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Mint Buyers Get Second Chance
November 01, 2007

When the eBay posse buys a new Mint issue, but guesses wrong about how the secondary market will price the new coin or sets, they would dearly love to get a "do over."

Well, now there is a "do over" being offered by the U.S. Mint for a small number of one particular issue that collectors bought in 2004.

The Lewis and Clark Coin and Pouch sets featured a proof example of the commemorative silver dollar that marked the 200th anniversary of the famous Western exploration expedition that occurred 1804-1806 at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson.

It was a clever idea to bring in American Indian handicrafts. The issue price of the set was $120. It hit me as steep at the time and I steered clear of it personally, but it was a sellout item.

Nowadays, the sets change hands for below issue price, so those collectors who own them probably wouldn't mind an opportunity to return the sets for a full refund plus $10 for shipping and insurance.

Most of the sets produced in 2004 are not eligible for return, just those produced by the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band of Ohio, which apparently the Mint just learned is not a federally recognized tribe, nor is it recognized by state authorities, either.

It is a fine thing for the Mint to offer this opportunity for a refund. Owners of the sets get their "do over" and get to use the money to purchase something else.

To be eligible, the buyers' Certificates of Authenticity need to specifically refer to the remnant band by name.

Lucky them. I've had to wait almost 25 years for the rising price of gold to bail me out of my proof and uncirculated 1984-W Olympic $10 gold pieces.

If you happen to be one of the set owners who will take advantage of the refund, let me know. Register your comments here or send me an e-mail at

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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