Women in numismatics unite

Women in numismatics unite in 1991 to WIN: From the Memory Bank

Hobby organization marks 25 years in 2016
This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in Coin World available here.
Cash In Your Coins Women in Numismatics Founders

Two of the three founders of Women In Numismatics are Sondra Beymer, left, and Mary Sauvain. WIN celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The club’s logo was designed by Elizabeth Jones, former chief sculptor-engraver for the U.S. Mint.
Coin World file photos.

Numismatic collectibles, both as a hobby and a business, has been and remains a predominately male domain, about 90 percent male and 10 percent female.

But that statistic does not begin to tell this story.

As the last decade of the 20th century dawned, it was evident that women were increasingly visible both in participation and leadership within the numismatic community in the United States.

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Coin World Editor Testifies

Coin World Editor Testifies in Congress in 1988: From The Memory Bank

Hobby Leader Promoted Coin Redesign in Testimony
This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in Coin World available here.
Coin World Editor testifies

Coin World editor Beth Deisher testifies before Congress in 1988 regarding proposed coinage redesigns. Coin World file photo.

Only the United States Congress has the constitutional authority to order the U.S. Mint to create and strike a new U.S. coin, whether it is circulating or commemorative.

Thus advocates for new commemorative coins as well as for new designs on the nation’s circulating coinage plunged into the political arena during the 1980s with the belief they could prevail through the power of persuasion.

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Paper Money Changes Great

Paper money changes great, but let’s now turn to our coins: From The Memory Bank

Let’s apply the lessons recently learned to renewed calls for coinage change
This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in Coin World available here.
Paper Money Changes
Donna Pope speaks before congress - Paper Money Changes Great

Then-Director of the United States Mint Donna Pope testifies before Congress in 1988 at a hearing about U.S. coinage designs.
Coin World file photo.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew’s April 20 announcement that for the first time in more than a century the face of a U.S. paper money denomination will feature the portrait of a woman — Harriet Tubman — marks a historic turning point in the way top government officials, especially within the Treasury Department, view the role of the subject matter portrayed on our money. In fact, the introductory statement at the Treasury Department’s website detailing the upcoming design changes for the $20, $10, and $5 Federal Reserve notes is revolutionary:

“America’s currency is a state­ment about who we are as a nation. Our modern money honors our history and celebrates our values.”

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Change U.S. Coin Designs

An ally in push to change U.S. coin designs: From the Memory Bank

Diane Wolf joins cause through Commission of Fine Arts
This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in the March 28, 2016 issue of Coin World available here.
Change U.S. Coin Designs
Diane Wolf, ally to change U.S. Coin Designs

Diane Wolf used her position on the federal Commission of Fine Arts as an advocate to change U.S. coin designs on circulating coins.
Coin World file photo.

As the numismatic community began to explore ways to attract more collectors and participants to the rare coin marketplace in the mid-1980s, a surprising ally and advocate emerged.

Diane Wolf was unknown to the numismatic community before President Reagan appointed her to the federal Commission of Fine Arts in 1985. The appointment was a reward for her work on Reagan’s re-election campaign staff and for her consulting role in a number of successful Republican congressional elections.

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What Are These Coins Worth? – Ask Beth

What Are These Coins Worth?

A website visitor recently contacted me to see if I could help her value some coins. You can read her question and my response below:

Glynis D. wrote:

I have two 50p coins dated 1994, one 50p dated1982 and three 2-pound coins dated 1986 and 1989. What are these coins worth please?

My response:

More information is needed in order to determine the value of your coins.

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New Designs for Circulating Coins – The Road to Change

Road to change circulating coin designs begins: From The Memory Bank

Commems paved way for changes, but Congress lacked the will to make them
This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in the February 22, 2016 issue of Coin World available here.

New Designs For Circulating Coins

New Designs For Circulation Coins - Cash In Your Coins

Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III, seen on his official U.S. Mint medal, was reluctant to engage in a political fight to remove presidents from coin designs.
Images courtesy of Coin World, eBay seller stst201212 and the United States Mint.

Ironically the 1982 George Washington and 1983 to 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Coin commemorative programs launched a collector campaign for new designs for circulating coins.

During congressional hearings in 1981, the resumption of commemorative coins after a 28-year hiatus was hailed as the much-needed stimulus to bring new collectors into the market. But after the highly successful first two programs were completed, Coin World’s analysis of sales uncovered a surprise.

More than 90 percent of all of the commemorative coins had been purchased by collectors. Precious few were reaching the general public; thus, the hoped-for boost in coin collecting was proving to be a pipe dream.

It was time for a new approach. Continue reading