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Coins commemorate 1926 Sesquicentennial

clinic0612obverse.jpg The U.S. celebrated the Bicentennial with three special coins. How about the 100th birthday?

That event was marked with medals rather than special coins. However, by the 150th anniversary (1926), the idea of using coins had caught hold and two commemoratives were released. These are the Sesquicentennial half dollar and the $2.50 gold Sesquicentennial (shown) that is usually listed as a Philadelphia Sesquicentennial.clinic0612reverse.jpg

What is meant by a ?bag? of coins?

Coins are bagged at the Mint or Federal Reserve Banks. Bag sizes are standardized to contain 1,000 dollar coins, 1,000 halves, 2,000 quarters, 10,000 dimes, 4,000 nickels or 5,000 cents.

Are coin bags on the way out?

Probably not completely, although the U.S. Mint is phasing some of them out in favor of bulk shipments. The ?Mint Sewn Bag? has long been a favorite method of handling bulk coins. With billions struck each year, every economy helps. Many people are not aware that the bags are reused, and may turn up with Federal Reserve or even private bank seals. They are a collectible, too, and the Carson City bags bring a good premium.

I have a Blake coin that appears to be gold, pictures a coin press and has an incuse 20 on it. What is it worth?

I?m sorry to disappoint you, but you have a very common copy of an early California piece. The original was gold, but your piece is probably brass. The Chrysler Corporation had scores of thousands of the brass copies of the $20 gold coin made in 1969 to promote the introduction of the 1970 Plymouth Gold Duster Valiant. They are a perennial problem for collectors. There is one original in the Lily collection in the Smithsonian, and a second in the John J. Ford collection. The rest are just worthless copies.

I?ve accumulated a substantial quantity of coins that I?ve picked out of circulation because they catalog at more than face value. I want to sell them. Where can I find someone to sell them to?

You are not likely to find a ready market for your coins, simply because there are thousands of other collectors doing exactly the same thing. Despite your personal estimate of the size of your holdings, there are probably many larger accumulations. Collector coins (with the exception of minting varieties) do not attain value by merely being separated from more common coins, despite the amount of labor involved.

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