Why did Canada use the same design for the 1973 quarter and dollar, and just turn it around?
Look again. The design on the quarter shows a Mounted Police officer holding a banner in modern ceremonial uniform, while the dollar shows the turn-of-the-century working uniform, without the banner.
Why are some of our early gold coins referred to as “Benton” gold? Did he design them?
Thomas H. Benton was a Senator from Missouri who was responsible for the legislation in 1834 that changed the fineness of the quarter and half eagles from .9167 to .8992 and reduced the amount of gold in the coins. Benton’s name is associated with the two coins struck between 1834 and 1839, when the fineness settled at .9000.
Are there two varieties of the 1972 nickels?
1972 was a year when the Mint changed the master die during the production year rather than at the beginning of the year. The coins struck in the latter part of 1972 have a wider rim and a marked difference in the appearance of Jefferson’s Adam’s apple and queue. The changes were made on the Philadelphia and Denver strikes, but not on the San Francisco proofs.
Was the Adam Eckfeld who was chief coiner of the Philadelphia Mint also the coiner for the San Francisco Mint?
You have the wrong Eckfeld in mind. When the San Francisco Mint opened in March 1854, Adam’s grandson, John Eckfeld, was the coiner. Just to keep the work in the family, John’s father, George was the “principal government agent” at the new mint.
In checking on some Confederate notes, I was referred to a book called the “Register of the Confederate Debt.” What would that have to do with paper money?
The book, by R.P. Thian, is a listing of all of the Confederate Notes (obligations) transcribed from Confederate government records. It was reprinted in the 1970s, as the original is quite rare.
Were all of the old mint medals that were labeled as “bronze” really that alloy?
Most were technically called “copper bronzed” but were actually copper that was treated with a (surface) bronzing process after striking.
Did Mint officials profit from the sale of coins to collectors in the early days?
There are several scandals involving such profits, but a lot more was made in the sale of medals struck privately at the Mint using Mint facilities and material, especially in the first half of the 1800s.
Is it true that the U.S. Mint copied early medals from the French Mint?
One of several examples is the John Paul Jones medal. Twenty copies were ordered in 1862 from the French Mint, which cut the dies. When the medals were received, two of them were used as hubs to make new dies, which were then used by the U.S. mint to strike further copies.
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