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Community Voice Responses (12/20/2011)

From the Dec. 2 Numismatic News E-Newsletter: Is the Presidential dollar series helping to educate kids about history? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor, Dave Harper.

 

I doubt that in most cases the Presidential dollar coins have any impact on a child’s history knowledge. Most kids have probably never seen or possessed these coins. I just don’t think they circulate enough for most kids to even notice them. If they have seen them, they’ve probably never been informed about the program or how they are released in chronological order and have their term years on them. I wish I could say otherwise, but at this point, I can’t.
Aaron Magwire   Anchorage, Alaska

As a coin collection merit badge teacher for Boy Scouts and an avid coin collector, I totally ignore this series. So far all of the Scouts are born before 2007, so when I do discuss coins from their birth year, they are the Sacagawea dollars.
To me, the Presidential dollar program smacks of the Morgan dollar program pushed by Congress. Both of these programs are an example of a solution looking for a problem. The only difference is when the Morgan dollar ended, at least there was an intrinsic value to the coin in the form of silver.
On another note, the designs from the Mint have become dull, predictable, and lifeless. The Presidential dollars have done nothing to improve this.
Mike Budzynski   address withheld

Sure they do. I live in an eastern European state and learn about American history by collecting American coins, including Presidential dollars.
Ioan Mirea   Bucuresti, Romania

Yesterday, I gave a few new Zachary Taylor dollars to the kids of friends who had me over for Thanksgiving dinner.  After my short history lesson on Taylor to the kids, they probably will not forget our 12th president and the fact that he died in office after only 16 months.
John Matejko   Pearl City, Hawaii

I know the Presidential series has inspired young people to ask questions about the people appearing on the coins.
I have collected for many years and when I talk to young people and place an old coin in their hand, I ask them to think who else might have held that piece in their hand. It’s interesting for most ask who might have held it.
Coins are history.
Frank Leppert   Address withheld

 

They very well can. The problem is that the coins by and large don’t circulate.
Kids just aren’t going to have an opportunity to see one, let alone learn any history from any of them. The odds are slim to none that they’ll even see one and when they do they may think the coin is a game token and take it to the mall to play it.
Unless they are the child of a coin collector or happen to come across the right vending machine,  I don’t think most youth will ever see one.
Bryan New   Columbia, KY

I don’t think the Presidential dollar is helping educate kids about history, because most kids have never seen a Presidential dollar.
I have been a numismatist for over 50 years. I have never seen a $1 coin have any success in circulation. Have you even seen any Presidential dollars in circulation? Our country has many problems, and the U.S. Mint is one of them.
No, the Presidential dollar is only going to be seen by children whose parents who have an interest in numismatics.
Larry W. Young   Tyrone, Georgia

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