Did You Know That U.S. Mint, B.E.P., and Treasury Officials Toured Mint Facilities in the Soviet Union in September 1990?

Thirty-three years ago this week, several Treasury officials, likely familiar to United States numismatists, visited the Soviet Union, touring facilities in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Donna Pope (who served as Director of the U.S. Mint from 1981 to 1991), David Ryder (who then was U.S. Treasurer and would serve as Mint Director in 1992-1993 and again from 2018 to 2021), and Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Peter Daly all traveled to the Soviet Union to visit mint facilities, the first U.S. officials to do so. Their weeklong tour was part of a larger diplomatic mission; a document in the State Department’s archive stated “A September 1990 economic mission led by Secretary of State James Baker and Secretary of Commerce Robert A. Mosbacher visited Moscow and Leningrad to discuss U.S.-Soviet cooperation in energy, housing, transportation, food processing, and distribution.” CoinWeek described the visit of the Treasury officials as a “display of glasnost.”

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