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Meaningful coins worth collecting

 Breast cancer affects many women and their families. A pink gold $5 symbolizes the battle.

Breast cancer affects many women and their families. A pink gold $5 symbolizes the battle.

Many coins are meaningful to collectors. The great circulation find, a top-grade silver dollar, the Buffalo nickel that completed a set. Maybe you treasure the coins that Grandma gave you when you started collecting or a coin Dad left you.

Recently, three new commemorative coins have been released that have serious meaning for many people, not only collectors. Those are the three coins that honor the fight against breast cancer.

Breast cancer affects many women each year. Most everyone knows someone who has fought a battle against this horrible disease. More and more women survive, but too many do not.

The half dollar, dollar and $5 gold bear the same design. The obverse depicts a woman clasping her hands and closing her eyes, as if she is breathing a sigh of relief, after receiving good news. Another woman is shown, wearing a head scarf, raising her fist, ready to fight her disease. A ribbon appears next to her, a depiction of the pink ribbons worn by those who support breast cancer research.

Both sides of each coin show butterflies, symbols of hope. The butterflies on the coin are of the Tiger Swallowtail species.

The coins were designed by Emily Damstra, a scientific illustrator. On her website, she writes of the work and emotions that went into the making of these coins. The coins convey the feelings of the patients themselves and focus on the people affected by cancer.

A copper-nickel clad half dollar, a silver dollar, and a $5 gold will be struck. Mintages include up to 750,000 half dollars, 400,000 silver dollars, and 50,000 of the $5 piece.

Also note that the $5 gold has a pink hue, the first such coin in United States history. Pink is the color representing the fight against breast cancer, the color of ribbons worn to symbolize this.

The pink-colored gold is created by increasing the copper content in the alloy. Coinage gold has traditionally been 90 percent. This special commemorative contains 85 percent gold.

Prices for the three coins include surcharges to be given to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Founded in 1993, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised half a billion dollars for research in fighting breast cancer, emphasizing tumor biology, treatment, prevention, and metastasis (when cancer spreads to bones and other organs).

These three coins are possibly the best designed and most meaningful ever issued.

They do not feature classic designs, eagles, shields, or other motifs present on American coins.

The coins honor patients, families and caregivers touched by cancer. The coins show emotions of determination, relief, hope. Collectors and non-collectors can order one, two, or all three coins and know they are not only acquiring special coins but also helping to accomplish something great.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.