June 28th, 2013

Another coin may wear out Lincoln’s welcome

By MintState

He is perhaps the most beloved and admired U.S. president in our nation’s storied history. But a proposal by a state representative out of Illinois may just wear out the welcome for Abraham Lincoln in the coin world.

According to reports, a local politician in the Illinois House of Representatives is prodding a coin group to study the feasibility of creating a piece that marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death. The proposal asks the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee to come up with a resolution for the idea that it can in turn present to the U.S. Treasury in the hopes the Mint will create yet another Lincoln-based coin.

In case you didn’t know, the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination rolls around in 2015. If this politician has his way, the new coin would premier around April or May of that year to coincide with the same time Lincoln’s funeral train procession crossed the country from Washington, D.C. to the Illinois capitol city of Springfield. In addition to recognizing Lincoln, the coin would also serve to commemorate the end of the Civil War and the reunification of the nation.

Though both of those are worthy of remembrance, one can only hope that this proposal will never make it to the Mint. While it is certainly critical that our country reflects on the lessons of Lincoln and the Civil War, the coin world has already had its fill of the Great Emancipator.

Consider just how many coins the U.S. has minted in which Old Abe made an appearance. For starters, his visage has been gracing the one-cent piece for more than a century since the Lincoln penny premiered in 1909. That mintage alone spawned an entire offshoot of bicentennial pieces in 2009, a set that featured four different designs commemorating the stages of Lincoln’s life, from his formative years on the Indiana plains to his time in the Oval Office. From there, Lincoln showed up as part of the Presidential Dollar series circa 2010.

Add that to the fact that he has made cameos on commemorative coins – including a half-dollar celebrating Illinois’ 100th anniversary in 1918; a Mount Rushmore silver dollar in 1991; and a 2009 silver dollar recognizing the 200th anniversary of his birth – and it’s safe to say coin collectors are likely to scream “no mas!” en masse if the proposal finds its way to a final vote. What do you think? Would coin collectors embrace another Lincoln coin?

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