Today, the White House announced that it has signed into law H.R. 2764, with $555 Billion in total spending, and which includes over $10 Billion in earmarks. That part is not really good news. You can read the text of the bill, if you want to, here.
However, as Coinnews.net reported today, the bill includes two key coin-collecting gems.
6 More State Quarters. Yes, you read that right. Just because we ran out of states does not mean that the US Government will let the best new coin series end without a fight. Six more coins will debut in 2009, highlighting 6 great territories that aren’t states, but still deserve to be celebrated with two bits:
- The District of Columbia
- The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- American Samoa
- The United States Virgin Islands
- The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
“…Coins minted under this subsection honoring the District of Columbia and each of the territories shall be issued in equal sequential intervals during 2009 in the following order: the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”
The US Mint Press Release is here. Designs for these coins have not been published yet, but I will post them here when they are ready. Note that this is 6 coins for 2009, not the normal 5 per year that have marked the program to date. Without this bill, the quarter would have returned to its old design in 2009, since Hawaii, our 50th state, gets its own quarter at the tail end of 2008.
No More Godless Presidential Dollar Coins. Or at least, they’ll be harder to come by. This bill also includes text that mandates that the text “In God We Trust” move off the edge of the coin, and to one of the faces. Due to space considerations, this will likely mean moving to the face of the coin with the President.The text was moved to the edge, of course, to give more space on the face of the coin for the Presidential image. But, with the release of the first coin, there was a large error rate with the Philidelphia mint version that led to the creation of “godless dollars“, with no edge text. Despite the fact that this problem has not been repeated with the 3 subsequent coins for John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, a cottage industry has sprung up of people sanding the text off the edge of dollar coins.
In any case, the bill does not say when this change will be made, but that it “shall be put into effect by the Secretary of the Treasury as soon as is practicable after the date of enactment of this Act.”
Two thoughts on this news:
- Holy 2009 Proof Set, Batman. Let’s count up the coins for the 2009 proof set:
- 4 new pennies, to celebrate the 100th year of the Lincoln cent
- 1 nickel
- 1 dime
- 6 new quarters, as described above
- 1 JFK half-dollar
- 1 Sacajawea dollar coin (first of the new Native American dollar coins)
- 4 Presidential dollar coins
That’s a total of 18 coins, and that’s not including the “P” and “D” versions, or any special proof varieties, like the copper-versions of the new pennies. That is going to be one fat proof set, likely 4 lens, minimum, at a pretty steep cost. (Note: based on comments, I’ve correct the lines on the Native American dollar coins to correctly reflect their mintage at one per year, on the back of Sacajawea dollars.)
- What price the original Presidential dollar coins? The original Presidential dollar coins may now become more valuable, as they may end up the only “edge-incused” US coins ever. Not sure how this will affect prices in the short term, but now that this is confirmed, it’s an interesting side effect.