Which was the ?Ship on Wheels? commemorative?
This was a slighting reference to the design of the 1892-93 Columbian Expo half. The reverse has a ship above two globes, which resemble wheels.
Isn?t showing a coin to a dealer to grade it a waste of time? Most just glance at it and hand it back.
In many cases an experienced coin dealer can literally tell at a glance what the approximate grade of a coin is, especially if it is a circulated coin. It?s when we get into the rarified 60+++ grades that more time is (should be) spent on the finer points of the coin. If you doubt an ?instant? grade, check the same coin with several dealers and ?average? the results.
Why did they issue both silver and nickel three- and five-cent coins at the same time after the Civil War?
This is a popular question. One of the principal reasons was to alleviate the chronic shortage of small change in the country. The silver coins were still being produced but were frequently shipped overseas by profiteers.
n In World Coin News you mentioned a Roman coin nicknamed a ?two hundredth.? Wasn?t that the original name for the U.S. half cent?
The reference was to a commemorative coin issued to mark the end of a sales tax of two hundredths in A.D. 49 by Caligula. Some of the Latin scholars among our forefathers may have known of the reference because the cent was originally titled the hundredth, and the half cent the two hundredth. This was the work of the Grand Committee. One representative from each of the 13 states met in May 1785. The plan, submitted to the Board of Treasury, was amended by the two-member board so that the two hundredth became the half cent and the hundredth the cent, although that recommendation was not acted on until 1791.
If I buy a roll of uncirculated coins will they all be MS-65, or have the dealers picked out all the high relief pieces?
The grades have nothing at all to do with the relief of the coin, they are entirely based on the amount of wear ? the more wear, the lower the grade. Uncirculated coins direct from the Mint may grade anywhere up and down the scale due to poor strikes, damage in transit, etc. Over time, rolls do tend to get picked over as they pass hand to hand.
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