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The Mint Urban Legend of the 1875 Dot Indian Cent

I’ve noticed a small dot in the “N” in “United” on my 1875 Indian Head cent. Is this a variety worth noting?

There is an interesting story behind the 1875 Dot Indian cents. It is believed a mint employee was suspected of stealing coins, according to a mint urban legend. Cent dies with which the employee was working were replaced with a die with the dot, according to this story. Logic would suggest it wouldn’t be worth stealing cents rather than a higher denomination, but who knows, the story hasn’t been substantiated.

 

Why was the Carson City Mint closed between 1885 and 1889?

Politics. Grover Cleveland, a Democrat, was elected president in 1884. Carson City Mint Superintendent James Crawford died the following year and was replaced by William Garrard. It was Garrard who closed the facility. Most of the employees of consequence who were fired were Republicans. The facility re-opened following the 1888 election of Benjamin Harrison, a Republican who had support from silver mining interests.

 

What happened to the Carson City mint facility during the years in which it was closed in the late 1880s?

The facility still operated as a U.S. assay office. Its status as a mint was officially withdrawn in 1899, with the building once more functioning as an assay office through 1933.

 

What kind of politics were involved in the interim closing of the Carson City Mint?

There were persistent rumors of corruption at the facility. While these rumors couldn’t be substantiated in 1895, following the re-opening of the mint, it was proved several employees and additional local Carson City citizens had been stealing silver bullion from the mint.

 

Was the stolen bullion recovered?

Carson City Mint Superintendent Jewett W. Adams, who was a Democrat and former governor of Nevada, opened an ‘embezzlement account’ through which the losses were to be replaced.

 

Can you explain the money issued in the name of Emperor Norton?

Joshua Abraham Norton (1818-1880) of San Francisco was an eccentric who declared himself to be Emperor Norton and Protector of Mexico. Scrip issued in his name was often accepted at establishments Norton frequented. You may want to view the web site NortonDollars.com.

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