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Promote coins, don't ignore them

The prime minister of Canada unveiled a new coin yesterday.

Way to go, Canada.

This is what we need more of, heads of government taking an interest in coins.

In Germany the chancellor unveils new annual 2-euro coin designs.

What do we get in the United States?

We definitely do not get the President.

Why not?

This is not something we can blame on one party or another.

Neglect of coins has been going on for years in the Oval Office.

The Mint has gamely kept up with its unveiling ceremonies for each new quarter design as each is released. I am grateful. I think it is important. Any boost is helpful.

However, for elected U.S. politicians, coin ceremonies are not plum assignments.

These ceremonies are fortunate if they attract someone who outranks the county coroner.

I suppose the question is whether this neglect is due to how far coins have fallen in public esteem, or whether the lack of political interest is actively helping to kill off public esteem for coins.

It is not my purpose today to answer this chicken and egg question.

I can take both sides of the issue. That sounds like a politician, doesn’t it?

But I think it is important for all collectors to express their thanks whenever they can for the attention of these officials. It is in our own interest.

We only seem to get scrutiny of coins when there is a problem.

When the Presidential dollars met their end for circulation in 2011, it was a decision made at the highest levels and announced by Vice President Biden.

While that might be understandable, it reflects negatively on coins generally.

We need positive attention from the top as well.

In yesterday’s case, dynamic new prime minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a $1 coin marking the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in Canada.

Trudeau was joined by Patty Hajdue, Minister of the Status of Women, and Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance.

Five million of these dollar coins have been struck.

It is a circulating $1 coin as opposed to a collector-only issue as $1 coins now are in the United States.

Is there any chance of Presidential interest in new U.S. coins?

I won't hold my breath.

But I will say that yesterday's event in Canada has made me envious.

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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