One more bill from the 116th Congress

My parents taught me that there is a time and place for everything. Even though a discussion about the current state of politics is relevant, a blog about numismatics is not the place for that discussion. Thus, anything I write about politics and public policy will focus on how it affects numismatics. I appreciate your understanding and your readership.

1994-P Washington QuarterWith the 116th Congress gaveled to a closed, the only numismatic-related bill left to watch is H.R. 1923, Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020. The House of Representatives agreed with the Senate’s amendment on December 31, 2020, and sent it to the White House on January 1, 2021. The president has until January 13, 2021, to sign the bill into law. If he does not sign the bill, it becomes the victim of a pocket veto.

  • H.R. 1923: Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020
    Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
    Passed the House of Representatives — Sep 22, 2020
    Passed the Senate with amendments — Dec 17, 2020
    LAST ACTION: Presented to President. — Jan 1, 2021

For a description of what coinage is included in H.R. 1923, see the September 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review.

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UPDATE: SIGNED! (No ’21 Silver Dollars, yet!)

UPDATE (Jan 5, 2021, NOON): A message was transmitted to Congress that the president signed H.R. 6192 along with several other bills on his desk that were received on December 24, 2020.

1921 Peace DollarSeveral readers asked about the timeline for the president’s signature on H.R. 6192, 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, and whether he signed the bill.

  • H.R. 6192: 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
    Passed the House of Representatives — Sep 22, 2020
    Passed the Senate with amendments — Dec 17, 2020
    LAST ACTION: Presented to President. — Dec 24, 2020

According to the Government Printing Office, the United States government’s official publisher, H.R. 6192 was presented to the president on December 24, 2020. The U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 says that the president has ten days to act. If the president does not sign the bill and Congress is in session, the bill becomes law without the president’s signature. If Congress adjourns during that ten-day period, an unsigned bill is vetoed, called a pocket veto.

Documents from the Justice Department notes that the ten-day period does not include Sunday. A follow-up call to the Justice Department noted that Christmas Day does not count as part of the ten days, but New Years Day counts. The Clerk of the House’s office confirmed this information.

The president has until Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to act on the bill. If he does not sign H.R. 6192 into law, it will be the victim of a pocket veto since the 116th Congress formally adjourned sine die (without a date) the morning of Sunday, January 3, 2021, as constitutionally required.

Since watching numismatic legislation has been a feature of the Coin Collectors Blog (since 2005), the White House Press Office would post bill signings on whitehouse.gov. Unfortunately, the current administration has provided uneven coverage of bill signings not in the news. The GPO will probably publish this news before the White House releases the information.

December 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

The Weekly World Numismatic News will return next week.

Seal of the United States CongressThe U.S. Mint is unique because it is the only mint in the world to be controlled by a legal process that requires the government to coordinate its policy. While other mints have requirements to clear specific actions with their parliament or legislative bodies, the U.S. Mint cannot do anything without an act of congress, including changing coin designs.

Congress’s micromanagement of the U.S. Mint is their interpretation of Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution that says, “The Congress shall have Power… To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin.” It does not say that congress must micromanage the U.S. Mint, nor does it say that congress has to be involved in the design.

Although commemorative coin programs require legislation, over the last 20 years, congress considers these bills as time-fillers when other business does not require their attention. Most of the commemorative coin bills rarely receive a hearing in their committees and usually pass by unanimous consent. These bills are handled to show the general public congress is doing something while brushing it off like dandruff on their shoulders.

With congress putting off difficult negotiations until after elections, the lame-duck session becomes the dumping ground for hard negotiations, usually about spending money and fluff. While congressional leaders negotiated the hard stuff, congress meets and passes bills that have little meaning to the general public. Most numismatic bills have little meaning for the general public. However, passing these bills gives them something to talk about.

Let’s look at the five bills that congress acted on in December:

  • H.R. 1830: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D-NY)
    LAST ACTION: Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 116-247. — Dec 22, 2020

Initially introduced in the House in March 2019, the bill creates a 2022 commemorative coin program to support the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, New York. The bill was heard during the cleanup, and the lame-duck session finally passing on December 2. president signed the bill on December 22, 2020.

  • H.R. 1923: Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020
    Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
    Passed the House of Representatives — Sep 22, 2020
    Passed the Senate with amendments — Dec 17, 2020
    LAST ACTION: Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 18, 2020

Initially, this bill was called the Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act. Somewhere along the line, congress changed the title. This bill will create a new quarters series to honor women from each state involved with suffrage and the Nineteenth Amendment. The bill was passed by the lame-duck Senate and awaits the president’s signature.

Even though this bill passed the House and Senate, the Senate amended the bill. The House has to agree with the changes, or the bill must go to a Conference Committee to work out the differences. Since the House has not acted on the amendment, the bill is likely to die when congress adjourns sine die on January 3, 2021.

Adjourning sine die, or without a date, is the final adjournment of congress. It will be the formal close of the 116th congress. The 117th congress gaveled in for their first day of business today, on January 3, 2021, as required by the U.S. Constitution.

  • H.R. 4104: Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
    LAST ACTION: Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 116-209. — Dec 4, 2020

This law authorizes a 2022 commemorative coin program to honor the centennial establishment of the Negro Leagues. The surcharges from the coin sales will benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

  • H.R. 6192: 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act
    Sponsor: Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY)
    Passed the House of Representatives — Sep 22, 2020
    Passed the Senate with amendments — Dec 17, 2020
    LAST ACTION: Presented to President. — Dec 24, 2020

The bill that has been all over the numismatic media will allow the U.S. Mint to strike 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars. Congress sent the bill to the president on December 24, 2020. It is waiting for his signature. Constitutionally, he has ten days to act on the bill. Since these are calendar days, January 2, 2021, is the tenth day.

If congress was in session on January 2, the bill becomes law without the president’s signature. If congress adjourned sine die, then the bill is the victim of a pocket veto. There is an indication that congress is still in session discussing updates to the recent COVID-19 stimulus package.

  • H.R. 7995: Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020
    Sponsor: Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
    Passed the House of Representatives with amendments — Dec 2, 2020
    LAST ACTION: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Dec 3, 2020

The House rushed to pass this bill because it allows them to look like they did something. The Senate did not consider this bill and will allow it to die when congress adjourns. It is a bad bill and should die with the end of this congress.

When the 116th Congress adjourns for the final time, any legislation not passed will be considered dead. The slate is wiped clean, and the 117th Congress starts anew. It could be something to look forward to in 2021!

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Rather than the news, a quick reminiscence

A portion of my father’s U.S. collection

I want to open and wish everyone a very happy holiday season. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish everyone the best.

This week, I am not producing a weekly news update. Instead, I want to talk about the last few weeks and recent events. I am not making this post from home. I am in Charlotte, where my father used to live. I said “used to” because he died in November after being infected with COVID-19. I have not said much publicly because I am not ready. In a few weeks, I will have a tribute to the man responsible for my addiction to coin collecting.

Shortly before being intubated, he told my brother that there were coins “all over the house.” He was not kidding. We found the equivalent of four large bins of coins during the last few days, including an old flight bag that we found in the bottom of his closet yesterday.

My father was born before World War II and collected coins from pocket change. There are albums of Walking Liberty and Franklin Half-Dollars, half-dollars in 2x2s, and many other coins. There are mint sets, proof sets, silver proof sets, prestige sets, and American Eagles. The few American Gold Eagles we gave to his grandchildren at his request.

My father’s half dollar collection

It also appears that he bought every commemorative coin produced by the U.S. Mint since 1982. Most of his collection consists of sets when they were available, including a few gold coins.

Sifting through the coins, I found a Mint roll for American Silver Eagles. There are five 1986 American Silver Eagle coins in the roll. It would not surprise me to learn that he used the coins as gifts.

That was just the United States coins. Another bin is overflowing with Israeli coins. My father was a big supporter of Israel. As part of his support, it appears he was a purchaser of everything produced by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation. IGCMC was the manufacturer of Israeli coins before the government sold the company to a private business. Now they contract their coin manufacturing, and the old company, now renamed the Israel Mint, is a preferred dealer and distributor for the Bank of Israel.

A bin of Israeli coins that we have not searched at the time I write this.

He might have purchased everything produced by the IGCMC since 1971. A few years ago, they began to produce gold bullion coins. He purchased one, decided that he did not like the premium on top of the spot price, then gave the coin to me.

As I try to create an order to produce a catalog for the estate, it reminds me of the calls we used to have talking about the products from the U.S. Mint. As opposed to other collectors of his age, he liked the modern Mint products. He was not concerned about resale value or that the U.S. Mint produced something other than classic coins. My father complained about the updated ordering requirements. When I found the Mercury Dime and Standing Liberty Quarter Centennial Gold Coins, I remember that he complained about not ordering the Walking Liberty Half Dollar Centennial Gold Coin because of the U.S. Mint ordering system.

My father had almost every mint and proof set dating back to 1970.

My father found beauty in all of the coins, even the ones that the industry said were “ugly.” They were coins, and he liked the coins. He loved the Israeli coins and their symbolism with Jewish heritage. It is his heritage, as the first generation born in the United States of immigrant parents. His father was so happy to come to the United States that he volunteered to go back to Europe four years after arriving at Ellis Island to fight in The Great War. My grandfather earned the Purple Heart fighting in France as part of the 82nd Infantry, today known as the 82nd Airborne Division.

Grandpa was also a coin collector of sorts. He was a change hunter and liked to fill albums with pennies. I still have the Library of Coins Indian Head Cent album that was part of his estate when he died in 1969.

As I type this, I picked up a small stack of Morgan Dollars to find that he has a circulated 1890-CC dollar. A cool find, indeed.

A few of the loose coins found in the collection

After we complete cataloging my father’s collection, we will sell them at auction. My company will conduct the auction online. Of course, I will post a note here when the auction is ready. Stay tuned.

So my father went a little crazy with the Bicentennial coins.

Countdown to the Final Sales of 2020

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

Even though it has been a tough year, numismatics appears to be as strong as ever. But as the year winds down, it is the last chance to buy certain products from the U.S. Mint.

Collectors of commemorative coins have until December 31 to purchase Women’s Suffrage Centennial Silver Dollars. They are available in proof and uncirculated finishes. Similarly, the Basketball Hall of Fame coins will also end next week. This program features a curved $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar. It also means that the first colorized coins will also end.

Although I am not a collector of commemorative coins, I am a sports fan and enticed by the curved basketball coins. I ordered the Silver Dollar and the colorized clad half-dollar. I think the full-color half-dollar is better looking than just the colorized rim.

Following the 2018 American Innovation $1 Coin, the U.S. Mint began producing the coins as a reverse proof. The reverse proofs are enclosed in an individual folder with information about the coins and the innovation it honors. So that I can catch-up, I ordered the entire 2019 set. They have not released the South Carolina reverse proof coin honoring Septima Clark. When they do, I will order the complete 2020 set.

If you did not get what you wanted for the holidays or received gift cards, why not add something cool to your collection before the price doubles on the secondary market.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 6, 2020

For this week’s update, here are some news shorts:

The White House announced that the president signed H.R. 4104, the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The law creates a commemorative coin program in 2022 that includes a gold $5, silver dollar, and half-dollar coins in honor of the centennial of the Negro Leagues. Treasury will pay the surcharges to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

More stories keep appearing that say the current coin shortage is leading us toward a cashless society. All of the articles are the same. They claim that without circulating coins, more people “may” be relying on electronic payments. At the same time, they note that the U.S. Mint has increased production and the Federal Reserve reports that market indicators suggest that for non-online purchases, the public is spending cash at a higher rate than using credit cards.

I noticed a pattern when reviewing my notes. The latest article and many others with these conflicts were published by NPR or an NPR affiliate radio station. It seems as if NPR has an agenda.

The Royal Mint has released another 50 pence circulating commemorative coin for Christmas and is as popular as their previous issues. While U.S. collectors complain about new programs, the Brits embrace the new collectibles. The 50p coins have become so popular that it is becoming challenging to find 50p coins in circulation.

Finally, my End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Proof Coin arrived this last week. Although the privy mark is not that exciting, they should have made the privy mark bigger. It’s still an American Silver Eagle. I love large silver coins!

And now the news…

 December 1, 2020
On November 14, 2015, near the village of Chrysovitsi in Arcadia, Greece, a group of German poachers discovered an ancient silver coin weighing 12 grams. They named it “Olympia”. On its front the coin depicted an eagle with open wings holding a hare with its claws, and on the back it showed the winged Goddess Niki (Victory), just like the Niki of Samothraki statue which is now located at the Louvre Museum in Paris.  → Read more at greekcitytimes.com

 December 4, 2020
The change drawer of the cash register at Symbiote Collectibles in West Reading, Pennsylvania, on July 9, 2020. (Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)  → Read more at wbur.org

 December 5, 2020
UK Trending Editor Royal Mint release 50p coin selling for over £1000.  → Read more at southwalesargus.co.uk
Coin Collectors News
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Your change ain’t changing

Seal of the U.S. House of RepresentativesThis week, the House of Representatives suspended their rules to pass H.R. 7995, Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020. While the bill appears to have good intentions, it is largely a do-nothing measure for a do-nothing Congress.

Despite the problems with the bill, Congress has a way of changing the definition of “commonsense” when they think it makes them look good. According to the Congressional Record, Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) reportedly said:

This commonsense reform [H.R. 7995] provides the Mint with the flexibility to save taxpayer dollars and avoid future supply chain disruptions while balancing the needs of stakeholders in ensuring that any new coins work within the existing coin acceptance infrastructure.

Although the bill may appear to make “commonsense,” the bill ignores previous investigations conducted by the U.S. Mint, indicating this is a waste of time.

The primary problem is that the bill ignores that Congress passed a law in December 2010 (Public Law 111-302, 124 STAT. 3272) that requires the U.S. Mint to research alternative metals and provide a report every two years. Since Congress passed the law, the U.S. Mint issued four reports to Congress, with the last delivered in April 2019.

The law requires the U.S. Mint to investigate alternative metals that save production costs and minimizes changes to the financial infrastructure. Minimizing the changes requires “that the coins will work interchangeably in most coin acceptors using electromagnetic signature technology.”

An electromagnetic signature refers to the pattern the waves of energy create when are reflected from an object. In coin-operated machines, it refers to the waves of energy emitted from a coin when it passes through the mechanisms. Every coin the U.S. Mint strikes have a specific signature to verify that item you inserted in the slot is real. The people you are paying do not want you to use slugs or similar foreign coins.

In 1964, when the silver cost made the coins worth more than their face value, policymakers required the U.S. Mint to change the coinage metals with the same goals. For the coin-op systems, they were more concerned with the electromagnetic signature than the weight. Given the state of their technology in 1964, they could adjust the machines to accept coins with the new weights as long as the electromagnetic signatures were consistent.

Early tests showed that the copper-nickel clad coins circulating today were a close match to their silver counterparts’ electromagnetic signatures and weighed a little less. It would be easy to adjust the machines of the time.

Instead of facing a 1964-like crisis, the U.S. Mint has been studying the problem for 10 years. Rather than hold the appropriate committee hearings, accept testimony from interested parties, and consider the work that the U.S. Mint reported on in 2019, the House of Representatives passes a bill that does not change anything.

H.R. 7995 says that the U.S. Mint must get approval from Congress before changing coining metals. Saying this is like looking up in the sky and recognizing it is blue. Of course, Congress has to approve the changes. Congress will have to pass a bill to change Title 31 Section 5112 paragraphs (a) and (b) of the United States Code (it’s the law), that describes the composition, sizes, and weight of U.S. coinage.

Whether H.R. 7995 becomes law or not, the U.S. Mint is required to submit their alternative metals report in 2021 for research performed through 2020.

Without the passage of H.R. 7995, the U.S. Mint will submit their research report. In 2021 that will present the research performed through 2020. But what if the bill becomes the law? Nothing changes. H.R. 7995 does not provide a timeframe for the U.S. Mint to make a recommendation. It is up to Congress to read the alternative metals research report and make the law’s appropriate changes.

The April 2019 report provides answers that they can use to craft legislation that would provide real reform. H.R. 7995 is a waste of time, and another example of why Congress no longer works.

November 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressAs part of the Lame Duck session, when Congress attempts to look busy while leadership negotiates or stalls negotiations of spending bills, it is time to pass commemorative coin legislation.

First up is H.R. 1830, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act. The bill will create a gold, silver, and clad half-dollar program in 2021 to honor the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, New York. The bill passed the Senate with an amendment allowing the U.S. Mint to strike the coin anywhere if the U.S. Mint cannot exclusively strike the coins at the West Point Mint. The House has to agree with the amendment before being sent to the president for his signature.

H.R. 1830: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D-NY)
Introduced: March 18, 2019
Summary: (Sec. 3) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins emblematic of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. (Sec. 5) The bill limits the issuance of such coins to the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2021. (Sec. 7) The bill prescribes surcharges for coin sales, which shall be paid to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., to support the mission of such organization, including capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 18, 2019
Introduced in House — Mar 18, 2019
Mr. San Nicolas moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Sep 19, 2019
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Sep 19, 2019
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1830. — Sep 19, 2019
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 19, 2019
Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 19, 2019
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 19, 2019
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 23, 2019
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. (text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR S6694) — Nov 16, 2020
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.(text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR S6694) — Nov 16, 2020
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Nov 17, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1830.

The Senate found fewer issues with H.R. 4104, the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The bill will create a gold, silver, and clad half-dollar program in 2022 to honor the Centennial of the Negro Leagues (2020) and raise funds for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent and has been sent to the president for his signature.

H.R. 4104: Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO)
Introduced: July 30, 2019
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Negro National League, a professional baseball league that was formed in response to African-American players being banned from baseball’s major leagues. The design of the coins shall be emblematic of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and its mission to promote tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. All surcharges from sales of these coins shall be paid to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to fund educational and outreach programs and exhibits.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jul 30, 2019
Introduced in House — Jul 30, 2019
Committee on Financial Services discharged. — Sep 22, 2020
Mr. Cleaver asked unanimous consent to discharge from committee and consider. — Sep 22, 2020
Considered by unanimous consent. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
On passage Passed without objection. (text of amendment in the nature of a substitute: CR H4710) — Sep 22, 2020
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 22, 2020
Received in the Senate. — Sep 23, 2020
Received in the Senate, read twice. — Sep 23, 2020
Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 16, 2020
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Nov 17, 2020
Presented to President. — Nov 24, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR4104.

A source reported that H.R. 7995, the Coin Metal Modification Authorization and Cost Savings Act of 2020 has growing interest in both chambers. H.R. 7995 brings up interesting questions regarding policies and what Congress is requesting. More on this another time.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 29, 2020

I forgot the comedian’s name who had about depicting the cost of things in old movies. He explained that in old western movies, a man would dismount from his horse, amble up to the bar for a drink and throw down a coin for the libation. It did not matter what the drink cost. The drinker paid one large silver coin with a loud ping.

The silver dollar was the coin of the realm for the old west. It was hard money to go along with the hard times. Paper money had questionable value and could not be as trusted as a silver coin. Settling in the territories and building new lives on untamed land was risky and the feel of a metal coin was less risky than paper.

After the last Peace Dollar was struck in 1935, the U.S. Mint never minted another silver dollar for circulation again. The return of the large dollar coin came in 1971 with the copper-nickel Eisenhower Dollar. The coin was popular as a curiosity but waned until the bicentennial redesign. After the bicentennial, it seemed that the dollar coin had returned.

Then came the biggest failure of the modern coin era: Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Although the idea to honor suffragette Susan B. Anthony was sound, the rest of the coin’s design led to the long term rejection of dollar coins. The coin was smaller than the Eisenhower dollar but only slightly larger than a quarter. It was made using copper-nickel clad planchette and reeded edges that made it too similar to a quarter. Rather than being an 11- or 12-sided coin, it was round with a design that included a border to simulate the edges.

Many people tried to embrace the coin, but the confusion with the quarter was too costly. As college students, we abandoned the coin early. When the coin was spent as a quarter, we poor college students lost 75-cents per transaction or three cups of late-night coffee from the vending machine.

The introduction of the Sacagawea dollar in 1999 saw the basic planchet changed to fix all of the problems found in the Susie B. With the color change and the smooth edges, it was unlikely to be confused for another coin. Unfortunately, the Susie B. was such a failure that the coin has never gained traction in commerce.

The dollar coin programs of the 21st century have not been appreciated the way they should be. What better way to celebrate the republic’s longevity and the concept of the peaceful transfer of power than a celebration of the presidents? Since 2009, the coins celebrate the history of the Native American contributions with underappreciated designs.

Although some complain about a new series of coins, the American Innovation Dollar celebrates great inventions that have made life better. The coin is a better representation of the American spirit than a static design.

But there is no incentive to wean the country off of the paper dollar and embrace the coin. Even though Congress passed the laws to create these coins, they do not have the intestinal fortitude to eliminate the dollar note, as almost every first-world country has done. Instead, they pass laws creating coin series and wonder why they are not successful.

One of their alleged reason is that people do not want to change. But they are asking people who give specious reasons for resisting as “would you rather carry around 20 dollar coins or 20 $1 bills.” My response is, “neither. I would rather carry a $20 bill!”

It would be nice to join the civilized world and remove the $1 Federal Reserve Note from circulation. The coins have such exciting designs that they deserve circulation. Maybe someday the do-nothing Congress will figure it out–likely when its members’ average age dips below 60 years old!

And now the news…

 November 22, 2020
Time to stop worrying about Covid, the election, rising sea level, murder hornets, the end of the world, etc. etc. Time instead to focus on the immediate problem, i.e. why we’re not using dollar coins?  → Read more at lostcoastoutpost.com

 November 24, 2020
We used to carry and trade bits of metal everywhere, but a pandemic shortage and the rise of digital money are making jingly pockets a distant memory for many.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 November 24, 2020
Ron Kerridge They will be offered by international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb via their website www.dnw.co.uk.  → Read more at worthingherald.co.uk

 November 24, 2020
IRMO, S.C. — An Irmo couple made a remarkable discovery after moving into their dream home.  James Mumford and his wife Clarissa recently moved to Irmo and when settling in, found quite a collection in one of the built-in dressers.   → Read more at wltx.com

 November 25, 2020
"Brother, can you spare a dime?" That question became famous in the Great Depression. In 2020, with the pandemic raging, the answer could be, "Maybe, but they're hard to find."  → Read more at newsweek.com
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2022 Commemorative Coin Programs Pass the Senate

Two commemorative coin bills introduced and passed in the House of Representatives were passed by the Senate this week. Both bills will create commemorative coin programs for 2022.

H.R. 1830: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act

Purple Heart

Purple Heart Medal (image courtesy of Stars and Stripes)

H.R. 1830 passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The resulting law will create gold $5, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar commemorative coins in honor of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, NY. Surcharges will be paid “to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., to support the mission of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., including capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.”

It would have been interesting to require this coin to be in the shape of a heart. The obverse design could be similar to that of the Purple Heart medal. The reverse could be about the Hall of Honor or the sacrifice made by those awarded the Purple Heart.

I will likely purchase this commemorative coin in honor of my grandfather, a recipient of the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Europe during World War I.

H. R. 4104: Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

(From Twitter)

H. R. 4104 passed the Senate by unanimous consent will create gold $5, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar commemorative coins in honor of the centennial of the Negro Leagues. Although the centennial would be in 2020, the first available commemorative slot will be in 2022. Surcharges will be paid “to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for educational and outreach programs and exhibits.” The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City, MO.

Although the law will not require these coins to be curved, there is an opportunity for judicious use of color and selective highlights, such as those used for the enhanced strikes.

Both bills will become law when signed by the president.

Now that Congress has begun its Lame Duck session stay tuned for more numismatic bills to pass by unanimous consent.

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