Was Columbus ever proposed as a subject for a United States commemorative coin prior to 1892?
Columbus very nearly replaced Miss Liberty as the central design on our first coins, which in effect would have made all our coins commemoratives. The use of a Columbus design
was advanced on Jan. 1, 1793, by Elias Boudinot, a steadfast opponent of the Liberty design, then a Congressman, later to be the third director of the Mint. His proposal lost when put to a vote, casting the die for the next two centuries of coinage.
How many 1870-S half dimes were actually minted?
The actual mintage is unknown. The one existing coin is listed as unique. The Mint records on the production of this coin are missing. It was first reported at the 1978 American Numismatic Association convention. Similarly, there are no records for the 1870-S dollar, although 10 are known to exist, and one or two 1870-S $3 gold coins. One theory is that they were struck for the cornerstone of the San Francisco Mint.
Did the U.S. Mint ever deliberately restrike a new variety?
So far, no. The Wall Street Journal claimed on its front page that there was a plan to strike millions of aluminum 1974 cents to counteract the missing 13 samples. 1.5 million were hand-counted and melted. The one similar incident was the restriking of the 1856 Flying Eagle cents that were sold to politicians.
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