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Do Mintmark-Specific Clubs Exist?

Is there an organization or club of mintmark collectors?

Almost all coin clubs take an interest in mintmarks, as do most collectors; however, I am unaware of a club that specifically targets collecting mintmarked coins.

Was consideration ever given to having a U.S. Mint facility in New Jersey during the early 19th century?

There was a button factory turned into a privately owned mint in Belleville, N.J. – Stephens, Thomas and Fuller – that was in operation during the 1830s. Coins were struck for Brazil, Haiti and Liberia as well as tokens for domestic merchants. It appears copper blanks may have made for the U.S. Mint as well. The Belleville company closed its minting operation about 1839, its die engraver Joseph Gardiner and his assistant Joseph Campbell being arrested for counterfeiting U.S. and French coins.

What ever happened to Gardiner?

It isn’t clear if Joseph Gardiner was convicted or not, but he relocated to Waterbury, Conn., to work for the Scovill Mint between 1840 and 1843. He then returned to New Jersey, where he established a factory in Newark.

What did the Scovill Mint produce?

What later became the Scovill Manufacturing Company in 1850 began as the Abel Porter and Company in 1802. During the 20th century, the company acquired Hamilton Beach, Oakville Company, and Schrader Company to diversity its product lines. During the 19th century, the company produced metal plates for daguerreotype photography, brass lamps, artillery ammunition, brass buttons and coinage blanks for the U.S. Mint. Today Scovill is the largest snap fastener producer in the world.

Private mints were responsible for many Colonial and state issues. How long was private minting allowed to continue?

There are privately owned mints in operation today, but they cannot legally produce anything the United States would consider to compete with or to be U.S. currency. An act of Congress in 1864 put a stop to this. Private mints now in operation produce medals, tokens, precious metal “rounds” and, in some instances, strike coins for foreign countries.

Did the Clark, Gruber and Company mint and its activities influence congressional action to put a stop to competition to the U.S. Mint?

Likely. The Denver operation produced gold coins superior to the contemporary federal issues. Clark, Gruber and Company minted about $3 million worth of coins between 1860 and 1862, exceeding the federal government output of the same time. The private operation promised to outperform the government’s efforts. The government reacted by buying them out for $25,000.

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