What comes to mind when you think of the American Legion? My thoughts go to my family and World War II. Many of my uncles served in the Army and Navy during the war, in places far distant from their homes in central New York. While they were in Europe ...

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Celebrating the American Legion—and America’s veterans—with coins and more...

Celebrating the American Legion—and America’s veterans—with coins

Background photo by Diego Delso.

What comes to mind when you think of the American Legion?

My thoughts go to my family and World War II. Many of my uncles served in the Army and Navy during the war, in places far distant from their homes in central New York. While they were in Europe and on the high seas, the rest of the family was thousands of miles away, doing their part for the war effort on the home front. Newspaper articles tell how my Grandma Tucker and other wartime moms and wives baked and held events for local military associations. By that time the American Legion was already more than 20-years-old—chartered in 1919, in the fresh wake of the world’s last huge war, before my uncles were even born. For the United States, World War I had lasted about a year and a half, April 1917 to November 1918, and it involved four million service members and their families and communities. In World War II we fought two years longer than that, December 1941 to August 1945, and rallied...

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Bowers on collecting: Among my favorites — modern dollars

By Q. David Bowers

I enjoy modern coins and often order new items of interest from the Mint. Others I buy in the marketplace. A few years ago I decided to build a full set of modern dollars from the 1971 Eisenhower to date. I was present at the creation of the Ike motif, so to speak. Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro was a fine friend, and I discussed the designs and other aspects with him.

The Eisenhower dollar’s design released by the Treasury in January 1971. Hover to zoom.

The basic idea of the Treasury Department was to issue a dollar coin to be used in everyday commerce, and to last perhaps 20 or 30 years, to replace dollar bills which often become soiled within two years. A peripheral value was to provide coins for use on gaming tables in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Back in 1971 “elsewhere” usually meant Nevada. Today in 2018 one can hardly throw a copy of the Red Book without hitting a casino.

However, if you are looking for a text which focuses more on modern...

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Congressman criticizes U.S. Mint for “disappointing and concerning” inaction on counterfeit precious metals coins

Forms to cast fake coins (counterfeit money), late second and early third century. Found in Trier, Germany. (Wikipedia photo by Chris 73)

U.S. Secret Service also reportedly frustrated with U.S. Mint’s “lack of supporting action”

Washington, DC (March 12, 2018) — Congressmen Alex Mooney (R-WV) criticized the United States Mint for its “disappointing and concerning” lack of awareness or action on the growing problem of high-quality counterfeits of U.S. precious-metals coins entering the country from China and elsewhere.

In a letter dated March 6, Rep. Mooney took the U.S. Mint to task on its perfunctory one-page response to a prior letter that he and Congressman Frank Lucas sent last October asking for information as to whether, and to what extent, the U.S. Mint has taken proactive steps to protect the integrity of America’s minted coins — including reviewing and implementing the anti-counterfeiting measures already put in place by certain foreign government and...

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What the U.S. Mint can learn from the Royal Mint’s Great British Coin Hunt

Photo from Beyond My Ken.

On March 1, the Royal Mint launched the Great British Coin Hunt, a project which saw the introduction of 26 new 10-pence coins related to British culture and history. The coins proceed alphabetically from “A” to “Z,” with themes like cricket for the letter “C” or James Bond for “B.” While the coins themselves are fascinating, what I found to be even more intriguing was the app that was launched in tandem with the coins. It allows individual coin collectors to snap pictures of their coins, unlock new content, share their collections on social media, and create a digital folder to store the coins in. The smartphone app goes even further — directing collectors to the best places to go find coins that they are missing in every part of the country and even to the nearest swap shops to trade coins with other collectors. Could you imagine the effect that this sort of technology could have on the hobby if it were also introduced in the United...

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New 2019 Official Red Book includes more coins, more die variety photos

Best-Selling Annual Guide Prices Nearly 8,000 Items

(Pelham, AL) — The 72nd edition of the hobby’s Guide Book of United States Coins (popularly known as the “Red Book”) will debut at the Whitman Baltimore Coin and Collectibles Expo on March 22, 2018. It features new and extensively updated content reflecting the current market for collectible coins. The Red Book can be pre-ordered online in several formats. After the Baltimore Expo, it will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide.

Coin collectors have used the Red Book to value their collections since the first edition was published in 1946. Over many years of guiding the publication through numerous revisions and improvements, long-time Senior Editor Kenneth Bressett, now serving in the role of Editor Emeritus, has often commented on the grassroots nature of the guide, and the way collectors regard it as a book that belongs to the entire hobby. “The Red Book is a reliable standard reference written not...

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