Tuesday January 14

New Year perfect time to pick up a new hobby

by MintState

For those of you who haven’t heard, January doesn’t just mark the start of a new year. While many people associate the month with setting personal resolutions, January also sets itself apart as National Hobby Month. As part of that designation, hobbyists of all ages are encouraged to pick up a new pursuit or reinvigorate their passion for a previous pastime on an annual basis. Given that assignment, we can’t think of a better opportunity to introduce coin collecting to a new devotee. Here are a few ways to help them get started on the new pursuit.

U.S. Proof Sets – They are one of the staples for new collectors and a great way to introduce the hobby to a youngster, as Coins of America has a wide range of U.S. Proof Sets dating all the way back to the 1960s. The standard sets include at least five coins – a penny, dime, nickel, quarter and half dollar – while some of the newer versions feature as many as 14 pieces, including the Presidential Dollars and National Parks quarters issued in recent years. A cool keepsake for any new collector.

Coins Folders – There are few better ways to get a newbie excited about coin collecting than the challenge of filling a coin folder. Just the thrill of finding a specific date or mint mark that’s been missing can create lasting memories for youngsters who take a shine to the hobby. Whether you want to start with the smallest denomination or have something bigger in mind – from Washington quarters or Kennedy half dollars – COA has a wide selection of coin folders to fit any new collectors’ needs.

State Quarters Map – What better way to get someone started than to make an adventure out of their new hobby? By focusing on the State Quarters series – which ran from 1999 and 2008 – new collectors can create a fun means to begin their pursuit, as they can pair the series with add-ons such as the State Quarters Map. This will particularly appeal to young collectors, as it gives them a chance to relieve past travels through coins. As a bonus, the series can be relatively easy to complete. Not only are individual coins for sale at a reasonable cost, but a vast majority of the pieces can be found still circulating among common change.

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Tuesday January 7

High time for U.S. Mint to give King his due

by MintState

His name adorns the sides of schools. Highways have been dedicated in his honor. Heck, the federal government has even set aside a national day of remembrance in his name. But for all the ceremonies and services there have been to preserve the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the U.S. Mint has yet to put his image on American currency. And that is a shame.

As noted in a previous post, it’s high time that the Department of Treasury starts honoring a few more of our country’s men and women of achievement as part of its annual commemorative coin series. While this blogger has dropped a few worthwhile hints – who wouldn’t want a coin with Louis Armstrong or Norman Rockwell? – the inclusion of King would be far more significant. His ongoing omission from commemorative status is a near travesty. To be certain, there aren’t many Americans who have brought our country together and worked for the common good quite like the reverend. (Note: This is not to be confused with the recent American Mint coin produced to honor the 50th anniversary of King’s “I have a dream” speech, which is a commercial product).

Unfortunately, that idea may be facing an uphill battle. Though the Mint typically issues as many as four new commemoratives on a yearly basis, it hasn’t placed a specific individual on one of the coins since 2009, when Abraham Lincoln and Louis Braille were selected. Since then, the bulk of the commemoratives have either been dedicated to organizations – such as the Boy Scout and Girl Scout coins of recent years – or general themes (literally), such as the piece dedicated to disabled veterans or five-star U.S. generals.

Though the Mint took the opportunity this year commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is no sign of King anywhere on the coin. Since the remaining 2014 commemoratives are likely already in the works (in addition to the Civil Rights piece, there will also be a coin memorializing the National Baseball Hall of Fame to this point), the Mint should explore options for a future coin in memory of King. With the reverend’s birthday coming up in January and Black History Month right around the corner in February, it would be both fitting and timely for the Mint to take action on this as quickly as possible. Frankly, the sooner they can put out a coin bearing King’s image, the better.

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