Coins in outer space

Making the ordinary extraordinary
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Published : 04/24/13
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Take a trip to outer space this month with Coin World’s news editor William T. Gibbs as he explores space-flown coins and other numismatic items that provide a tangible reminder of the excitement and possibilities that accompanied the “Space Age.”

As Bill writes: “Souvenir collecting has long been a human trait. Souvenirs offer psychological and physical connections to an event either personally witnessed or admired from afar; a vacation or a family milestone, for example.”

He adds, “It is not surprising, then, that from the very first U.S. manned spaceflight to the space shuttle era in the 21st century, astronauts and others have carried numismatic and other souvenirs into space, even taking them to the moon during the Apollo era.”

When these objects returned to Earth, their provenance allowed them to transcend their status as ordinary objects and turned them into something extraordinary.

While a “normal” 1941-S Winged Liberty Head (“Mercury”) dime might sell for a few dollars, one of the 11 dimes that was carried on the second U.S. manned space flight realized nearly $9,000 in a 2011 auction.

Collector interest in space-flown artifacts seems likely to only grow given the continued interest in space exploration and entrepreneurs’ attempts to make space travel accessible to an increasing number of extremely wealthy individuals.

If space travel isn’t your orbit, Michele Orzano provides a primer on how to collect Colonial paper money.

These notes are often in low condition, but as Michele points out, “Yes, the physical conditions are lowly, but what do you think you would look like after nearly 260 years? The point is that even notes that have lost their looks can still entice a collector into an interesting adventure.”

Even better: Examples of these extremely historic items can be found for less than $100.

Whether you prefer land or space, thank you for making Coin World a part of your collecting orbit.

Best,

Steve Roach

sroach@coinworld.com

COIN WORLD ... anywhere, anytime!

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