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Covered letter on Kennedy not a mistake

clinicA.jpgI have several dates of Kennedy halves, and on every one of them ?LIBERTY: is spelled ?LIBFRTY.? How could such a mistake happen?

It is not a mistake, although collectors persist in challenging the right of the designer to balance the subject by covering parts of the letters. It is a relatively frequent occurrence. The Mercury dime has the ?E? similarly obscured, and the design covers part of the ?O? in ?OF? on the reverse. The Barber quarter has similar overlaps on both sides, as does the Barber half. Look at the Walking Liberty half obverse and the Peace dollar obverse and reverse among others.

Was Frank Gasparro?s small ?o? in ?oF? on the Lincoln cent the first such departure from the norm?

Criticism fell on John R. Sinnock for doing it on the Franklin half, and on Adolph Weinman for the Walking Liberty halves of 1916-1947. Gasparro broke the chain by using the same size ?O? on the Kennedy half. Other coins with the small ?o? are the Peace dollar of 1921-64 and the Pratt $2.50 and $5 gold. In commemoratives, the 1918 Illinois, 1920 Maine, 1925 Lexington, 1925 California, 1928 Hawaii, 1935 Hudson, 1936 Long Island and the 1982 George Washington half display a small ?o.?

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

I presented a list in the Sept. 4 issue. A reader added El Salvador to that list. Another reader challenged our listing of the Danish Virgin Islands, correctly stating that it should be the Danish West Indies, now the U.S. organized unincorporated territory of the Virgin Islands. The reader also listed three other countries, but his e-mail was accidentally deleted. Albert pointed out that U.S. paper money is used together with the Balboa denominated coins in Panama. He also confirmed El Salvador and added Ecuador to our lengthening list.

Can you give me any information about the 1969 medal struck for the 200th anniversary of San Diego?

The U.S. Mint struck a total of 61,000 of the medals that included 1-5/16 bronze, 3-inch bronze and .900 fine silver versions. There is a reversed small letter ?i? in ?DIEGO,? which has the upper serif on the right instead of left. Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro claimed artistic license, but many collectors call it an error ? especially since the ?I? in ?ANNIVERSARY? is correctly designed.


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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