Skip to main content

Eagle box tape shows mint of origin

Between 2011 and 2014, the San Francisco Mint facility supplemented production of silver American Eagles otherwise struck at West Point; yet despite lacking a telltale mintmark, the certification services have been able to encapsulate these coins identifying which mint made the coins. How can they do this?

Silver American Eagle coins purchased in the large green monster boxes between 2011 and 2014 were secured with yellow strapping tape on which the mint of origin is marked. The U.S Mint stopped identifying the facility of origin on coins in the boxes beginning in 2015.

2004 50 State Quarters Coin Michigan Uncirculated Reverse

Reverse of the 2004 Statehood quarter for Michigan

The Treasury Department initially opposed the Statehood quarter program. How much money did the government make from these coins?

It has been estimated the circulating commemorative quarters earned $3 billion in additional seigniorage (the difference in value between what it costs to strike a coin and the face value of that coin) and $136.2 million in additional numismatic profits.

Why are our bank notes printed primarily using the color green?

Color tints were being used as a counterfeiting deterrent. However even the crude 19th century camera was capable of reproducing a bank note. The patented green ink introduced on greenbacks in 1861 was meant to be an anti-counterfeiting measure for that reason.

What is the origin of the term laundering money?

By 1912, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing built a currency laundering machine, having learned about 30 percent of the bank notes being returned for destruction weren’t actually worn out but simply too soiled to circulate. The BEP abandoned laundering its own notes in 1918 as too much effort.

What is the origin of the legends “Annuit Coeptis” and “Novus ordo seclorum.” which appear in the pyramid with an eye on the back of our $1 Federal Reserve Notes?

Annuit Coeptis is Latin for “He [God] has favored our undertaking.” Novus ordo seclorum translates to “A new order of the ages.” Both are quotations from Virgil’s epic Latin poem The Aeneid.

Why does the 1739 Higley copper carry the legend “Value me as you please?”

I can’t substantiate that this isn’t pure legend; however, it appears Dr. Samuel Higley might have paid his tavern bills with his own coppers, valued at threepence but the same size as the contemporary British halfpenny. This didn’t go over well with his bartenders.

E-mail inquiries only. Do not send letters in the mail. Send to Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

More Collecting Resources

• Error coins can bring big money. Learn to detect them and how to cash in on them with Strike It Rich With Pocket Change.

• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.