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Burke drawing inspired Roosevelt dime design

Isn’t John Sinnock credited with designing the Roosevelt dime?

The portrait was “adapted” by Sinnock from a drawing by Selma Burke, a gifted black artist who won a national competition for a profile sculpture of Roosevelt for the Recorder of Deeds building in Washington. The plaque that was copied was still in the building until a few years ago, but has now disappeared.


Many, if not most, of the circulating U.S. silver coins were shipped overseas during the Civil War. Did any come back?

In late 1877, the U.S. Treasury Department managed to get paper, gold and silver at the same value level. This resulted in tremendous quantities of silver coins being returned to this country. Because of the surplus of coins, production was reduced for several years.


Was the Spanish dollar worth 6 shillings in all of the colonies?

This is where the monetary system started jumping through hoops, and someone doing business in several of the colonies required the services of a Philadelphia lawyer or a crack accountant. In fact, the 6-shilling rate held only in Virginia, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Spanish dollar was worth only 5 shillings in Georgia, but 8 in North Carolina and New York. It had a value of 7 shillings sixpence in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and a whopping 32 shillings sixpence in South Carolina.

When did the Mint first sell proof sets on a regular basis?

In 1860 prices were established for proof coins. They were sold individually until 1862. After that only full sets of gold or silver were offered. Gold coins again sold separately in 1881, and the silver coins in 1936. In 1860 a full set of gold proofs with a face value of $41.50 sold for $43. Silver sets with the cent, with a face value of $1.94, sold for $2.


What was the theory behind “Free Coinage?”

The concept was that the owner of bullion or foreign bullion coins could deposit the metal at the U.S. Mint and receive coins equal in value. At first there was no charge for this service, but later a small charge was tacked on before the practice ended.


Was the so-called Gold Rush of Dec. 31, 1974, as big as expected?

Several major news publications goofed, predicting billions in sales when the ban on gold ownership was lifted. One major New York bank sold all of six ounces of gold. A San Francisco bank kept a TV crew waiting two hours for the first gold customer. The irony of the situation is that the gold inaugural medal for President Ford, who signed the law lifting the ban, sold out all 1,500 pieces rapidly at $395. The Panama 100 balboa gold also sold well.

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 44-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.

More Resources:

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin BooksCoin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition

 

 

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