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Gimmick or wave of the future?

Last week’s Numismatic News online poll results are worth pondering.

The question asked whether U.S. Mint engravers should be given the freedom to develop commemorative designs using color, holograms and other advanced features appearing on many world collector issues?

A majority said no, but the margin was rather thin at 56 percent no and 42 percent yes.
If 42 percent of collectors would be willing to collect these nontraditional numismatic issues, that could be quite a market.

This question should be explored further. Are the respondents on the “no” side all on the older side of the demographic divide and the “yes” side younger, or are the views held equally by all ages of collectors?

That is the key question in my mind.

If younger collectors are in favor and they already constitute 42 percent in favor of the new alloys, colors and holograms, that would clearly be where the U.S. hobby will go.
Certainly major world mints that I respect have jumped into the field.

One of the most interesting to me is the Austrian Mint because it combines traditional skillful die engraving with new alloys.

I gave a Coin of the Year Most Innovative Coin Award earlier this year to Austria for its 25-euro Fascination Light silver-niobium coin.

I commented at the presentation that I couldn’t believe the lightbulb could be made so interesting. The coin has an old gas lamplighter on one side and the new-fangled lightbulbs on the other.

Take a look and see what you think.

You will immediately note that I am sending you to a ShopNumismaster page.

Look at it, think about and it and then comment here if you would like. I am sure you will have an opinion.

http://www.shopnumismaster.com/product/2008-fascination-light-silver-proof-coin/27DH

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One Response to Gimmick or wave of the future?

  1. Vachon says:

    I don’t enjoy these non-coin metal presentations. They reek of gimmickry. Ideally, commemoratives should be made from the alloys currently used on circulating coins. Technically, commemorative coins are a legal tender and it seems ought to be treated as such. A modern commemorative should be able to end up as a spendable coin if a person chooses to do so and like it once happened in the past during the classic commemorative era.

    These new "coins" made by foreign countries in exotic metals or with holograms or added color, to me, sully the hobby, not enhance it.

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