? Is it true that the 1928 silver dollars were struck only to be used in building cornerstones?
That story was started because, for a time, the Treasury refused to release the coins except for that specific purpose. Since there weren?t two million new buildings built that year, they were ultimately released to join the other dates in circulation.
The low mintages of that year were the result of the fulfillment of the requirements set forth by the Pittman Act of 1918.
? Lots of coins seem to wind up in cornerstones. What?s the track record for these pieces. Any rarities?
It would be a good topic for a numismatic article, but the record is poor on the whole. Many of the supposed rarities turned out to have been well-circulated or victims of moisture and time from lying in one place for a long period. A few pieces have been recovered and delegated to museums, but the cornerstone as a source of rare coins is pretty much overplayed.
? Is it possible to have a reeded edge on a quarter planchet that doesn?t show a struck design?
It?s an impossibility with modern minting techniques. The reeded edge on a coin is formed as part of the strike. The piece is a slug, and it is illegal to own. Many of these have been manufactured to use in slot machines at gambling casinos. They have been offered as quarter or even two-cent planchets.
? Please explain the difference between the ?Spanish,? the ?Seville,? the ?Mexican? and the ?Peruvian? dollars.
Other than being struck at different mints, the four terms all refer to the same thing: the silver 8 reales coin, or ?peso duro.? It was the main trade coin of the world for a period of more than 350 years.
? I have what appears to be a medal with a design similar to a certain (gold) coin, but without a date. The word ?SPIELMUNZE? appears on it. Can you identify it?
?Spielmunze? is German for play money. Your piece is a game counter or token, and it is similar to our current poker chips. Many of the pieces are direct copies of contemporary coins.
? Where is George Washington?s cornerstone for the Capitol Building?
It?s hidden somewhere in East Front. It was laid with appropriate Masonic ceremonies by George Washington on Sept. 18, 1793.