No this isn't about the current election cycle.
This is about coins.
It is debatable whether the Presidential dollar coin series can be called popular. Some collectors love it. Some hate it.
However, the fact remains that there are people who are actively collecting the coins and only just now realize that their set of Presidents will never be complete.
I had an email on Monday afternoon from a reader who had this to say:
"I left my opinion a couple of days ago but then I got to wondering if you might be able to
shed some light on why they are not going to finish the series, at least up to Obama.
I have all the rolls of the presidents up to now and I find it frustrating to know that I am going to have an incomplete collection of these coins. Why can't they just finish out the set, who is it going to hurt?"
There is no happy answer for a frustrated collector.
There is a correct answer with the facts in it, but that is not particularly satisfying.
Here is what I wrote to him:
"The authorizing legislation had a requirement that no living ex-President could be honored and that any past President honored had to be dead at least two years.
I wrote several columns over the years advocating a complete set of Presidents as well as adding new ones when the time comes, but no changes have been made to the original legislation.
"So, to answer your question, the set was mandated to be incomplete from the get go."
It is too bad that this is the answer. I still think a complete set would be better than what was authorized, but my view has fallen on deaf ears and one more mention of it in this blog will disappear into the archives as well.
Perhaps the sender of the email was not around when the authorizing legislation was being reported. That wouldn't be a surprise.
Unfortunately, there are no disclaimers that pop up on the Mint's website when you order Presidential coins warning, "This set will never be finished."
That is just as well, but I understand it when the collector sense of completeness is violated.
It was in this case, but it does not feel good simply to write that we knew it all along.
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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