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Viewpoint: Make changes more intelligently

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By Bob Olekson

I have three points to make.

They wish to remove Alexander Hamilton from the $10 Federal Reserve Note and place a woman on it. The idea is great, but I think it is foolish considering we have three presidents, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on three of our coins and on three of our notes whereas Hamilton is only on one.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to leave Hamilton on the $10 and put a woman on the another denomination where there is a duplication of presidents on the coins and paper currency?

Betters still, put presidents’ wives on the currency with them. Martha Washington was with George Washington on the 1896 Educational $1 bill.

Mrs. Lincoln urged and encouraged her husband to run for president. Without her urging, he might not have been president.

Our paper money has been redesigned except for the $1 and $2. The $1 might be redesigned, but rather I believe they do not wish to do so since hopefully it will be phased out in the near future.

Why do some presidents need to be on both our coins and paper money? Let’s make room for others. It isn’t fair to Hamilton, since he is only on one item. There is no need for people to be on both coins and currency. This is where we should start with new people. Everyone deserves a one-turn go-around, not a monopoly.

I think having gold reproductions of 1916 silver coins is totally nonsensical. I wish to purchase a silver roll of each of the 1916 design coins so I can share them with friends for Christmas and birthday presents. Gold is too expensive to do that.

The best item I ever got from the Mint was the four-coin silver Kennedy set with different finishes, proof, reverse proof, enhanced uncirculated and uncirculated. Do this with the 2016 coins and the hobby will have a shot in the arm as never before.

I’ve read that the Mint’s hands are tied and are only allowed to make gold coins. Let’s write our lawmakers about having silver coins for the grass-roots collectors and also about having a one-ounce silver bullion coin with a design that changes annually instead of the stodgy Eagle design we have had since 1986. Thus the people who like new designs can have them and the people who like stodgy ones can have them also. Do the same with the circulating coins.

If people like dead presidents, continue to make them. But let’s have some new designs with them. I believe this was Gary Marks idea at the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Since he retired we will probably have to wait another 50 years or more for this to happen.

Viewpoint is a forum for the expression of opinion on a variety of numismatic subjects.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express.
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