The start of the new year was met with a lot of work. While I should be happy to be busy, I would like some time to continue to write this blog. It is relaxing and I enjoy sharing my numismatic experience, thoughts, and other stories with my readers. I thank you for reading and hope to pick up the pace on my writing soon.

For now, here are a few short items that have been on my mind.

Starting the last week of the year, I have been seeing more of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial Cent in circulation, particularly the Formative Years or Log Splitter cents. During one shopping trip, a cashier opened a new roll of cents and included three new Log Splitter cents in my change.

I have also been seeing a few of the DC and Territories Quarters. Most of the quarters I have received in changed honor The Northern Mariana Islands. Its distinctive latte stone makes it very distinctive to notice at a glance. Interestingly, I have yet to receive a DC Quarter in change from stores in the DC area.

The US Mint has released the new Native American $1 Coin. This year’s theme is “Government–The Great Tree of Peace” featuring five bound arrows and the Hiawatha Belt. The design looks much better in hand than in the images I have seen, even those from the US Mint. It must be the gold color of the manganese, but the design seems to have a bold yet artistic feel that the US Mint should consider submitting for the next Coin of the Year competition.

Over the past few weeks I have read a few interesting numismatic books that I would like to report on. One of those books is Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths About U.S. Coins by Robert R. Van Ryzin. I thought it was pretty good book but I have a caveat that I will report on in the near future.

It seems that numismatics is one of the last industries to fully embrace technology. There have been some advancements that I want to talk about. One of them are the electronic books by Krause Publications. Whether you download their information or purchase a CD or DVD of their books, the people at Krause have taken an interesting step into electronic publishing. Also, some have also embraced the iPhone as a platform for bringing numismatic information to the masses. I recently downloaded a numismatic-related iPhone application that I will write about after I crash it a few times!

As an aside, I am going to use my new 27-inch iMac to write a few iPhone applications of my own. Stanford University has a course teaching how to program the iPhone. The course is available through the iTunes store and sample code from the course’s website. I hope to use what I learn to create my own apps. I also hope that other readers who have a technical background and access to an Intel-based Mac to follow along with the course and create other apps for numismatists.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. Now let’s get to collecting!

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