They don’t know how many were printed but some guess about 50,000 new Washington dollar coins were printed without “In God we Trust” on the edge. Now the 1930’s Standing Liberty without “In God We Trust” goes for about 7 million, so this was a great chance to get an American coin without “In God We Trust” for a decent price. Only an obsessive nut would not allow the words “In God We Trust” in his pocket, and I cross the word “God” off every bill I touch, and I don’t carry change. That’s me.
When I heard about new dollar coins (which are a good idea by the way) that were struck without that anti-American motto, I got very excited. EZ bought me one on Ebay for about 70 bucks. It arrived on the day my Dad would have turned 95 years old. My dad retired from being a jail guard when he was too young to retire with a decent pension and he became a coin dealer. He was an avid coin collector and he hated being a jail guard (I never knew that, he didn’t complain around me, or maybe I was too young), and he had the bravery with a wife and young son to support to quit the job he hated and go into what he loved. Man, he always wanted to be a professional. He wore a shirt and tie to mow the lawn, and he was so proud to be a coin dealer. He had to work very hard but he was successful in his profession.
For a while he had a coin shop (he wrote “Shoppe” and “Why don’t ‘Jillette’ me have your coin business” on his business cards) in downtown Greenfield, where I could get a Coke in his Coke machine for a dime (I’m a way old guy). Most of his business was mail order, so he ended up working out of a little shop in our basement. What would he have done with the Internet? My childhood was full of my Dad looking at rare and wonderful coins through those little window coin holders. I remember my Dad’s handwriting on those window envelopes, and I still have the collection of pennies and crowns he gave me when I was born. He always kind of hoped that I would go into the coin business but I had no interest. Hey, maybe Mox and Z won’t learn to juggle.
March 15, 2007 would have been my dad’s 95th birthday, and I had a Washington quarter in the little white coin window envelope that I associate with my Dad. My Dad would have kept it in the envelope in great shape, but, I ripped it out of there and put it in my pocket loose. I like having an American coin that doesn’t say “In God We Trust” on it in my pocket. In the movie, “A Beautiful Mind” the Atheist mathematician, John Nash, says about a sentimental pocket handkerchief, “I don’t believe in luck. But I do believe in assigning value to things.” That’s the way I feel about this coin. I’ll carry it around in my pocket as a symbol of hope for the world to drop religion, and it’ll be another great reason to talk to my kids about their grandfather, and maybe someday it’ll be at the bottom of a box somewhere in Moxie’s or Z’s attic. I would like that.