This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Did the Mint strike the last Indian Head cents and the first Lincoln cents at the same time in 1909?
The production of the Indian Head cents ended in early 1909, and official production of the Lincoln cent didn’t start until June. It’s possible that test strikes occurred while the Indian Head cents were still being struck, but actual production didn’t overlap.
Was the nickel 3-cent piece confused with the dime in making change, like the Susan B. Anthony dollar and the quarter?
The nickel 3-cent was even more of a problem when you realize that it was exactly the same diameter as the dime, although not reeded. When the Barber dimes were introduced in 1892, they had a similar Liberty head (although facing in the opposite direction), making it easy to confuse the pieces.
Was Francis E. Spinner really a Civil War general?
Spinner was Secretary of the Treasury from April 1861 to June 1875, precluding any military service. The rank claimed by “Father” Spinner was an honorary post in the New York State Militia prior to the war.
I thought the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 authorized a gold dollar?
The Act ended the gold standard, but it established the dollar value of gold, which is something completely different.
Didn’t someone assemble a set of all the rare varieties of the Saint-Gaudens gold pieces and then sell it?
The set of 11 coins was assembled some time ago but was sold in 1955, resold in 1956 and again in 1980 for $1 million. It contains six 1907 double eagles, three of them unique, and a 1908, along with three 1907 eagles and one 1908. It does not contain all of the varieties of either denomination.
E-mail inquiries to AnswerMan2@aol.com. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions.