Author Archives: Robert R. Van Ryzin

Short changed: 20-cent piece, it was thought, would fill a gap

It’s tempting to think that if there was a serious problem with making change in the West—one that supposedly led to the introduction of a 20-cent piece in 1875—that it could have been solved by use of other small change, … Continue reading

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‘Coins’ issue makes brief appearance in major film

Thanks to sharp-eyed Coins reader Matthew Joy for noticing Coins magazine in “The Infiltrator.” The movie, released in 2016, tells the true story of Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs official who went undercover as Bob Musella in an effort to … Continue reading

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How much money could you lift?

Would you get rich if you could lift your weight in gold? In silver? In paper? There is a 1910 newspaper article that speculated on that. The July 12, 1910 article, “The Weight of Money,” in the Evening News, San … Continue reading

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Gold $3s were prone to spending at higher value

When the gold $3 piece was released, in 1854, its design was generally praised in the press. The Delaware State Reporter, Dover, wrote in its May 9, 1854, issue: “The new gold piece of three dollars value will be issued … Continue reading

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$2 notes still waiting to catch on

I started collecting in 1976. I had some coins prior to that, but I did not get interested in the hobby until then. It wasn’t what got me started, but it was about the same time as the new $2 … Continue reading

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J.S.G. Boggs challenged perceptions of money

Shown below is a work by money artist J.S.G. Boggs. He died recently, at age 62. In the 1990s, I wrote extensively about Boggs, having initially found reference to an upcoming exhibit of his work in Tampa, Fla. I called … Continue reading

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Gold worries: ‘Shaving’ and wear were once a concern

In the early 20th century, when gold coins were still in regular circulation, it was a much different world in making change. Though perhaps not widespread, there was always the chance your gold coin had been “shaved” of some its … Continue reading

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Gold rich in history

The March 2017 issue of Coins magazine focuses heavily on U.S. gold coins. R.W. Julian tells the story of the first gold $20s, those with James B. Longacre’s design gracing them. Mike Thorne explores the world of gold $1s. Both … Continue reading

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Steel cents disliked

During World War II, rationing of metal in the United States for the war effort impacted everyday life. For the nation’s coinage, two well known changes were put into place—the 1942-1945 war nickels and the 1943 steel cent. The new … Continue reading

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Share your “Coin Finds” with us!

If you collect, a major part of the thrill is the hunt. This is true of any collecting field and is especially so with coin and paper money collecting. I regularly watch my change and sometimes pull a silver coin … Continue reading

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