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Route 66 News

Let’s lobby for Route 66 half-dollar coins

A writer for Numismatic News, a magazine about coin collecting, is lobbying Congress for a series of Route 66 commemorative half-dollar coins that would be minted in 2016 — the 90th anniversary of the Mother Road — and is advocating others to lobby for them as well.

Mike Olson, who is a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and a Route 66 traveler, said this. The key part is the last paragraph:

With the 90th anniversary of the establishment of Route 66 in 2016, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee has twice recommended a series of half dollars to commemorate the event, in both its 2011 and 2012 annual reports. The series of eight clad half dollars, one each for the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California would bear a common reverse and a state specific obverse.

Imagine the possibilities this series would provide to capture the unique history, architecture and landscapes along the Route, on coins the size of a half dollar: A sports car speeding through the California desert, the Marsh Rainbow Arch bridge in Kansas, the Cadillac Ranch in Texas, the Chain of Rocks bridge over the Mississippi, the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne commercial buildings. These are just a few examples that come to mind.

The CCAC recommendation calls for not more than a total of 750,000 clad half dollars for each of the eight coin series, making for a very unique, fun and collectible set that would celebrate the American spirit and experience as never before.

A design contest would almost certainly result in some fantastic proposals from artists who are very familiar with Route 66 and what it has to offer artistically. This commemorative series would introduce a new generation of young collectors to an American treasure and stimulate further exploration by American and foreign visitors alike.

At this point, the commemoration of 90th anniversary of the establishment of Route 66 in 2016 remains a recommendation of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. In order for this series of coins to become reality, Congress must pass a bill that is signed by the President. Those with an interest in seeing this series produced should contact their members of Congress.

Fortunately, the Internet makes it very easy for anyone in the United States to contact their congressman. If you think a Route 66-inspired half-dollar is a good idea, let the lawmakers know.

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