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Tradition trumps commercialization

If the world’s mints needed a make-work project for 2011, they just got it in the form of a royal wedding in Great Britain next year.

Prince William plans to marry his longtime girlfriend.

For those who remember the wedding of Prince Charles in 1981, the large number of wedding coins issued then will probably look small in comparison.

Nowadays there are more mints. They are financially hungrier. They are more commercially savvy. They will capitalize anyway they can on this.

But there is also something traditional about all of this, too.

If you look at the broad sweep of numismatic history, it is the royal families that get most of the attention.

In a way then, a royal wedding will bring numismatics back to its roots conveying the news of the latest happening in a ruling dynasty.

American collectors will get two very traditional commemorative programs next year that are rooted in ancient times as well.

Coins honoring the Medal of Honor and the U.S. Army carry on the tradition of Roman times where the military is honored for victories or loyalty to the Caesars.

So tradition and continuity will be the watchwords next year. That is no bad thing during turbulent times.