Author Archives: Alan Herbert

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? Continue reading

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Dime design represents unity, peace

Did Adolph A. Weinman have any specific reason for picking the fasces for the reverse of the Mercury dime? Continue reading

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Ike $1 silver used for Washington commem

Was there a special source for the silver used for the Washington commemorative half dollar? Continue reading

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Symbols abound on Saint-Gaudens $20

Please explain the symbolism involved in the Saint-Gaudens design on the U.S. $20 gold? Continue reading

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Why are coins from new rolls greasy?

I’ve noticed some kind of grease on the coins I’ve taken from new rolls. Any idea of the source? Continue reading

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Postholes served as makeshift banks

What is a “posthole bank?” I’ve seen the term in connection with stories of coin finds with a metal detector. Continue reading

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Holed large cents had many uses

Why are so many of the old large cents holed? Many have one hole, but I’ve seen several with two holes in them. Continue reading

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‘Lead’ common nickname for 1943 cents

Contrary to some published reports that they were widely called “silver,” “steel” or even “zinc” cents, by far the most common slang term for them was “lead” cents. The public equated them to the still common lead counterfeits of the Depression years. Continue reading

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Clinic: Taft’s head on nickel stretch of imagination

What’s the story on President Taft’s head appearing on the first Buffalo nickels? Continue reading

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First coins almost featured Columbus

Was Columbus ever proposed as a subject for a United States commemorative coin prior to 1892? Continue reading

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