Friday, September 12, 2008

Are We Getting A Little Crazy With The Quarter?

It started with a great idea, the 50 States Quarter Program. That program ends this year, as we'll have gone through all 50 states in 10 years. Next year, we'll add 6 new quarters representing DC and our overseas protectorates and territories.

And we're also going to have a National Parks quarter series. A few parks a year for several years.

And then I read this in the September 9th issue of Numismatic News:

A new civil rights leaders quarter series that would run for eight years and honor five subjects a year (has been introduced as HR 6701)... The subjects will be chosen by the secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Really? We're going to have 40 civil rights "leaders" on our quarters? Can you even think of 20? Oh, and the Little Rock Nine count as one =)

Now don't go and assume I'm not a fan of our civil rights movement. I've written several posts on the topic, with these five posts being my favorites. But I'm definitely against turning the civil rights pioneers into 25 cent collectibles, their names to be printed on cardboard so a quarter with their face can be punched in nearby. It would sound sort of denigrating to hear, "I'll trade you a Medgar Evers for a Thurgood Marshall."

I have no problem with producing actual commemorative coins for certain people. I have no problem with replacing Roosevelt's mug on the dime with Dr. King's (see link above). But I do have a problem with cheapening the civil rights heroes by creating this run of quarters.

It looks like we're taking a good idea (the 50 States Quarter Program) and running it into the ground.

What's next, the Star Wars Characters Quarter Program?

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