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Don't Offend the States
July 01, 2010

In the topsy-turvy world of current U.S. coin production we find that 2010-dated Presidential dollars are being struck in quantities larger than the America the Beautiful program for each individual design.

The quantity of 2010 Millard Fillmore dollars struck is 74,480,000. For the next one, the one for Franklin Pierce, the quantity was even a bit higher at 75,580,000.

In comparison , the Hot Springs quarter, the first design of five for 2010, the total was 59.6 million.

Interestingly, if you look at the numbers another way there seems to be a pattern here, though it could be a total accident, or random circumstance.

When you consider that there are four Presidential dollars during the year and five America the Beautiful quarters, they just happen to add up to about 300 million coins apiece.

The next round of figures could knock this neat relationship into a cocked hat. Those are the risks of trying to perhaps read more into the numbers than is there.

But I will be watching to see if the pattern continues. As regular readers know, one of my pet theories is that watching coin production levels is a good way to tell how the economy is doing.

While 300 million Presidential dollars is a pretty good number for an economy that really doesn’t like the denomination, the same number of quarters seems more an indication that some quantity needs to be produced at a minimum to honor the intent of the commemorative series.

It wouldn’t do to zero out a design or two just because the economy doesn't need the coins. The affected states would soon become the disaffected states.

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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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