Discussed are the two Braille Dollars that went into space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis to promote sales of the coins and help raise funds to teach Braille to the blind.
Next up, Numismatic News editor Dave Harper interviews US Mint director Ed Moy about a strategic coin reserve, and whether it is a possibility. Moy explains the idea behind a reserve.
"The mint should at least have a stockpile of coins in the event that any of our operating facilities have to close down for whatever reason… that we have a reserve to draw on."
He continues to explain that the Mint’s inventory is close to zero since production is based on demand. This makes it difficult to adjust production quickly to address issues like a rebound in the economy that would dramatically increase demand, or a natural disaster that closes a facility.
Interestingly, when asked about the continued public use of coins in the future, Moy states:
"People frequently speculate that the Mint’s going to go out of business because electronic commerce is going to take over. The analysis of the data proves that there is still a lot of demand for coin out there."
Moy indicates electronic transactions are reducing the amount of checks written, compared to cutting into demand for coins.
Editorial Director Debbie Bradley speaks with Krause Editor George Cuhaj about paper money. Cuhaj elaborates on the differences between coins and paper money when he states:
"Coins always had the intrinsic value. Gold, silver and even copper had a material worth to them. Paper money was just faith in the issuing authority that they had the backing in gold and silver somewhere in a vault. So it took a lot of faith for people in the 1600’s and 1700’s to really begin using paper money."
Dave Harper also interviews collector Don Mark from Johnston Iowa about his experience at the launch of the new Lincoln cent in Indiana. When asked if the Mint did a good job at the ceremony Mark said:
"I think they did, they certainly made an effort to be fair…I would give them an "A" on the organization of physically getting the people in and out of the facility."
To listen to this program, go to Coin Chat Radio. Current and prior week episodes are also available directly from sites hosting the free Coin Chat Radio player, like the one found in the upper right at Coin Collecting News.