I was really excited to collect the presidential dollar series in 2007 and 2008 when they were just starting out. The US History buff in me loved the idea of the set even though they were mostly a naked effort by the US Congress and the US Mint to keep the music playing as the statehood quarters series was winding down (which they did with the America the beautiful quarters). Then, of course, the effort got promptly dropped but not quite entirely forgotten in 2009 when I had to start getting ready to graduate from undergrad and start grad school.
I’ve been thinking about getting back to this set for about the last year mostly because I’m a father now and I really want to be able to share these with my kids and use them to talk about US history. This is pretty much exactly the attitude the Mint and the Congress were hoping people would have, but… Yeah, it doesn’t have to be a unique motivation for building it, it just happens to be what motivates me.
Having completed the first 2 years of the set over 10 years ago I have a lot of the “big” ones, the founding fathers that live forever – Washington, Jefferson, and Adams – and a couple of other important historical figures that helped shape the country – like Monroe and Jackson. But by not continuing the set I missed out on some important ones – like Lincoln, Polk, the Roosevelts, Grant, and some others. Grant in particular has a soft spot for me because in the 5th grade when we were all getting assigned different presidents to write research papers on I got Grant – also, he’s just kind of a cool looking dude. Gotta love that beard, right?
Yes, my wife is laughing at me for the fact that I’m talking about the kids one day taking these as a show and tell for school for their reports on presidents. But I don’t care. It’ll be fun. She can roll her eyes all she wants. She always does anyway.
Truth be told I also just think it’d be fun and feel good to get to go back and “finish” one of those old, long idle projects from my early 20s. Sometimes I have an embarrassingly bad track record with long term collecting projects / goals. In this case, "finished" might be a bit subjective because I've noticed that the registry set includes some reverse proof coins and I don't think I'm going to bother trying to get those, so when I'm "finished" the set may not be 100% filled per the registry.
The “plan” I’ve been considering was to try to finish the proof set and not really worry about the business strike P & D coins for now. Finishing the proof set in PF69 would give me one coin for each president to show my kids and use as conversation pieces and I’ve been assuming that would be cheaper and easier than trying to build out the rest of the business strike set 10 years after the fact. Back in ‘08/’09 I was getting PF69s because I just didn’t and still don’t personally see the incremental value of going for the PF70s for this set. I’m not looking at this as an investment in any way (and their price performance over the last 10 years would suggest that that was a wise position to take… yeesh). It’s meant to be something for me and my kids as they grow. The 69s do that just as well as the 70s. I also don’t care enough about this set to make it worth the money to make this a #1 ranked PF70 set. I’m not even sure I can call this a “coin collecting” project at this point. It’s a “dad” project now.