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Just how many sides does an SBA have?

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At one time or another I?ve seen the Susan B. Anthony dollar listed as having 10, 11 or 12 sides. Please clear this up.

The final coin is round, with an 11-sided inner rim, which I helped confuse with an early reference to it as being 12-sided. One of the original patterns for the coin, with a bust of Martha Washington, had a 10-sided edge. Gasparro?s original design ? the ?fright wig? Liberty facing the viewer?s left ? was round with a round inner rim. I hope this brings an end to the confusion.


clinic2.jpgI was disappointed to find that Susan B. Anthony?s name doesn?t appear on the SBA dollar. Why not?

Besides some commemoratives, no U.S. coin depicting a real person lists their name. It?s a matter of law that names appear on our paper money. The absence of names on coins stems from a desire to avoid the appearance of being a ?regal? currency.

I have a zinc cent that has a number of small die breaks among the letters and date. Isn?t this unusual?

They are actually bumps in the copper plating. These are fairly common on the early (1982-1983) zinc cents. The bumps first appeared as raised bumps, then showed up later with the copper plating splitting and a whitish material appearing in the crater. The Mint has long since traced these to contamination left on the zinc planchets, which caused the zinc to react, forming a zinc oxide.

Are there any U.S. coins that depict a ?true? crown?

The Norfolk, Va., Bicentennial half dollar is dated 1936 but was struck in 1937. Its design includes the royal mace of the city that bears a reproduction of the English crown at the top. Earlier coins include the Rosa Americana coins struck by William Wood. The halfpenny, penny and twopence had a crowned rose on reverse. They carried dates of 1722, 1723 and a 1733 pattern. The Virginia halfpennies of 1773-1774 show a crowned shield. The American Plantations 1/24 real has four crowns on the reverse. The device worn by Liberty is also defined as a crown.

How does one know which star is meant when it says ?the first (or the fifth) star??

The usual numbering system is clockwise from left to right for stars around the rim of a coin design, beginning at the 6 o?clock position. If it is an irregular star design, a detailed description is needed.



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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