When was the last time a Treasury secretary got involved in a ceremony to unveil a new coin design?
Neither can I.
It certainly doesn’t happen routinely.
That is what will make a ceremony in the Treasury’s ornate Cash Room on Jan. 12 so significant.
Jacob J. “Jack” Lew will be on hand for the unveiling of a new 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary gold coin.
This piece will celebrate the founding of the United States Mint in 1792.
Lew will be joined by Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin and Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson.
That’s a powerful trio.
It is not an event like an American the Beautiful quarter unveiling where anyone can drop by.
Invitations and RSVPs are involved for the 1 p.m. Eastern Time event in Washington, D.C.
It is hoped that coin collectors will be pleased with a new version of Miss Liberty to be depicted.
The piece will be one troy ounce of .9999 fine gold with a $100 face value to make it legal tender.
That means expensive.
That is probably why the Treasury secretary will be on hand to call attention to it.
Coin collectors in recent years have been more inclined to buy gold coins with familiar designs on them rather than new ones.
It is important for the government to mark the Mint's anniversary and to do what is necessary to call attention to a new coin design.
Old designs might be a treat. Old designs might be a walk down memory lane.
However, new designs will be part of the numismatic legacy bequeathed by the present to future generations.
Will this legacy include collector acclaim or collector indifference?
That, of course, remains to be seen.
Collectors quite rightly make up their own minds.
It is nice, though, to see a new coin considered important enough to be given such a public relations boost.
Perhaps the next door neighbor could walk over from the White House to add even more star power to numismatics.
We collectors deserve it, don’t we?
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