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What do you think of FDR?

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential dollar goes on sale Thursday.

It is appropriate that the coin that bears his image is gold in color when it is new but contains no gold.

He is remembered in numismatics as the President who called in gold, made it illegal to own and then devalued the dollar by 59 percent.

He is also a ghost that bullion sellers like to use to frighten potential gold buyers into acquiring pre-1933 gold coins rather than less expensive modern bullion coins.


Because individuals were allowed to keep two examples of each collector coin for numismatic purposes in the Roosevelt recall in 1933.

That historical event is unlikely to hold any water in any future gold grab should one ever come, but it is a good story

More important in 1933 was the fact that Treasury Secretary William Woodin was a coin collector. Without him, perhaps, the recall would have been total and even more coins would have been taken and melted by the government.

Because Roosevelt was a stamp collector, he could easily understand anything about the nature of a kindred collectible hobby.

As it is, one-third of the U.S. gold coins ever minted were destroyed.

That is what coin collectors have chosen to remember.

But it would be just as appropriate to call President Franklin D. Roosevelt the defender of numismatics.

If that seems odd, just think what difference it might have made in Minnesota had the current attorney general been a coin collector when the law aimed at stamping out telephone boiler rooms been written.

Had this been the case, there would be no need to for so many coin dealers to cut their ties to collectors in that state.

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."