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Composition changes to win war

What was the motivation to choose a copper-silver-manganese alloy for the so-called war nickels of 1942 to 1945? Since nickel was a critical war materiel, Congress didn’t want it being used to strike coins. The choice of the three-metal alloy … Continue reading

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Mint struck $4.5 billion in gold coins

What was the grand total of gold coinage struck by the U.S. Mint prior to 1934? Between 1795 and 1933 the Mint struck $4,526,218,477.50 in U.S. gold coins. It also struck gold coins for other countries, and has struck more … Continue reading

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Congress not required for Peace $1

Could you please give me the name and date of the legislation that authorized the production of the Peace dollar? This might be a surprise, but there never was a specific law passed to authorize the Peace dollar. A bill … Continue reading

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Key date list would prove useful

Is there a book that lists all the U.S coin key dates? There are a number of websites that list key date coins exclusively. Coin Market at a Glance in Numismatic News lists key date coins once a month. Coin … Continue reading

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Face value gives legal-tender status

Are the gold and silver American Eagles legal-tender coins? Yes, although one would be foolish to redeem them for face value. As might be expected, however, the public sometimes can be foolish. There are a number of instances of the … Continue reading

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Proof dies employed for circulation strikes

The 1956-1964 Washington quarters from Philadelphia, not Denver, display a small percentage of the population as the Type [Variety] B or proof reverse on the circulation coins. Your publication on Nov. 16 in the “Coin Clinic” column said they came … Continue reading

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More than one Trumbull painting

Is the design on the 1976 $2 note the same as the Trumbull painting in the Capitol? Trumbull’s 1817 painting hangs in the Capitol Rotunda. In that painting some of the signers were left out. As a result, the design … Continue reading

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Doubled large cent not listed anywhere

I want to know if there is any precedent for an 1818 Coronet Head cent with a doubled die at the reverse on AMERICA. I found one on a coin I bought a couple of months ago. I can’t find … Continue reading

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Shipwreck carried money for slaves

I recently read that a large number of manilas were recovered from the wreck of the English schooner “Douro” during the 1970s. What was the function of a manila as money? The “Douro” sank after hitting the Great Crebawethan rock … Continue reading

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Few differences in grading proofs

If proof coins are legal tender and can be spent, how do you grade a proof coin that has been circulated? Proof isn’t a grade. Instead it is a designation for a specific form of coin intended for collectors and … Continue reading

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