The Silver Dollars of '60

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jgenn

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The challenge -- to build a birth-year set from only silver dollars. The dilemma -- only a few types were minted in 1960.

My favorite type is the silver dollar, or more precisely, 36-42mm diameter coins, at least 23g, that are 50% or more silver (my definition). Also known as "crowns", these have been popular with collectors through the centuries, boosting the survivability of most varieties, even those with low mintages. The large surface area allows for more design detail and I like the way they fill up a slab. I prefer them so much that I avoid collecting anything smaller.

In the US, overproduction of silver dollars to satisfy the provisions of the Pittman Act fully stocked the Treasury vaults and halted their production. The subsequent worldwide economic disruptions of the Great Depression and World War II further diminished the demand for large silver denomination coinage. Countries that could afford to issue silver coinage continued but the trend towards non-precious metal coins became widely adopted. The US Treasury continued to release Peace and Morgan dollars until demand finally caught up with supply in 1964. So there are no US silver dollars minted in 1960.

Fortunately, a few countries were still issuing large silver coins. The Canadian silver dollar is the perfect example. However, to keep this set from being ridiculously small I've pushed the boundaries a bit. One idea was to ignore the century and focus on the year portion of the date. This opens up wonderful opportunities for silver dollar types including the US seated liberty of 1860. I've actively modified my search for interesting world crowns to seek '60s as a priority.

Another idea was including exonumia. I only found out about So-Called Dollars -- those dollar-sized medals struck to commemorate American themes -- recently, when reading our chat boards. The earliest of these are nearly 200 years old. Naturally, I was excited to find that there were several struck in 1960. The one I picked out nicely fits my requirement.

I'll conclude this journal entry with a link to my set (http://coins.www.collectors-society.com/WCM/CoinCustomSetView.aspx?s=19493) and a preview of my So-Called Dollar, the Mumey Pony Express Centennial medal, HK-584.

~jack

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