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1946-S scarcity rumors caused hoarding

clinic0904a.jpg clinic0904b.jpg? I?m surprised at the low price of the 1946-S nickel in MS-65. Wasn?t it a scarce coin?
This is a ?rumor? coin. Its apparent scarcity was the subject of a number of widely published stories, including statements that most, if not all, were shipped to military bases in the Pacific after World War II. Everybody hoarded the coin as a result, and lots are still available.
West Coast collectors complained that the few put in circulation were in bad shape ? really it was just that the poorer strikes were not hoarded. The coin currently catalogs at $2 in MS-65, despite a mintage of just 13.5 million. Compare that to $3.50 for a 1946-D with a mintage of over 45.2 million.

?  What can you tell me about the Wyatt counterfeit Colonial coins?

Thomas Wyatt of New York could be considered one of the more clumsy fakers of history. He hired die cutters to make copies from illustrations that had been copied from a previous book, including mistakes.
His dies fell into the hands of Edwin Bishop of New York, who proceeded to strike what Eric Newman described as one of ?the phoniest coins in the history of numismatics.? It was an overstrike on an English guinea using Wyatt?s obverse for the Good Samaritan shilling and the obverse of the Oak Tree shilling, making it ?a muled restrike of Wyatt?s reproduction of an incorrect drawing of a fantasized illustration of a fake coin.?

?  Why do rare coins have more value than other rare numismatic items?

Because the Mint is a branch of the government, coins are struck under much stricter controls. Most private minters are under no restraint of any kind. They can easily falsify mintage records, dilute bullion or engage in other shady practices. This does not mean that they do, just that the opportunity exists. Also there is more demand and competition for rare coins.

?  Can you list the places where the U.S. dollar is currently legal tender outside of the U.S.?

British Virgin Islands, Danish Virgin Islands, Caroline Islands, Guam, Liberia, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Panama, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Turks & Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands and U.S. Military facilities.


Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 41-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to Answerman2@aol.com.

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