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Depends on Your Point of View
September 27, 2010

Comedian Stephen Colbert testified before Congress on Friday. My first reaction was to ask myself what world public opinion would think of the United States when they heard about a serious matter being addressed by an entertainer who was testifying as his television character would.

But I got over that when I watched the five minutes of his remarks on immigration.

At that point I was a convert. I decided that it would be a good idea for Colbert to testify on all numismatic matters. He might make sense of things.

Wouldn’t you like to know what he thinks about the new three-inch diameter, five troy ounce silver coin that the Mint is just starting to make as part of the America the Beautiful program?

I would.

It has a face value of 25 cents, just like the clad coins that circulate or the 90 percent silver coins in silver proof sets.

Perhaps this will make sense after he is finished explaining it.

Colbert’s opinion about the Mint’s efforts to persuade Americans to use Presidential and Native American dollars in their daily transactions would also be most edifying. He might even be able to gently educate anyone who might think the coins are actually made of gold.

Or perhaps he will convince the rest of Americans that the coins really are gold and that they should be hoarded.

That would take care of the excess supply at the Federal Reserve.

Then there is the matter of what cents and nickels should be made of. The Mint has been losing money on them for the last four years. That’s no joke, but perhaps I have just been looking at it wrong all this time.

I am willing to be educated.

How about you?

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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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