Other Country’s Coin Designs

I am sponsoring GOLD memberships for new and renewing memebers of the American Numismatic Association. This is a limited-time offer to celebrate National Coin Week and the 131st anniversary of the American Numismatic Association. The offer expires on April 25, 2022. Call (800) 514-2646 or visit info.money.org/ncw-2022-barman to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

2006 Canada 25-cents Pink Ribbon coin

It is important to see what other countries are doing when looking at coin designs. We do not have to look further than Canada to find fascinating designs.

The Royal Canadian Mint issued the 2004 Remembrance Day poppy 25-cents coin, the world’s first colorized circulating coin. The RCM produced 30 million coins featuring a red poppy on the reverse. The RCM expanded the program in 2008 for the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I with other collectibles.

In 2006, the RCM partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to create a pink ribbon colorized coin. The pink ribbon is the symbol of hope and awareness for breast cancer. Talking about breast cancer also brings awareness to all cancers.

According to the National Cancer Institute, one-in-three people have been diagnosed with cancer or a direct relative diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and my family was reduced by someone who died of cancer, including my first wife.

2006 Breast Cancer Silver Coin with colored pink ribbon.

Although I have a collection of Canadian coins, I have an uncirculated pink ribbon 25-cents coin as part of a personal remembrance collection. It is a collection that represents places and people in my past. The Canada Pink Ribbon 25-cents coin and silver commemorative are part of that collection in memoriam to Elisa and my other relatives who lost their battles with cancer.

My story is also a reminder that you do not have to collect in the way others recommend. You do not have to fill blue, brown, or green books with coins or the lists produced by someone else, and you can collect based on the topics that mean something to you. Go out and enjoy your collection!

All images are original and property of the author used under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

My First Coin Design Change and Celebration

I am sponsoring GOLD memberships for new and renewing memebers of the American Numismatic Association. This is a limited-time offer to celebrate National Coin Week and the 131st anniversary of the American Numismatic Association. The offer expires on April 25, 2022. Call (800) 514-2646 or visit info.money.org/ncw-2022-barman to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

1976 Washington Quarter with my favorite, the Drummer Boy reverse

Although I began collecting coins in 1970, I became interested in coins a few years earlier. My paternal grandfather used to pick coins out of change and save them. He owned a magnifying glass to look at the coins. When we visited his Brooklyn apartment, I would grab the magnifying glass and explore.

After the introduction of the Eisenhower Dollar, the first design change came in 1975 for the bicentennial. In the 1970s, celebrating the bicentennial was a significant event. The planning began in the last 1960s and picked up in 1972. The entire nation planned for a celebration that spread across every community.

The American Revolution Bicentennial Administration logo was everywhere, including the official medals the U.S. Mint produced. But that is not all the U.S. Mint produced as part of the bicentennial celebration.

In 1973, Congress passed the law allowing the U.S. Mint to change the reverse design of the quarter, half-dollar, and dollar coins to honor the bicentennial in 1975 and 1976. The coins will be dated 1776-1976 before they revert to their original designs.

My first introduction to a design change was the Drummer Boy reverse on the Washington Quarter. I liked the design more than the original eagle design on the reverse, and it continues to be one of my favorite designs.

As a collector and a newly minted driver, I saved money from my after-school jobs to purchase uncirculated coins and the sets with the bicentennial coins.

In 2001, there was a reunion of the artists who created the designs. Jack Ahr (quarter), Seth Huntington (half-dollar), and Dennis Williams (dollar) attended the celebration. PCGS had the three artists sign labels inserted into slabs with proof versions of the coins they designed. I was able to pick up a set on the aftermarket.

1976-S Silver Proof Bicentennial Autograph Set

Because of the hype, and the potential to increase seigniorage, the U.S. Mint overproduced these coins. They also made proof and silver proof sets so plentiful that they remained on sale through 1986. The U.S. Mint ended up melting over 600,000 sets.

Suggested Reading: To learn more about the legislation that created the Bicentennial coinage program, read “14 Bits: The Story of America’s Bicentennial Coinage” by David Ganz (ISBN 978-0914478638).

The Bicentennial celebration was a national event to remember. Nearly every community issued medals. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing joined in and changed the reverse of the $2 Federal Reserve Note to an interpretation of John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence. The BEP issued the notes on April 13, 1976, and it is possible to find uncirculated notes postmarked on that date. July 4, 1976, is another popular postmark for bicentennial collectibles, especially postmarks from Philadelphia.

Reverse of the Series 1976 $2 Federal Reserve Note features an engraved modified reproduction of the painting The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull.

Even though the circulating commemorative was generally successful, the concept would not return until the beginning of the 50 State Quarters program in 1999.

All images are original and property of the author used under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Weekly World Numismatic News for April 10, 2022

Over the last few weeks, I received emails from people finding quarters celebrating Maya Angelou on the reverse in their change. When I reply by explaining the Women on Quarters program, the writers are surprised that this program exists.

A woman wrote and asked if I would confirm that Sally Ride would appear for a quarter. When I confirmed that the quarter was next in the series, she wanted to know where to find the quarters so she could give them to her daughter, who wants to be a rocket scientist.

I have never seen this type of reaction to a coin program. Students are talking about the coins as they relate to history. Parents are talking about using the coins to influence their daughters.

The unsung design element that numismatists appreciate is the adaptation of Laura Gardin Frasier’s portrait of George Washington. Frasier, the wife of James Earle Frasier, created an acclaimed design that the Committee on Fine Arts picked twice in a competition of artists. Unfortunately, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, a known misogynist, rejected the design and selected the art of John Flannigan instead. Laura Gardin Frasier’s design has taken its rightful place on the coin’s obverse.

A coin that makes everyone excited. That’s a winning combination!

And now the news…

 April 10, 2022
The 'heads' of a contemporary coin, with a head of the god Bacchus, that was sampled as part of the project. Credit: University of Warwick  → Read more at phys.org
Coin Collectors News


Change hunting at the local grocery store

2022 Maya Angelou Quarter

I made a late evening run to the grocery store earlier this week. After picking up a few necessities, I went to the cash register, and three people were huddled around the open draw looking at the coins.

After putting my items on the belt, I asked why there were looking at the coins. One looked up and said they were looking for the Maya Angelou quarter, and another said that they were reading about Angelou in high school when their teacher talked about the quarter.

One looked at me and asked if I knew that the next quarter would honor Sally Ride and started to tell me about Dr. Ride. After I told them that I watched the shuttle launch on television, they thought it was neat that these quarters were in circulation.

They showed no interest in the national parks quarters as they looked at the quarters when one found an Ohio quarter. Although it has the hanging astronaut, I asked if they found the Florida quarter with the Space Shuttle on the reverse.

They realized I understood the quarters and asked if there was a reference to the themes on the quarters. After pointing them to the U.S. Mint website, I told them about the Red Book. I showed them some of the quarter designs on my smartphone and then the Native American dollars.

Aside from not knowing that the U.S. Mint struck dollar coins, I showed them the 2015 Mohawk Iron Workers dollar, a personal favorite. One showed interest and asked if they had created a design for the Code Talkers, and I responded “💯percent” and showed them the 2016 dollar.

Three high school students were now working at a local grocery store, looking at the coins in the cash register for designs representing history. They may not be looking for silver coins like I did in the early 1970s, but it’s change hunting looking for something neat.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

No Morgan and Peace Dollars in 2022

The U.S. Mint announced that they would not produce the 2022 Morgan and Peace Dollars calling it a “calculated pause.”

According to their press release, the pandemic impacts their suppliers’ availability to deliver silver blanks. Although many areas are returning to pre-COVID operating standards, suppliers require additional time to increase production to meet the higher demands.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine should not affect the worldwide supply of silver and gold since their mines are depleted. However, higher energy prices will impact the mining, refining, and transport of these metals.

The law requires the U.S. Mint to strike American Silver Eagle bullion coins. The law authorizing the 2021 Morgan and Peace dollars does not require the U.S. Mint to produce those coins in other years. If there is a supply problem, the U.S. Mint will strike the required American Silver Eagle Coins and suspend the Morgan and Peace Dollars.

Although popular designs, does it matter if the U.S. Mint strikes the coins again? Would it be better for the hobby if the coins were a one-year tribute and faded into numismatic history?

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 13, 2022

2022 Maya Angelou Quarter

The other day, I received a note from a teacher in another state. The teacher found this blog and wanted to ask questions about coins and using them for education. The idea came from one of the students asking questions about an online story about the American Women Quarters program.

After reading the story, the teacher explored other designs, including commemorative coins. When the teacher discovered the Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Program, an Internet search brought the teacher to my blog post about the unveiling of the coin design at the Negro League Baseball Museum.

The teacher brought the information back to the class and started an in-class discussion with the student who brought in the article. Their conversation led to a discussion of why the Negro Leagues were necessary, and it opened a discussion about civil rights and how baseball played a part in civil rights.

We discussed using coins in the classroom and what can be learned from the coin designs, whether teaching about the presidents of the United States or what makes each state special based on its quarter.

The U.S. Mint has a Coin Classroom section on its website. But the section covers current coins and their production. Missing is a lesson on tying the Morgan Dollar to westward expansion, why the 2- and 3-cent coins were an idea based on the economics of the time, and the history represented by the designs of the classic commemorative coins.

Here is another area where the ANA could live up to its education mission by creating course guidelines for teachers.

And now the news…

 March 7, 2022
A rare vintage coin will be auctioned on Showpiece.com  → Read more at fortuneindia.com

 March 7, 2022
Lydian coins – coinpedia CAIRO – 7 March 2022: The ancient kingdom of Lydia, which flourished in prehistoric times, created the first coins in the world.  → Read more at egypttoday.com

 March 7, 2022
The collection of ancient coins is a journey embarked by people as a hobby that might make good money for a numismatist. If, during your endeavour, you are lucky to get a valuable ancient coin, you might walk to the bank smiling.  → Read more at imcgrupo.com
Coin Collectors News


OMG! Congress Did Something!

Seal of the United States CongressI have to admit that I stopped watching what they are doing on Capitol Hill. As long as the government is functioning, my neighbors continue to work as federal workers or government contractors, my days of watching Congress has passed. Although my program continues to download the status of bills in Congress daily, the overall frustration with Congress does not have me running to the computer to check the status.

While reading other news sources, I discovered that the Senate did something. Of course, the House has to be passed to have any impact, but the fact that the Senate actually did work is astounding!

S. 697: Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Jacklyn Rosen (D-NV)
Introduced: March 11, 2021
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins emblematic of the legacy of Harriet Tubman as an abolitionist. The Secretary may issue coins under this bill only during the period of January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024. All surcharges received by Treasury from the sale of such coins must be paid equally to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and The Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. in Auburn, New York, for the purpose of accomplishing and advancing their missions.
Introduced in Senate — Mar 11, 2021
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 11, 2021
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Feb 17, 2022
Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Feb 17, 2022
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate without amendment by Voice Vote. — Feb 17, 2022
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Feb 18, 2022
Received in the House. — Feb 18, 2022
Held at the desk. — Feb 18, 2022
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-S697.

On February 17, 2022, the Senate passed the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act (S. 697) by voice vote. There was no debate or commentary. Just a procedural voice vote to clean up non-controversial bills that are just hanging around.

If the House passes the bill, the U.S. Mint will issue gold, silver, and clad coins celebrating the legacy of Harriet Tubman. The sale proceeds will go to National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, New York.

H.R. 6663: Fleet Reserve Association 100th Anniversary Act
Sponsor: Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL)
Introduced: February 9, 2022
Introduced in House — Feb 9, 2022
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Feb 9, 2022
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR6663.

In other numismatic-related Congressional news, two bills were introduced in the House of Representatives. The Fleet Reserve Association 100th Anniversary Act (H.R. 6663) may not be more than a vanity bill introduction.

H.R. 6681: 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Darin Lahood (R-IL)
Introduced: February 9, 2022
Introduced in House — Feb 9, 2022
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Feb 9, 2022
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR6681.

The other bill is the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 6681) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922. If the bill passes, the U.S. Mint can issue 500,000 silver dollars in 2023. The proceeds will be paid to the Trust of the National Mall and to restore and preserve the Lincoln Memorial.

Changing Landscape of Online Coin Price Guides

One of the more difficult things to explain to a new collector is how much a coin is worth. A common misconception is that an older coin is worth more than one struck later. Although I wrote two blog posts about coin pricing (links to Part I and Part II), the next question is, ”How much is my coin worth?”

Collectors will turn to price guides to understand how much the coin is worth. Two popular price guides are the Guidebook to United States Coins (the Red Book) and the Coin Dealer’s Newsletter (the Greysheet). The Red Book is a book and requires the collector to purchase one. But for under $20, collectors can have the complete price guide of all United States Coins in their hands.

The Red Book does not have the most up-to-date coin values as a physical publication. But it gives the collector an idea of the value of their coins and is an excellent general reference.

Until recently, the Greysheet offered collectors their retail price guide to anyone visiting their website. While the website’s interface was more artistic than usable, the information was available to collectors.

Last week, Greysheet CEO John Feigenbaum sent an email to subscribers of their mailing list that announced the end of the free access to the retail price guide.

To access the retail price guide, collectors will have to create an account on their site to access up to 10 prices per month. After making 10 free queries, users will have to subscribe to their service for $7.99 per month, a price Feigenbaum says is “about the same as a Starbucks Frappucino — and a lot less calories.“ I prefer a tall three-shot latte that costs less and has fewer calories.

The fallacy of Feigenbaum’s argument is that they collect and publish the data regardless of the way they grant access. What has changed is that the cost of printing has risen. Instead of raising the prices for the printed version of the Greysheet and sister publications for the old dealers that are past their prime, the company passes the costs to collectors.

The Greysheet is a private company and can do what they want. As a collector who does not benefit from paying a monthly subscription to access retail price guides, it is time to add other online coin guide pricing tools. There are alternatives for the average collector. For example, NGC and PCGS publish price guides for coins in their holders. Find these price guides at:

When the need is for general online coin guidance, here are two good resources:

Even if the Red Book is not immediately accurate, it should be part of your library. As an essential reference, there is no comparable book.

Thank you to the Greysheet for providing the service in the past. But as it is time for you to move on, it is time for the ordinary collector to find other resources.

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 6, 2022

In support of the Ukrainians fighting for their freedom, the Monnaie de Paris created the Solidarity with Ukraine Mini-Medal. The copper-nickel medal is 34mm in diameter and features the Eifel Tower next to a colored Ukrainian flag. On the Ukrainian flag is the French national motto “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.”

The reverse is described as having a common reverse used by the Monnaie de Paris with the 2022 date.

Each medal is 10€ (about $10.93), with 8€ donated to the French Red Cross for Ukrainian relief. The Monnaie de Paris does not say that they will ship to the United States or the costs. Mint officials will likely answer an inquiry on Monday.

If you purchase a medal from the Monnaie de Paris, remember that most credit card companies will charge a transaction fee for converting euros to dollars. Contact your credit card company to ask about the charges.

You can find the medal on the Monnaie de Paris website. The link will help you visit the page in English.

Please watch @coinsblog on Twitter and this post for updates on availability and shipping to the United States.

And now the news…

 February 28, 2022
The newfound Roman coin in Hungary features a bearded Emperor Volusianus on one side and Libertas, the personification of freedom, on the other.  → Read more at livescience.com

 March 2, 2022
The Royal Canadian Mint says it will be donating the net proceeds of sales on its 2022 pysanka-themed collector's coins to the Red Cross Ukrainian relief fund in light of the Russian invasion. “For the past seven years, the Mint has proudly honoured the richness of Ukrainian culture and artistry in Canada with a best-selling series of pysanka-themed collector coins.  → Read more at ottawa.ctvnews.ca

 March 3, 2022
Charles Spencer just found buried treasure (kidding…sorta). Today, Princess Diana’s brother shared a must-see photo on his personal Instagram account, featuring a Roman coin that was discovered at Althorp House (the English estate where the siblings grew up).  → Read more at purewow.com

 March 4, 2022
A gold stater from Lydia, one of the first coins in the world. Such coins were the very first coins to be used in the world.  → Read more at greekreporter.com

 March 4, 2022
The Department of Homeland Security just returned a trove of artifacts deemed to be the property of the French government, and five gold ingots that were likely smuggled to the U.S. decades ago and which landed in a Bay Area auction house, were among them.  → Read more at sfist.com

 March 4, 2022
Since November, we have published 38 coin ads throughout our newspapers in Ohio and Michigan.  → Read more at athensmessenger.com

 March 5, 2022
The Bangla word Takshal which is "mint" in English, is a place where money is coined, especially under state authority. Since Muslim rule in Bengal was established in 1205 by Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, the rulers started making coins from the capital and other important administrative and commercial cities.  → Read more at tbsnews.net
Coin Collectors News


2022 Change Has Arrived

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I stopped carrying and spending cash as a precaution. When research caught up and said that there was no significant risk of contact infection, I did not refill my wallet with cash. Then there was an announced coin shortage due to coins not circulating.

Rather than add to the problem, I dumped my change jar and continued to use credit cards. Like many people, I became used to paying with apps and credit cards. The few times I use cash is at the lottery vending machine. When it is time to buy tickets, I will pay for groceries with a debit card and ask for cash back to feed into the lottery vending machine.

I recently decided to carry some cash and use it for smaller purchases. I make a small purchase using cash. When the cashier handed over the change, I dropped it in my pocket and left the establishment. Sometime later, I will take a look.

In my first cash transaction of 2022, I received two 2022 dimes.

Before the pandemic, I would note that I would find coins from the current year later and later. Imagine my surprise that the first time someone hands over change, I find two dimes from the current year.

The U.S. Mint is manufacturing coins at a record rate, but circulation issues still cause shortages. Even though the issues are not as dire as they were in early 2021, it is amazing to find 2022 coins this early in the year.

Here is a tip-of-the-cap to the U.S. Mint for their manufacturing prowess and the Federal Reserve for making sure these coins find their way into circulation.

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