It has been a couple of months since the United States Mint website on Aug. 31 took over marketing paper money collectible products from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
I expect this has improved both paper visibility and sales.
Coin collectors have mixed feelings about paper money.
Some like it.
Most are indifferent to it.
Indifference is not rejection.
The door is open to many coin collectors becoming paper money collectors as time goes by.
The question is, will they?
In my career, there has been a knee-jerk reaction to think that paper money must be more expensive than coins.
After all, collecting $1 bills is 100 times more expensive than collecting Lincoln cents when measured solely by face value.
This visceral reaction kicks in before the rational brain figures out that prices of coin rarities often are far higher than paper money rarities.
I have always thought that as inflation continues to nibble away at the value of coins, and paper money becomes more commonplace in the hands of kids, kids would form the same relationship to paper money as my generation did to coins.
As a result, when these kids grew up, they would jump into paper money.
This really has never happened.
I don’t know why.
Perhaps the process is just going much more slowly than I perceive.
I make no apologies for the attachment I have to coins. In my heart, it beats paper money all hollow.
It was forged many years ago when I was a child.
It was heavily reinforced when I was a paperboy.
Prices are seven times higher now than when I delivered the Des Moines Register a half century ago.
The $10 a week I earned then would need to be over $70 nowadays.
Knowing this, I just figured $1s, $5s, and $10s would become more important than nickels, dimes, and quarters to future generations.
However, it looks like we will become a cashless society before that happens.
So how will potential buyers react to the many sheets of paper money now available on the Mint’s website?
I look forward to finding out.
Did you know you can buy a sheet of 16 $100 bills for $1,800?
There I go, reinforcing the old “it’s too expensive” stereotype.
Perhaps I should point out the sheet of 50 $1 bills that sells for $86 instead.
Go take a look at the sheets of $1s, $100s, and all the notes in between.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
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