This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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Did the 20-cent piece survive long enough to get a nickname?
Whether it was nicknamed while still in use is questionable, but in later times it was referred to as a “double dime.” That moniker was widely used by early catalogers and dealers, especially Haseltine.
What’s the story on the restrikes of the Continental dollars?
At least some of the facts have been reported, including that a number of copies were made for the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and that more copies were made in 1961 using copy dies that were made with a hub. One source lists 5,000 copper and 3,000 goldine strikes, but does not differentiate between those struck in 1876 and the 1961 copies. A gold striking that is unique may also trace to the 1961 era. The dies and possibly the hub used for both the 1876 and 1961 pieces are supposedly safe in the Smithsonian Institution.
Were the first Washington quarters hoarded when they were issued in 1932?
Contemporary accounts indicate that few showed up in circulation because, like the State quarters struck beginning in 1999, the public wanted them as souvenirs. It must be remembered that when they originally were issued they were billed as a one-year commemorative, and it wasn’t until later that the decision to continue them was made.
Is there a coin known as the Jefferson Davis dime?
The piece is a Confederate Civil War silver token or medalet, with the bust of Davis and the wording, “CSA FIRST PRESIDENT.” The nickname arose from the size and metal, and is fairly rare.
What can you tell me about J. A. Bolen?
If the gentlemen had been alive today he would either have spent time behind bars or changed his occupation. He was a well-known 19th century medalist of Springfield, Mass., who gained a wide reputation by making copies of rare colonial coins. They were struck in limited numbers and are as avidly collected as the originals. Among his copies are examples of the Confederato cent, the Higley cent and the New York cent.
I have a 1916 Mercury dime that is only about three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Can you tell me anything about it?
From your description, you probably have a copy of a Mercury dime. There have been several companies over the years who have put out miniature copies like this. They are collectible as a “novelty” piece with very minor value, but that is all as they are not genuine coins.
I have a coin that is listed in the catalogs as “unique.” I’m not sure just how many are in existence, so what can you tell me about it?
This is a composite of frequent questions from readers who have found a specimen of an apparently rare American Colonial coin. Unique in numismatics means there is only one specimen known. Whenever you see a coin listed as unique or extremely rare, it is a tipoff that the piece you have is probably a replica or copy. There are thousands upon thousands of copies of these and other rare Colonial era coins in the hands of the public.