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New set might be good gift

Anyone who ever went to school probably had a discussion of the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to listen, does it make a sound?”

My version of the question today is if email does not work, does the coin community still exist?

I know the answer to both questions.

Fortunately, my web browser still works to I can see that gold is trying to regain a foothold over the $1,200 mark.

The Kitco website shows the precious metal at $1,201.70.

Apparently, an interest rate cut by the People’s Bank of China is providing hope that demand in China for goods including gold can be stimulated by monetary policy.

Silver is at $16.43 an ounce, also up a bit.

Fortunately for me, I can refer to an earlier emailed reminder that tells me that sales began yesterday at the U.S. Mint for the 2014 American $1 Coin and Currency Set.

The set features a 2014 Native American dollar coin with an uncirculated finish as well as a Series 2013 Federal Reserve Note.

Price is $13.95 for $2 face value.

While collectors ponder whether that is a good deal, I can say that the design of the dollar coin is quite good.

The set honors the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Describing the coin design, the Mint says it shows a “Native American man offering a pipe while his wife offers provisions of fish, corn, roots and gourds. In the background is a stylized image of the face of William Clark’s compass highlighting “NW,” the area in which the expedition occurred. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “$1.”

The design is appealing, but there are other sets that include the coin. Is adding the standard $1 bill a way of enticing collectors to buy the coin in yet another package?

We will see as the Mint’s sales statistics are reported from week to week.

The set just might appeal to people as a holiday gift.

It is a stocking-stuffer that won’t break the bank, leaving funds available for whatever computer game the kids want this year.

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."