[Nfbc-info] FW: [Brl-coordinators] FW: the long-awaited chocolate coin article

tina thomas tinadt at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 20 15:28:46 UTC 2009

Subject: [Brl-coordinators] FW: the long-awaited chocolate coin article



Le Mars Daily Sentinel 

>From silver to chocolate: LCS grad has hand in designing coin

Publication Date : 5/19/2009 12:00:00 AM

Link to Article

Just when you think you've heard it all about today's economy eating up your
money, you may want to consider there is now new 'money' available to be

The new Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, the first-ever U.S. coin
to contain tactile, readable Braile, released March 26 at a special ceremony
at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in Baltimore, Md., has been
'minted' in chocolate as well as silver. 

And, what's more, a Le Mars High School graduate had a hand in making it
possible. , Charleston, S.C., the son of Ed and Linda Yagel, Hinton, working
with NFB and U.S. Mint created the design for the chocolate replica in his
ArtboyGrafix studios in Charleston. 

The chocolate silver dollars, produced by the Chocolate Inn LTD Inc.,
Freeport, NY, 'premiered' at the Baltimore coin launch ceremony. 'It was a
fun project to be associated with,' Yagel said regarding working on the
replica of the coin recognizing the founder of the Braille system, Louis
Braille. 'It was actually a relatively small and simple project,' Yagel
explained. 'The basic art had been done earlier by the Mint, and all we had
to do was whip up a version that worked in chocolate. 'There was no red
tape, no forms in triplicate to contend with. It was a totally
straightforward process,' Yagel said. 'It took us a few hours to muddle
through the various versions until we had one that worked in chocolate. The
really important thing we had to consider was that we had a design that both
closely approximated the coin's design and one that still stamped well. 

Fortunately Yagel said there were few 'big hurdles' in the project. 'The
exception is we found semi-sweet chocolate doesn't hold nearly as much
detail as the silver alloy of the real coin and as a result, is decidedly
less robust than the silver alloy,' Yagel said. 'It was a matter of dumbing
down the design again and again to really simplify the design to meeting the
imprinting designs of the vendor.' Yagel added. 'When you attempted to stamp
too much detain into the chocolate version, the chocolate would just melt.'
Representatives of Mint and NFB were quick to accept the coin's final
design, Yagel added. 'It was approved within 48 hours and moved on
immediately to the chocolate vendor. They stamped some samples, and poof, it
was done,' he said. Yagel, whose clients have included state and federal
government agencies involved in a variety of both civilian and military
projects, said the chocolate coin challenge came through a distributor,
Stellar Promotions, Grand Rapids, Mich. with whom his company has worked on
previous projects. 'Designs submitted earlier had apparently been
unworkable, and it was a time-crunch situation,' Yagel said. 'The
distributor wanted something immediately, and we were there to take it on.'
Yagel's ArtboyGrafix firm, a graphic arts company supporting primarily
printers, publishers, advertising agencies and promotional marketing
companies across North America, also provides promotional items for a number
of additional national groups and organizations. 

Included among others on his accounts list are Dell, the U.S. Tennis
Association and the PGA U.S. Open Tournaments. 

Yagel said current plans are for him and his wife, Li, a mathematics
professor at The Citadel, Charleston, and their son, Max, 4, to come back to
northwest Iowa for a summer vacation and to, as he said, give his parents
'some quality time' with their grandson. 

In the meantime he said he'll be busy with his company's workload of
additional projects for a variety of clients. 

Will any of the chocolate silver dollars be coming with him? 

Yagel expects the greater share of the chocolates will have been distributed
elsewhere at various of the NFB coin-launch events. But he said he intends
if at all possible to 'snag a few' for his freezer with expectations that
his son will enjoy eating them. 'I don't need any more chocolate in my diet
at present,' he joked. Yagel confesses, meanwhile that his order is already
in for purchase of one of the actual non-circulated proof Braille silver
dollars seen as a collectible. 'They're pretty and shiny,' he admitted with
a smile. 'I'm getting one.' Coin's history The 'premiering' of the chocolate
silver dollars during the Baltimore U.S. Mint launch event was in
conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind's (NFB) introduction
of its national campaign to increase Braille literacy. 'Only 10 percent of
the nation's blind youngsters are currently learning the Braille system,'
said Chris Danielsen, NFB public relations director, Baltimore. 'The
Federation hopes the new program can help break what we see as a Braille
literacy crisis at the present time.' Twenty-nine NFB affiliates nationwide
are being given the option of ordering the new chocolate Braille silver
dollars to be used with fund-raising efforts at their discretion, Danielsen

The introduction of the candy coins in Baltimore involved the placing of the
coins in a piata that was broken by blind youngsters attending the unveiling
of the Braille silver dollar, Danielsen said. 

NFB's literacy effort, he added, is also being aided in its campaign through
authorization of a portion of the sale of the silver dollars. 

The funding will come from a $10 surcharge included in the purchase part of
the coin, Danielsen said. 


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