Why do the new colorized $5 bills have a 2006 series on them when they were released in 2008?
A different dating system is used for U.S. paper money. Currently, the date changes when a new Treasury secretary takes office. A suffix letter appears after the date if a new Treasurer of the United States takes office when the secretary of the Treasury stays the same. Adding color does not appear to rise to the significance required for a date change, though in the past design changes did result in new series dates. The serial number prefix did change from ?H? to ?I? to indicate the change.
What is the oldest U.S. coin struck in aluminum?
One candidate for that particular record would be the 1855 half dollar struck on an aluminum planchet, belonging to Princeton University. The piece was originally offered for sale in a George W. Cogan auction in 1883, selling to T. Harrison Garrett for $32. There is some question as to whether the coin was actually struck in 1855 or during the 1860s when the Mint was conducting official experiments with aluminum. Evidence suggests that the coin came to one John Allen directly from the Mint, and Cogan described it as ?struck in 1855 for the owner of the collection,? tentatively identified as Allen.
When did they start storing our gold at Fort Knox, Ky.?
The Fort Knox Gold Depository was constructed in 1935-1936. The contract for the construction was awarded Oct. 10, 1935. The first shipments of gold from New York and Philadelphia left on the evening of Jan. 10, 1937, but the facility was not actually completed until Jan. 13. Some 50 armored trains traveled only at night, and the first phase of the transfer of the gold was completed by June with $5.5 billion in gold moved. The high security surrounding the trains effectively deterred any thought of robbing them, but two of the trains were stalled for a time by flood waters that left 400,000 people homeless in the Ohio River valley.
Did anyone ever try to corner the gold market in the U.S.?
Jay Gould tried it in 1869. The Treasury responded to the threat and dumped $5 million in gold on market to stop it.
Address questions to Coin Clinic, Numismatic News, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Because of space limitations, we are unable to publish all questions. Include a loose 41-cent stamp for reply. Write first for specific mailing instructions before submitting numismatic material. We cannot accept unsolicited items. E-mail inquiries should be sent to .