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Fineness not strictly matter of law

Clinic0514Is there a legal definition of the fineness of bullion?
While not strictly a matter of law, the general world standard is .995 fine to be classed as bullion, but this does not directly apply to coins. Most bullion coins sold today are .995 or higher fine- ness. In the past decade or two much has been made of .999 fine versus .9999 fine bullion coins, a difference too small to recognize without some expensive and sophisticated equipment. The term “bul- lion coin” as currently used means a coin struck for the express purpose of conveying to the buyer a known quantity of the precious metal in a known fineness. This is usually expressed in troy ounces, or its fractions. However, older coins (Austrian and Mexican restrikes, etc.) are bullion coins, but their weights are not in even troy amounts.

How many of the original colonies minted coins?
Prior to the Revolutionary War, Massachusetts was the only one. John Hull was awarded a monopoly to coin money and a mint was erected in 1652, first producing the coins with NE on one side and the denomination on the other, later striking the famed Pine Tree shilling. Hull became rich, collecting 15 pence out of every 20 shillings he minted. Shilling, sixpence and threepence of 1652 were authorized by the General Court of Massachusetts, but directly violated an English law forbidding the colonies to coin their own money.

Warman's U.S. Coin Collecting

Getting started in coin collecting is as easy as 1, 2, 3 when you get your advice straight from the Answer Man!

What is the earliest date for a coin collection in the United States?
The earliest date that can be found for the beginning of a coin collection is 1817. This date is mentioned in several references, but all trace to a single early source – presumed to be correct. Both Matthew Adams Stickney and Joseph J. Mickley got their start in that year. Mickley searched for the rare 1799 cent, because it was from the year of his birth.

When did the Boy Scouts of America add a merit badge for coin collecting?
The first record of a coin collecting merit badge in “Coin Clinic” files is from 1937. The new badge was added to the list in 1937, according to Harry X Boosel. Requirements included collecting at least 100 types of coins, with specimens from at least 15 countries, which had to be identified. When Clem Bailey was conducting this column back in the 1970s, he was involved in updating the requirements for the badge.

I have a thin coin that is smaller than normal. The diameter is less and the design seems to be reduced to match.
Smaller and thinner usually means the coin has been reduced with acid. There are hundreds of cents of all dates around that have been altered with acid, but these pieces usually are thinner than a normal cent and have a generally fuzzy surface appearance. The key point in identification is that the design is essen-tially complete even on a paper thin coin. This would not happen with a genuine thin-planchet strike, which would show missing or weak detail because of a lack of metal to fill the dies.

 

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