A Bit of History from 1987

It’s interesting what people tuck into various coin sets that make their way back into the market. Recently while going through some 1987 Uncirculated Mint Sets, a 1987 sales message from the Director of the Mint was found inside one of the sets.

Remember, 1987 was before the widespread use of the internet. The Mint was more dependent on hardcopy sales messages being mailed to their customers of record.

Let’s take a look at this message:


1987 Director of the Mint Message Page 1

You’ll see this customer’s interest was in the uncirculated sets. He ordered two in May and received them in June. And, though the Mint probably has different customer codes these days, this gentleman’s (assuming the customer is male for ease of pronouns) customer number that he wrote on the front has been hidden from view.

Let’s look at the next page:

1987 Director of Mint Sales Message page 2

The content says:

Dear Customer:

I’m happy to tell you that interest in purchasing U.S. coins and historic medallions is greater than ever before. More and more Americans are discovering how fascinating coins are and how enjoyable collecting them can be.

We at the U.S. Mint are proud to play a major role in this exciting trend by continuing to develop products of the highest quality, craftsmanship and historical interest for our customers. I’d like to review a few of the more significant developments in the world of coins with you:

The 1987 Uncirculated Coin Sets

You should know that there is something that could be unique about this year’s Uncirculated Coin Set – it contains 1987 Kennedy half-dollars that may not be minted for general circulation, since existing inventories of half-dollars are sufficient to meet demand.

I know you will be proud to add this 1987 uncirculated coin set to your own collection – or purchase it as an attractive gift of enduring beauty!

Look closely, you can see the comment about the Kennedy half-dollars not being minted for circulation intrigued this customer.

Now, for page three:

1987 Director of Mint Sales Message page 3

The content continues as:

Coin sales preserve Liberty

Our offering of Liberty silver dollars and half-dollars was a spectacular success. Thanks to you and other Mint customers, Statue of Liberty coins generated an estimated $83 million donation to the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Restoration Fund.

Another glittering success

Sales of our “American Eagle” bullion coins have surpassed all expectations. These exquisitely detailed coins have been judged by the financial community as an excellent vehicle for investing in precious metals, and the Mint is doing everything possible to keep pace with the phenomenal demand. To date, over 2.2 million gold and 8 million silver bullion coins have been purchased.

In early February, we began delivery of the limited-issue proof versions of both the gold and silver American Eagles. Close to 500,000 gold and over 1.4 million silver proof coins have been ordered.

The mention of the 1986 Statue of Liberty coins is interesting in that mention of the gold Liberty commemorative coin is missing. Also, if you remember, 1986 was the first year of the American Eagle coins which are recognized as a “glittering success.”

Let’s look at the final page:

1987 Director of Mint Sales Message page 4

Continuing the text from the bottom of page three into page four:

Coming up – another exciting Commemorative issue

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. To commemorate the signing of this historic document, the cornerstone of American Liberty, Congress has authorized the striking of the 1987 gold and silver commemorative coins.

Both the gold five-dollar and silver one-dollar coins will be emblematic of the U.S. Constitution and will become available this year. As a valued Mint customer, you will be among the first to have an opportunity to order these handsome coins at pre-issue discount prices.

Obviously, exciting things are happening here at the U.S. Mint. With your support, we will continue to offer products that you will be proud to own, as well as present to others.

We sincerely appreciate your interest and look forward to serving you now and in the future.


Donna Pope

Director of the U.S. Mint

Just a few typed and handwritten words on a simple blue paper acted as a time machine to take us back not quite a quarter of a century. We saw how the US Mint marketed their products back then and we observed what interested this specific customer.

We hope he enjoyed his 1987 Uncirculated Mint Sets.