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Being Talked About is Great
June 29, 2010



It is good that my blog is being read by some people who are prominent in numismatics. I appreciate it.

I had an e-mail waiting for me this morning from Donald Scarinci of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and he sent a tweet last night during the meeting of this body that was being held in Colorado Springs, Colo., during the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar.

His tweet: I just corrected Dave Harper’s blog comment that suggests that the CFA and the CCAC blame Congress for proliferation causing quality issues.”

I thank him for thinking that my blog comments of last Friday need correcting. I don’t think they do. I stand by them.

At root is the basic question: what is the difference between a blog and a news story?

There is a big difference.

My blog is my blog. I do not claim that what I post here is a news story, though certainly having news in the blog is a good thing.

A blog is my opinion about news.

His e-mail asked this:

“Wherever did you get this from:

“‘They would rather point the finger at Congress, current legal statutes and Mint processes.’"

He then continued:

“Both the CFA and the CCAC are blaming the Mint processes for the lack of excellence in coin design. We are not blaming Congress or any statutes. The fault is with the Mint and if we, the CFA, are unable to do anything to help solve the problem, then we too are part of the problem. Gary Marks said that in his remarks tonight.

“We had a productive meeting tonight. For the first time since it was created by Congress, the CCAC formed a subcommittee to propose a process to create excellence in coin design. It was a historic meeting. Take a look at my tweets when you get a chance.

“I mentioned your blog at the meeting, tweeted my comment, and made it very clear that the CCAC is not blaming Congress.

“It’s good to have this dialog and it certainly helps generate interest and attention to coin designs. :) It’s a good thing.”

He signed it, “Donald.”

It wasn't a particularly long e-mail, but it seems longer here.

I support Donald’s goal of improving the artistic quality of American coins. I think most collectors do.

The only way he can do so is to attack the Mint processes, because as I wrote, Congress cannot be challenged and the statutes will not change.

It is absolutely necessary to understand that background. If you don’t, the current CCAC effort makes no sense.

If dissatisfaction with coin designs had not been chronic in those bodies for many years, prompting many a cry of frustration of having to do what Congress wants and working with all of the legally mandated inscriptions by members, you would then think the sole motivation for the effort last night simply was a bad batch of designs shown at the May meetings.

That certainly isn’t the case.

How do you communicate all of this in a blog sentence or two?

I think I did that last Friday with what I wrote.

The fact that this blog post is already very long is a perfect demonstration of the necessity of distilling issues to their barest essence in an ordinary blog post.

Tomorrow, I promise to be brief.





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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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