• Artistic differences
Internet voters have spoken, and the Missouri quarter will be based on the design of an artist who has made headlines campaigning against the U.S. Mint.
The chosen image is a U.S. Mint rendering of the work of Columbia, Mo., artist Paul Jackson, who is not fond of the design. Jackson’s spokesman, Scott Miller, told Numismatic News magazine that the artist “did not want to be blamed for the selected design.”


• Phillatellic firsts
In 1847, Americans were presented with a revolutionary opportunity — a chance to use a stamp to mail a letter.
Only one in 300 of the first stamps survives today. More than 140 of them are showcased in an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum: The 1847s: America’s First Stamps.
Shown are the original designs for the five- and 10-cent stamp sent to the assistant postmaster general.


• Barbie in boxers
It’s time to give equal underwear billing in the land of Barbie.
For several years, Mattel has produced sexy dolls wearing lacy lingerie in its Silkstone line.
This year, the line unveils its first male, reports Toy Shop magazine. But Mattel is not calling its new doll Ken and won’t release pictures of the handsome fellow. Mattel’s Web site doesn’t discuss the doll, but several Barbie dealer sites recently broke the news.
The doll, available in June for $75, comes dressed in boxer shorts, T-shirt and black socks with sock braces.

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World’s most

valuable coin on display
The $20 gold piece that sold for a record $7.59 million on July 30 is on display at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in New York City, as part of the American Numismatic Society’s “Drachmas, Doubloons and Dollars: The History of Money” exhibit.
Once owned by King Farouk, the last reigning king of Egypt, the coin is on indefinite loan from its anonymous owner.
Admission to the exhibit is free. Other famed numismatic pieces displayed include an 1804 dollar, a Confederate States of America half-dollar and the Brasher doubloon.

Rising stars

Watch for increasing interest in collectibles related to comic book heroes making film appearances in 2003.
Auctions of Daredevil comics have seen increasing buyer interest over the past few months in anticipation of the film of the same name due to hit theaters in February.
X-Men 2, due out in May, and The Hulk, set for a June release, should spark the market for such related collectibles as vintage promotional items and toys.
The Submariner, Fantastic Four and Meridian may be worth looking into as well. Each of these comics properties is slated for film interpretations in 2004.

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