METAL, FLAT, AND CIRCULAR.

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Gregory Taylor

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What is a coin?

Coin: a small piece of metal, usually flat and circular, authorized by a government for use as money.

Without considering mint marks, proofs, or packaging options, by this definition, the US Mint is presently minting 26 coins; four platinum coins, four eagle gold coins, four buffalo gold coins, one silver eagle dollar, two commemorative dollars, one commemorative half, one SACAGAWEA dollar, four presidential dollars and the cent, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar. If the definition is changed slightly, to read, and USED as money, the US is minting four coins, the cent, nickel, dime, and quarter, and if the cent actually circulates is open to question.

When I started collecting coins in the 1960?s, the US Mint despised coin collectors. The mint blamed collectors for a coin shortage, and refused to issue proof sets, or even to mint mark coins in 1965, 1966, and 1967. Today, the mint makes beautiful uncirculated and proof coins just for coin collectors. There is a cost however, and it is usually way above what most people would consider reasonable. Still, things, and coins are much better when the US Mint wants our patronage.

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