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What Would You Say About Coin Designs?
July 17, 2008

If you had the chance to give your input to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, one of the two national panels that offer design advice to the secretary of the Treasury, what would it be?

A planned meeting of the CCAC 9 a.m. Aug. 1 at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money in Baltimore at the convention center might just be your chance to see how this particular government body works.

Specific design candidates on the agenda are proposals for the reverse of the 2009 proof platinum American Eagle and for a privy mark.

However, there is also going to be a public forum immediately after the meeting. That would be your chance to offer input.

"We hope that any interested numismatists will come to our meeting and forum to see the coin design process in action, and especially to let us know their opinions about American coin design," said Mitch Sanders, the CCAC chairman.

Once you take the floor and everybody is listening, what would you tell them? I will be in attendance to find out, but if you want to make a few comments here as to what you would say if you had the chance, please do so. I know that not everybody will have the opportunity to be in Baltimore.

What I have heard at public meetings such as this have been very interesting. The first time I heard collectors suggest edge lettering on American coins was at a listening session of a former Mint director. This became a reality on the Presidential dollars and led to the "Godless Dollar" controversy that prompted Congress to mandate putting the motto on the obverse.

Collector ideas might be good or bad, but we can't say that our public officials are not listening.

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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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