Dollars Held Until the 23rd Century
May 11, 2009
The new Star Trek movie hit theaters over the weekend. Capt. James Tiberius Kirk saves earth in the 23rd century.
What wasn't in the plot but could have been was his Iowa hometown's celebration of their new hero.
Among the events held there, U.S. Mint Director Edmund C. Moy VIII officially released some of the three billion Presidential dollars that had been in storage for over 200 years.
Moy, a direct descendant of the Mint director who oversaw production of some of the coins, took another leaf from his ancestor's playbook and spent some of the coins for lunch. They are still legal tender and the audience found the whole exercise fascinating because coins hadn't been used on earth for over 100 years.
The Mint still exists as a small cultural office that oversees a museum in Philadelphia and is custodian of the Presidential dollars and other coins that were considered important enough to be retained in long-term storage.
The Numismatic Guaranty Coin Grading Service was on hand to grade the newly released coins. Trading among collectors of odd and curious money, which these coins have become, indicates that dollar coins in the top grade of MS-1,000, bring high prices.
President of the American Numismatic Association, Patti Mishler Horton-Finner, was supposed to be on hand, but could not be. Lawyers detained her with depositions in the pending lawsuit against ANA for changing the grading system from 700 points to 1,000.
Moy noted in his remarks that the coins were an important legacy of earth to the United Federation of Planets. He himself was pleased that this large backlog of coins still existed, despite the fact that official Mint policy in the 21st century, had it successfully introduced the Presidential dollar coins to everyday use, would have prevented their accumulation.
He added that perhaps in an alternative time line, Americans would have found Presidential dollars convenient to use and clamored for more of them. Stay tuned for the next movie.
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