Wouldn’t you like to finish your Presidential dollar set?
It ended with Ronald Reagan in 2016.
By law, it was incomplete. It was mandated that way from the very beginning.
Only deceased Presidents could be honored.
I have written that this was silly.
A Presidential set should feature all Presidents, not just those who are deceased.
But I did not expect my view to change anything.
This morning, I thought of a new angle.
I was looking at the one-ounce George Washington silver medal that is being sold by the U.S. Mint.
Sales so far are roughly 13,000, which is not that many, but certainly it would beat a silver Martin Van Buren medal should one ever be offered.
Only the silver John Adams medal is currently available.
Buyers have taken roughly 10,000 of these.
Thinking about them gave me an idea.
How about if the Mint creates special medals made of base metal for inclusion in the Presidential dollar set?
These would be promoted as the official way to complete it.
Private industry is already selling its own versions to achieve completeness.
There is clearly a demand for them in the marketplace.
Since they would be medals and not coins, the Treasury secretary could order these to be made.
Since they would be an adjunct to the coin set, new designs of the living Presidents could be created and reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the Fine Arts Commission.
Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump could take their place on dollar-sized medals.
These new medals could be the same diameter but not have the same composition as the Presidential dollar coins.
We would not want these medals clogging the vending machines of the nation.
But they should look similar enough to fit into the Presidential dollar set.
Coin collectors value completeness.
At last they could add the final six individuals to their Presidential set.
The partisan crowd also might join in to purchase images of their favorites.
Having the opportunity to buy a Donald Trump medal, or a Barack Obama medal, might appeal to people from their respective parties.
This would reach far beyond the numismatic audience.
If these medals catch on with the public, some buyers would stick around after discovering that they want to be coin collectors, too.
New dollar-sized Presidential medals have much to commend them, and the Federal Reserve would not have to worry about building bigger dollar coin warehouses.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017. He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."
- Like this blog? Read more by subscribing to Numismatic News.