Long Beard's Blog

17 Nov 2020

Modern Commemoratives

Coins-United States | Long Beard

If you have been following me, I post a weekly blog on Friday or Saturday. However, this week's blog has been delayed due to a complete bathroom remodel over the past weekend. Such is life when owning a home and your better half needing a change. So I thought of doing a short one saving the original for the next post. Enjoy!

As a collector of many years, and like many in the hobby, commemorative coinage is collected based on a personal preference for individual themes or designs rather than as a series. For myself those are coins referencing a historical event or person related to the early founding of the United States, of which I have perhaps a dozen or there about struck by the U.S. Mint. However, on occasion there is that particular coin which strikes you and finds it's way into your collection for another reason. The depicted images define as much lined up between Constitutional, Civil War Battlefields and Benjamin Franklin to name a few which I have. National Community Service. It seems so out of place. Overlooked and passed by until recently, A long time proponent for a complete redesign of all circulating United States coinage, and having talked with John Frost a few week's back at the PAN show on the subject, I spotted this beauty on one of the dealer tables.Not that particular coin, graded PCGS 69, but the one below bought in the following days. As I stood there admiring the beauty, the simplicity, the quarter came to mind. With this addition came the research.

Beginning in 1983, commemorative issues per year were steadily rising with collector interest and demand matching. By 1996, a year which saw three coinage programs consisting of 11 coins (8 of which were of the Olympics), it was deja vu once again compared with the early commemoratives ending in 1936. With this Congress changed the law limiting commemoratives to two themes per year beginning in 1997. None the less, the United Community Service posted sales of 23,500 in uncirculated and 101,543 proof strikes from a maximum mintage of 500,000. Not all that bad considering the numerous other options.

The obverse design, by Thomas D. Rogers, is an adaptation of the Women's Auxiliary of the Massachusetts Civil Service Reform Association medal designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (the bronze medal). The reverse designed William C. Cousins. The program included a silver dollar in both uncirculated and proof as well as a coin and stamp set which included an original 1940 postal stamp and booklet on Saint-Gaudens' personal achievements towards civil service. This was the only program of 1996 to not include a gold version. A shame because the design is quite stunning and would look phenomenal in gold.



Level 4

There have been some nice Commems in design, but most leave something to be desired.

A great design for perhaps one of the more abstract modern commemorative themes.


Level 6

I have always considered it one of the best designs of the modern commemorative era. Makes sense that a great "modern" design would actually have originated in the studio of Mr St. Gaudens.


Level 6

Really beautiful! Thanks for sharing it! Now that you mention a re-modeled bathroom... hmmmm... That gives me an idea ; ) haha

Long Beard

Level 5

Told her, "Sure. Won't take but two maybe three days tops." Took five.

I think commemoratives are more for collectors. The design for the modern commems are still working towards beauty rather than what the zincolns.


Level 5

Very nice coin. Great informative blog. I look forward to your next post!


Level 5

Community Service collaborative is really a nice one. Modern commemoratives make great gifts, but i dont have the desire to start a collection. But I will probably end up with a few anyway. Nice blog.


Level 6

Very nice and timely blog. Great coin. Thanks.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Those are really nice! I always look forward to your blogs!


Level 5

Beautiful specimens! Nice work! Cheers, NM


Level 5

Nice recap. I really like wreaths on coins.


Level 5

I remember buying this coin years ago for a topical set in my collection. I recall being amazed when I discovered that the obverse design is based on a medal designed by Augustas St Gaudens. This is a great coin with a very timely message for society today twenty-four years later.


Level 5

Beautiful coin and medal. I would be hard pressed not to purchase a nice one if I ran across it. Thanks for the Blog, as for the remodel, "A happy wife is a good life", I believe it and try to live it. Glad you got the remodel done. Later!


Level 7

Everything highways is correct . No argument here. For example the May Flower coin I think is still on sale. Now I don't know it's because of the coin or the time differance. But those waiting for twelve will miss out.. Thanks those medals say it all. There nice I like them . In was wondering were your blog was. !! Thanks.

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