Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Talk of the Town: Girls Scouts of the USA Centennial Silver Dollar

When the 2013 Girl Scout commemorative silver dollars come rolling off the presses of the United States Mint, will the sales process for the 350,000 available coins attract more women and girls to what has historically been a male-dominated hobby?

Numismatic News posed the question to Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA in a telephone interview Sept. 17.

“That’s a very, very interesting question you raise. A lot of it is girls aren’t exposed to it at an early age,” she explained, as once was the case with science and math in school.

“We are trying to expose more and more girls to coin collecting ... at its basic essence, coin collecting is saving money.”

She pointed out that 13 of the current 136 badges given by the Girl Scouts are financial literacy badges, and she thought the seeds of an interest in coin collecting could be planted there, starting with examining coins in piggy banks.

Chávez said the upcoming Girl Scout silver dollar will be a “great way to reach our 3.2 million members. (It will) show them they are now part of the currency of the country.”

And the program will acquaint male collectors with the fact that there are current or former Girl Scouts in their lives as daughters, wives, mothers, etc.

“By purchasing this coin, they are investing in an organization that for 100 years has invested in girls and women.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Girl Scouts of the USA has unveiled a U.S. Mint-designed commemorative coin honoring 100 years of the organization.

It is the first U.S. Mint coin to honor the New York-based scouting group.

It features three Girl Scouts of different backgrounds on one side and the group's trefoil logo on the other. It also contains the inscription Courage, Confidence, Character.

About 350,000 of the silver dollar coins will be printed. They'll be available in 2013. A $10 surcharge from the sale of each coin will be paid to the Girl Scouts for program development.

President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the coin in 2009.