Author Archives: Robert R. Van Ryzin

Josh's gold-plated nickel

In next week’s episode of “Collecting Money,” on Coin Chat Radio, I plan to do a piece about Josh Tatum and the 1883 Liberty Head nickel. Tatum, a deaf mute, who reputedly gold-plated thousands of the first Liberty Head nickels … Continue reading

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A pressing concern

I ran into this interesting little tidbit that appeared originally in the Oct. 16, 1873 issue of the Philadelphia North American, while doing some research. Apparently the introduction of the new Trade dollar, which had been authorized earlier that year … Continue reading

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Atrocious designs?

You can’t please everybody, and if you’re a coin designer you’re sure to attract your share of critics. Today, James Earle Fraser’s Buffalo nickel is considered a classic, but at the time of its release, in 1913, not everyone was … Continue reading

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Artists needed—please report for duty

Recently, U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy said, “We want to spur the highest level of artistic excellence in American coin design.” He made the statement along with the announcement of the Mint’s plans to recreate the 1907 Saint-Gaudens ultra high … Continue reading

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It's show time

Coin Chat Radio goes live today at 11 a.m. Central at coinchatradio.com Give a listen. I think we have some interesting features in our first show. Future broadcasts will at 11 a.m. Central on Thursdays.

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Rats evicted from Old SF Mint

Well, the rats have been cleaned out of the Old San Francisco Mint. No, these weren’t disreputable people. Rather, they were real rats, according to a report datelined Feb. 18 from the San Francisco Chronicle by Anastasia Ustinova.Ustinova quotes Erik … Continue reading

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Back from the exhibit

I’m back from my trip to Minneapolis and the opening of the Anders Zorn (see prior posting for details) at the Swedish American Institute. It was fun, and I was able to snap shots that will come in handy in … Continue reading

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Zorn etching a key

February should prove to be a busy and fun month for me. On Feb. 5 I head to Minneapolis for the opening of an art exhibit titled “From Peasants to Presidents: Sweden’s Greatest Etcher” and later that month my wife … Continue reading

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I'll take it in Trades

Much of my collecting lately focuses on drafts, checks, receipts, etc., related to the Comstock Lode, in Virginia City, Nev., and the Bank of California. Although I have acquired items of value pertaining to famous personages active on the Comstock … Continue reading

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Mind your Ps, Ds, and Ss

With silver above $14 an ounce, it is a good time to check any old coins you may have lying about. Most people know that even common-date dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1964 and prior have most of their … Continue reading

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