The Mint can have the tiniest of excuses for issuing a new series of reverses into circulation. Not a new trend.
Roman coins are a bit like that, with their many personifications and commemorations. Keeps the coinage interesting and before the Public.
Also increases the possibility of kids acquiring an interest in coins, all collected at face value. Therein may be your new generation of numistmastists. That's how I started out into coins as a kid.
Provided that they are all struck for circulation.
I must admit: Although I have a rather fancy collection of significant value, I still collect new designs of coins out of my pocket change. Just for fun.
I agree in principle. We definitely need to inspire a new generation of coin collectors. After all, if the demand drops, not only will everyone's collections be worth much less--but we'll also eliminate the incentives for preservation of important historic artifacts. From the perspective of many millennials (I know because I'm a millennial myself, though a misfit in this generation), melting down, say, a 1925 Stone Mountain half (or anything with Columbus on it) both: (a) destroys something racist, and (b) gives one enough silver value to go buy an avocado toast. I'd prefer not to see that happen.
I do think there's a balance that the Mint could achieve here, though--and a way to appeal to both older and younger collectors, and both those seeking interesting pieces and those seeking value. I think the mint should:
1. Nearly always have multiple themed reverses on something, but alternate which coin they are found on. That way, there aren't 3,642 different instances of quarters but only 100 different instances of dimes. And that way, if one commits to, say, collecting quarters, one is rewarded when the series is done for having a finished set--rather than nagged into collecting another series to keep the collection up to date.
2. Actually make each series interesting and worthwhile. State Quarters
were novel, interesting, and had very different designs that people looked forward to seeing. ATB
, while an interesting subject matter, has designs that look quite similar to each other despite depicting very different parks--since color and depth aren't possible on coins. Youth sports quarters or animals, on the other hand... Ugh.
3. Use the McDonald's Monopoly approach, in which for each set on the board, two pieces are common and one is rare. For instance:
- Release three designs per year.
- Make the mintage on two of them 1 billion each.
- Make the mintage on the third 10 million.
That way, both kids/casual collectors and roll hunters/serious collectors can have something to strive for--with the first looking for good examples of the common coins, and the second seeking any examples of the rare ones. That way, it increases the challenge of completing a set (but leaves open the possibility of completing an "easy" set) while also giving a more serious collector hope that the collection that they labored so hard to put together may actually be worth something some day (an incentive, which, in my view, is limited when every non-MS-68 piece is worth exactly 25c).