US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Jan. 30, 2023: A Barbie-coin connection?

Pioneering aviator Bessie Coleman is being honored with both an American Women quarter dollar and a Barbie doll, and she is not the only historical figure to gain both honors.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint and Mattel Creations.

Coin collectors sometimes seek items that are non-numismatic but are related to the items in their core collection. For collectors of American Women quarter dollars, related collectibles include Barbie dolls. Really.

Mattel is one of the biggest toy manufactures in the world, if not the largest. Some of their product lines are the Matchbox and Hot Wheels diecast car lines and the Barbie line of dolls.

“Barbies” include more than the iconic fashion doll (coming soon to a movie theater near you) and her boyfriend Ken. Mattel has released dozens of dolls who represent historical figures.

One of the most recent dolls offered by Mattel Creations is Bessie Coleman — yes, the pioneering African American aviator of the early 20th century being honored on the first 2023 American Women quarter dollar. The Barbie Inspiring Women Bessie Coleman Doll is part of the company’s Barbie Signature line, which includes dollars that celebrate the accomplishments of real women of the past and present: scientists, athletes, politicians, artistic performers, and more.

I suspect that someone at Mattel has been following the United States Mint’s American Women program closely, because Coleman is not the only woman to be featured on both a doll and one of the quarters. Maya Angelou has been honored both on a coin and with a Barbie doll, as has Sally Ride and Eleanor Roosevelt.

This all may be coincidence — after all, the women so honored are famous and accomplished.

Still, adding a doll or two to your collection of coins might be fun, but know that limited edition Barbie dolls often sell out very quickly. Like some coins, you know.
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