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Coins for the Blind - What do we know about the pattern experiments? - Judd-2185a

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,893 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 5, 2023 11:24PM in U.S. Coin Forum

There's a really interesting Martha Washington small dollar pattern with edge devices to assist the blind.

The following is from USPatterns.com's entry for Judd-2185a.

USPatterns.com wrote:
The Mint also appears to have performed several experiments for the blind including J2185A which has 6 notches on the border as illustrated below courtesy of NGC which just sent us this example in July 2019. The piece was subsequently offered in Heritage's October 2019 sale. A second piece appeared in Heritage April 2020 sale.

I think it's great to make our coinage more accessible. Is there any US Mint documentation on these, including the experiment and conclusions?

Of note, it appears the specimen that is listed in USPatterns.com and sent by NGC is the one below based on identifying diagnostics. The TrueView appears to be the same coin as in this PCGS slab. Interestingly, it has been graded both PR66 by PCGS and MS66 by ATS.


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    JBKJBK Posts: 14,771 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Such extreme design alterations seem unnecessary. Existing size, edge, and weight variances should be sufficient to differentiate between coin denominations.

    If makes for a nice collectable, though.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I recall hearing about this, briefly..... Never saw any examples at shows.. and died as a program. Will have to go back and read about it. At the time, I thought it was unnecessary... likely others involved came to the same realization. Cheers, RickO

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    KliaoKliao Posts: 5,468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Never heard or seen this before. I am aware of the Martha Washington test pieces but didn't know of the mint experimenting coins like this for the blind. Very neat piece.

    Young Numismatist/collector
    75 Positive BST transactions buying and selling with 45 members and counting!

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Such extreme design alterations seem unnecessary. Existing size, edge, and weight variances should be sufficient to differentiate between coin denominations.

    If makes for a nice collectable, though.

    i'm not necessarily saying this to you JBK, i just happen to quote your post. :)

    and a good way to put this into practice, put a group of coins into a pile, as random as possible. close your eyes, grab what you can and use feel to separate them. granted, those of us that have been able to see do have an edge but i think the blind people i've been around were certainly missing certain parts of the human experience but considering most of them were in college, had neat jobs etc, they were by no means dumb.

    i've also interacted with people (men and women) with multiple handicaps, including blindness write checks. don't get me wrong, their handwriting was no calligraphy lesson BUT i was beyond impressed the first few times i saw it. the blind probably have several methods, including pre-printed checks and pc software (i've seen some of this) but the method i saw in-person was the check template with rectangular holes for the corresponding places that needs to be written in. also the political environment is to allow people to operate as close to possible as if they have no handicaps

    SOOOOO, while i do support innovation like this to include some consideration for a pretty large sector of people, i think simplicity is the way to go. i want it simple and i HAVE my eyesight. the currency thing is the one that would seem challenging to develop a system for, although, a card would significantly reduce that need. i also would think that after someone becomes an adult, life is just a lot of lather, rinse, repeat so for the most part, anyone with handicaps (more or less) would just be doing the same crap those w/o them do. the true handicaps to me are being raised poorly or not at all, having no organization skills, discipline, desire to follow the laws, not having some peace of mind and contentment, having some to love them and them truly love someone else etc, not to mention not understanding the beauty and importance of numismatics! (ok that last one is maybe a bit of a stretch)

    that said, ty for sharing zoins, that is a rather neat part of numismatic history, not unlike the mint experimenting with the reeded edges, lettered edges, different compositions, designs, dentils, etc. (i'll file this prototype under the if you always do what you've always done category)

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