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Peace dollar push proved unsuccessful

The Treasury went to a lot of expense to promote circulation of the Anthony dollar. Was this a precedent or had something similar been tried before?

On a somewhat smaller scale, the Treasury resorted to several gimmicks to promote circulation of the Peace dollar, which wasn’t all that popular (especially in the East) either. One of the schemes tried was to put a silver dollar into the pay envelopes of each of the 5,000 Treasury employees. Before admitting defeat, the Treasury had managed to “push” 10 million into circulation, but in a matter of months they were back in the vaults.

Why are the prices offered for 40 percent silver (halves) so much less than for the 90 percent coins?

It costs more to smelt them. Also, if you do a little calculating you will find that while prices are lower (proportionally) for 40 percent silver halves, it is not really that much out of line when you consider that the shipping costs to obtain the same amount of silver are more than twice as much for the 40 percent as for the 90 percent coins. The same reasoning applies to the 50 percent silver Canadian coins.

Wasn’t a large quantity of large cents used to make bells?

According to a quote from a Troy, N.Y., coin dealer, a firm in Watervliet, N.Y., contracted with the Mint to purchase all the recalled large cents and used the metal to cast bells. The stories connected with the firm indicate that at times there were barrels of the coins sitting in the yard waiting to be sent to the foundry. Another source cites kegs of large cents melted down to make stove parts (water tank liners) at the Glenwood Range Co. in Taunton, Mass.

Can I write to each U.S. Mint and get examples of their coins?

A popular question with an unpopular answer. If you visit each mint you can buy souvenir sets and other numismatic items over the counter, but you cannot order coins by mail except by getting on the Mint mailing list or visiting the Mint’s Web site to see what is for sale at www.usmint.gov.

Did the U.S. Mint ever make its own coin presses? I know they made their own scales to weigh bullion and coins.

The Philadelphia Mint manufactured some of its own coin presses. In 1940 a total of nine were built at a cost of $8,500. This was about $1,000 cheaper than bids from an outside press manufacturer.

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 42-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 Answerman2@aol.com.

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