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Could that be ANA's lamp?

Even though I know that the reverse design on the $5 gold coin that is part of the 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin program uses a lamp design from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., I laughed when I looked at it this morning.

The reverse design is so similar to the American Numismatic Association’s Lamp of Knowledge logo that it almost literally is an incarnation of the commemorative coin the ANA never got.

Trial balloons have been floated over the years about an ANA commemorative coin. It has been justified in part as some sort of payback to collectors for all of the money we have spent buying commemoratives supporting other worthy causes over the last three decades.

The idea has never gone anywhere. It might seem that with less than 30,000 members, an ANA theme is too esoteric for a national commemorative coin program.

That is probably true.

Those who are disappointed in this state of affairs can now console themselves with a coin that looks like half of an ANA commemorative.

However, with the issue price of the proof version at $485.50, that might be too high a price to pay to simply be amused by an inside joke.

Who is on the obverse?

Gen. Douglas MacArthur appears there. His presence on the coin will motivate more buyers than an ANA-theme likely would.

However, considering the ANA’s history of the last 10 years some members might yearn for a MacArthur-like figure to lead the organization as executive director, while others will claim that we have already had one.

Take a look at see what you think:

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."