Both of my grandfathers were in France fighting against imperial German troops during World War I.
The experience changed them. How could it not?
Popular culture came up with a song, “How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve seen Paree)?”
Both of my grandfathers grew up on farms, but migrated to the city to lead their own lives.
Let’s apply this life lesson to coin collecting.
Even 51 years later, many collectors were disappointed by the changes to numismatics that were set in motion by the Coinage Act of 1965.
Clad coins were roundly criticized. Many of these collectors never got over the passing of the age of silver coins.
Their life experiences in numismatics changed them.
Ever since collecting current base metal coins has been sort of second best.
Thirty-four years ago I wondered why the 1982 No “P” dime didn’t inspire more Roosevelt dime collecting.
The set was dead then. It is still dead, “polluted” by clad issues.
Nobody needs a key coin, error or otherwise, if they don’t collect the set in the first place.
Staff member Connor Falk received his 2016 American $1 Coin & Currency Set. He showed it to me first thing this morning.
It is gorgeous.
The Native American Code Talkers design is a wonderful honor to those who served in World War I and II.
It is a jewel of a coin with the enhanced uncirculated finish.
Price is $14.95. Mintage is just 75,000, which is down from last year’s 90,000 maximum.
Truthfully, 75,000 is an astoundingly low number. The price of $14.95 is a genuine bargain for a coin made with such painstaking care.
Packaging is handsome.
And I shouldn’t forget to mention the uncirculated Series 2013 Federal Reserve Note in the set, though like every coin collector I assign less importance to it.
But the shadow of 1965 seems yet to loom over collector interest in this base metal coin.
It will not always been this way. Future generations will assign a higher value to this set than we are currently doing.
It hasn’t even sold out yet. That means anyone having second thoughts about buying it, still has a chance to get it.
I won’t hold my breath.
Collectors who began with silver were forever changed.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper has twice won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
- If you enjoy reading about what inspires coin designs, you’ll want to check out Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths about U.S. Coins.