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Gold and a busted dream

Gold seems to be teasing us this morning around the $1,700-an-ounce level.

Will it close above it?

It is the stuff of many current dreams. You can almost be hypnotized watching the minute-to-minute fluctuations.

So I won’t.

I will turn to the idea of busted dreams.

Did you ever save some coins because you thought they might have greater value in future years?

I know I have.

All I have to do is look at the extra 1986 uncirculated Statue of Liberty half dollars I bought in the year of issue because it seemed they were so cheap at around $5 a pop.

Mintage was 723,635 – less than that magic million that used to be a demarcation of scarcer coins.

A generation later, the number looks huge compared to the mintages of the commemoratives that followed and the price has declined to around $2.25. But who wants them?

These thoughts occurred to me yesterday as I looked at the change I had accumulated. During the course of the day I had received four quarters, a dime and a nickel.

Three of the quarters you wouldn’t give a second thought to. They are a 1979-D and 1981-D that have seen extensive wear and a 2004-P Wisconsin quarter that looks better but looks as if it has been around awhile.

That leaves the fourth quarter and it grabs your eye if you look at the four together. It is a 2002-D Louisiana quarter. It looks like a coin that had been part of a roll of uncirculated coins recently cashed in, or perhaps taken out of a set that had been formed at the time of issue by a youngster who is now grown and perhaps in need of money for college.

The coin has no premium value and never will, and that is why it has found its way back into circulation a decade after it was issued.

Whatever collector dream that might have been invested in it is now gone.

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