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New Orleans kept with Bust design in 1839


Is the mintmark in the same location on the 1838-O Bust half dollar and the 1839-O Seated half dollar?

The 1839-O is a Bust half with the mintmark in the same location, above the date. New Orleans struck its 1839 halves only with the old dies, while Philadelphia used both, which may have caused the confusion.

Why are we still seeing doubled dies after corrections announced by the Mint way back in 1972?

The goal is zero defects, but the best quality control still allows occasional mistakes.

Has the U.S. government ever redeemed any private tokens?

The Treasury Department bought large quantities of the Talbot, Allum & Lee tokens of 1794-1795 because of the severe copper shortage at the time.

I have a 1973-S proof set with an Ike dollar. Is the dollar a silver proof?

Sorry, it’s a copper-nickel clad proof. The proof 40 percent silver dollars were only issued in a single special case.


Was the 1879/1878 proof nickel part of the 1878 or 1879 production?

The coin, classed as an overdate, was part of the 1879 production.

When was the last skipped year for the production of half dollars before 1975?

No halves were struck from 1930 to 1932, as there was no demand for the coin.

What are the specifications for the Canada $5 and $10 gold coins?

The $5 gold of 1912-1914 has a diameter of 21.5mm and weighs 8.36 grams, .900 fine. The $10 has a diameter of 26.9mm and weighs 16.71 grams.

What is meant by the natural color on a coin?

It’s the natural color of the alloy after time being affected by natural causes. One caution – color in and of itself is not a minting variety since there is no way to prove where the color change occurred.

What is meant by “bas-relief?”

It refers to a low relief design, only slightly above the field. Most coin reverses fit the definition.


I was told that the “Forbes” business magazine published a cover with a 1967-D cent?

The Aug. 1, 1977, issue showed the coin, despite the fact that there were no mintmarks on the 1965-1967 coins.

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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