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New dawn for Cuban coins?

The national news media is focused on cigars.

News that diplomatic relations will be restored with Cuba after over 50 years have numismatists looking at something else.

I have already had an email wondering if the restrictions on online trading in Cuban coins will be eliminated.

Certainly that is likely to happen.

The trade embargo that has been in place since 196o has had a wide reach even if it is hard to believe that collectors working on sets of Cuban coin and paper money issues could have an impact on the geopolitical situation with the island nation that at one point is just 90 miles away from the American mainland.

In years past we have had trouble with several coin shipments through customs that were intended to be photographed for inclusion in the Standard Catalog of World Coins and then shipped back out.

But numismatics is a part of life, not exempt from it, so problems in one area cause problems in others.

Perhaps a new focus on Cuba will lead to a renaissance of collector interest in the issues of that country.

Headlines always seem to bring out a few newcomers as they suddenly are smitten with the idea of trying something new.

As the years roll by, it can be expected that a new generation of Americans of Cuban ancestry as well as Cubans themselves will look at Cuba with interest and collect its coins and bank notes.

That is what happened when the People’s Republic of China and Russia opened up to the world. The coins of both nations are still hot.

Cuba is a small country, but all that means is a few individuals can have a large impact in numismatics.

So let’s see where this goes. The President has spoken, but Congress has yet to act on the trade embargo.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."