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Mint charged face value for proofs

 Second Philadelphia Mint

Second Philadelphia Mint

Early in the U.S. Mint’s history, collectors could visit to buy proof coins over the counter. What did the mint charge?

Proof coins were sold directly to collectors by the Mint at face value through 1859. Coins were available individually or as a set. Postage was charged if the coins were to be mailed.

Who are the top 10 grading companies or the top five?

Any reputable dealer can help you sort through which services are reliable and which are not. The two highest profile third-party certification services by market share are Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

Having studied VAM numbers, I am aware there are a vast number of Morgan die varieties for every date and mintmark. Just how long did a single dollar die last?

It has been estimated a single Morgan dollar die, obverse or reverse, could be used to strike more than 400,000 coins.

What is the reason for resumption of Peace dollar production in 1934?

The 1928 Peace dollar was only produced through part of the year since the mandate for silver dollars in the Pittman Act had been reached. Production was resumed briefly in 1934 and 1935 as an excuse to mine silver and, in turn, reopen silver mines. These were part of the efforts of the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt to pull the economy out of the Great Depression.

Q. David Bowers has written several books concerning several specific coin types. I wonder if he also cataloged/numbered dies for these coins in the same spirit as Sheldon, Overton, Fivaz-Stanton, etc., or if he inherited catalog numbers devised by other, earlier die researchers.

According to Bowers, “I have used Whitman numbers in various books such as colonials, Hard Times Tokens and paper money. In other instances just a generic number, such as in the 100 Greatest books, such as No. 1 in The 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens. There are B numbers for shell cards (published by the Token and Medal Society) and BB numbers for silver dollars 1794-1804.” His assistant, Dennis Tucker, added, “For the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins, Dave devised the Whitman numbering system, which goes by “W” numbers. He similarly devised a Whitman numbering system for the Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money. Also for Hard Times tokens, in the Guide Book of Hard Times Tokens. And for obsolete paper money, by state, in the multiple-volume Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money.”

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More Collecting Resources

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

• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.