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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:18 AM
Posted 30 July 2007 - 04:54 PM
this is a very simple topic and you should understand after this>
Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:03 PM
i heard that a while ago
Posted 07 September 2007 - 09:26 PM
Walking Liberty Silver Half-Dollars
In 1915, United States Mint Director Robert W. Woolley welcomed three noted sculptors to design templates for three silver coins that would become the Mercury dime, the Standing Liberty quarter, and the Walking Liberty half-dollar (also referred to as the "Liberty Walking" type, or "Walker" for short). A. A. Weinman was awarded the designs for both the dime and the half-dollar. Adolph A. Weinman immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1880 at the age of ten. He studied under the tutelage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, designer of the $20 Saint-Gaudens gold piece, often considered America's most beautiful coin. Weinman's initials, AW, can be found under the wing tip of the eagle on the Walking Liberty halves. The obverse of the coin (pictured left) depicts Lady Liberty in full stride, cloaked in Old Glory, walking towards a new day. She carries branches of laurel and oak in her arms. The motto "In God We Trust" rests to the right of her calf. The Walking Liberty half-dollars are the last regular issue coins to feature Miss Liberty. However, the image is so grand that it was duplicated in 1986 for one-ounce American Eagle silver bullion coins. The design has been used each year since. The reverse of the coin (pictured right) features an American bald eagle with wings spread proudly. It rests on a rocky crag with mountain pine sapling springing from its cracks. This half-dollar featured many of America's most patriotic symbols as the United States prepared for the Great War. Mint marks signifying the city where these coins were struck are located just below the pine sapling for all coins struck after 1917. (For the first year and a half, the mint mark was located on the obverse under the motto.) Walking Liberty half-dollars were minted from 1916 until 1947. However, none were minted in 1922, or between the years of 1924-26 and 1930-32. These half-dollars span 30.6 millimeters in diameter and have a weight of 12.50 grams. Composed of 90% silver and 10% copper, each Walker contains a net weight of 0.36169 ounces of pure silver and has a reeded edge.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A History of the Silver Half-Dollar
Before the Walkers The first United States silver half-dollars were minted in 1794, long before the Liberty Walking type came to light. They were authorized by an act of Congress on April 2, 1792. Many different varieties (die and other) exist for the early types of half-dollars. From 1794 until 1807, the United States minted three different types of half dollars: Flowing Hair (1794-5), Draped Bust with a Small Eagle Reverse (1796-7), and Draped Bust with a Heraldic Eagle Reverse (1801-7). The Capped Bust type, minted between 1807-1839 had a lettered edge until 1837. Liberty Seated type (1839-1891) and Liberty Head type (1892-1915), designed by Christian Goebrecht and Charles Barber respectively, were the last two types of half-dollars before Walking Liberties were struck in 1916. After the Walkers In 1948, the United States began minting Franklin-Liberty Bell silver half-dollars and continued to do so until the advent of the Kennedy half-dollar in 1964. This design continues today, but the coin has undergone several composition changes. In 1964 only, the Kennedy half-dollars were composed of 90% silver as had the previous issues of silver half-dollars. The next year, U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1965, which reduced the amount of silver in our nation's silver coinage to 40% silver. With an outer composition of 80% silver and 20% copper bonded to a core of 20.9% silver and 79.1% copper, each Kennedy half-dollar from 1965-70 contained 0.1479 ounces of pure silver. In 1971, the metal make-up was again changed to remove all silver and has remained the same since. Proof Kennedy half-dollars minted from 1992 onward have the same metal composition as the 1964 Kennedy half-dollars.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
History of The 3 Cent Coin
As it would throughout history, once again gold ruled events. It was gold that brought men west in 1849, gold that created havoc with circulating coinage and ultimately gold that was responsible for one of the Mint's most unusual products, the tiny silver three-cent piece. The late 1850s was an era when Spanish 1/2, 1, 2, 4, and 8 reales circulated right alongside United States issues. By the end of the decade, however, discoveries of gold fields in California and Australia drove down the world market price of the metal to a point where gold became cheaper in terms of silver, eventually causing the bullion value of many silver coins to exceed their face value. With the increase in silver's price, vast quantities of coins were melted for export to Europe. By 1850, silver coins were disappearing everywhere. Stores, hotels and railroads began to pay premiums for coins. Commercial life was chaotic. The U.S. public and commercial establishments tried to adapt to the rising silver price. Since the degree of wear determined the weight of silver in a coin, the public evaluated their coins, spending the worn ones and hoarding high grade ones. Banks and post offices discounted the Spanish coins by allowing only 23 cents for a two reales (25 cents), 10c for one reale (12 ? cents) and 5 cents for a 1/2 reale or medio (6 ? cents). The U.S. Government, however, ignored the fact that the coins were worn and paid the full value to keep commerce as stable as possible. On January 9, 1849, the Chairperson of the Committee of Ways and Means, Samuel F. Vinton, wrote a letter to Mint Director Robert M. Patterson requesting proposals for a new cent of reduced size and a 3-cent piece "to be made of copper and some other precious metal." A year later, Senator Daniel Dickinson, the head of a committee preparing a bill to reduce postal rates, introduced a bill proposing these two coins as a way of buying the new postage stamps and making change. The proposed coins consisted of a cent composed of .100 fine silver and 3-cent coin of .750 silver. Congress did nothing with this proposal until 1851. In that year, it passed the postal rate bill reducing the cost of mailing a letter from 5c to 3c. Since the copper coins in circulation were not legal tender and shinplasters" (private bank notes and merchants' scrip) weren't acceptable as payment for postage, how would the public pay for the stamps? Though the reduced size cent wasn't approved, the Dickinson 3-cent coin was reconsidered and finally authorized by the act of March 3, 1851. It was to weigh 12 3/8 grains and be .750 silver and .250 copper. Since the face value exceeded the bullion value, the coin was sure to stay in circulation. This first three-cent piece, the Type 1, was designed by Chief Engraver James Longacre. The design consists of a six-pointed star at the center, upon which is the Union shield. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the date are around the border. The reverse depicts 13 stars surrounding a C-shaped device within which is a Roman numeral III. Congress hoped that this coin would help sell postage stamps and alleviate the coin shortage. Although critics called the coin "debased," the public initially loved it. The government loved it also, since a dollar's worth of 3c pieces was worth only 86 cents in gold. The need for small change was so great that people were impatient for the coin's release. To avoid a panic, more than 100,000 pieces were manufactured before the mint began to release them. In less than two years, there were 20 million more in circulation. Though inconvenient, change was now available. If you offered a gold dollar for a 5c or 10c article you were likely to get some very worn one and half reales and a handful of 3c coins. These thin, little, insignificant looking coins called "fish scales" by the public and joked about in the press, became the savior of American commerce. As time passed, however, the public became disenchanted with the little coins, as they were easily lost. In 1853, the silver problem was resolved by officially lowering the weight of silver coins to compensate for the rise in silver's price. The "Deficiency Act" of March 3, 1853, authorized the second version of the 3c piece making it a 90% fine silver coin like the other subsidiary coinage. Longacre modified the star on the obverse with the addition of three outlines, and the reverse was changed to show a bunch of arrows below and an olive branch above the Roman numeral III. These changes were supposed to correct the striking problems that plagued the original design and to identify the change in weight and fineness. These first Type 2 pieces, dated 1854, were released on May 22. Changes in the design created more problems, and the coin was even more difficult to produce than the earlier version. As a result, it is hard to find well-struck examples. The weakest area is usually toward the borders of the coin. This makes grading more difficult since the surface condition must be carefully considered to detect the difference between strike and wear. Due to improper die preparation, it is also common to see fine, parallel field striations on high grade specimens. Less than five million Type 2 three-cent pieces were made, and all were manufactured in Philadelphia. Proof mintages are unknown, but probably less than 300 proofs survive today. Though not difficult to find in circulated grades, gem business strikes of this type are very rare, much rarer than gem Type 1 or 3 coins. The rarest of the five dates is the low mintage 1855. Although some collectors assemble complete sets of the series, most of the demand for Type IIs, as with the earlier and later versions, comes from type collectors. The three different types are truly history lessons in miniature. In 1859, seeking a solution to the striking problems, Longacre again modified the design. He removed one of the outlines to the star, and the resulting Type 3 coin was issued from 1859 through the end of the series in 1873.
History of The 2 Cent Coin
From a practical standpoint, the two cent piece was one of the least successful coins in U.S. history: The United States Mint produced it for only 10 years, and each year the mintage declined, reflecting steadily falling public interest in the coin. Yet, despite its failure as a medium of exchange, the two-cent piece made a singular and enduring contribution to the nation's coinage history, for this was the coin that introduced the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The motto and the coin itself were both direct results of the Civil War. By the end of 1862, with the war in its 21st month, virtually all U.S. government coinage had vanished from circulation; hoarders and speculators, joined by millions of just plain frightened Americans, had set aside every coin they could get their hands on, including not only gold and silver pieces but also base-metal issues. Inventive entrepreneurs came up with a clever replacement: cent-sized bronze tokens, generally bearing an implied or even explicit promise of redemption in goods, services or money. These so-called "Civil War tokens" soon gained broad acceptance as a useful money substitute. The tokens' success came as a revelation to the Mint; up to then, it had generally been assumed that Americans wouldn't tolerate money (or money substitutes) with such small intrinsic value. The tokens proved otherwise, and the Mint began preparing a modified one-cent piece modeled after these wartime emergency pieces, a cent that would retain the new and popular Indian Head design but on a slim, bronze planchet instead of the thick, copper-nickel one then in use. At the same time, Mint officials started giving serious thought to a two-cent piece of similar composition, reasoning that this would alleviate the coin shortage even faster. On Dec. 8, 1863, Mint Director James Pollock wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase recommending the issuance of a two-cent piece in French bronze, the same alloy chosen for the slimmer Indian cent. Pollock submitted two proposed designs, both by Chief Engraver James B. Longacre, who also had designed the Indian cent. One bore the head of George Washington; the other depicted a shield and arrows. Pollock and Chase both favored the latter. Up to then, U.S. coinage had carried no reference to a supreme being. But that was about to change, thanks largely to the strong religious fervor born of the Civil War. In 1861, a Baptist minister, the Rev. Mark R. Watkinson of Ridleyville, Pennsylvania, had written a letter to Secretary Chase urging that provision be made for "the recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins." Said Watkinson: "This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally claimed." Clearly, Chase had taken this appeal to heart, for he specified the inclusion of some such inscription on the two-cent piece. Watkinson didn't come up with the words IN GOD WE TRUST. On the first trial striking of the two-cent piece, the motto that appeared was GOD OUR TRUST. Numismatic scholar Walter Breen theorized that the final form was influenced by the motto of Chase's alma mater, Brown University: IN DEO SPERAMUS, a Latin phrase meaning "In God we hope." However it happened, IN GOD WE TRUST was the version picked in the end. Congress didn't stipulate the motto in the legislation authorizing the two-cent piece, which won passage on April 22, 1864. That law simply gave Treasury officials discretionary authority concerning inscriptions on the nation's minor coins. On March 3, 1865, this authority was extended to gold and silver coins and, for the first time, IN GOD WE TRUST was specifically mentioned. Use of the motto wasn't mandated, however, until 1908; and even then, the order applied only to gold and silver coins. Not until 1955 did Congress enact legislation requiring the inscription on all U.S. coins. On the two-cent piece, IN GOD WE TRUST is displayed on a ribbon above the shield and arrows on the obverse. The date appears directly below the shield. The reverse bears a simple wreath surrounding the statement of value2 CENTS and encircled, in turn, by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. On this design, wear first shows on the word WE, the arrow points and the tips of the leaves. Starved for coinage of any kind, Americans readily embraced the two-cent piece when it made its first appearance in 1864. That year also witnessed the high-water mark for the coin's production, with nearly 20 million business-strike examples being made. Output was relatively high in 1865, as well, topping 13.6 million. Acceptance and mintage levels both fell off dramatically after the war, however, as other coins began to reappear in circulation. Fewer than 3.2 million pieces were struck in 1866 and, by 1870, production plunged below the one million mark. Business strikes hit rock bottom in 1872, when the Mint issued only 65,000 pieces for circulation. In 1873, the coin's final year, there were only proofs. Although it is unusually short and doesn't include a single branch-mint issue, the series does contain some interesting varieties. The best-known are the small-motto and large-motto issues of 1864. On some of that year's two-cent pieces, IN GOD WE TRUST has noticeably smaller and fatter lettering. These small-motto pieces are considerably scarcer than their large-motto counterparts and command much higher premiums in every grade level. There also is a scarce and valuable 1867 doubled-die error, and the proof-only 1873 issues come in two varieties, with a closed 3 and an open 3 in the date. In all, the Mint produced just over 45.6 million business-strikes and slightly more than 7,000 proofs. The latter were made in each of the series' 10 years. Two-cent pieces are readily available in grades up to Mint State-65 and Proof-65, but supplies dwindle sharply above that level. Mint-state pieces command higher premiums when they are full red in color. Because of its small size and absence of great rarities, this is a set that even collectors of modest means have a realistic chance of completing by date and mint (especially considering that only one mint, Philadelphia, produced this coin). In practice, though, many settle for collecting the series by type alone.
Posted 20 October 2007 - 09:43 PM
Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:08 AM
One is a fifty cent piece. The other is a nickel. The one that is NOT a nickel is the Fifty cent piece.
Posted 15 November 2007 - 02:37 AM
In addition to the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar, the US Mint at one time or another issued coins in ??, 2?, 3?, and 20? denominations, as well as gold coins in $5, $10, $25, and $50 denominations.
Considering what $50 was worth in 1915, when that coin was issued, I don't think anyone would have considered it "pocket change"!
Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:32 PM
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