Author Archives: R.W. Julian

Charles Barber’s dime design appreciated by collectors

In the later days of the 19th century, it was the practice at birthdays and Christmas to give a gift of money to a child. Today we might think of a few dollars, but in those days, a dime was … Continue reading

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Gold $3 never fit in American coinage

With an increasing supply of gold in the United States during the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson sought ways to put more gold and silver coins into the hands of the average citizen. In April 1836, as part of this agenda, … Continue reading

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Medal marks heroic arctic voyage

In the 19th century, there were great hopes that a way could be found for ships to sail north of Russia and Canada and thus forge new routes for cargo vessels between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. The idea … Continue reading

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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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