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Girl Scout Dollar Clears Congress
By David L. Ganz

A Girl Scout commemorative and an extension of sales of the 95 percent copper Lincoln cents included in collector sets were approved Oct. 19 by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

A Girl Scout silver dollar in 2013 was called for in the legislation formally presented to President Barack Obama on Oct. 22.

(Editor's Note: President Obama signed the measure into law on October 29.)

A Boy Scout coin for 2010 was authorized last year.

In addition to typical inscriptions, the Girl Scout coin must by law bear a design “emblematic of the centennial of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.” No more than 350,000 can be produced.

The legislation also has technical amendments that relate to 2009 commemorative Lincoln cents, whose popularity has outstripped the Mint’s production capacity. Congress has given it an additional six-month lease on life.

A special section of the bill passed by the Senate and House would authorize “Continued Issuance of Certain Commemorative Coins Minted in 2009.” The secretary of the Treasury “may continue to issue numismatic items that contain 1-cent coins minted in 2009 after Dec. 31, 2009, until not later than June 30, 2010.”

This was explained in floor debate by Jack Kingston, R-Ga.

“I want to say that this bill also contains a pair of coin-related technical corrections, one of which allows an extension in the sale of the proof set containing the 2009 Abraham Lincoln bicentennial one-cent coins because of a manufacturing glitch which slowed down the production of approved sets,” he said.

There are four different 2009 proof set products this year involving the 95 percent copper collector versions of this year’s Lincoln cents. They are:

• 18-coin clad proof set available since June 1 ($29.95)
• 18-coin silver proof set, available since July 17 ($52.95),
• 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial One Cent Proof Set, available since Aug. 26 ($7.95)
• The Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set, which is now sold out.

There is evidently the fear that the Mint will be unable to fulfill orders by Dec. 31.

It is probably not what they mean, because the Treasury Secretary can “issue” coins whenever he wants by minting them and then shipping them to the Federal Reserve. Coins not shipped by Dec. 31 that are in process can be shipped Jan. 3 or any other date.

What would be impermissible would be to strike coins without either a congressionally sponsored law, or finding by the secretary of the Treasury, usually reserved for a circulating coin crisis. It has not been done before for proof coins, but might be, using a “date freeze” originally used in 1964-1965.

There’s also a provision that redistributes revenue from the 400th anniversary of Jamestown commemorative. “Distribution of Surcharges. – Section 7 of the Jamestown 400th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act of 2004 (31 U.S.C. 5112 nt.) is amended – (1) in subsection (b)(2)(B), by striking “in equal shares’’ and ... inserting... “(I) 2/3 to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. “(ii) 1/3 to the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia.’’


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