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If not Presidents, who or what?

If Ronald Reagan is put on a silver dollar to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2011, would you buy it?

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives calling for just such a coin. H.R. 5235 was introduced Feb. 6 by Reps. Elton Gallegly and Roy Blunt.

Politics aside, numismatics is a field where collectors constantly complain that the only designs we see are Presidential faces, yet proposals continue to flow to add more Presidential faces.

It seems that in the 10 seconds of thought the average politician gives to such suggestions, you need instant recognition. Love him. Hate him. Sign me up. Get that away from me. It’s quickly over, up or down.

Reagan already will be honored with the other Presidents in the Presidential dollar series.

I expect if he appears on a classic commemorative silver dollar, he will probably sell well. But what commemorative topics do we forego when we fall back so quickly and easily on Presidents?

How about coins to help the National Park system? This legacy of land and natural beauty has been bequeathed to us by our ancestors. Wouldn’t a few extra commemorative dollars do more good here to keep them in pristine shape?

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War years begin in 2011. Should we not remember them and reflect on their historical legacy?

It is always a losing game to say my ideas are better than your ideas, but we never even get a chance to discuss ideas in the first place because the default setting on coinage matters points to Presidents.

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6 Responses to If not Presidents, who or what?

  1. Scott Barman says:

    Of all the presidents honored on our coins and currency, the only president who has not been properly honored is Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt, who called his attempt to reform American coinage and give it classical style, his "pet crime," ushered in a renaissance of coin designs that continues their appeal today. Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle design lives on with American Eagle gold program and will be added to the 24-karat bullion program. James Earl Fraser’s Buffalo nickel design is currently part of the 24-karat bullion program. Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty design graces the silver Eagles. These classic designs are still beloved.

    So what did Reagan do? Fire the air traffic controllers that the FAA has never recovered from. Cut student loans that took over 15 to restore. Set up a banking crisis that lead to Black Monday in 1987 and the environment that lead to the Thrift Savings crisis. And do not forget about Iran-Contra. Not exactly honorable material!

    In addition to the coins, TR founded the National Park Service–TR was the first conservation president, was the first trust buster, backed unions fighting unfair labor practices, and won the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating peace with the Russo-Japanese War.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Theodore Roosevelt deserves a commemorative before Ronald Reagan should even be considered. Maybe it’s time for those "Reagan Nation" folks to sit down and move on with life!

  2. I would like to see at least a few more classic designs reused on Commemoratives like they did for the 2001 Buffalo Commem.

    It would be great to see the Morgan Dollar or Peace Dollar design and I am sure these would be hugely popular.

  3. Mark says:

    According to the Mint a President has to be dead for 2 years before they can mint his coin and they have to go in order. Since Jimmy Carter is still alive, they can’t project a Ronald Reagan coin, the series currently ends with Gerald Ford.

  4. Mark says:

    According to the Mint a President has to be dead for 2 years before they can mint his coin and they have to go in order. Since Jimmy Carter is still alive, they can’t project a Ronald Reagan coin, the series currently ends with Gerald Ford.

  5. Robert Salvato says:

    I can see a one year commemorative coin for the late President Ronald Reagan, and don’t forget, film star. But I’ve heard comments saying he should be immortalized on our circulating coins or currency. Let’s not get carried away. He wasn’t that great! As a previous writer commented, how come Teddy Roosevelt, great enough to be one of 4 immortalized on Mt. Rushmore, is not great enough to be on any of our coins or currencies?
    But there should be a word of caution added here. If we decide to commemorate everyone and everything at free will, our Mint would become another Isle of Man, where selling collector coins seems to be their only industry.

  6. A bill (H.R.6184) honoring national parks and sites passed in the Senate Wednesday (Dec. 10, 2008) and has been cleared for the President to sign.

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