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Girl Scout Coin an Inspiration?
By David C. Harper, Numismatic News
September 24, 2012

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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When the 2013 Girl Scout commemorative silver dollars come rolling off the presses of the United States Mint, will the sales process for the 350,000 available coins attract more women and girls to what has historically been a male-dominated hobby?

Numismatic News posed the question to Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA in a telephone interview Sept. 17.

“That’s a very, very interesting question you raise. A lot of it is girls aren’t exposed to it at an early age,” she explained, as once was the case with science and math in school.

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“They can’t do what they don’t see,” she said.

“We are trying to expose more and more girls to coin collecting ... at its basic essence, coin collecting is saving money.”

She pointed out that 13 of the current 136 badges given by the Girl Scouts are financial literacy badges, and she thought the seeds of an interest in coin collecting could be planted there, starting with examining coins in piggy banks.

Chávez said the upcoming Girl Scout silver dollar will be a “great way to reach our 3.2 million members. (It will) show them they are now part of the currency of the country.”

And the program will acquaint male collectors with the fact that there are current or former Girl Scouts in their lives as daughters, wives, mothers, etc.

“By purchasing this coin, they are investing in an organization that for 100 years has invested in girls and women.”

She numbered 59 million women as alumni of the Girl Scouts.

Chávez understands the collecting impulse. She said she had collected stamps as a kid.

“I used to collect stamps. I think it really is a wonderful opportunity for girls to engage in collecting history.”

Coin collecting came later.

“I do now, because I have a 10-year-old son. I have the opportunity to help him collect coins from all over the world.”

She said that her son inherited some coins from his great-grandfather.

When asked what she would like to tell the nation’s coin collectors, her response was quick and emphatic:

“Buy the coins.”

And don’t just do so because they support Girl Scouts. She cited another reason to place an order that is always on the minds of collectors.

“Because they are a limited edition, they will become quite collectible,” she said.

Though coin collectors haven’t even had a chance to order the coins yet, Chávez was optimistic about the program and its chances for success.

“I think it is a wonderful way to celebrate our 100th anniversary. It is the first time a commemorative coin has been dedicated to a girls’ organization.”

It is an organization active in 92 countries.

When the Mint puts the Girl Scout silver dollar up for sale online in 2013, Chávez said, “It will go global.”

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