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Time for Mint to Close Its Doors?
November 02, 2007

Does the U.S. Mint want to give up some or all of its duties to strike circulating coinage for all Americans?

Private firms already provide blanks to the U.S. Mint. Has the time come for the venerable institution to farm out the actual striking process as well?

Perhaps so.

There is some murmuring going on behind the scenes on Capitol Hill that the legislation being considered that would empower the Treasury Secretary to set the compositions and weights of the circulating coins is somehow being drawn up so that it is setting up a private firm to get a contract to strike coins.

How would collectors and others feel about this should the scuttlebutt prove to have some grain of truth in it?

As you might expect, I am paying close attention. More will be coming one way or another as Numismatic News explores this further.

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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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