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Coins a Waste of Time?
October 31, 2011

Inflation has made coins seem insignificant to many people.

The latest example of this was the President’s weekly radio message broadcast on Saturday morning.

He chastised Congress for not acting on his jobs proposal and contrasted this lack of action on what he wanted done with what Congress was actually doing instead.

What could that have been?


They passed a coin bill.

How about that? Congress was messing about with “mere” coins while other more important matters were ignored.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Oct. 26 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., with a $5 gold piece, silver dollar and clad half dollar.

This is not the first time that coins have been prominently held up for ridicule.

I have pointed out over the years that the quickest way to make a movie or TV character look like a cheapskate is to have him tip a bell hop or porter with a coin.

I am not talking 1930s movies where a coin was appropriate, but modern videos.

Coins get no respect. Whatever damage inflation might yet do to the American standard of living, it has already eroded if not wrecked the reputation of coins.

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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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