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Buy a Braille Set Not Talked About?
October 02, 2009



Collectors have been very good about ignoring the Louis Braille commemorative silver dollar. It is not a topic of frequent discussion. For all I know, it is not a topic that generates any discussion among collectors at all.

That hasn't stopped the Mint from selling 188,377 since sales began March 26. That's not a lot. It is less than half of the 400,000 maximum authorized by Congress, but then it is not exactly an extremely low total either.

But the Mint is taking another shot at injecting a little excitement into the program Oct. 8 when it will begin to sell what it calls the Braille Education Set.

There is only one coin involved, so I don't know why the Mint chose to call it a set, though it does note that the coin comes in a tri-fold binder that includes educational material and readable Braille.

The part that might generate the excitement is the 25,000 maximum the Mint has placed on this offering and the one-per-household order limit when sales start a noon Eastern Daylight Time on the first day of issue.

Will that be enough?

So far collectors have purchased 122,661 proofs. They have taken an additional 45,326 uncirculated coins sold individually and another 20,390 uncirculated coins housed in a special easy-open capsule, making the combined sales number 65,716.

That is actually quite a good number for the uncirculateds because most programs see the proofs outsell the uncirculateds by 3-1 or so. This program is 2-1. If the Braille Education Set sells out, the ratio drops to 1.35-1.

Will it happen?

We'll see.

It would be an interesting footnote in commemorative history, but even this probably won't get too many collectors to talk about it.



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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, Bank Note Reporter 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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