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See the light on 9/11 medal
December 01, 2011

Sometimes taking a step back to see how others see us is the best way to truly appreciate what we American collectors have.

I was reminded of this perennial truth when the numismatic staff here was contacted by a German museum to lend a hand.

It turns out, the museum really wants an example of the 9/11 medal that the U.S. Mint has been selling this year. The museum in Berlin thinks this is something important enough to feature in its collection.

Could we by any chance bring one with us when we travel to Berlin for the World Money Fair and the Coin of the Year Awards?

Of course we can. Who wouldn’t want to help?

The most important part for me, and maybe I shouldn’t admit this, is that until the request arrived, I had not purchased a medal.


I guess I have been too fixated on the old coin vs. medal collector habit of mind that often dismisses a medal simply because it is not a coin.

But this medal is important. It marks a dark day in the life of America and celebrates our bouncing back from the tragedy.

How can I not buy such a medal?

Thanks to a German museum I have seen it in the appropriate light.

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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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