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The E-Sylum:  Volume 8, Number 50, November 27, 2005, Article 19

DOLLARS AND CENTS: PRESIDENTIAL COIN BILL UPDATE

Dick Johnson writes: "The Senate passed legislation last
week that authorized the U.S. Mint to strike presidential
dollar coins, much like the successful statehood quarter
dollar program. It's similar to House bill passed earlier
this year; backers say President Bush is sure to sign this
bill into law.

In addition to the presidential dollar coins, it authorizes
changing the reverse of the Lincoln Cent in 2009, the
bicentennial of Abraham Lincolnís birth. The cent design
change had been proposed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial
Commission. Perhaps you read it first here in The E-Sylum back
in June 2004 (vol 7, no 26) when first notice was published
of their desire for cent design ideas.

The Senate bill (S. 1047) retains the concept of the four
reverse designs proposed by the Lincoln Commission, each
for a different period in Lincolnís life and honoring three
states in which Lincoln lived and worked plus Washington DC
where he was president. The states are: Kentucky for his
birth and early childhood; Indiana for his formative years;
and Illinois for his professional life where he practiced law.

The bill further authorizes a $10 bullion coin series bearing
images of the First Ladies.

The issuance of U.S. coins honoring states and now
presidents follow closely the concept of private medal
series in half-dollar size issued forty years ago. Popularity
of president medal series and state series by Presidential
Art of Vandalia Ohio, led to a third series Ė Signers of the
Declaration of Independence Series. Could this foretell the
prospect for a future series for the U.S. Mint? The medal
series was popular for the patriots in Americaís formative
years, particularly those founders who were not presidents,
like Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. All three series
were created by one artist, Ralph Joseph Menconi (1915-1972)
in contrast to the artistic hegemony which has created the
coins.

These medals are more than "associated items" to the coins
-- they are the same subjects! I see exhibits of both coin
and medal series side-by-side in the future.

If you wish to read about the law passed last week, click on: Full Story

David M. Sundman forwarded the following update from the
Office of Senator John Sununu on the Presidential
$1 coin Act.  It's a lengthy law with many provisions.

"The United States Senate today (11/18) approved bipartisan
legislation introduced by Senator John Sununu (R-NH) that
would place images of U.S. presidents on a new $1 coin.
The "Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005" (S. 1047) - which
71 senators co-sponsored - aims to bolster circulation of
the $1 coin, generating millions of dollars for consumers,
businesses, and the federal government."

"S. 1047 is based on the successful 50-State Quarter
Program established by Congress in 1997. That program
has helped renew interest in coins, coin collecting and
the history of our nation's states in addition to
quadrupling the number of quarters in circulation and
earning the federal government millions of dollars.
According to the Government Accountability Office, a
fully circulating dollar coin would earn as much as
$500 million a year for the government. The revenues
reflect the difference between the costs of making the
coin and the amount of worth it carries in commerce,
equaling about $0.80 for each $1 coin.

Specifically, Sununu's legislation:

* Places the images of four U.S. presidents on the
dollar coin each year, in the order of their service,
until all are so honored, starting in 2007;

* Features the Statue of Liberty on the reverse side
of the coin;

* Locates significant information, such as the date
and the so-called mintmark, on the edge of the coin;

* Provides for the Sacagawea coin to continue to be
issued during the Presidential Coin Program; upon
termination of the program, all $1 coins will revert
to the Sacagawea design;"

* Requires the federal government to use the dollar
coin in all of its retail operations;

* Requires that dollar coins be available in convenient
forms, including rolls and small bags, enabling businesses
to use the coins easily;

* Takes steps to address problems created by the
co-circulation of the Susan B. Anthony coin with new
dollar coins;

* Creates a new pure-gold bullion coin to honor
presidential spouses, generating excitement about
the series, and appealing to collectors and investors;

* Creates a new, pure-gold bullion, one-ounce coin with
the image of the so-called "Indian Head" or "Buffalo"
nickel - a popular design for investment; and

* Calls for the issuing of newly designed pennies to
celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of
Abraham Lincoln."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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