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Can Nebraska succeed with its medal?

The good news is Nebraska is celebrating its 150th anniversary of statehood with a medal.

The bad news is the price points seem steep for average collectors.

There are three compositions and three prices.

All are high.

A one-ounce silver version is $150.

For silver with a gold finish on it, the cost rises to $250.

For bronze, the Nebraska 150 Foundation offers a set of five bronze medals, all of the same design, for $100.

Would-be buyers are then advised to add 10 percent of the total for tax and handling.

You would think the tax and handling charge could be covered by the already high prices.

I feel bad writing this.

The heyday of state medals is past.

I remember active interest in medals when I was a kid.

It would be nice to see a revival.

It is about due.

It would be nice to see Nebraska lead this revival.

But right now I am a skeptic.

The artwork is very appropriate for the state.

The obverse has a stylized ear of corn as the main design device.

The legends are “Nebraska” across the top and a nifty arrangement of “Statehood, 1867-2017, 150 at the bottom.

This is good art.

The reverse shows Chimney Rock, the Platte River, Sandhill cranes and a sprig of native grass.

It is elegant and appropriate.

It says “Great State of Nebraska Sesquicentennial” across the top and “The 150th Anniversary of Statehood” across the bottom.

“Nebraska 150” and “1867-2017” complete the verbiage on the reverse.

The medals are struck in proof quality by the Northwest Territorial Mint.

Order address is The Nebraska 150 Foundation, 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 514, Lincoln, NE 68508.

Medals can also be ordered online.

I hope sales of the medal will make other states envious enough to strike their own.

However, if Nebraska wants coin collectors from the other 49 states to join in, there needs to be a sales option for a single bronze.

I know it might not raise huge sums of money, but national collector participation might make native Nebraskans more eager to buy the medals too.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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