Commemorative Coin Reform Act Report to Congress FY 2008 Third Quarter

PROGRAM-WIDE SUMMARY

Modern commemorative coins authorized by Congress and produced by the United States Mint date from the introduction of the George Washington 250th Anniversary Half-Dollar in 1982. Congress has authorized a total of 51 commemorative coin programs through 2009, honoring people, places, events and institutions of significance in American history and culture. Surcharges from the sales of these coins are authorized to help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the community at large. United States Mint commemorative coin programs have collected approximately $469.4 million in surcharges over the past 26 years for many worthy recipient organizations.

Commemorative coins are beneficial to numismatic enthusiasts and the recipient organizations, but they also reaffirm the history of our Nation. To ensure that commemorative coin programs reap the benefits of the reforms of 1996, the United States Mint must continue to execute and oversee these coin programs in a conscientious, prudent and business-like manner.

FINANCIAL REPORTING

The matching funds criterion established by the Commemorative Coin Reform Act of 1996 (CCRA), as amended by Title II of Public Law 108-15 (April 23, 2003), requires commemorative coin programs to link public funding of special projects to private support by requiring recipient organizations to show receipts of donations from private sources “in an amount that is equal to or greater than the total amount of the proceeds of such surcharge derived from the sale of such numismatic item.” The CCRA makes commemorative coin program recipient organizations partners in bearing the risks of commemorative coin programs, and it assures that the United States Mint recovers its cost of operating such coin programs.

The estimated program margin is total net revenue minus net operating cost less surcharges collected. This quarterly interim analysis was prepared using the accrual basis of accounting.

2007 Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program

Public Law 108-289, signed August 6, 2004

Legislation signed into law authorized a commemorative coin program honoring Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. This was a two-coin program with a gold $5 coin and a silver dollar. The coins have a maximum mintage of 500,000 silver coins and 100,000 gold coins.

Analysis of Financial Position

Sales of Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemorative Coins began on January 10, 2007, and the coins were issued through December 31, 2007. Through the end of the third quarter of FY 2008, the United States Mint shipped a total of 404,496 coins, generating total program revenue of $28.1 million. The program collected over $5.69 million in surcharges and currently shows a profit of approximately $2.3 million.

The eligible designated recipient organizations for qualifying surcharges under this program are the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the
Department of the Interior, and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. No
surcharges have been paid for this program.

2007 Little Rock Central High School Desegregation 50th Anniversary Coin Program

Public Law 109-146, signed December 22, 2005

Legislation signed into law authorized a silver dollar to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. The silver dollar has a maximum mintage of 500,000 coins.

Analysis of Financial Position

Sales of the Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Coin began
on May 15, 2007, and the coin was issued through December 31, 2007. Through the end of the third quarter of FY 2008, the United States Mint shipped a total of 190,771 coins, generating total program revenue of $7.7 million. The program collected $1.9 million in surcharges and currently shows a profit
of approximately $700,000.

The eligible designated recipient organization for qualifying surcharges under this program is the Department of Interior (to be used for purposes related to the Little Rock Central High School Historic Site). No surcharges have been paid for this program.

2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program

Public Law 108-486, signed December 23, 2004

The 2008 Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program began on January 15, 2008. This is a three-coin program, comprising a $5 gold coin, a silver dollar and a clad half-dollar, with mintages of 100,000 coins, 500,000 coins and 750,000 coins, respectively. Special products include a Three-Coin Proof Set, a Young Collector’s Set, and a Coin and Medal Set. The silver dollar will also be included in the 2008 United States Mint American Legacy Collection™ to be released later this year. Currently, this is the only commemorative coin program scheduled for 2008.

On April 10, 2008, the United States Mint joined country music legend Dolly Parton in a media event to support the Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program. The event included the release of a young eaglet rescued by the American Eagle Foundation into the wild. The release took place in a ceremony at Douglas Lake located in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Analysis of Financial Position

Sales of the Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins began on January 15, 2008, and the coins will be issued through December 31, 2008. Through the end of the third quarter of FY 2008, the United States Mint shipped a total of 658,231 coins, generating total program revenue of $36.4 million. The program collected $6.4 million in surcharges and currently shows a profit of approximately $5.4 million.

The eligible designated recipient organization for qualifying surcharges under this program is the American Eagle Foundation of Tennessee. No surcharge payments have been made to date.

2009 Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Program

Public Law 109-285, signed September 27, 2006

The Abraham Lincoln Commemorative Coin Program consists of a silver coin with a maximum mintage of 500,000 coins.
The design candidates commemorating the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth were presented to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC) for review, as well as the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The Secretary of the Treasury approved the final designs for the silver dollar coin commemorating the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln on January 29, 2008. The designs are expected to be unveiled in the fall of 2008. The eligible designated recipient organization for qualifying surcharges under this program is the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Coin Program

Public Law 109-247, signed July 27, 2006

The Louis Braille Commemorative Coin Program consists of a silver coin with a maximum mintage of 400,000 coins.

The designs for the silver dollar commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Louis Braille and Braille Literacy efforts were presented to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) for review. A prototype was developed to test the legibility of the Braille text on the reverse of the coin, as required by law. The design candidates for the silver dollar coin commemorating the bicentennial of the birth of Louis Braille and Braille Literacy efforts were presented to the CFA, the CCAC, and the National Federation of the Blind in February. The Secretary of the Treasury approved the final designs on April 21, 2008, and an unveiling event is scheduled for July. The eligible designated recipient organization for qualifying surcharges under this program is the National Federation of the Blind.

MARKET-BASED RESEARCH AND PRICING FOR ALL UNITED STATES MINT COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAMS

The United States Mint is actively engaged in gathering and analyzing data from focus group sessions as well as information collected through bi-monthly surveys. The purpose of gathering this data is twofold. First, customer satisfaction can be gauged relative to recent product offerings, and second, the success of future products and programs can be estimated.

The United States Mint also uses this information to assess overall customer response to quality, pricing and packaging, and to gain a better understanding of which products will succeed and at what price will they be most attractive to potential customers.

Focus group meetings are conducted around the country to provide input from a diverse population. They are valuable tools for the United States Mint when considering themes, packaging and special products. These venues are used to test annual recurring products, as well as commemorative coin programs.

Commemorative coin pricing includes estimating consumer demand and costs associated with producing and selling the item. The United States Mint has engaged in several efforts to keep the sale price of numismatic items as low as practicable. For example, we have decreased the size of standard packaging of commemorative coins to reduce costs and waste. In addition, because commemorative coin boxes do not change from one product to another, we are able to take advantage of economies of scale by ordering the packaging in bulk quantities; this allows for the use of less expensive packaging for commemorative coins, while preserving our high standards of quality and visual appeal. We also use designated recipient organizations’ existing publications and other communications media to eliminate the need for costly blanket advertising of the products and use the organizations’ mailing lists so the purchase or renting of lists is not necessary.

Content last updated on