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S’ nickels came down to wire in 1912

 

I’ve been told that the 1912-S “V” nickels were a last-minute idea. When were they actually struck?

This was one of those “right down to the wire” events. 238,000 nickels were struck starting Dec. 24 and completed in four working days before the end of the year.

How come you have a listing for the doubled 1916 Buffalo nickel? I thought it was machine doubling damage.

There are 1916 date Buffaloes with worthless machine doubling damage, as there are other dates, but there is a valuable doubled die, which is the one that is listed in our coin charts.

What is the correct pronunciation of Saint-Gaudens?

There are two accepted pronunciations, “Sent-Go-denz” or “Saint-Ga-dens.” There is a French department by that name (pronounced in two other ways) that has no other connection with the Irish-American sculptor.

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My 1851-O half dime has a slanting “5” in the date. Is this normal?

The slanting “5” that you describe is the normal one, used by New Orleans on all of the half dimes struck from 1850 on.

What can you tell me about a mint in Tacoma, Wash.?

There was a very active (private) mint at Tacoma in the 1870s, belonging to the Tacoma Mill Co. The firm issued so-called “blacksmith coins,” actually tokens, in iron and brass. The iron tokens were struck in 40- and 45-cent denominations. The brass pieces were worth one dollar, struck on oval planchets that were 1.25 inches long and 1/16th of an inch thick.

I had proof and mint sets that were in my flooded basement. What will they be worth after I get them dried out?

If the cases and plastic envelopes are watertight, then the possibility exists that they were not damaged. Where the water actually contacted the coins, they probably will be reduced to face (or bullion) value, but that will depend on direct examination. You undoubtedly will have to remove them from the original cases and envelopes, but if you use care this will not affect the value of the coins. Remember, it is the coin that has value, not the packing, in almost all cases.

Wasn’t there a Will Rogers quote on the topic of selling gold?

Perhaps you mean, “The papers every day tell in big headlines the price of gold. They might just as well give the price of radium too. Who has any of either?” And that was in 1933.

Why was the issue of uncirculated sets, or mint sets, of coins discontinued in the year 1950?

Although the generally given reason is the involvement of the United States in the Korean War, that reason actually was secondary. The Mint had gotten around to resuming proof set production, suspended in 1943, and decided that both kinds of sets weren’t needed. The officially stated reason was that it was the result of an economy drive, made with the claim that discontinuing the issue of uncirculated sets would save the government $10,000 per year, and that the issue of proof sets was enough to satisfy collectors. In citing the war as a secondary reason, the Treasury Department took one of its many swipes at collectors by citing them for hiding away coins and thus tying up metal needed for the war effort, studiously ignoring the fact that collectors held only a small fraction of the coins hoarded by the public.

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