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Ellis Island quarter and 99 more coins

The nominating committee of the Coin of the Year Award met yesterday here in Stevens Point, Wis.

Each year, the challenge is to find 100 coins that represent the best of the issues for the year under consideration.

We have 10 categories to place these nominations in.

That means 10 coins in each.

These range from Best Gold and Best Silver to Most Historically Significant.

Naturally there are U.S. coins in the mix.

The year under consideration is 2017.

If you had to choose the best United States Mint products from 2017, what would they be?

While I cannot yet reveal our list, as today’s nominating committee meets to finalize it, we did settle on an initial list of 100 before we broke for dinner just before 6 p.m.

Getting the numerous coin issues from around the world reduced to 100 at first glance might not seem difficult.

100 coins is a lot, right?

That figure is rather small compared to what was issued in 2017.

There is so much out that is worthy.

While the list is not final, I don’t think I am talking out of school to point out that the Ellis Island quarter made the cut to the final 100.

It is a coin that touches the emotions of many collectors.

This was fully reflected in the actions of the panel.

Since the committee tries to operate by consensus, there are no real head-to-head competitions.

I quickly realized that my personal preference for the George Rogers Clark quarter is just a matter of my taste.

If you look at sales figures for the three-coin quarter sets, Ellis Island comes in at 16,925 compared to 13,161 for Clark.

The public certainly rates the Ellis Island higher.

These three-coin sets contain PDS examples of each design; that is, two uncirculated and a proof.

What is amazing about the Coin of the Year process is not the minor differences like this one.

The amazing thing is seeing a group of individuals with broad numismatic background get to work and compile a list they can all support.

You will have to be patient for a while for the release of the list.

Some coins we do not have photographs of yet.

We have the coins in hand.

Some coins did not have catalog numbers assigned yet, but they soon will.

A ballot will be created from this list, and an international panel of judges will then cast their votes in two rounds.

The ultimate choice for Coin of the Year soon will be in their hands.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."