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Endings can be sweet

Endings can be welcomed, accepted as milestones, or simply lamented.

The end of the car show in Iola, Wis., this past weekend is always welcomed by those of us who volunteer to staff it.

It is an exciting event. It boosts the community. But the work is exhausting. Fatigue and a sense of satisfaction then go hand in hand.

The end of the bear market in silver has also been welcomed. The jump in price from under $14 to over $20 since the beginning of the year has put a spring in the step of market participants.

Gold has turned up as well, reinforcing the satisfaction.

Treasurer of the United States Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios left her post Friday after serving seven years.

Her facsimile signature appears on Federal Reserve Notes, paired first with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and then with Jacob J. “Jack” Lew.

Not many jobs leave behind such a high profile record of tenure.

Federal Reserve Notes on which her signature appears are Series 2009 and 2013 for the $1 $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, as well as an extra one for the $100, the Series 2009A.

Collectors will forever remember her name.

With her MBA and background in finance, she is likely to go on to bigger and better things after seven years of public service.

Officeholders who serve at the discretion of the President as she did know their time is limited.

A new President next year will want to name his or her own team and that means a new treasurer and a new signature on paper money.

Rios was a familiar figure to collectors as she made appearances at major shows to sign autographs. Such accessibility is much appreciated.

But as is the case with her departure or graduating high school, there is a sense of regret also at the close of an important chapter in life.

Endings that are lamented are things like the removal of silver from circulating U.S. coins, a process begun by the Coinage Act of 1965.

Collectors still feel a sense of loss. The change hurt.

Such is the power of collector feelings about the precious metal that it helped propel American silver and gold bullion coins to the status of the world’s most popular.

Silver was returned to proof sets in 1992. Ever since, these sets have been gaining ground on the standard clad set.

So even when endings are sad, there are possibilities of new beginnings.

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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