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Eagle in flight chosen as wartime design


Is it true that World War I had an influence on the design of the Standing Liberty quarter?

To avoid any show of belligerence, the eagle on the reverse was shown in peaceful flight on the reverse of the design introduced in 1916, rather than the usual perched bird clutching the arrows of war.

I  have a couple of proof coins that are worn, as if they had been in circulation. How do you classify them?

“Once a proof, always a proof,” to paraphrase an old saw. Because proof is not a grade, a proof coin remains a proof regardless of what happens to it. A circulated or damaged proof is classed as an “impaired” proof. Not all agree, as an old auction catalog lists a coin as follows: “Was a proof, now uncirculated.”


With all the interest in the renovation of the Statue of Liberty, wasn’t there a medal issued at the time of its installation?

Our source indicates there was such a medal, described as 50mm in diameter, with the statue and the words, “Commemorative Monument of American Independence” on the obverse. On the reverse: “In remembrance of the old friendship between the United States and France by public subscription amongst the citizens of booth [sic.] nations 1776-1876.” The incorrect spelling of “both” reportedly led to the withholding of the medal, which was never issued publicly.


Is there a U.S. gold pattern set that has the same design on all the pieces?

There is a single set of gold patterns, all with the same William Barber obverse, that was struck in 1872. It contains the $1, $2.50, $3, $5, $10 and $20 gold. Paramount International Coin Corp. purchased the set from Dr. J. E. Wilkinson in 1973.

When was the last time that only one mint struck all of the circulating coins of a particular denomination for that date?

Unless I missed something, the last time this occurred was when the Philadelphia Mint struck all the Franklin halves in 1955 and 1956 – including the proofs. The 1965, 1966 and 1967 coins were struck without mintmarks but at all three mints.


Of all the money in circulation in the U.S., what percentage is coins?

The last estimate I’ve seen is about 10 percent. Along with that, you need to consider that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing can turn out enough paper money in 24 hours to exceed the face value output of our four mints for a full year.

Why wasn’t Felix Schlag’s reverse design used along with the obverse on the Jefferson nickel?

As happened with the $1 bank note, President Franklin D. Roosevelt reportedly intervened and suggested the full view rather than the quartering view of Monticello.

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.

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