By David Goodman, Horry Post 111, Department of South Carolina
I have been a numismatic for over 20 years and own every commemorative coin the U.S. Mint has made. So when The American Legion turned 100 years old and the Mint announced they would be minting a commemorative coin, I had to have one (or two).
Then when I found out that The American Legion started their own coin program celebrating this event, I thought I would have to collect these as well. Not for any numismatic value, but for the historical value. This only happens once in a lifetime and is something to pass down to future generations.
The first coin in my collection was, of course, my own state of South Carolina. From there I contacted the adjacent states of North Carolina and Georgia. In the beginning, it was quite easy and straightforward, looking up webpages for the different departments, finding their coin and ordering. But as time went on, it became apparent that this was going to be a long journey. The difficulty was that a lot of departments did not advertise on their webpages, if they even had a website. Contact information was either wrong or outdated. I do prefer email contact, but I had to do a lot of phone calling. With all the emailing, phone calls and ordering, this ordeal was getting out of hand quickly, as I can’t remember things as well as I used to. I developed a chart to help me with ordering, contact information, costs, etc. It was a good thing too, as I had to contact some departments multiple times.
The quest was long, and took over a year to complete, but it was worth it in that not only are the coins excellent representation of each department's states, but I got to meet many people throughout our country and areas like Puerto Rico, Mexico and DC. I also received a gift from someone of a coin from Paris.
As I stated before, the coins are unique and beautiful. The colors and shapes. I am not going to pick a “best” because they are all great. There are rounds big and small, coins shaped like their state, one with the eagle wings standing proud off the round. I added the Auxiliary coin and the National 101st Convention coin. To finish it off, I of course had to add the U.S. Mint dollar and half-dollar Legion centennial coins. The sad part is that two departments did not issue a centennial coin: Louisiana and the Philippines.
I have included pages of all the coins. I hope you enjoy.