Author Archives: R.W. Julian

Who Designed the Purple Heart?

Who designed the Purple Heart military decoration? Elizabeth Will with U.S. Mint Chief Engraver John Sinnock can take credit. The medal is a revival of the earlier Badge of Military Merit. General Douglas MacArthur was influential in establishing the Purple … Continue reading

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Seated Liberty Dollars

By R.W. Julian In these early years of the 21st century, we think of Morgan dollars as the most highly collected silver dollar but this is increasingly being challenged by other designs. In particular, the Seated Liberty dollars of 1840–1873 … Continue reading

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The Bust Half Dollars of 1836-39

by R.W. Julian  There are many collectors of the Capped Bust half dollars, struck from 1807 to 1836, but the reeded edge Bust half dollars of the late 1830s have not received the same amount of interest. Those who do … Continue reading

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The Mint and Coinage in 1837

by R.W. Julian  Some years in American numismatic history are more colorful than others but for the 19th century, we often think of 1873 as the most interesting. Yet 1837 has to be regarded as even more important in the … Continue reading

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The Capped Bust Half Dollar, 1807-1836

by R.W. Julian Today we think of the quarter dollar as the most useful coin in ordinary transactions. This was not always true. Prior to 1964, and the Kennedy half dollar, the half dollar was equally popular in many parts … Continue reading

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Silver dollars of 1794-1795 were illegal

In the 1850s, when the coin collecting hobby became a national interest, there were two areas in which collectors tended to specialize. The first was the old copper cents of 1793 to 1807, while the second was the silver dollars … Continue reading

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The Capped Bust Half Dollar, 1807-1836

Today we think of the quarter dollar as the most useful coin in ordinary transactions. This was not always true and prior to 1964, and the Kennedy half dollar, the half dollar was equally popular in many parts of the … Continue reading

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A Medal For “Old Ironsides”

One of the most famous ships of the American navy is the USS Constitution. Long called “Old Ironsides,” it is a major tourist attraction at its berth in Boston harbor. It is little known among the general public, however, that … Continue reading

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Spanish silver filled Queen Anne’s coffers

On March 8, 1702, a horse stumbled in England, and the rider was thrown onto the ground. Within a few days, he was dead from the injuries. Accidents of this sort were common in the days before automobiles, but in … Continue reading

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The Early Cent Coinage, 1793-1796

In the 1850s, when coin collecting arose as a national hobby, among the first coins sought were the large copper cents of the 1790s. The cents of 1793 through 1796, which are covered in this article, were the most heavily … Continue reading

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