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Coin counterfeiters met with death

Was counterfeiting coins ever a capital offense in the United States? Benjamin Franklin used the slogan “to counterfeit is death” on Colonial paper money  and he printed it for a reason. George Washington demanded David Farnsworth and John Blair, two … Continue reading

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No bad coins from banks

By Richard Giedroyc Worthless broken bank notes were churned out by 19th century banks. Did any of these banks issue their own coins? The closest thing we have to what I would have called “broken bank coins” are company store … Continue reading

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Fasces on the dime made sense at time

By Richard Giedroyc Did Adolph A. Weinman have any specific reason for picking the fasces for the reverse of the Mercury dime? A direct quote from the designer: “I selected the fasces and olive branch to symbolize the strength which … Continue reading

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Don’t buy coins at estate auctions?

By Richard Giedroyc How to handle a counterfeit coin at auction Reader Richard Stevenson adds his personal experience to the recent question regarding third-party certification services lack of published reports on the number of counterfeit coins encountered. According to Stevenson, … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: what’s a pennyweight?

By Richard Giedroyc Can you explain how pennyweight fits into this weight and purity system for gold? It takes 20 pennyweight to equal one troy ounce of gold. Another way to express this is one pennyweight being equal to 24 … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Artist makes ‘dollars’

By Richard Giedroyc Daniel Carr designed several of the state quarters. I’ve heard he was responsible for the supposedly non-existent 1964 Peace dollar. Can you tell me about that dollar? Is it real? Daniel Carr designed the reverse for the … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Why should collectors learn to grade coins?

By Richard Giedoryc You have warned collectors to use their own grading skills when evaluating coins for purchase. Does that mean we cannot rely on third-party grading services? No. But it is important to point out that there are likely … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Bicentennial Lincolns missing ‘VDB’ initials

By Richard Giedroyc Five years later it is unusual to find any 2009 Lincoln cent coins. On the lower right shoulder of the 2009 Formative Years standard front [obverse] Lincoln cent is VDB. Is this common? I cannot find the … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: First Washington quarters rationed

By Richard Giedroyc Was there any public interest in the 1932 Washington quarters when they were released? The public announcement of the coins as commemoratives set off a buying boom. When they were issued on Aug 1, 1932, the banks … Continue reading

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Coin Clinic: Plastic coin issue might be first – or not

By Richard Giedroyc Transdniester recently issued coins made of plastic. Are they really the first government to issue coins of this material as they claim to be? When you say “first government,” that becomes questionable. Keeling Cocos was established by … Continue reading

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