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Mint not likely to revert to larger mintmarks


Why doesn’t the Mint go back to using large mintmarks like the ones on the war nickels, so a collector doesn’t have to have a microscope to see where a coin came from?

A good thought, but one that is not likely to get much support from the Mint. Although they have been inconsistent over the years, varying mintmark sizes seemingly on a whim, the present policy is to tolerate the mintmark as a means of identifying or tracing a coin to its origin. It has been only under extreme pressure from collectors that they have retained the tiny letters in use. The monsters used on the 1942-45 nickels were among the largest mintmarks in the history of world coinage.

Wasn’t there a move by the government to repeat the 1965-1967 ban on mintmarks in the 1970s?

The Mint has never been particularly famous for learning from history, so it’s not surprising that they were all set to repeat the anti-collector move by taking the mintmarks off again. A joint study released in October 1974 by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve determined to their satisfaction that the only purpose (which they labeled as “questionable”) was to identify the source of production mistakes among coins already shipped out.


I have a 1918-SM quarter. Why the “SM” mintmark?

Apparently you are confusing two different – and separate – parts of the design.The “S” is the San Francisco mintmark. The “M” that appears on the Standing Liberty quarter is the designer’s initial, for Hermon A. MacNeil.


Please list the mintmarks used by the U.S. Mint.

“C” is Charlotte, “CC” is Carson City, “D” is Dahlonega and Denver, “M” is Manila, “O” is New Orleans, “P” is Philadelphia, “S” is San Francisco and “W” is West Point.

What would be the possibility of getting the Mint to issue a “starter set” of current cents, each with the mintmark of the different mints?

This has been suggested in the past without success, since Philadelphia, San Francisco and West Point are, or were at one time or another, striking circulation cents without mintmarks. Who knows, maybe this time it will find a receptive ear. Given that such a set would contain three coins unavailable from circulation, it might find a ready (and profitable) market.

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