The motto on several Ike dollars in my collection slopes downward to the right. Is this a known variety?
It?s a design problem. The Ike bust tilts forward when the obverse is in the proper position, so when the coin is turned so that the bust is upright, the motto appears to slope downward. No variety, since all the Ikes are the same. This design started generating collector questions as soon as the first coins were issued in 1971.
What was the reason for the change from the closed ?3? to the open ?3? on 1873 U.S. coins?
The principal reason seems to be that, especially on the smaller coins, the closed ?3? closely resembled an ?8.? The closed ?3? isn?t really closed, but the ball serifs at the tips of the ?3? are much larger and closer together than those on the open ?3.? The first dies made for 1873 had closed 3s in the date, which prompted an official complaint from the chief coiner. As a result, new punches with an open ?3? were prepared and used for the rest of the year.
Was there a formal competition for the Memorial reverse design change on the cent in 1959?
The competition was an internal affair. A total of 23 designs were submitted by the staff engravers at the Philadelphia Mint, and Frank Gasparro?s design was selected. No outside designs were solicited or considered. The proposed designs were sent to the Lincoln Sesquicentennial Committee. Gasparro?s design was chosen by Treasury Secretary Anderson and Mint Director W.H. Brett.
Does President Roosevelt appear on any other U.S. coin besides the dime?
Yes. President Roosevelt and Philippine President Quezon are found on the 1936 commemorative 1 peso. Mintage was 10,000 and the coins were struck at the Manila Mint, which was a branch U.S. Mint at the time.
Why is there so much difference in the appearance of the 1968 and 1969 cent obverses?
The master die was changed in 1969, reverting back to Brenner?s original 1909 design. Over the years, the old master dies had gradually spread until many of the details were lost, and the lettering was pushed against the rim. Such changes are fairly frequent, although not generally as noticeable as the 1969 revision.