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Zombies Walk the Earth
April 28, 2008



When I was a kid I loved the old horror movies. Frankenstein, Dracula, the wolfman and other ghouls were great fun.

One type of monster was the zombie. The zombie is a person neither alive nor dead but undead and still walking the earth, much to the concern of the local population of fearful villagers.

We have zombie coins. Coins that are not either alive and useful in commerce or dead like the half-cent, two-cent and three-cent coins.

They are animated for the express purpose of being sold to collectors. They once had real life, but now do not.

Today the Zombie 2008 Sacagawea dollar walks the earth. She won't terrify the villagers, but coin collectors are being asked by the U.S. Mint to buy bag and roll quantities of them and to buy proof sets and mint sets in which she is included. She was last a living denomination in 2000 and 2001, but then became a zombie.

The dollar coin is problematic, anyway, but the dollar coin that is supposed to be issued for circulation is the Presidential dollar. It is the series that the Mint currently invests its attention on with debut ceremonies and promotional commentary.

Do we need two different series of dollar coins? If so, why not make it three or four? Continue striking the Anthony dollar and sell it to collectors. Why not give life to Frank Gasparro's Liberty design that was suggested for the dollar coin before Susan B. Anthony supporters hijacked the denomination?

When is enough enough? As long as we cannot answer that question, zombie coins will walk in the land of collectors.



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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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