Around the end of November or the beginning of December, the numismatic year begins to wind down and we start to look ahead to the new year. As 2007 has entered its final week, December was a buys and interesting month with the voting for the People’s Choice Award for Coin of the Year, to the release of the 10th Anniversary Platinum Eagles, the release of a plethora of Presidential $1 Coin products by the US Mint, and congress doing good and bad with our money. But with a week to go in 2007, everyone is getting ready for 2008.
Looking ahead, this is the last year of the 50 States Quarters for the states—the District of Columbia and the territories will have quarters issued in 2009. Designs have been announced with Arizona and Alaska having the potential to be very good looking coins.
Designs for the four Presidential $1 Coins have been announced. For 2008, the new dollar coins will feature James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. It is apparent that the Mint engravers are using official portraits and other art to base the coin designs. This makes makes the portraits very pleasing and worthy of being on coinage. Along with the Presidential coins, the First Spouse gold coins will include Elizabeth Monroe, Louisa Adams, Andrew Jackson’s Liberty, and Martin Van Buren’s Liberty. Both Jackson and Van Buren were widowed when they served as president.
Speaking of dollar coins, 2008 begins the Native American $1 Coin program. From 2008 through 2016, the reverse of the Sacagawea “Golden” Dollar will be changed yearly commemorate an aspect of history of the native American people. It will be interesting to see how the Mint will handle the design of this coin with the built-in bureaucracy prescribed by law.
The first commemorative for 2008 will be the American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin to honor of the recovery of the Bald Eagle species, the 35th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the Bald Eagle’s importance as a national symbol. I cannot help from thinking that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey as the national symbol!
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing will release a redesigned $5 Federal Reserve Note with updated security features and a new purple color and a larger “5” on the reverse for the visually impaired. Sometime during 2008, BEP will introduce a redesigned $100 FRN with new security features and color. Because the BEP is not required to have its designs vetted by the Commission of Fine Arts, the new design will remain a secret until the BEP is ready to make their announcement.
Outside of the United States, the Royal Canadian Mint has started to introduce new non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins with new designs. The RCM is stressing new colors, designs, and the embedding of gemstones in their coins. Also, the 2010 Winter Olympics continues to be a significant theme of RCM coins.
Across the pond in the United Kingdom, the Royal Mint is advertising their new designs. New designs for legal tender coins are available from the Royal Mint whose sets include three commemorative coins honoring the 60th birthday of Prince Charles, the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 4th Olympiad held in London.
Even The Perth Mint has issued its 2008 Silver Koala. This $1 NCLT silver coin is the second in the series of the Koala series introduced in 2007. The Perth Mint has also tried new coinage methods that includes moving parts and holograms.
It is going to be a very busy year and exciting year in numismatics.