Hello everyone, we’d like to welcome you to the inaugural post of our newly-minted “Coin-versations” blog.
It’s a great time to take a fresh look at coin collecting, and as a special way to start, we recently had the privilege of speaking with a true coin collecting expert and lifelong coin fan, Mr. Edmund C. Moy, who served as the 38th Director of the U.S. Mint from 2006-2011.
Edmund C. Moy, 38th Director of the U.S. Mint
BRADFORD: Mr. Moy, we appreciate you taking the time to share some of your knowledge and insight into the world of coins. To begin, I’m sure everyone is curious about how you first became interested in coin collecting?
MOY: My fascination with coins is part of a truly American story. My parents had immigrated to the U.S. to pursue the American Dream. They ran a restaurant, and by age 9, I was helping out by manning the cash register. When I questioned a customer about an odd-looking penny, he explained it was an old Indian Head Cent, and I was hooked! I started exchanging interesting coins in the drawer and that’s how my collection began. Many years later, after holding positions in the private sector, as well as in public service, I had the great honor of being nominated by the president, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as the Director of the U.S. Mint.
BRADFORD: What was one of the most gratifying parts of being the U.S. Mint Director?
MOY: Well, first, it was an honor to serve, as one of only 38 Mint Directors in our history since 1792. I was fortunate to hold the office during a dynamic period of development for U.S. coinage. I oversaw the introduction of the District of Columbia and the United States Territories Quarter series, the America the Beautiful Quarters series which honored our national parks, the Native American $1 Coin series, as well as the $1 Presidential series. It was wonderful to see how these programs inspired millions of Americans to take an interest in coins.
BRADFORD: Speaking of Dollar coins, past attempts to replace the one dollar bill with coins have not met with great success. Could a different dollar coin change things?
MOY: Replacing currency bills with coins has been successful in other countries, and would offer our nation a substantial cost savings. But unlike other countries, Congress wants both $1 bills and coins to circulate together and most Americans are used to the $1 bill. While the main purpose of coins is to facilitate everyday commerce, coins are used for other reasons like education and national unity. That’s why the designs are so important. For example, the 50 State Quarter program that educated a generation on geography and history and brought our nation together around the idea that we are individual states united to form a country called America. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to see the introduction of the new U.S. Mint $1 Innovation coins.
BRADFORD: What makes this new series so special?
MOY: This brand-new U.S. Mint series is just getting started in 2019, and has huge potential. The series is inspired by the uniquely American virtue of innovation. These new coins can help unite our country around the pride we share in the American contributions that made the U.S. and the world a better place. By reminding us of the innovators, their innovations, and their inspiring stories, this new series can help spark a new American generation’s drive to take risks and dream big. And it just might fire up enough public interest to once again make the case for getting $1 coins into circulation in the future!
We’d like to thank Ed Moy for taking the time to talk to us today, and wish him — and you — a great 2019 full of fascinating coins. We’d also like to invite you to learn more about some of the coins we mentioned and a few more we love:
The $1 American Innovation Coins
America the Beautiful Quarters Collection (National Park Quarters)
Very sincerely yours,
Walter J. Kole
The Bradford Exchange Mint