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Don't Treat Dollars With Kid Gloves - Use Them
February 11, 2010

Numismatic News received a letter recently that said the Mint director treated the new Native American dollar coins too roughly at its debut event.

Referred to specifically was the pouring of new Native American dollars from a basket at a Jan. 25 ceremony in New York that was covered in Numismatic News.

The tone of the letter was such that you would think the Mint director was smashing proof sets with a hammer.

Now I know that the first instinct of any collector is preservation. That is laudable.

However, the purpose of any new coin is supposed to be use in circulation, not preservation. This is especially true of the new dollar coins that the Mint is trying to convince the public to use.

If it would make them circulate, I am sure the Mint director would scatter them on the floor at a barn dance.

However, the big problem for the Mint and the Federal Reserve is not that some coins will become worn. The problem is that not enough of them will be so.

The way they are backing up in the hands of the Federal Reserve, I think it can be safely concluded that there will be more than enough high-grade dollar coins for future collectors to choose from.

That New York basket of coins might turn out to be the only 2010 Native American dollars ever used. No?

Well, you get my point.

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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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