practice calls for a fixed-dollar 
surcharge added atop our production, marketing, and distribution 
costs. For a one-dollar silver commemorative coin, for example, 
the surcharge is typically one-third of the price of the coin. 
The surcharge is paid by the original purchaser, and it 
disappears when the coin is resold in secondary markets. That's 
a big reason why our coins fall in price on secondary markets, 
creating additional disaffection among collectors. 

In place of a surcharge, the CCCAC proposes that the Mint be 
allowed to set a specific profit level on each commemorative 
program. The profit would be divided between the Mint's Public 
Enterprise Fund and the beneficiary organization. This 
arrangement would create a more businesslike relationship between 
the Mint and beneficiaries, and would motivate the beneficiary to 
contribute more to success of its coin program. 



19 



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130 



CONCLUSION 

In sum, Mr. Chairman, the Mint and Congress face a 
persistent challenge to sound economics. That challenge 
threatens to surpass collectors' willingness to buy and the 
Mint's ability to produce and market in a businesslike manner. 
To correct this situation, the CCCAC emphasizes the urgency of 
restraining the number of commemorative programs, limiting 
mintages, reforming the manner in which coin programs come into 
being, and adopting legislative initiatives that facilitate 
market pricing and the Mint's operations. 

As always, Mr. Chairman, my staff and I are available to 
discuss the CCCAC 's proposals and others at your convenience. I 
thank you not only for this chance to be here today, but also for 
the knowledge and accessibility you have shown regarding this 
issue. It would be my pleasure to answer any questions you have. 



23 



131 



Exhibit 8 



CRITERIA FOR COMMEMORATIVE COIN SUBJECT SELECTION 

Our Nation's coinage should be a permanent reflection of its values and 
culture. The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee is 
committed to the selection of themes and designs for commemorative coins 
that represent the noblest values and achievements of the Nation, 
recognizing the widest variety of contributions to our history and 
culture. A primary goal of the Committee is to ensure that 
commemorative themes and designs meet the highest standards for artistic 
excellence. 

In furtherance of these goals, the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory 
Committee has established the following criteria for the selection of 
commemorative themes for coins of the United States: 

* Historical persons places, events, and themes to be commemorated 
should have an enduring effect on the Nation's history or culture. 
Their significance should be national or international in scope.' 

* Events to be commemorated should have national or international 
significance and draw participation from across America or around the 
world. 

* No living person should be honored by commemoration on U.S. coins. 

* United States commemorative coins should be issued in the appropriate 
year of commemoration. 

* Historical events should generally be considered for commemoration on 
important or significant anniversaries. 

* Commemorative themes and designs should not be considered if one 
treating the same subject has been issued in the past 10 years. 

* Commemorative coinage designs should reflect traditional American 
coin iconography as well as contemporary developments in the arts. 

* Designs should be determined in consultation with sponsoring 
organizations but should not be determined by legislation. 

* Commemorative coinage should not be required to contain logos and 
emblems of non-governmental organizations as part of the design. 

* Coins should be dated in the year of their issuance. 

* Legislation authorizing the production of coins should be enacted no 
less than nine months prior to the date on which the coins may first 
be available to the public. 

These criteria shall be reviewed annually by the Committee. 



'The following themes are considered inappropriate for commemoration: 

-- State or regional anniversaries with little or no national 

significance 
-- Local institutions such as governments, universities, and public 

and private schools; 
-- Commercial enterprises and products; and 
-- Organizations, individuals, and themes principally sectarian in 

nature . 

24 



132 



Exhibit 9 



D.S. MINT ADTHORITY TO DERIVE OPERATING PROFITS 
FROM COMMEMORATIVE COIN SALES 



Public Law 103-328. Title II. Section 209rcW1994K 

The purpose of this legislation was to distribute- surcharges 
to a recipient organization under the Mount Rushmore 
National Memorial Commemorative Coin Act. It included the 
following provision: 

"(o) NUMISMATIC OPERATING PROFITS. — Nothing in this 
section shall be construed to affect the Secretary of the 
Treasury's right to derive operating profits from numismatic 
progrzuns for use in supporting United States Mint's 
numismatic operations and programs,...." 



Public Law 102-390. Title II. Section 221 fbW3) rAW1992) . 

This legislation established the Mint's Numismatic Public 
Enterprise Fund, a revolving fund for all of the Mint's 
numismatic programs, including commemorative coin programs. 
The initial funding for the Fund included the transfer of 
existing Mint numismatic profits. It defined that term as 
follows: 

"(A) NUMISMATIC PROFIT.-- The term "numismatic profit" 
means the amount which is equal to the proceeds (including 
seigniorage) from the sale of numismatic items minus the 
costs of numismatic operations and progrsuns." 



Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisorv Committee Report to 
Congress. November. 1994 . 

The Report states at page 17 various commemorative coin 
reform proposals, including one to restructure the surcharge 
payment and replace it with a profit-sharing arrangement 
between the recipient organization and the Mint: 

"Instead of designating a specific surcharge for each 
coin, which is the current practice, we propose that the 
Mint be allowed to set the profit level on commemorative 
programs sufficient to divide those profits between the 
Mint's Public Enterprise Fund and the designated recipient 
organization for a particular commemoration." 



25 



133 

Exhibit 9 (cont. 



- 2 - 



Testimony from Mint Directors to the Congress: 



** ••In total, since 1982 the Mint's commemorative, 
numismatic, and bullion progrzuas have generated $550 million 
in profits. . .the Mint is one of a fev government agencies 
that is a profit center for the Federal Treasury. •' 

Philip N. Diehl, Director of the Mint. See Hearing on the 
Mint Appropriations before the House Appropriations 
Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service, and General 
Government, February 28, 1995. 



** ••At the year's end, the net profits resulting from all 
numismatic and bullion progrzims would be deposited into the 
General Fund of the Treasury with the exception of necessary 
funding retained to finzmce future operations." 

David Ryder. See Statement of David Ryder, Nominee for the 
Position of Director, United States Mint, before the Senate 
Banking Committee, November 22, 1991. 



** ••! would venture to guess that the Treasury Department 
would not be anxious to support commemorative coin measures 
if the Treasury did not realize some profit on coin 
measures. ■■ 

Donna Pope. See Hearing on the Mint Authorization, H.R. 2931 
before the former House Banking Subcommittee on Consumer 
Affairs and Coinage, August 1, 1989, at page 47. 



26 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 



134 



Philip Diehl 



3 9999 05570 723 4 



Philip Diehl is the current Director of the United States Mint. 
Previous to this appointment he served as Counselor to Secretary 
Lloyd Bentsen and Chief of Staff at the Department of the Treasury. 
He was also Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee under 
Senator Bentsen, and served as the Senator's Legislative Director. 

Mr. Diehl has also served as vice president of regulatory affairs 
at International Telecharge Inc., and as director of telephone 
regulation for the Texas Public Utility Commission in Austin. His 
M.A. was earned in government from the University of Texas at 
Austin. 



135 



DEPUTY OCMOOUTX: WHT 

COMMfTTEEON 
APPnOPfUATtONS 
BUSCOMMrrncs: 

MUTAMV COMCTNUCnOM 



Congrtss of the Bnitcd States 

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flDashington, ©£ loin-oi^-t 



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|P»*0« ONLrt 
tsmMi-ara 

ESTEBAN E. TORRES ""^'"i^J:"^,"^'"' 

34TM District, California ai>i7io-i«» 



Testimony Before 

the House Banking Subcommittee on 

Domestic & Monetary Policy 

By The Honorable Esteban E. Torres 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present testimony 
before your subcommittee regarding commemorative coinage. During 
my tenure as chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Consumer 
Affairs and Coinage in the 102nd Congress, the Mint Authorization 
Bill (P.L 102-390) was enacted. Included in that law, was a 
section establishing the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory 
Committee (CCCAC) , which I authored. The CCCAC was established 
with a mission to advise the Secretary on the selection of subjects 
and designs for commemorative coins. 
Its purpose was to: 

(A) designate annually the events, persons, or places 
that the Advisory Committee recommends be commemorated; 

(B) make recommendations with respect to the mintage 
level for any commemorative coin; 

(C) submit a report to the Congress containing a 
description of the events, persons, or places which the 
Committee recommends be commemorated by a coin, the 
mintage level recommended for any such commemorative 
coin, and the committee's reasons for such 
recommendat ions . 

It was not my intent to permit the Director of the U.S. Mint to 
hold the position as Chairman of the CCCAC. Allowing the Director 
to serve as Chairman of the CCCAC, subverts the committee's basic 
mission: to represent the views of citizens. 

While I respect the current Mint Director and his good intentions, 
I believe his role should be limited to membership on the Advisor 
Committee. As a member, of the committee the Mint Director can 
clarify, facilitate, debate, but not direct the CCCAC 's 
discussions. I encourage the committee, should it take up a 
reauthorization bill, to amend the law creating the CCCAC. The 
draft language below would prevent the Director from serving as 

RETOEMNTING BASSETT, EAST LOS ANGELES. HAOENOA HEIGHTS, INDUSTRY. LA PUENTE. LOS NIETOS. MONTEBELLO, 

NORWALK. PICO RIVERA ROSEMEAD. SOUTH SAN GABRIEL SANTA FE SPRINGS. VALINDA AND WHITTIER 

THIS STATIONEnv PAINTED ON PAPER MADE OF HECVCUD FIBERS 



136 



Chairman of the Committee. Furthermore, it would ensure that the 
Committee's Chairman be elected by non-Mint members. To date, it 
is my opinion that the CCCAC has failed in its obligation to 
represent the coin collecting community. 

MEMBERSHIP 

(A) Voting MEMBERS. — The Advisory Committee shall 

consist of 7 members appointed by the Secretary of the 

Treasury . 

(i) 3 of whom shall be appointed from among 
individuals specially qualified to serve on the 
committee by reason of their education, training, 
or experience in art, art history, museum or 
numismatic collection curation, or numismatics, none 
of whora mav receive compensation for consultation 
with the U.S. Mint, contract with the U.S. Hint, or 
be employed by the U.S. Mint; 

(ii) 1 of whom shall be appointed from among 
officers or employees of the United States Mint who 
will represent the interests of the Mint and who 
shall not serve as chairman of the committee ; and 
(iii) 3 of whom shall be appointed from among 
individuals who will represent the interests of the 
general public, none of whom may receive 
compensation for consultation with the U.S. Mint. 
contract with the U.S. Mint, or be employed by the 
U.S. Mint. 

The input from the coin community was intended to help slow the 
proliferation of commemorative coin programs, as well as provide 
direct input from the numismatic community, and improve those 
events that are selected for commemorative coins. Instead the 
programs have increased. The proliferation of commemorative coin 
programs has created a serious problem for coin collectors. The 
resulting glut of commemorative coins has caused the value of coins 
to diminish both monetarily and symbolically. 

Mr. Chairman, thank you once again, for allowing me to submit this 
testimony on the issue of the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisor 
Committee. 



o 



ISBN 0-16-052113-0 




9 780160"521133 



90000