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More Commems Today; So What?
February 25, 2011

Today the second commemorative coin program of 2011 begins. Going on sale are the Medal of Honor $5 gold piece and silver dollar.

Are you excited?

Do you feel like you did back in 1982 when your ordered the Washington commemorative half dollar or when you placed your order for the 1984 Olympic $10 gold piece, the first U.S. gold coin struck since 1933?

You don’t?

Neither do I.

With all due apologies to the subject matter, the element of excitement is missing.

Is it because they are so many commemoratives?

Could be, but last year we got excited by the Boy Scout dollar. In 2009 we loved Lincoln.

Is it the recession?

Could be. More of us are minding our wallets more closely.

Have the escalating prices of gold and silver pushed the coins out of reach?

The pre-issue discount price of the proof $5 is $449.95. The uncirculated is $439.95. Ouch.

The proof dollar is $54.95 and the uncirculated is $49.95. Double ouch.

I think that’s it.

My fond memories of Washington halves and Olympic $10s can’t overcome my price resistance.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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