Fred Schwan, in the December 9th, 2011 issue of the MPC GRAM, wrote about Irradiated Dimes, an interesting souvenir that turns up now and again at coin shows. I added some images found on Flickr.
In the late 1940s (my best estimate). the American Museum of Atomic Energy created encased dimes advertising the museum. The most interesting thing is that the dimes were exposed to radiation before distribution. If you have a Geiger counter you can confirm this! Indeed, this was done at an early Fest. We have discussed these before. The one that I bought at the show has a 1941 dime.
The irradiated dimes had a little moment of sunshine at the ANA summer. Beth Deisher moderated a discussion group of legendary hall of fame members. The panel (Chet Krause, Ken Bresset, Ed Rochette, and Cliff Mishler) discussed many different things. To a question about what he collects Cliff Mishler mentioned irradiated dimes. This seemed to amaze most of the audience. To make the point, the question of who collects irradiated dimes was then passed to the audience. I believe that the assembled throng was then astonished again when two audience members raised their hands! Boling and Schwan of course.
I am not sure how many different dates were encased. Heck, I do not even know how many that I have.
Have these dimes been catalogued anywhere? How mny different dates and types of encasements are known?
A man takes home an irradiated dime - one of the less-sensible souvenir ideas of the 1940s - at the American Museum of Atomic Energy.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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