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Damaged coins get put into jewelry

Can you explain what is meant by a “jewelry lot” of coins?

This is a group of coins that due to their low quality or damaged state are more suitable to be converted into jewelry or to be scrapped for their intrinsic value than to be collected.

 2017 $25 American Eagle palladium bullion coin (Image courtesy

2017 $25 American Eagle palladium bullion coin (Image courtesy

The United States issued its new $25 palladium coins with much fanfare. Who else has issued coins of this metal?

Only a handful of countries have ever issued coins composed of this metal. Sierra Leone was the first in 1966, followed by the Russian Ballerina series of 1991 struck by the now defunct Soviet Union. Australia issued palladium Emu coins in 1995 through 1998, while China issued palladium Panda coins in 1989 and 2004. Due to the popularity of the Russian Ballerina series, a Canadian Maple Leaf struck of palladium was introduced in 2005.

Just how many coin businesses have publicly traded stock?

The business of coins is much smaller than are many other industries. I am only aware of five companies in the United States and an additional five overseas whose stock is traded publicly.

Are there any of the publicly traded companies that are mints?

The Mennica Polska or Mint of Poland in Warsaw is the only mint of which I am aware with stock that can be traded publicly. It is primarily owned by the Polish government.

What are the major 1964 Kennedy half dollar varieties to be collected?

There is a doubled-die obverse business strike for both Philadelphia and Denver issues, a Denver repunched mintmark, and a heavily accented hair proof variety.

I know there are several dates of the Walking Liberty half dollar known to be missing the designer’s initials due to overpolished dies. Are there any Kennedy half dollars on which the designer initials are missing?

Dates of which I am aware where Frank Gasparro’s FG initials are missing due to overpolished dies include 1966, 1972, 1972-D, 1973-D, 1982-P, 1983-P and 1988-P. I am also aware of 1977 half dollars with weakly struck FG. There may be others.

I can understand why Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Washington were selected for the obverse of what had been our “dead president” coins, but how did Franklin come to appear on the half dollar in 1948? This wasn’t consistent with the theme of the time.

Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross championed Benjamin Franklin to appear on the half dollar. She petitioned the Commission of Fine Arts for their blessing on the design, which was later approved by Treasury Secretary John W. Snyder. Ross admired Franklin. She was not alone. Many other Americans do, too.

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More Collecting Resources

• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.

• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.