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Visit the Gold Museum
August 23, 2007

No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to the Central Bank's Gold Museum and its curator Manuel Chacon. He is on the Coin of the Year panel of judges and I want to take the time to tell him that we at World Coin News are in the process of revamping the Coin of the Year process to speed it up and to make it even more prestigious than it already is.

As I said at the Coin of the Year Award presentation Aug. 8 at the American Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee, Wis., the world's mints have advanced incredibly from where they were 25 years ago. It is time for the award to be put into a new suit of clothes as well. It should be an award worthy of the world mints of today.

Chacon has put the Gold Museum in San Jose on the map. He gets inquiries and visitors from all over the world because of the activities and exhibits that he mounts for the public. Some of this has been due to articles in World Coin News.

The William Walker exhibit is about to go off display in September after it spent a year celebrating the 150th anniversary of the end of Walker's invasion of Costa Rica. Walker's bad luck in Costa Rica eventually affected all that he did and he was executed on a beach in Honduras in 1860.

Walker wanted to establish a slave empire, but Costa Rica was full of independent farmers and ranchers. His ambitions were thwarted when they successfully resisted.

That spirit of plucky self-determination and self-help in the 20th century led the country to abolish its army.

To see this and other aspects of the cultural heritage of the country, visit the Gold Museum.

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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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