Numismatic Legislation Update

James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson (Photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1932)

Last month, Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL) introduced the James Weldon Johnson Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 7496). If the bill passes, it will create a gold $5, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar program in 2024.

James Weldon Johnson was a writer and civil rights activist who was a leader of the NAACP. In 1920, Johnson was chosen as the first African-American executive secretary of the NAACP, effectively becoming its chief operating officer.

Johnson was known for his writing about black culture during the Harlem Renaissance. His work includes the lyrics for “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which later became known as the Negro National Anthem. The music was written by his younger brother, J. Rosamond Johnson.

Johnson’s other accomplishments include his appointment as the U.S. consul in Venezuela and Nicaragua by Theodore Roosevelt, the first African-American professor hired by New York University, and later became a professor at Fisk University.

If this bill becomes law, 85-percent of the surcharges will be divided equally between the Marshall-Motley Scholars Program, the Stanton College Preparatory School, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The rest of the money will be given to the James Weldon Johnson Foundation.

H.R. 7469: James Weldon Johnson Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL)
Introduced: April 7, 2022
Introduced in House — Apr 7, 2022
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Apr 7, 2022
This bill can be tracked at

Collecting Because of the Design

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 to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

Since National Coin Week is celebrating coin designs, we can recognize that the coin design can be a factor in collecting the coin. Let’s look at a coin in my collection only because of its design.

Commemorative coins are a fundraising mechanism. An organization convinces a member of Congress to submit a bill to create a commemorative coin that will raise money. The authorizing legislation usually is tied to a milestone, even if it is late, so there is something to promote.

Although people collect commemorative coins, I collect those with subjects that interest me. But there was one commemorative coin I purchased because of the design. My collection includes the 2015 March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Set because of the coin’s design.

Produced for the celebration of the March of Dimes Foundation’s 75th anniversary, the design is a phenomenal work of art. It is the most appropriate image for any modern commemorative coin.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, now called the March of Dimes) in 1938 to fund research to cure polio. FDR fought the painful effects of polio throughout his life. After Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin developed a very effective vaccine, the Foundation changed its mission to prevent birth defects, prematurity, and infant mortality.

Fortunately, my family has not been touched by the issues that March of Dimes looks to correct, but it is a worthy cause to champion. Otherwise, it is not something that has personal meaning. But the reverse design is compelling.

The reverse was designed by Don Everhart and described on the U.S. Mint’s website, “The reverse (tails) design depicts a baby cuddled in the hand of a parent, representing the foundation’s dedication to the health of babies everywhere.” It is one of the most powerful images on a commemorative coin.

When I decided to add a version to my collection, I waited until the commemorative silver set was available. The set contains the commemorative silver dollar, a proof Roosevelt Dime, and a reverse-proof Roosevelt Dime. It was the reverse-proof dime that made the set attractive. The best-looking coins of the last ten years were reverse-proof and enhanced uncirculated coins.

Although the reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated are in the manufacturing processes, the final results highlight the coin’s design in a way that could not happen with any other process.

This set is included in my collection because of the phenomenally inspirational design of the reverse of the commemorative silver dollar and the reverse-proof silver dime.

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

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 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.

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

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

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

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.

Weekly World Numismatic News for February 6, 2022

There was a lot of numismatic-related news this week that collectors should note.

Negro Leagues Baseball Proof Silver Dollar Coin and Jackie Robinson Silver Medal Set \
(Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

The U.S. Mint announced that the end of the pre-sale of the Negro Baseball Leagues Commemorative Coins is on Monday. As part of the reminder, they announced that the proof silver dollar with the 100th Anniversary Privy Mark has sold out, and other options are reaching their sales limit.

At the same time, the U.S. Mint announced the pre-sale for the Negro Leagues Baseball 2022 Proof Silver Dollar Coin and Jackie Robinson Silver Medal Set. The Jackie Robinson 1 ounce silver medal is currently only available as part of this set.

In a separate announcement, the U.S. Mint also declared that they reached the limit on the number of pre-sale coins for the proof and uncirculated American Silver Eagle collector coins. The announcement shows that the American Silver Eagle continues to be the U.S. Mint’s most popular collector coin.

On February 6, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the throne of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Relm. While the country celebrates the Platinum Jubilee, it is a solemn day for the Queen because it marks the 70th anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI.

While Queen Elizabeth took private time to remember her father, the Royal Mint released a good deal of coins to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. The current lineup includes gold and silver coins ranging from one-ounce to 10-kilo gold coins.

The Royal Mint and Royal Canadian Mint announced a two-coin silver set with coins designed to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier today. The Royal Canadian Mint will sell the set.

At some point, the U.S. Mint will release the 2022 National Purple Heart Hall of Honor that will include a colorized silver dollar. That will be exciting.

And now the news…

 January 28, 2022
What happened to money if a European country went broke in the 17th century? And how did a bizarre coin lead to the introduction of paper bills, as well as central banking systems?   → Read more at

 January 31, 2022
The Underground Railroad, the famous network of safe houses and secret routes that helped enslaved people of African descent escape to freedom in Canada, is the subject of the Royal Canadian Mint's latest issue in its ongoing Commemorating Black History coin series.  → Read more at

 February 1, 2022
The year 1776 was obviously a big year for the United States. But before the Declaration of Independence was signed, another sign of freedom was created by Continental Congress.  → Read more at

 February 4, 2022
THE Fugio cent minted in 1787 has long been enjoyed by coin collectors. We explain what you need to know about the rare coin, which is also called the Franklin cent.  → Read more at
Coin Collectors News



I have not talked about my favorite news of January, and I waited until I received a numismatic collectible to go along with the news. In case you have not heard

After Georgia’s 33-18 victory over Alabama to capture our first National Championship in 41 years, my fingers sprinted to the Georgia Bookstore website to place a significant order. Included in my order was the obligatory numismatic item to add to my collection

Struck by the Highland Mint of Melbourne, Florida, I added the gold-plated medal to my collection next to my 2018 Rose Bowl victory commemorative medal.

The Highland Mint has limited production to 5,000 medals. It is a 39 mm gold-plated masterpiece that has me excited.

The Dawg Nation has been celebrating for the last three weeks. We are ecstatic and will continue to celebrate for the next few months. In the meantime, I may go to the Highland Mint’s website to see what else I can add to my collection. HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!


2021 was a little better than 2020. We saw some of the world return to a normal with vaccines that allowed the return of coin shows. Unfortunately, the Omicron variant may put a damper on the immediate future. Please wear a mask, maintain a social 6-foot distance, wash your hands regularly, and be considerate of your neighbors and fellow citizens. I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2022 and hope that you find the key coin of your dreams!

A Numismatic Look Forward to 2022


The year will start with the U.S. Mint shipping 2022 American Silver Eagle bullion coins to authorized resellers. The first bullion coins will likely hit the streets within a week, and graded coins will take about a month to be processed by the grading services. Bullion dealers are selling these coins in advance of receiving inventory.

In 2022, the American Silver Eagles and American Gold Eagles will feature Type II reverses introduced in 2021.

2022 American Platinum Eagle Proof reverse celebrating the First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech

The first American Eagle coins will be the Platinum proof coins. American Platinum Eagle proof coins will continue the First Amendment to the United States Constitution Platinum Proof Coin Series with Freedom of Speech.

During some press briefings, the U.S. Mint has suggested that American Eagle coins will be released with different finishes. There has been no formal announcement for these options.

Commemorative Coins

The U.S. Mint will release two commemorative coin sets starting at the beginning of January. Both sets will consist of a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Program celebrates the Negro Baseball League. Money raised from the sale of the coins will be paid to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

The other commemorative three-coin set will be the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Program. The museum honors the recipients of the oldest medal in the United States. General George Washington created the medal to honor the service of those injured in battle. Money raised by the sale of the coins will benefit the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, New York. As part of the museum’s mission, they are trying to reconstruct records destroyed in a fire several years ago.

American Women Quarters Program

The American Women Quarters Program starts in 2022 and will run for four years. Each year will feature the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the nation’s development. In 2022, the five women that will be honored are as follows:

  • Maya Angelou – celebrated writer, performer, and social activist
  • Dr. Sally Ride – physicist, astronaut, educator, and the first American woman in space
  • Wilma Mankiller – first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation
  • Nina Otero-Warren – a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools
  • Anna May Wong – first Chinese American film star in Hollywood

2022 Quarter Obverse design by Laura Gardin Fraser

George Washington will continue to be featured on the obverse but with a new design. The U.S. Mint will use the original design recommended by the Committee for Fine Arts created by Laura Gardin Frasier. LGF, the wife of James Earle Frasier, created an acclaimed design that the CFA 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. Gardin’s design will take its rightful place on the coin’s obverse.

The authorizing law (Public Law 116-330) allows the U.S. Mint to produce the quarters as five-ounce bullion coins, nicknamed the “hockey puck.” The law also allows the U.S. Mint to issue fractional bullion coins. Although some media outlets announced the possibility of a smaller 2.5-ounce puck, the U.S. Mint has not announced new products.

The law allows the U.S. Mint to create five-ounce bullion coins of half-dollars that feature new designs in future programs.

Morgan and Peace Dollars

The U.S. Mint announced that they plan to continue the Morgan and Peace dollar programs in 2022 and beyond. Although the products have not been finalized, there may be different finishes and the production of the coins at other mint facilities.


2022 Native American Dollar featuring Ely Samuel Parker

The two underrated dollar programs will continue into 2022. The Native American Dollar will feature Ely Samuel Parker, a U.S. Army officer, engineer, and tribal diplomat who served as military secretary to Ulysses S. Grant during the U.S. Civil War.

Also continuing is the American Innovation $1 Coin Program that features the contributions from the following states:

  • Rhode Island – Reliance yacht naval innovation
  • Vermont – Snowboarding
  • Kentucky – Bluegrass music
  • Tennessee – Tennessee Valley Authority and rural electrification

New U.S. Mint Director?

U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder resigned as of September 30, 2021. After being appointed by two different administrations, Ryder served as the 34th and 39th Director. His confirmation came the position was vacant for over seven years following the resignation of Edmund Moy.

In October, Ventris Gibson was appointed as Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint. Gibson will also serve as Acting Director. By law, Gibson can serve as Acting Director for 180 days. It will be up to the president to appoint a new director for senate confirmation. Given the state of politics, it is fair to question whether the president will make an appointment and if he does, will it be confirmed by the Senate.

Hopefully, the U.S. Mint will have a little better 2022!

All coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Semiquincentennial Commemorative Coin Act

On Friday, the Government Printing Office updated S. 2384, the Semiquincentennial Commemorative Coin Act, to include a summary. If passed, the bill will create a commemorative coin program in 2026 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of declaring our independence from England.

S. 2384: Semiquincentennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA)
Introduced: July 20, 2021
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue $25.00 gold coins, $2.50 silver coins, 25 cent clad coins, and proof silver $2.50 coins in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the United States. The designs of the coins shall be emblematic of the semiquincentennial anniversary of the establishment of the United States of America and celebrate 250 years of our nation. On each coin there shall be

  • a designation of the value of the coin;
  • an inscription of the years 1776-2026; and
  • inscriptions of the words Liberty, In God We Trust, United States of America, and E Pluribus Unum.

Treasury may issue coins under this bill only during the period beginning on January 1, 2026, and ending on December 31, 2026. All sales of coins issued shall include a surcharge as prescribed by this bill. All surcharges received by Treasury from the sale of such coins shall be paid to the America 250 Foundation to fund the restoration, rehabilitation, and interpretation of units of the U.S. National Park System and its related areas, as a legacy of the semiquincentennial commemoration.

Introduced in Senate — Jul 20, 2021
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jul 20, 2021
This bill can be tracked at

An interesting addition to the bill is in Section 3, Paragraph d that reads:

(d) Mintage Limit Exception.—If the Secretary determines, based on independent, market based research conducted by the designated recipient organization identified in section 7(b) that the mintage levels described under this subsection are not adequate to meet public demand, the Secretary may increase the mintage levels as the Secretary determines is necessary to meet public demand.

If the America 250 Foundation finds that the mintage limits are too low, the U.S. Mint can strike more coins without asking permission. Given the current status of the U.S. Mint, it will be interesting to see how it is implemented.

U.S. Mint Unveils Negro League Baseball Museum Commemorative

The U.S. Mint and the Negro League Baseball Museum held an unveiling event for the 2022 NLBM Commemorative Coin Program. The ceremony was held at the museum in Kansas City, Missouri. NLBM Director Bob Kendrick hosted the event. Also attending was Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Esther George, and Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas (D).

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) recorded a message for the event because he was traveling overseas. Cleaver was a council member and was an early supporter of the museum. Cleaver continued to support the museum as mayor of Kansas City and was one of the Members of Congress who ushered the bill to authorize the commemorative program to passage.

As part of the ceremony, Sen. Blunt presented a copy of the signed law to the museum. Blount and Cleaver autographed the copy.

Acting Director of the U.S. Mint Ventris Gibson recorded the design unveiling ceremony they played at the museum. Before announcing the designs, Gibson revealed that her father played for a Negro League team in Virginia from 1949 through 1960.

Later in the day, the U.S. Mint published a press release with the design information.

The following are screenshots of the ceremony:

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