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How War Medal Production Delayed Proof Coin Production

When did the U.S. mints finally satisfy the country’s demand for coins?

It may come as a surprise, but it wasn’t until the 1870s that production caught up with demand. The statement is made that the Mint produced less than 50 percent of the country’s needs up to 1853, the balance being foreign coins that circulated freely until 1857.

 

Why was there such a long delay in resuming proof coin production after World War II?

One reason that probably has not received much publicity was the fact that the Philadelphia Mint was tied up for several years after the war striking the millions of medals that had been authorized for veterans of the war. On average, each man or woman who had served in the armed forces was entitled to three medals. The Mint Director, Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross, officially blamed the war medal production for the delay in a letter written in early 1948, but it wasn’t until 1950 that proof production was resumed.

 

Did Carson City strike any proof dollars?

Among the proofs listed by Walter Breen are dollars dated 1870, two half dollars dated 1871 (both with just the obverse as a proof) plus 1883, 1884 and 1892 dollars and 12 1893 dollars, which Wayte Raymond says were given out at a ceremony marking the Mint’s closing.

 

How much weight did a double eagle coin have to lose before it would not be redeemed by the government for face value?

The double eagles, as minted, weighed 516 grains. When the weight went below 513.42 grains, they would no longer be redeemed at face, but would be redeemed for the bullion value. Permissible wear was .086 grains a year.

 

When was the original gold deposit placed in Ft. Knox?

The U.S. Gold Bullion Depository at Ft. Knox was built in 1936. In the first six months of 1937, 445,501 gold bars, weighing 157,820,192 troy ounces, were brought by train from the New York Assay Office and the Philadelphia Mint. The gold was valued then at $5.52 billion.

 

What does the term “red and brown” mean?

This is a grading term, applied to copper-alloy coins, such as the U.S. cent, with original mint luster and color in some areas, some darker. A “full red” coin has its mint-state color.

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