Thursday, May 28, 2009

To See or Not To See

I had a great-uncle DeWitt who lost his vision in a sawmill accident when he was young. At some point in his life thereafter he acquired a silver dollar, which he liked to hold in his hand and rub.

When I was young I lived across the street from Billy Flanders, whose parents ran vending machine racks. They collected coins, and since I was exposed to the hobby, I started collecting coins as well. In those days, one could actually find interesting coins in circulation. Today the only interesting coin in circulation is a wheat penny.

Since I was the coin collector in the family, I wound up with several notable coins, including Indian head pennies from my Mother's Mother's house, a 1909 VDB penny from my Father's Mother's penny jar (the penny has subsequently disappeared), and Uncle DeWitt's silver dollar. Uncle DeWitt rubbed a lot of the surface off that coin.

This leads to the latest commorative offering from the U.S. Mint, the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar.

I believe this qualifies as "irony." Commerative Coins are made to be looked at, not handled, especially proof coins. Braille, I figure, is meant to be felt, not seen.