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Viewpoint: Issue color commemorative notes

By Curt Wood

Good ideas rarely gain immediate acceptance. New schemes such as the telephone and the automobile and space travel, and yes, even Disneyland, were once scorned by timid skeptics who just couldn’t see their way past the status quo.

In that vein I propose what I call the latest good idea: U.S. commemorative color currency that would commemorate everything from America’s history and institutions and innovations, Presidents, science and the arts. Envision a color currency note honoring Jonas Salk or Paul Revere or Samuel Adams.

Could the dollar bill also be a color commemorative honoring Americana?

Could the dollar bill also be a color commemorative honoring Americana?

And how about notes depicting the grandeur of Yellowstone or Yosemite?

An American Artists series could display the portraits and works of Norman Rockwell, Winslow Homer and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Creators of American song such as Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields and Sammy Cahn could be honored.

There could even be a note dedicated to the hobby of numismatics with things like 1804 silver dollars, 1913 Liberty Head nickels and Civil War tokens dotting the scenery here and there. The possibilities are limited only by our unwillingness to employ the virtue of imagination.

The instant our innovation-resistant Treasury Department surrenders to the temptations of imagination, commemorative color currency will be as accepted as commemorative coinage. If you agree, send a copy of this to your member of Congress.

A final word on the denomination of commemorative color currency notes: All such notes for collectors – all such notes are printed for collectors – should forever be of the denomination of one dollar. No twos, fives, tens, twenties, fifties or hundreds. That keeps the price of such notes down for collectors – Young Numismatists, old numismatists and the in-between.

When commemorative color currency is at last adopted as it should and must be, don’t tolerate any schemers who slyly say we should raise the denomination of such notes from one to two.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins 1601-1700 is the most complete volume on coins of the 17th century available on the market today.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins 1601-1700 is the most complete volume on coins of the 17th century available on the market today.

If they get away with that kind of greedy trickery, they’ll raise the denomination again and again until we reach one hundred. If inflation has its pernicious way, there might even be a one thousand.

Keep the denomination of commemorative color currency strictly and eternally at just one dollar and collectors will have such wonderful and beautiful notes for as long as the United States has paper money.

This “Viewpoint” was written by Curt Wood of Van Nuys, Calif..

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects. To have your opinion considered for Viewpoint, write to David C. Harper, Editor, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Send email to david.harper@fwcommunity.com.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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