Author Archives: R.W. Julian

Gold medal awarded for early U.S. naval engagement

Students of American history are well aware that France was a key ally in the Revolutionary War. Without her aid, England might well have defeated the rebellious colonists. Yet, few know that this friendship later turned to open warfare on … Continue reading

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Many half cent mintages proof only

During the early days of the 19th century, the half cent was a popular coin, and several million pieces were struck. Considering that many workers earned less than one dollar per day at that time, even the half cent had … Continue reading

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England’s empress did not do well

Those who collect the coins of British India are well aware that English kings and queens, such as Victoria, were given the titles of Empress or Emperor in keeping with tradition in that country. The title ended in 1947 when … Continue reading

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Washington orders 1792 half disme

For more than 150 years, the question of the 1792 half disme has interested numismatists. In particular, there have been debates about the exact role played by President George Washington in the creation of this particular coin. The recent discovery … Continue reading

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English gold penny didn’t last long

After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the latter part of the fifth century, the use of coins in daily life underwent a dramatic transformation. The ordinary people resorted to barter and only the wealthiest had use for … Continue reading

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Simon petitions the king with crown

One of the joys of collecting is to admire the designs that are used on the coins. Mints and governments naturally choose the best that can be found as it is in their best interests to please the public and … Continue reading

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Butler’s medal honored efforts of black troops

When the Civil War began in April 1861 the aim of the Northern government was to restore the Union. Nothing was said about slavery as it was hoped that the South would rejoin the rest of the country without too … Continue reading

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Intrepid ship captain gets gold medal

In 1848 the people of Central Europe arose against the decayed monarchies ruling them. The flame of rebellion spread far and wide but nowhere was the spark of freedom brighter than in Hungary, once the shining jewel of the Austrian … Continue reading

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‘Jefferson Head’ rarity

On rare occasion one sees a 1795 “Jefferson” cent offered for sale and, in fact, the head of Liberty on the coin does look like Thomas Jefferson. It is not that president, however, and the background of this piece is … Continue reading

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Field honored for transatlantic cable

At the present time, in this age of the Internet, we think nothing of contacting a person halfway around the world or visiting a website in some remote country. Yet, it is only in the past few decades that this … Continue reading

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