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When not writing, Ms. Engle enjoys collecting antique illustrated children 's books, traveling, and volunteering as a "victim " for various wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.

She and her husband live in Clovis, California. Click here to login. Categories by Grade All. Catalog Spring Fall Out of Stock Add Book to Wishlist. Advanced Readers Grades Add C to Cart. Add C to Wishlist. The design was reused on the pattern Continental Currency dollars and the Fugio cents. However, despite its storied past and association with a signer of the Declaration of Independence, critics saw the chain as a symbol of slavery and pounced. The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty, and liberty herself appears to be in a fright.

And so, for the first time but not the last , bad newspaper publicity forced the Mint to abandon an adopted design, unintentionally creating rarities in the process. Some 36, Chain cents were struck in early While not rare, the coins are highly sought after.

Production of Chain cents ceased in early March. By April, the Mint was churning out cents with a wreath on the reverse instead of a chain.

She added and lost a couple hats over the years before settling on a coronet in Other retailers charge more. In the company killed Bazooka Joe and his corny jokes and replaced him with brain teaser puzzle wrappers.

The cent, which was copper for most of its nearly year run, lost all but a thin film of the metal in when the Mint switched from bronze to copper-plated zinc. Nonetheless, the coin is widely collected. Most of us started with Whitman penny boards — squeezing cents into barely yielding holes in blue folders.

Many were sated with Book 2 folders — to some date in the s. Still fewer went on to the rarified atmosphere of early large cents. Collectors accumulate not only coins, but also stories — stories about how the collector acquired the coin, stories about the history of our nation and stories about injustice and prejudice.

Like all good stories, they bear telling and retelling. The Washington quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. In , during the depths of the Great Depression, the United States Mint released the Washington quarter dollar to celebrate the th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.

In , the nation suffered through nearly 10 percent deflation. The unemployment rate remained above 10 percent, sometimes much above, until the U. In , gold was still legal to own. Gold is worth about 65 times that amount today.

The quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. The Interstate Power Co. The price included an oil change. This will be reflected in a rise in fur coat prices. The turn in business conditions was not a good turn. The company, however, weathered the Depression and prospered during the ensuing decades, only to close its store in , a victim of changing fashions.

A Bicentennial dollar put away in has less than a quarter of its purchasing power now. Gold, on the other hand is worth about 10 times its value. Mint ended ayear drought for commemorative coin collectors in the mids when itagreed to produce quarter dollars, half dollars and dollars marking the Bicentennial of the United States.

In , the Mintceased producing regular-issue quarters, halves and dollars and switched to thedual-dated coins. The coins, especially the quarter with its colonialdrummer, were wildly popular. Mintages ran into the hundreds of millions. Today, all three coins are common, and the quarter dollars still circulate.

The coins were producedat a time of ruinous inflation. Americans had been freed to own golda couple years before, and the price of the precious metal was rising. Beyond the Bicentennialcelebrations, which commanded front pages July 4, newspapers were also filledwith news of the early morning Israeli raid on Entebbe to free hostages takenby Palestinian hijackers.

The Tides hotel was adollar cheaper. A Bicentennial dollarput away in has a purchasing power of only about a quarter dollar now. Gold is worth about 10 times its value. And an Apple I computer is worthabout times its original selling price. American cigarettes are considered the best, and Roosevelt, who led the nation through the twin perils of the Great Depression and World War II, was crippled by polio as a young man. The nation was still transitioning to a peacetime economy when the coin was issued.

Pent-up demand from a decade of Depression and five years of war stressed the economy. Civilian goods were often in short supply or had not been available for years. The dime contains. In , the value of that silver in the dime was slightly more than 5 cents. The federal minimum wages was 40 cents an hour in Coffeehouse owner George W. Holt, a prolific issuer of shinplasters, advertised a few weeks before the Union takeover that his bills were good.

Paper money lost much of its purchasing power in early April as Union forces closed in on New Orleans. Coins were scarce and the shinplasters that replaced them had a checkered history. Newspapers regularly railed against unscrupulous merchants who refused to redeem their small-denomination bills. Beef rump roasts, and round and chuck steaks maxed out at Ham, 30 cents a pound. Rice, 8 cents a pound.

Liverpool fine salt, 7 cents a pound. Nonetheless, the black market apparently thrived as Union forces closed in on the city. Just think of eggs commanding fifty cents per dozen. We have heard of instances where four prices have been asked for articles and specie demanded in exchange.

Today, it costs 75 cents — three Washington quarters. Old newspapers are a great source for information about prices in the past. The design and history speak for themselves. The purchasing power, though, can be hard to tease out. This amazing and easy-to-use tool will tell you the purchasing value of coins and paper money at any point during the last years. That number, though, only goes so far.

Not all goods rise in price at the same rate. Old newspapers, government reports and personal papers can tell you the prices of things when the coin was issued. The Google News Archive Search — https: It has centuries-long runs of numerous newspapers. There are several other sites, too, that have digital archives of newspapers and magazines. New Orleans, April Sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through A strike is shown.

Italian born sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through Coppini immigrated to the United States in at the age of 26 and promptly found work creating sculptures for a wax museum.

Each state is allowed to place two statues in the National Statuary Collection. Some states used the collection to honor citizens who had made great contributions in life. Other states turned to less notable politicians. Coppini sculpted the Clarke statue, which was placed in the Capitol in The obverse features an eagle in front of a lone star. The reverse shows a winged and buxom Victory cradling the Alamo, with cameos of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin beneath her outspread wings.

Charles Moore of the Commission of Fine Arts disapproved of the busy design. The Texas coin was not a huge success. Every year millions of people pass by it in the Capitol Visitor Center. In the early years of the 20th century Charles Keck designed three commemorative coins and dozens of monuments across the country.

Shown among his accomplishments are the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar reverse and the foot tall bronze statue of Huey Long that stands atop his towering tombstone on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse. Carter Glass on the obverse and Liberty in front of the Lynchburg Courthouse on the reverse.

Keck, who designed the Booker T. Washington memorial at Tuskegee University, nearly also designed the Booker T. Washington half dollar Phillips, who had lobbied for the commemorative. Beside the Booker T. Liberty Monument features a massive bronze sculpture of Liberty atop a granite base. Four sculptures representing an Indian, a Frenchman, a Scottish soldier and an American stand at the base of the plinth. Demagogue Huey Long was assassinated in as he was preparing to run for president of the United States.

The Alamo and the U. The statue of Victory , cast in , is often cited as the inspiration for Liberty on the Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Saint-Gaudens , unfortunately, died before the coins were released into circulation. Both designs remained in production until the end of circulating gold coins in The double eagle has a checkered past. Only one is legal to own. In , the Mint made an ultra-high-relief , one-ounce version of the coin for sale to collectors.

From Ticonderoga to the Panama Canal. James Earle Fraser's work graces the obverse and reverse of the Indian Head five-cent piece, but he also designed numerous monumental sculptures in Washington, D. James Earle Fraser, whose work graces the obverse and reverse of the iconic Indian Head five-cent piece, also designed numerous monumental sculptures in Washington, D. At the National Archives, his Recorder of the Archive appears on the pediment above the south entrance. At the Treasury Department building, immense statues of Albert Gallatin fourth and longest serving Secretary and Alexander Hamilton first Secretary and subject of a current Broadway hit guard the north and south entrances, respectively.

Since the Mint has also struck gold versions of the year-old design. Frasier, who grew up in South Dakota, and his wife designed the Oregon Trail commemorative half dollar. The obverse of that coin shows a romanticized image of life on the trail with a man leading a Conestoga wagon into the sun while his wife and baby ride inside. Those are the canvases some artists have worked with since the early s when the U.

Two mountains and a coin. The coin is a crowded affair, showing the monument beneath a bird and between wheat ears. Lee on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse.

He planned to blast a high-relief frieze of mounted figures of Lee, Jackson and Confederate President Jefferson Davis leading troops. The Stone Mountain coin, curiously, may have played a part in his firing. After Borglum was fired, his portrait of Lee was blasted off the face of the mountain and Augustus H.

Lukeman took over — until the money ran out in Work began again in and was completed in A nickel and the Supreme Court. Copper coins placed on a laptop can disperse heat, making the computer easier to handle. The copper in the yen is a better conductor of heat than the aluminum in the computer and is good at letting the heat escape.

The Tweet went viral among the computer gaming community and was picked up by newspapers around the world in June. Copper yen became pennies in England and pre copper cents in the states. Suzuki worked on the laws of thermodynamics and used it on his laptop.

Essentially it means that if the copper coins you stack on your laptop are cooler than the laptop itself, the copper coins start soaking up the heat to balance themselves with the laptop. Placed in a bad bottle of wine, it would cleanse the wine of its sulfur smell. But if you have this coin, chances are, you can afford a good bottle of wine…. A penny saved may be a penny earned, but a penny dropped into a glass of smelly wine can save the drink. You crack it open, pour yourself a glass, only to find out that your wine stinks like match sticks and burnt rubber.

The culprit is thiols stinky sulfur molecules that either built up in storage or were created during fermentation gone wrong. Swirling the wine in the glass might help a bit, but the American Chemical Society has a sure-fire, better-living-through-chemistry cure.

Pull out an old penny, give it a nice, solid cleaning in the sink and then drop it right into your glass. Stir it around briefly with a spoon.

Pull it out and taste and smell a world of difference. A hollowed-out Jefferson 5-cent coin with a tiny piece of microfilm inside was accidentally paid on June 23, , in the midst of the cold war as a tip to a paper carrier.

When the paper boy dropped the coin, it split, revealing its contents and casting deep suspicion on the customer. Similarly altered coins have carried other harmful content. A hollowed-out nickel stuffed with microfilm played a part in the prosecution of notorious Soviet spy Rudolf I.

Abel used numerous nickels to conceal messages and microfilm that eventually found their way back to the Soviet Union. The coins were dropped at several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn for retrieval by confederates for shipment to Russia.

One of those nickels was apparently spent and flowed unnoticed through the channels of commerce until Jimmy Bozart, a year-old paperboy, accidentally dropped it. Bozart collected 35 cents weekly from each of his Brooklyn Eagle customers.

A pair of schoolteachers living in East Flatbush tipped him 15 cents on June 23, As he walked down the stairs from the sixth-floor apartment, he dropped the 50 cents. He found the front of the coin a few feet away, with a tiny piece of microfilm inside. Bozart figured something was up and turned the coin over to police.

Four years later, the FBI came calling, asking him to testify in the Abel espionage case. New York police rewarded him with a commendation. A citizen bought him an Oldsmobile as a reward. Abel, who died in , was convicted of espionage and traded Feb. The prisoner exchange was the basis for the Steven Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies. Powers, curiously, had a hollowed-out coin in his possession, too, when he was captured May 1, , after his plane was shot down.

Powers decided not to use the poison pin, a move that many called cowardly at the time. This dated Oak Tree sixpence has teeth marks and may have been used as a teething piece by a Colonial infant.

Right where the windpipe or that indenture is in your throat. And leave it there until all teeth are in. Make sure you tie it up high enough where the child cannot put the dime in their mouth. Heaton, who popularized collecting by Mint mark, complained about the practice in an August article in The Numismatist.

In ANA member L. Pettitt wrote about his budding collection of teething-ring dollars. The string looped around the baby's neck became a plaything and a practical teething ring for generations. At present, I have one of these dollars, an over 1 which came to me from a lady in Trenton who said it had been in her family since the early s until she sold it to me. Two others, which came to me from Alex Kaptik of the Philadelphia Coin Club, are dated and I love these old dollars and was prompted to collect them because of the prices of fine dollars of this era.

Issued in and , Province of Canada cents featured Queen Victoria on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse. Canadian cent pieces, which have been lately thrown off the British mint, possess a remarkable peculiarity. They are not only tokens of value, but also standards of weight and measure; cents weigh exactly 1lb. Thus in the common transactions of life the buyer will have a ready check upon the dishonest dealer.

Despite their potential utility, the coins were not popular. Previously, Canadians had used heavier bank tokens. The new cent was expected to be a convenient tool as a weight and measure: But this was largely lost on a public who preferred the much heavier and more familiar copper bank tokens.

It would be the mids before the entire coinage of 9. Canada continued to produce large cents first in British mints, later in the Royal Canadian Mint until , when it switched to smaller cents, the same size as United States cents.

Line up 16 and you have a foot. Taking a bite out of coins. Inside the tower, pennies and pounds have been used as pendulum weights to regulate the timepiece since it was set ticking more than years ago. A penny a day keeps the time right. Adding an old English penny 9. In , news photos showed a pile of coins on the pendulum as timekeepers tried to regulate a clock that was suddenly six seconds off.

Adding a penny to the top of the pendulum effectively shortens the length of the pendulum, causing the pendulum to run slightly faster. In , a commemorative crown was added to the pile of well-worn Victorian pennies. The crown takes the place of three pennies when placed on the pendulum.

The countdown crown, fittingly, has a stopwatch as part of the design. The central element was a large numeral 3 three years to the Games superimposed over two swimmers.

The Mexico City 8-real coin pictured in the first edition of the Red Book was similar to the coin shown here. It became so fundamentally a part of the everyday course of business during the colonial period that its official adoption as the standard unit of value for United States money was a natural and desirable development.

That brilliantly written description perhaps unintentionally connected the coin with pirates in the minds of young collectors and inspired generations of numismatists to add one to their collections as a birth-point of U. The coin retains its preeminent place in the current Red Book, though the coin pictured now is a Mexico City piece.

The current description ends with a timely warning that probably would not have been necessary in These are produced mostly as souvenirs and have little or no value. The first edition of the Red Book credited Sylvester S. Crosby with what little was known about the Gloucester token: In , Sylvester S. It appears to have been intended as a pattern for a shilling of a private coinage, by Richard Dawson of Gloucester county?

The dated piece s gave a denomination of XII or shilling and showed a building on the obverse and a star on the reverse. Half or less of the legends showed. The first edition of the Red Book credited Crosby with what little was known about the piece. That description remained unchanged for some 35 years. In , another specimen was discovered. Another Gloucester token mystery has arisen since the first Red Book was published.

The condition of the unique piece is too poor for a positive attribution. The Red Book text has been updated several times to reflect current research concerning the mysterious origins of this original dollar, the King of Coins. The King of Coins. The dollar has always been a coin of mystery and desire. Was it struck in or decades later? In , when the first Red Book was printed, both sides had their adherents. The Red Book told the story down the middle, giving both sides of the argument, but offering no conclusion.

In , Eric P. Newman and Kenneth Bressett, who went on to edit the Red Book, set the record straight with the publication of The Fantastic Dollar. No dated dollars were produced before , when the Mint struck display sets of coins for diplomatic missions.

Years later, a handful more Class II were secretly struck at the Mint for sale to connected collectors. As for the nearly 20, dollars listed in Mint records, Q. A Complete Encyclopedia they were struck with dies dated or earlier. In the years since , the Red Book text has been updated to reflect current research. The 24th edition of the Red Book, cover-dated , was the last to carry an entry for the debunked Good Samaritan shilling, on page 17, tucked between the Massachusetts Pine Tree Pieces and the Maryland coinage.

The Red Book, in its 70th edition this year, has changed several times, reflecting research discoveries. The Good Samaritan shilling, a famous 19th century fraud, might be the only coin to be delisted from the R. For the first dozen or so editions, the Red Book write-up described the piece:. This piece is of the same general type as the Pine Tree Shilling, but has a device illustrating the parable of the Good Samaritan on the obverse.

It is in silver and dated on the reverse. In , numismatic researcher Eric P. Newman blew that argument apart, exposing the piece as a fraud. In the British Museum purchased a Good Samaritan Shilling that was known to exist as early as The coin, Newman determined, was a Pine Tree Shilling on which the obverse had been ground off and replaced with the seal of the British Commission of Sick and Wounded, a 17th century precursor of the Red Cross.

English coin dealer Thomas Snelling and American dealer Thomas Wyatt separately faked their own versions of the supposedly genuine coin and palmed them off on unsuspecting collectors. The Red Book continued to list the piece for a few years after Newman exposed the fraud, but changed the text.

Some changes serve as markers for collectors of the books. Red Book 70th anniversary: The O Morgan silver dollar. Yeoman, commonly known as the Red Book for its distinctive red cover, was printed in but dated The foundation was strong and durable; every edition since has stayed true to its basic format — a retail price guide and numismatic primer.

Readers over the decades learned not only the current price of the coin they were interested in, but a bit of its history and, in some cases, the rationale for producing it. First editor Yeoman was as much interested in the educational aspects of collecting as the financial. The book has served an astounding four generations of collectors. And while its print run is diminished from its all-time high of 1.

The Red Book is an incredible first point of contact for most collectors. The book whets the appetite of the curious and encourages them to explore the hobby further.

The Vietnam War saw one of the biggest changes ever in United States coins, but the changes had nothing to do with the war.

At the same time American involvement in the South East Asian war was escalating from just a few hundred soldiers in to more than half a million in , the price of silver was also rising. The death warrant for silver coinage was signed Sept. In , the Mint ceased production of 90 percent silver dimes, quarter-dollars and half dollars. Some silver would remain in the half dollar through , as U. Our current clad coinage began during the Vietnam War and continues to this day.

Twenty-one years after the last American left Vietnam, the United States produced one of the most democratic coins ever made to commemorate those who lost their lives in war — the Vietnam Veterans Memorial silver dollar.

Most of the men whose names appear on the coin fell during the Battle of Ia Drang. Of 21 discernible names on the commemorative silver dollar, 17 men died at Ia Drang. Sixteen of those 17 died during the hour battle in and near a football-field size clearing called Landing Zone Albany.

The battle was the subject of the book and movie We Were Soldiers Once Galloway wrote the book. The result was some million white, zinc-plated steel cents as well as uniquely marked silver nickels.

For Hawaii, overprinted currency in several denominations was provided. In case the islands were captured the paper money could be demonetized. World War II challenged the Mint. After a decade of low-production because of the Great Depression, sudden wartime prosperity dramatically increased the demand for coins.

The result was zinc-plated steel cents and silver nickels. In , the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco produced some million white steel cents. They were instantly recognizable in change and were prized by children as lucky coins for decades after. Then the artillery shells were recycled at the Mint from through and used to make cent planchets. The shellcase coins are a lighter color than earlier and later pieces because the alloy lacked the trace of zinc used in other copper cents.

War nickels, produced from mid through , were composed of 35 percent silver and had a large Mint mark on the reverse above Monticello. The large letter was meant to allow for easy identification so the silver could be retrieved after the war.

All other coins remained unchanged throughout the war. Some paper money, though, was changed for war reasons. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States became concerned that the enemy might occupy the islands. In answer to the threat, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced special paper money for use in Hawaii.

If Hawaii had been overrun, the bills would have been demonetized. The Peace dollar's creator originally envisioned a broken sword in the eagle's grasp, signifying an end to war. The shattered hardware was interpreted by others as a symbol of defeat, however, so an olive branch took its place at the eagle's feet. We continue a five-part look at the way war has shaped U. While World War I wreaked havoc on European currencies, the coinage of the United States went through the war unchanged.

The United States, though, doubled down on the silver dollar and changed its design to celebrate the peace that followed the war. Speaking at the American Numismatic Association convention, Zerbe called for the nation to commemorate the peace with a coin for circulation.

Late the next year Anthony de Francisci won a competition to design the peace coin, but his winning entry was not without controversy.

In a letter to her parents, she said the president objected to a dimple on her chin. The president approved the design, but veterans groups protested the broken sword was a symbol of defeat.

Just three days before production started Dec. The last Peace dollars, curiously, were dated and produced in , during the early days of the Vietnam War. The entire later-day mintage of , coins was melted. Coins glorified God during the Civil War, celebrated peace after World War I and honored those unfortunate soldiers who died in the jungles of Vietnam.

During the Civil War and again during World War II the Mint tried new metals to replace those hoarded at home and needed for battle abroad. Coinage, even cents, disappeared from circulation at the start of the Civil War. Metal coins were hoarded and traded at a substantial but fluctuating premium to paper money. In April , Congress authorized a change in composition for the cent and the creation of the 2-cent piece.

The cent, which had previously been a nearly 5-gram copper-nickel coin, was changed to a 3. The 2-cent piece was produced to take the pressure off the cent. Twice as much value for each strike of the press. The coin was most important, though, for the legend it bore: Watkinson urged Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. The Continental Currency dollar, designed by Benjamin Franklin, bears the names of all 13 rebelling colonies and the fateful date Coins celebrated the unity of the 13 original states during the Revolution, glorified God during the Civil War, celebrated peace after World War I and honored those unfortunate soldiers who died in the jungles of Vietnam.

Over five weeks, we'll look at the way war shaped our coinage. The coins were designed by Benjamin Franklin, have the names of all 13 rebelling colonies and bear the fateful date The coins, basically a larger version of the Fugio cents, feature a chain of 13 links on the reverse, each inscribed with the name of a breakaway colony.

The coin is known from four silver pieces and a handful of pewter and brass examples. In a sale of one of the silver coins, the Heritage Auctions catalog tells the story of the pieces. No authorization for the production of the Continental Currency coinage has come to light, but it is probable that the coins were intended to take the place of the dollar-denominated paper currency issued by the Continental Congress in the latter part of The four resolutions from May 10, to May 9, provided for the issue of paper money in various denominations, including the one dollar bill.

The six resolutions of July 22, through September 26, omitted the one dollar denomination. Thus, it is logical to conclude the pewter pieces were intended as a substitute for the paper dollars in those issues.

Paper Continental Currency, some bearing the same designs, is much cheaper. John XXIII issued millions of aluminum, aluminum bronze, steel, silver and gold coins between his election in and his death in This one, from , celebrates the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

You can pick up coins issued by this saint for a dime or so in just about any junk box in the world. Pope John XXIII issued millions of aluminum, aluminum bronze, steel, silver and gold coins between his election in and his death in The Vatican City coins typically show the pontiff on the obverse and a religious image on the reverse.

The beloved pope was canonized April 27, , by Pope Francis, a pope whose substance and style are informed by the life of St. The council changed how the church interacted with the rest of the world and how the faithful interacted with the church. The most visible changes concerned the celebration of the Mass. Successor Paul VI closed the event. He noted in the final address on Dec. His supreme aspirations to life, to personal dignity, to his just liberty, to culture, to the renewal of the social order, to justice and peace were purified and promoted; and to all men was addressed the pastoral and missionary invitation to the light of the Gospel.

The , and lire coins show the pope on the obverse and the bishops assembled beneath the Paraclete on the reverse. The steel and lire coins sell for just a few dollars each. Louis IX reigned between and and was named a saint in King Louis IX of France was a pious man who fed the poor, cared for the fallen, built grand churches and launched two crusades. Louis ascended to the throne in at the age of His strong-willed, sternly moral mother, Blanche of Castile , served as regent during the early years of his reign, thwarting plots to unseat him.

Louis, who loved sermons, attended two Masses every day, and was often accompanied by priests chanting the hours. In he joined the Seventh Crusade. He landed in Egypt during the summer of and was defeated at the Battle of Al Mansurah the following April. He was captured by the Egyptians and held for ransom.

The Eighth Crusade landed at Carthage on July 17, Dysentery swept through the troops and felled the king on Aug. His most common coin is the thin, dime-size billon denier tournois. Saint Helena appears on the obverse of this gold solidus minted at Sirmium in or Like her son, St.

Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, is revered as a saint, too, for her charity, devotion and discovery of the True Cross upon which Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. It is unknown whether she was wife or concubine to Constantius I, but she bore him a child who would become ruler of the Roman world.

Roman historian Eusebius Pamphili wrote, "Especially abundant were the gifts she bestowed on the naked and unprotected poor. To some she gave money, to others an ample supply of clothing; she liberated some from imprisonment, or from the bitter servitude of the mines; others she delivered from unjust oppression, and others again, she restored from exile. She might be seen continually frequenting His Church, while at the same time she adorned the houses of prayer with splendid offerings, not overlooking the churches of the smallest cities.

In short, this admirable woman was to be seen, in simple and modest attire, mingling with the crowd of worshipers, and testifying her devotion to God by a uniform course of pious conduct. Helena, found in Jerusalem the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified.

The legend of the story of the discovery of the True Cross is that when visiting the holy places in Palestine, St. Helena was guided to the site of the Crucifixion by an aged Jew who had inherited traditional knowledge as to its location. The Cross of the Lord was distinguished from the other two by laying the crosses on a dead youth who was revived by the touch of the third Cross. Lifetime coins of Helena are plentiful and cheap, too.

They typically show her on the obverse and a star or Securitas on the reverse. The reverse shows the emperor dragging a captive and stepping on another. The world changed Oct. On that day, Constantine the Great, fighting beneath Christian banners, defeated Maxentius, winning control of the western half of the Roman Empire. The day before, Constantine had a vision. That night in a dream, Christ appeared to Constantine and told him to paint the sign on the shields of his soldiers before they went into battle.

Maxentius drowned in the battle, and his head was paraded through the streets of Rome the next day. Four months later, Constantine and Licinius, who ruled the East, issued the Edict of Milan, permanently ending persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

Over time, Christianity replaced the old religions as the religion of the state. Constantine was baptized a Christian on his deathbed by Eusebius of Nicomedia in He is especially revered as a saint by Orthodox Christians.

Lifetime coins of Constantine the Great are cheap and plentiful. Most show Constantine on the obverse and a god or military representation on the reverse.

A bronze medal currently available from the Austrian Mint shows Saint Eligius as a bishop striking coins as master of the mint at Marseilles in seventh century France. Eligius to or apparently took to heart the New Testament proposition that the want of money is the root of all evil and aimed to do something about it. He made money as mint master of Marseilles. His skill and honesty were recognized by Frankish king Clotaire II, who commissioned him to make a throne of gold adorned with precious stones.

After Clotaire II died in , the successor, Dagobert, named him chief councilor. He founded several monasteries … built the basilica of St. Paul and restored the basilica of St. In honor of the relics of St.

Martin of Tours, the national saint of the Franks, he had several churches built. He did the same thing for St. Denis, whom the king had taken as a patron saint. Eligius was consecrated as a bishop in and died Dec. Over the years, he became venerated as a saint and is recognized today as the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors. Less well-heeled collectors can buy medals showing the saint. The Austrian Mint sells a medal depicting Eligius as a bishop striking coins on the obverse.

The reverse shows the anchor-cross. The bronze medal sells for 18 euro. The Paris Mint struck a large format — mm — bronze medal honoring the saint. The obverse shows the saint. The reverse shows the famed throne surrounded by a dozen of his coins. This uniface Albany, N. In background image, church cornerstone notes founding in Religion and money have a long history, dating at least as far back as the time of Moses.

He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. The money changers provided the silver shekels of Tyre that were used to pay the temple tax.

No other coin would do. From the time of Constantine the Great to Christian religious references have appeared on European coins and even a few Colonial pieces.

In the First Presbyterian Church of Albany even issued its own pennies. The church pennies were struck to stop churchgoers from placing worn or counterfeit coins in the collection plate.

Church pennies are worth a pretty penny today. Most of their coins are incredibly historic and uncommonly inexpensive. Here he appears on an 5 franc piece. Benevolent at home, Leopold gave workers the right to form unions and take Sundays off. All men were given the right to vote.

The Belgian government bought him out in , extracting the payment, of course, from the Congolese. The former leader is seen on coins and in other images wearing his idol's hairstyle. The emperor Diocletian appears on the obverse of this ancient Roman billon follis. On the reverse is a religious representation. The emperor championed traditional Roman religious practices, requiring his subjects to conform or face death.

The forces of good and evil collided cataclysmically during the reign of Roman emperor Diocletian Which was which, though depended on your perspective.

Soviet coins under Joseph Stalin, who caused the deaths of countless millions of his countrymen, never featured his likeness. The korun piece is shown here. This Vienna Mint 1-pfennig piece is typical of Nazi coins. It shows an eagle holding a swastika. Hitler appeared on a few pattern pieces, but did not want his portrait on German coins until after he had won the war.

Read the rest of the series: The central design element of Nazi coins, by and large, was an eagle holding a swastika. These pieces show the Brandenburg Gate surreally topped by a swastika on the reverse. Some truly evil people won't show up in a thematic coin collection dedicated to badness. The evil that men do lives after them;.

The good is oft interred with their bones. For coin collectors, the visages of evil people often live on, too, for decades, centuries and even millennia. For the next few weeks, Five Facts will look at coins depicting five truly evil people who were responsible for endless human misery and millions upon millions of deaths. Some will be obvious. Neighboring Vietnam invaded in , ending the slaughter.

One of the numismatically important 20th century evildoers is a real surprise. Collector plates enjoy a long history, but in the s interest notched way up as marketing firms promoted plates as collectibles. Norman Rockwell never had it so good. The history of commemorative plates dates back to the s when factories started producing plates, bowls and mugs marking royal events in Europe and political events in America. These have always enjoyed support from a small group of collectors.

Prices are stable for these genuinely historic items. Royal Copenhagen joined the club in While the companies have since merged, the Bing and Royal plates are still produced each year. The two series enjoy a collector base that has largely supported prices over the years — except for plates issued during the boom years of the s and early s. Beyond these narrow areas, the market for collector plates pretty much went bust in the early s.

There was no secondary market to create price appreciation. In early August eBay had , listings for collector plates. Most had no bids. As the original purchasers of collectible plates in the s retire, die and downsize, more and more material is coming on the market. EBay listings are full of complete collections of various series of plates — often 20 and more — complete with boxes and certificates of authenticity that attract no bids. One that paid off. The bottle, which came filled with bourbon, was limited to an edition of 1, Seeking a different challenge for your collecting pursuits?: Kennedy Coin and Chronicles set awaits numismatic community's response to Sept.

Collectibles that once cost small fortunes can be found begging for pennies at flea markets such as the Chicagoland Flea Market in Rosemont, Ill. In the early days of the United States Mint, dies were created by hand using punches to place design elements, letters and numbers. In some cases, mint workers grabbed the wrong punch or failed to properly space the lettering. In a die cutter botched three reverse dies.

He caught the error on one of the three dies, punching a 1 over the first zero in the denominator, the lower set of numerals in the fraction. His third die was spectacularly bad. Because dies were expensive, even bungled ones were used to produce coins until they wore out. One of them was still going strong in Coins struck by the bungled dies tend to be worth more than regular coins, especially in higher grades.

Why remains a mystery. There was plenty of space for the last two letters. The late researcher Walter Breen speculated it was done on purpose, somehow in sympathy with the unfinished pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States. Whatever the reason, only about 7, were struck before the die broke, making a rarity for the start of the now year-old 1-cent series. Here's what the West Point Mint's bullion storage vault looks like. Keep up with all of CoinWorld.

Strong-strike No P dime, obverse. Note the smooth surface, lacking any hint of a Mint mark, between the date and Franklin D.

The Philadelphia Mint had neglected to place a Mint mark on one or two dies. Coins with a noticeably strong strike surfaced in Sandusky, Ohio. Less desirable coins with a weak strike were released in Pittsburgh.

Bieda noted that some think that all the No P dimes were struck from the same set of dies, but that the pressure used to strike the coins was raised during the production cycle, resulting in a sharper strike.

Less, once again, is more when it comes to numismatics. Worthless cents and a partial country. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions. Collectors knew something was up in when cents without a Mint mark started showing up in circulation.

For the first time since , the Philadelphia Mint was not striking cents that year. Only the Denver Mint was coining Lincoln cents. All Denver Mint cents should have had a D below the date. They were Denver cents without a Mint mark. During the production of some 7 million cents that year, several dies clashed — banged against each other without a cent blank between them — because of a mechanical error. Clashed obverse dies showed parts of the reverse. Clashed reverse dies showed parts of the obverse.

The standard remedy was to grind off the clashed parts and place the dies back in service. Sometimes, though, the grinders got overly enthusiastic. On at least one die, they ground off the Mint mark. True No D cents — called Die Pair 2 by collectors — have a strong reverse. Three other dies also produced cents with a very weak or in some cases missing Mint mark.

These coins were probably created by worn dies — Die Pairs 1, 3 and 4 — on which the D Mint mark recess gradually filled with debris or grease — a not uncommon occurrence — until the D entirely disappeared.

These varieties have a mushy, poorly defined reverse. Coins with a weak D command a small premium over regular D cents. Coins on which the D is entirely filled command a larger premium, but much less than the No D cents with a strong reverse. Less is more when it comes to cents. The amusement park dime. Government seeks gold double eagle rehearing involving coins from 'the family of a thief'. Price of Peace dollar multiplies thanks to NGC sample slab: Decision to diminish Alexander Hamilton appalls former Federal Reserve chairman.

The buffalo on this reverse of a D 5-cent piece lost part of its leg to an overly enthusiastic Mint worker. As usual, Mint workers tried to fix the reverse die by grinding away the clash marks. The buffalo on coins struck from it hobbled along on only three legs. Collectors immediately seized upon the coin, which apparently was released mostly in Montana. Collector Aubrey Bebee, who later gave much of his collection to the American Numismatic Association, reported in a article in Numismatic Scrapbook.

Bebee and I had the great pleasure of meeting Harold C. White, who informed us of the existence of this freak. I bought several of these nickels from Mr. White, as I doubted that I would be able to find any as late as Collectors sucked up the coins. Most grade Extra Fine or better. With Indian Head 5-cent pieces, less is more.

The Provincial Congress of New Jersey authorized a 30,pound later raised to 50, pounds paper money issue Feb. Nineteen people were authorized to sign the bills, and each bill had to be signed by three men before being released into circulation. John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the signers.

Notes signed by him command a premium of several hundred dollars over other New Jersey notes. The partially signed bills were placed in a trunk in the attic. The fully signed bills were hidden under broken pottery and other debris in tubs in the basement. Thomas Hawkshaw in command of 20 troops searched the farmhouse after being tipped off by a loyalist local.

They found the partially signed bills, but not the fully signed ones. A warning against the acceptance of these incompletely-signed notes appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal. As they are not perfect, and of consequence not a legal tender, and being the property of the State of New-Jersey, the public are requested to stop such as are offered in payment.

Certain configurations are considered

The coins are dated Year of the Third Age, shortly before the town was destroyed. The obverse depicts Captain Roberts with a knife in his death and the date , the year before the real Captain Roberts was killed.

Real pirates never issued coins, they were too busy plundering and pillaging. Instead the Viking colony was abandoned after a few years and European knowledge of North America was forgotten for nearly years.

The coin is struck in a style typical of Viking coins. Just before his departure, Leif was forced to convert from paganism to Christianity on pain of death by Norwegian King Olav Trygvasson, hence the Christian reverse.

Note however that the text terminator on the inscription on the obverse is a "Hammer of Thor" rather than the traditional cross, indicating that Leif had not completely given up his pagan ways. It is Uncirculated with an "antiqued" finish.

It is an interesting and historical fantasy coin. France did not actually issue coins for its settlements in Arkansas, Alabama or Louisiana. These issues represent what the issues might have looked like had they actually been issued. The early colony was just up the Arkansas River from the Mississippi and adjacent to a village of the Quapaw natives. The name of the colony translates something like: The use of the spelling "Akansas" is typical of the time period, and is a French transliteration of the name of what is today called the "Quapaw".

The reverse bears the royal crown above, and a device combining the fleurs-des-lis with the bow and arrow. Isle du Massacre, located off the coast of Alabama, was a French settlement founded in by a French Canadian named Pierre le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville.

The island was named because of human bones that were found on the shore, apparently from an Indian burial mound that had been disturbed by a hurricane. The reverse features a coat-of-arms featuring three human skulls. The colony had trouble attracting settlers, perhaps because of its unfortunate name. In an effort to attract more settlers it was renamed in to Isle Dauphin.

For a time it became a thriving settlement and the headquarters for French colonization along the Gulf Coast. Today it is known as Dauphin Island. The third coin is a copper 1 Sol of Isle Dauphin which features a crowned fish on the reverse. The coin proved immensely popular.

Banks across the country quickly exhausted their supply. Those lucky enough to get some found a ready market at home and abroad.

Writing in the St. Petersburg Independent in , coin columnist Earl Campbell recalled those days: With a mintage of just 12,, the S half dollar should be scarce but not rare. Ten other dates have lower mintages. The S half dollar was rare from the get-go. One reportedly appeared at auction as early as For reasons no one knows, fewer than 60 S half dollars have survived. In comparison, the grading services had graded about of the coins. As mandated by the Bland-Allison Act authorized on February 28, , the Treasury Department was ordered to resume coinage of the silver dollar denomination.

Mintages of quarters and half dollars diminished to only token amounts. What happened to the remainder of the 12, S half dollars has been the subject of speculation over the decades. Were the coins melted, with the silver redirected to silver dollar coinage?

Were they, like so many 19th century U. And, if they were shipped overseas, were they melted, as is most likely, or do there exist, in some Oriental warehouse, bags of gleaming S half dollars? The catalog entry tells the story: Williams said he ordered a load of fill for some foundation work he was doing. The entire family then became increasingly excited about the find. The coin was unknown to collectors until October when a brief item about it appeared in The Numismatist.

T Wallis, of Los Angeles, Cal. Wallis thinks the die may have been cracked when the 7 was cut over the 4 and the die may have been broken when the striking began. Some collectors think the die was weakened when the 4 was mostly ground off, causing the overdate die to fail after only a few coins were struck.

This half dollar, with the letter P punched into the obverse 33 times, was struck in platinum and weighs close to twice as much as the regular-issue silver coin. In and again in the Philadelphia Mint experimented with extra wide gold pieces that were designed to be too thin to hollow out. Nothing came of the experiment, except for a few odd pattern coins. Russia, which became a prime source of the elusive metal in , produced platinum 3, 6 and 12 ruble coins from the late s through The United States Mint played with platinum, too, producing two or three dated half dollars from the metal.

Two examples — one is in the Smithsonian Institution — are known to collectors today. Researcher Walter Breen wrote about a third specimen in , but it has not been confirmed. This demonstrates that , in all probability, was the actual year in which the platinum coins were made. If the pieces were made in a later year it is likely that they would have been struck from an incongruously matched pair of dies that had no counterpart in the regular issue half dollar series.

It was an experiment, platina being a new metal. The other coin, though, is markedly different. While a handful of other half dollars have sold for more, the platinum half dollar, which weighs almost twice as much as a silver half dollar, remains the ultimate half dollar.

The quarter million dollar dirt pile. Any coins of that date or later, if found in circulation, were likely placed there by accident or by a quixotic collector determined to keep the denomination alive.

In the early years of the nation, the coin was king. Neil Carothers reports in Fractional Money: The coins did not circulate widely. Before the Civil War when private banks issued their own paper money, bank reserves typically consisted of casks of half dollars. There are reports that the kegs were often transferred from bank to bank in advance of the bank examiner, leaving one bank as soon as the official was gone and arriving at the next bank just before he got there.

In fact, the same barrel of silver half dollars had been noticed by the bank examiner as the same one that he had just audited the week before at another bank in Oswego.

Because of their use as bank reserves, half dollars did not circulate much during the first half of the 19th century. This accounts for the fact that Bust half dollars routinely are graded as About Uncirculated and better.

If you like fresh corn, a bit of cheese and a friendly looking cow, along with what could be taken as a positive admonishment, the standard D Wisconsin quarter dollar in the U.

Mint's 50 State Quarters Program is for you. But wait, there's more Collectors were electrified in late when word came from Tucson, Arizona, of all places, that extra leaves had sprouted on the ear of corn on the reverse of some Denver Mint Wisconsin 50 State quarter dollars.

The corn, which is to the right of the cow and above the round of cheese this represents Wisconsin, after all is nestled in a few leaves or husks. What appeared to be an extra leaf sprouted on two varieties. The high-leaf variety was rarer than the low-leaf one, and both were scarce enough to warrant a stampede of change searching across the country. Most, though, appear to have been released in the Tucson area.

USA Today reported Feb. Sales have doubled in the past few days on both the Web and on the phone. The source of the error was immediately the cause of collector speculation. Romantics mulled that it was the result of midnight mischief at the Mint, a practice not unheard of. Others noted that the leaves were not so much leaves as parts of a circle and figured something circular had dropped on the dies while they were in an annealed, softened state, leaving the appearance of extra leaves.

The Mint investigated the coins and determined that 50, flawed coins were produced by accident in November A press operator working the Friday night shift noticed the error coins but left for a break before changing out the die.

When he returned to work he noticed his press was running and assumed someone else had fixed the problem. Within a year they became the subject of extreme speculation and debate over their cause. While interest in the 50 State Quarters program and the Wisconsin errors has flagged since that program ended in , the Wisconsin quarters still command a hefty premium. For years, every year-old boy in America has aspired to own a Standing Liberty quarter dollar. Liberty on and early quarter dollars has a bare breast.

However, the erotic coin has always been pricey and generally out of reach for pre-teen boys. Why the offending breast was covered has been the subject of speculation and declaration over the decades.

Through this familial alliance, as well as his position as Secretary of the Treasury, McAdoo hoped to springboard himself into the White House after Wilson stepped down. However trivial the complaints from the Society for the Suppression of Vice may have seemed to many Americans, an aspiring politician such as McAdoo could not afford to ignore them. Or, it might just be that coin designer Hermon Atkins MacNeil changed his mind. MacNeil was not happy with modifications Charles E. Barber had made to the coin and asked permission in early to rework the design.

In the Mint struck a gold version of the coin to mark its centennial. That coin shows a fully liberated, anatomically correct Miss Liberty. No business strike original quarters dollars are known.

The nine original quarter dollars known are all Proof strikes. Story I — Rory R. Glenn Peterson, Bradley S. Karoleff and John J. These officials maintaining their keepsakes could account for the presence of the quarter being unknown to collectors for decades. Story II — At some point — when and how are open to speculation — an original obverse die was paired with an reverse die, identifiable by the square-base 2 in the denomination.

The dies, at this point, were fairly new and left no rough patches on the struck coins — no signs of a rusted die. Two of the coins were struck over quarters. Rea, et al, report: Open collars, used well into the s, resulted in coins of varying diameter. Story III — Rea, et al, report further: Some of these restrikes were made from copper planchets and one of those copper planchets was silver plated. Heritage Auctions set the date of the rusted restrikes about , when Henry R. Linderman was Mint Director.

Originals and restrikes are just about unavailable to collectors. Restrikes cost less, but still fetch high prices. Its 15 stars count the original 13 Colonies plus Vermont and Kentucky. When the United States Mint began operation in the original 13 states had been joined by two more — Vermont in and Kentucky in Tennessee, the 16th state, joined the Union on June 1, , nearly 90 days after the first quarter dollars were struck on April 9, The quarter dollar had just 15 stars.

While most other denominations picked up a star for Tennessee in mid or the next year, the quarter dollar never would have 16 stars. By the time the next quarter dollar was minted in , Mint officials had decided to trim the number of stars on most coins to 13 and hold it there forever. Mint Director Elias Boudinot realized at some point in that a multiplicity of stars could become unworkable, making it so that Ohio, the 17th state, would rarely see its star on a circulating coin.

The coin comes in two varieties. The first has no stars on the obverse. The second has eight stars on either side of Liberty. A scant 6, quarter dollars were coined in Few were needed, argue Rory R. The quarter dollar is notable, too, because collectors believed for decades that it was an object of fascination by the legendary collector Col.

Green, who at one point owned all five Liberty Head five-cent pieces and all Inverted Jenny stamps, was a collector of enormous appetites. However, the number is nowhere near accurate. Rea, et al, estimate that only 56 to 75 uncirculated quarter dollars exist, and apparently Green owned just one.

In its Selections from the Eric P. That sale included a quarter dollar pedigreed to Green. This 2-real coin, issued in the name of Carlos and Johanna, was struck at Mexico City in the midth century. The largest coin was the silver-dollar size 8-real piece, the forerunner of the United States silver dollar. All of them found their way into the English colonies and later the United States where merchants often kept accounts in three formats at the same time — decimal United States coins, English pounds, shillings and pence and Spanish 8 reals.

The three formats crossed approximately at the quarter dollar point. The United States quarter dollar had 0. For years, Spanish pieces formed the bulk of the circulating coins in the United States. Surviving coins are frequently found worn almost smooth from decades of circulation. Foreign coins were legal tender in the United States until , when the federal government seized upon the worn coins as a way to ease acceptance and circulation of the new small cents.

Many of the Spanish colonial coins were lightweight from extensive wear or even counterfeit. Bullion merchants valued them by weight, but still they continued to circulate at full face value for years for want of an alternative. It made no difference to the Mint.

More than 1, people reportedly turned up to exchange Spanish silver and obsolete U. When the clock on Independence Hall struck 9 a. Remnants of the Spanish system still survive.

Even today, the quarter-dollar is widely known as two bits for its Spanish value of 2 real. The cent, nickel and dime ceased to have any real value decades ago. The half dollar and the dollar coins, too, have no real place in commerce. The half dollar dropped out of sight in the s. The few half dollars the Mint produces now are made only for sale to collectors.

The small dollar, introduced in , never caught on either. It, too, is made just for sale to collectors today. The quarter dollar coin, however, still is useful. Nonetheless, in it was first coined to honor a towering figure in American history and to raise money for the fight against polio, a debilitating scourge of childhood.

In he founded the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, whose chief fundraising event was the annual door-to-door March of Dimes campaign. Shortly after Roosevelt died April 12, , Sinnock began work on the Roosevelt dime — a singularly appropriate denomination for a Roosevelt memorial. Every child of the time remembers lining up for shots in the s and, later, sugar cubes dosed with oral vaccine in the early s.

The March of Dimes still exists as an organization, now dedicated to fight against birth defects, but has long since abandoned door-to-door fundraising. In , the Mint struck 1. It is the first dime to bear a W Mint mark the second is the W Winged Liberty Head Centennial gold dime and is one of the few coins struck to commemorate an anniversary of the coin itself. The coin features busts of Roosevelt and Salk on the obverse and a baby on the reverse. In , the Philadelphia Mint added the P Mint mark to all its denominations above the cent.

However, in , the Mint neglected to place a P Mint mark onto one dime die. Most of the strongly struck No-Mint Mark dimes entered circulation through Cedar Point Amusement Park, paid out in change from the park's seasonal stock of coins, acquired by way of the Cleveland Federal Reserve bank's Mint shipment.

In late and early , collectors in northwestern Ohio and the Pittsburgh, Pa. Before , Philadelphia coins traditionally did not have a Mint mark. The P Mint mark was placed only on silver World War II era nickels to differentiate them from pre-war non-silver issues. That changed in , when the P Mint mark was added to all denominations above the cent. However, in , the Philadelphia Mint neglected to place a P Mint mark onto one die.

The die was placed in production. Apparently workers noticed that coins produced by the die were not well struck and increase the striking pressure after a short while. Weak-strike coins are not cataloged there, but tend to sell for less than half the value of strong-strike coins.

The strong-strike coins have a strong association with the nearly year-old Cedar Point Amusement Park. The bank ordered the coinage from the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland. As it turned out, the vast majority of the No-Mint Mark dimes were contained in this order. The dimes apparently were paid out in change to customers throughout the season, providing a boost to circulation searchers.

The 50th anniversary dime. With a mintage of more than million, the Philadelphia dime is the fifth most common Winged Liberty Head Mercury dime. The top and bottom bands are nearly always separated, but the center bands not so much. The center bands are the high point of the reverse design. Only on fully struck coins are the bands entirely separated — fully split.

For collectors looking for fully struck Dimes, the Dime with Full Bands is the ultimate condition-rarity. Tom told me to look at the bands on the reverse. And so I started looking for that date and others and soon discovered that some Mercury dimes Knowledgeable collectors became aware of the importance of the center bands in the s.

By the s some dealers began catering to the cognoscenti. The Philadelphia dime with full split bands is an extremely uncommon common coin and one of the most valuable. In his Complete Encyclopedia of U. Hallie Daggett, the story goes, spent for ice cream one of the three S dimes her father gave her from among the 24 coins struck.

She is shown here about She served for the next 14 or 15 years. Hallie Daggett of S dime fame served 15 years as a fire lookout atop a mountain. The Forest Service magazine ran an article about her in that is an interesting read about an interesting person in the history of numismatics. It is attached as a special extra segment after the blog.

The story requires several leaps of faith and researchers have cast serious doubts about its authenticity.

Nonetheless, the story endures, perhaps more as a fairy tale than a truth, but a good yarn nonetheless. The story builds on one fact, a fact documented in Mint records and on pages of the massive Report of the Director of the Mint: The most famous one begins with San Francisco Mint Supt. John Daggett ordering the 24 coins struck to end the fiscal year on an even dollar amount.

He gave three each to seven of his banker friends and to his daughter Hallie, telling her to keep them until she was as old as he was 61 in at which time they would be very valuable. On her way home from the Mint, the story goes, she spent one of the dimes on ice cream.

Another version of the ice cream story says the daughter of a Ukiah, Calif. The Ukiah story predates the Hallie Daggett story by three years. It was first reported in the February issue of Numismatic Scrapbook magazine, but disappeared into obscurity, largely forgotten by the collector community. Of the 24 dimes, five were reserved for assay, leaving a possible 19 for collectors. Only nine are known to collectors today, leaving open the possibility that some may exist out there in unsearched rolls and bags of worn Barber dimes.

Hallie Daggett achieved a sort of fame later in life when she became the first woman fire spotter in the United States Forest Service.

You can read about her years on the mountain in this article from the May issue of American Forestry , the magazine of the American Forestry Association. Daggett, who was 35 when she began working for the Forest Service, died in All alone, 6, feet above sea level, on top of Klamath Peak in Siskiyou County, California, a young woman for months at a time during the prevalence of the forest fire season, did her part, and did it well, in the effort the Government is making to preserve the forests of the country from the destructive flames which have for years past caused an average annual property loss of twenty- five million dollars, and cost annually an average of seventy-five human lives.

She is Miss Hallie M. Daggett, and she is the only woman lookout employed by the Forest Service. Posted in her small cabin on top of the mountain peak it was her duty to scan the vast forest in every direction as far as she could see by naked eye and telescope by day for smoke, and for the red glare of fire by night, and report the result of her observations by telephone to the main office of the forest patrol miles and miles away.

Few women would care for such a job, fewer still would seek it, and still less would be able to stand the strain of the infinite loneliness, or the roar of the violent storms which sweep the peak, or the menace of the wild beasts which roam the heavily wooded ridges.

Miss Daggett, however, not only eagerly longed for the station but secured it after considerable exertion and now she declares that she enjoyed the life and was intensely interested in the work she had to do. Perhaps the call of the wild is in her blood. Her parents are pioneers, her father, John Daggett, having crossed the Isthmus in and her mother, a mere baby, being taken across the plains from Kentucky the same year. Miss Daggett was born at the Klamath mine, in the shadow of the peak on which the lookout station is perched.

She spent most of her early years out of doors riding and tramping over the hills with her brother, so that it was natural that with her inborn love of the forests she should be anxious to take part in the fight which the Forest Service men are making for the protection of the forests.

Debarred by her sex, however, from the kind of work which most of the Service men are doing she saw no opportunity until lookout stations were established, and then after earnest solicitation secured the place she held so well. Some of the Service men predicted that after a few days of life on the peak she would telephone that she was frightened by the loneliness and the danger, but she was full of pluck and high spirit, and day after day as her keen eyes ranged the hills which constitute the Salmon River watershed and as she made her daily reports by telephone she grew more and more in love with the work.

Even when the telephone wires were broken and when for a long time she was cut off from communication with the world below she did not lose heart. She not only filled the place with all the skill which a trained man could have shown but she desires to be reappointed when the fire season opens this year.

The story of her experiences she has told for American Forestry and here it is:. Such being the case, it is easy to see that I grew up with a fierce hatred of the devastating fires, and welcomed the force which arrived to combat them. But not until the lookout stations were installed did there come an opportunity to join what had up till then been a man's fight; although my sister and I had frequently been able to help on the small things, such as extinguishing spreading camp fires or carrying supplies to the firing line.

Of course I had been on the peak before during my early rambles, but had never thought of it as a possible home. One of my pet dreams had always been of a log cabin, and here was an ideal one, brand new the summer before, and indoors as cozy as could be wished; while outdoors, all outdoors, was a grander dooryard than any estate in the land could boast; and, oh, what a prospect of glorious freedom from four walls and a time clock! Its central location in the district makes it, however, an ideal spot for a station.

I can think of no better description of it than the hub of a wheel with the lines of ridges as spokes, and an unbroken rim of peaks circling around it; some eternally snow capped, and most all of them higher than itself.

These all summer and then the gorgeous autumn coloring on the hillsides later on, when the whole country seemed one vast Persian rug. I positively declined owning a cat on account of its destructive intentions on small life, — a pair of owls proving satisfactory as mouse catchers, and being amusing neighbors as well.

Several deer often fed around evenings; there was a small bear down near the spring, besides several larger ones whose tracks I often saw on the trail; and a couple of porcupines also helped to keep from being lonesome, by using various means to find a way into the cabin at night. Later the supply was packed in canvas sacks from a spring about a mile away in the timber. This was always a job sought for by anyone coming up on horseback; and thanks to the kindly efforts of the guards who passed that way, and my few visitors, it was always easy to keep the kettle boiling.

So I did not need a horse myself, there being, contrary to the general impression, no patrol work in connection with look- out duties, and my sister bringing up my supplies and mail from home every week, a distance of nine miles. Through all the days up to the close of the term on November 6th, when a light fall of snow put an end to all danger of fires, there was an ever growing sense of responsibility which finally came to be almost a feeling of proprietorship, resulting in the desire to punish anyone careless enough to set fires in my dooryard.

They often joke now about expecting to have found me hidden under some log for safety, but it wasn't quite so funny then. One soon becomes accustomed to the racket.

But in the damage they cause starting fires lies their chief interest to the lookout, for it requires a quick eye to detect, in among the rags of fog which arise in their wake, the small puff of smoke which tells of some tree struck in a burnable spot. Generally it shows at once, but in one instance there was a lapse of nearly two weeks before the fall of the smouldering top fanned up enough smoke to be seen.

Upon the speed and accuracy of this report, however, the efficiency of the Service depends, as was proven by the summer's record of extra small acreage burned in spite of over forty fires reported. A good work and long may it prosper, is the earnest wish of one humble unit, who thanks the men of the Service one and all, for the courtesy and consideration which gave her the happiest summer of her life. A most uncommon common dime.

The dime pattern is shown. Died, on board U. The fictional short story told the tale of Army Lt. Philip Nolan who is court martial for joining Aaron Burr in an early 19th century plot against the United States. I wish I may never hear of the United States again.

His wish was granted. The Court decides, subject to the approval of the President, that you never hear the name of the United States again. But nobody else laughed. Old Morgan who was holding the court was too solemn, and the whole room was hushed dead as night for a minute. Even Nolan lost his swagger in a moment.

Marshal, take the prisoner to Orleans in an armed boat, and deliver him to the naval commander there. The marshal gave his orders and the prisoner was taken out of court. Marshal, make my respects to Lieutenant Mitchell at Orleans, and request him to order that no one shall mention the United States to the prisoner while he is on board ship. You will receive your written orders from the officer on duty here this evening. The court is adjourned without day.

For the next 50 years Nolan served his sentence aboard a succession of ships, never to hear the words United States of America again until he was on his deathbed. Hale makes no mention of the coins Nolan could have used during his confinement, but there is only one option — the pattern half dimes and dimes struck with an obverse and an reverse. The obverse shows a Seated Liberty surrounded by 13 stars and the date.

The reverse shows a wreath of cereals corn and wheat as well as oak and maple leaves and the denomination. An estimated 12 to 15 such coins exist, all in Proof. Their origin is a mystery.

The ice cream dime. Put another nickel in. All I want is having you. And music, music, music. A jukebox song cost a quarter dollar then, but pay phones, at least in song, were still a dime. When you need someone who cares. One thin dime is all you need. With the rise of cell phones since the s, pay phones have become an endangered species.

When the United States Mint produced the first dime in — spelled disme then — the coin marked a radical departure from earlier English pounds, shillings, pence and Spanish 8 reals and its subdivisions monetary systems.

Since the colonies were mostly English in origin, the British system of 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound prevailed across much of North America. Competing with it, primarily because of the sheer abundance of Mexican and South American coins, was the Spanish colonial system, in which a silver dollar-size coin was divided into eight real. However, the commonly used 1 real coin, or bit, was equal to The dime was an awkward fit and would not be fully integrated into commerce until when the Spanish colonial coins were no longer recognized as legal tender in the United States.

A coin for the man without a country. Low mintage alone does not create value. Children filled blue Whitman folders withchange from circulation. Mindful of rapidly rising prices, investors boughtcoins by the roll and bag. When collectorslearned that the Denver Mint produced only 2.

The coin washoarded from the start. Researcher and dealer Q. David Bowers has written thata Milwaukee dealer amassed 8, rolls , coins and that a Texas dealeracquired about 1 million coins, which he sold to investors through ads in Numismatic Scrapbook magazine andwholesaled to dealers for years. Without adoubt the gilt-edged security in the coin investment field.

If he ever sold, it was likely at lessthan half his investment. On the bourse floor, thecoin kept dropping. Most of the mintage went in rolls and bags tospeculators. This Liberty Head 5-cent piece famously appeared in a episode of the Hawaii Five-0 television show. The book, which was issued through the s, ostensibly listed the prices the Texas coin dealer would pay for rare coins, but mostly it was a way for Mehl to make money by selling books.

Mehl never had to pay off on his advertising because only five Liberty Head 5-cent pieces were minted, and Mehl knew where they all were. Mint records show coinage of Liberty Head 5-cent pieces ceased at Philadelphia on Dec. Mint Director George H. Roberts advised Philadelphia Mint Supt. Nonetheless five Liberty Head 5-cent pieces were clandestinely produced, likely at the request of mint storekeeper Samuel W.

He later apparently sold or consigned his five coins to Philadelphia coin dealer August Wagner. In Wagner placed an ad in The Numismatist offering the five for sale. The nation experienced terrible inflation during World War I, causing the value of money to decrease by more than 50 percent. Green ended up with them in the mids. The design was quickly modified. Snowden wanted the Mint to the shrink the cent, slightly enlarge the nickel 3-cent and 5-cent pieces and strike all three in an alloy of 75 percent copper, 25 percent nickel.

I would have uniformity of alloy. Due proportions of weight in each piece. Due proportions in the sizes of thecoins. On the reverse, I would have a wreath composed of wheat, corn and cotton, products of the country, surrounding the Roman V, III, I on the 5, 3 and 1-cent pieces respectively. The copper nickel cent and revised 3-cent piece died aborning, but the 5-cent piece made it to production. The larger Liberty head 5-cent piece replaced the smaller Shield nickel. The new coin had a diameter of However, a fatal flaw was in the details.

Researchers have concluded that the story was made up of whole cloth sometime in the s and repeated as gospel ever since. While Tatum turned out to be fraud, the underlying fact that con men gold plated the coins was recently confirmed by archaeologists digging in Deadwood, S. Among a cache of some coins excavated in was a gold-plated Liberty Head 5-cent piece. In mid, after some 5. As the Civil War wound down, the government sought to replace the fragile paper fractional notes with coins.

With silver still not circulating, the Mint turned to nickel coins to replace the silver half dime in Though not particularly beautiful, the Shield 5-cent piece was produced for 21 years.

Almost a decade before the U. Mint started striking nickel 5-cent pieces, the Mint struck nickel cents. The new Flying Eagle cents, which were 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel, were immediately and immensely popular. As the war wound down, the government sought to replace the shinplasters with coins. With silver still not circulating, the Mint turned to nickel coins to replace the tiny 3-cent silver piece in and the silver half dime in Curiously, the Mint also produced silver versions of the coins for a few years after the introduction of the nickel coins.

Mint Director James Pollock viewed nickel coins as temporary expedients that would eventually be replaced in turn with silver coins once gold and silver traded at par again with paper money. In mid, after noticing that the public readily accepted small sized copper Civil War tokens in commerce, the Mint switched from copper-nickel cents to copper coins.

The first nickel nickels were graceless affairs, showing a shield on the obverse and a large 5 on the reverse. Were George and Martha Washington present when the half dismes were struck? The United States was a new nation, not yet 20 years old, when the U.

Mint set up temporary shop in the cellar of a Philadelphia saw factory in the summer of and began striking tiny silver coins in the name of the United States of America. Despite the lack of documentary evidence, the late Richard Doty, Smithsonian Institution senior numismatic curator, believed George and Martha Washington were present when the half dismes were struck. The half disme shows Liberty on the obverse and a scrawny eagle on the reverse.

Doty said the tiny silver coin is important because "coinage is an attribute of sovereignty. This is a literal manifestation of sovereignty. He said, "In execution of authority given by the legislature, measures have been taken for engaging some artists from abroad to aid in the establishment of our Mint.

Others have been employed at home. Provisions have been made for the requisite buildings, and these are now putting into proper condition for the purposes of the establishment. There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins incirculation calling the first attention to them.

Those half dismes, with their archaic spelling of the word dime, cramped lettering and intimate connection to George Washington occupy a special place in the hearts of collectors. By some accounts, the coins show Martha Washington on theobverse and were struck on silver provided by George Washington himself.

In an aging Adam Eckfeldt, chief coiner in , reportedly said the coins were struck expressly for Washington on silver he provided in bullion or coin. In , the world famously needed a good five-cent cigar. Today it could stand a good five-cent nickel. When the Mint began operation in , the silver half-disme was the first coin out. The story goes that Marshall made the witty remark to a buddy while a verbose senator went on and on about what the country does and does not need.

This is my favorite. It comes from the June 20, , issue of the long-gone Literary Digest. Once the Senate was indulging itself with an endless, tiresome symposium of oratory as to the welfare of the nation. Senator after senator got up, delivered himself of his views as to what would cure the ills of the body politic.

Marshall was patience itself. But one Senator, more verbose than any of his colleagues, went on and on and on. Marshall leaned over to the Secretary of the Senate and said in a voice which must have reached the loquacious speaker: The Mint spends eight cents to make each one.

The nickel has cost more than a nickel to produce for the last decade, from a spike of slightly more than 11 cents in In the early days of the U. It meant the year the die was created. Dies were used until they wore out, regardless of the date on them. But, when the Mint switched to better steel, die life improved dramatically.

While some , cents were produced in , all but a comparative handful were dated or before. Only one cent die was produced in That die failed in service, after striking an estimated perhaps 60, coins. Today the cent is scarce, all but unknown in uncirculated condition. Early collectors found the coin so difficult to obtain that, some time about , unknown collectors, perhaps Joseph Mickley and Edward Cogan, produced their own from worn-out dies the Mint had sold as scrap years before.

The coin, which is usually found in high grade, is a beloved novelty with a prominent obverse die crack and widespread rust. This Proof Lincoln, V. Coins Signature Auction in early August For more than a century collectors have been asking: Was Victor David Brenner, the man who designed the most popular coin in the history of the world, denied his due in because he was Jewish? The coin was wildly popular. In New York City, police were called to keep order Aug. Newsboys who braved long lines hawked their treasures at three for a nickel, nearly doubling their money.

Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh had signed off on the design months before the coin's release, but when pressed about the initials said he had not noticed the offending V. Three days after the coin was released, he ordered production halted and the initials remove, but not before 28 million cents had been struck at Philadelphia and , at San Francisco. Over the years, darker motives have been ascribed to the removal of the initials. Brenner was a private medalist and a Jewish immigrant.

Mint employees, particularly Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, chafed at seeing outsiders work on U. Immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants, were none too popular in the United States in the early s. The Immigration Act of , which limited immigrants to 2 percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States in , pretty much shut the door on Jewish immigration for decades. Brenner, born Viktoras Baranauskas in his native Lithuania, was unmistakably Jewish.

Acting on rumors the VDB cents would be recalled and destroyed, people hoarded the coins. It is believed to be the most reproduced piece of art in the history of the world. They remain there today. The cent that was so good they made it twice.

By the s, the Mint was losing money on large cents. The Mint experimented with tiny, holed, 10 percent silver coins in and and copper-nickel cents featuring a shrunken Seated Liberty on the obverse in By , the Mint had settled on copper-nickel cents with a flying eagle on the obverse and an agricultural wreath on the reverse. The Mint figured that even though the coins did not contain their full value in metal, the white color would be close enough to silver that the public would accept them. It would probably aid us in our efforts to deliver the Country from the present large and unsightly coin if a specimen were furnished to each member of Congress.

If you concur in this suggestion I will deliver the department from the trouble of distributing them and send them to the Members of Congress, or transmit them to you for distribution if you prefer that course. No one knows how many Flying Eagle cents were struck, though the number is widely estimated at 1, to 2, — enough to make the pattern collectable as part of the regular-issue Flying Eagle cent series.

There has never been enough coins in existence to meet the high demand. Even in the lowest grades such as Good-4, most examples will command thousands of dollars and even much more when they remain in higher condition. The coin, too, was the object of desire of hoarders. Atlantic City collector R. Leeds acquired pieces, which were sold with his collection in Rice accumulated specimens in the late s and early s.

When his hoard was dispersed in , Pittsburgh collector John Andrew Beck bought many of them. Beck, who died in , had some of the elusive pieces.

The coin hobby was in a period of great strength at the time, all of the Flying Eagle cents found ready buyers, and the price increased! When the Flying Eagle cent was officially released the following year, it proved popular with the public. Cents were needed in commerce, but no one liked handling the old heavy large cent.

The white color, too, eased acceptance. The Lincoln Cent and anti-Semitism. Although cents may have been struck in late , none was struck from dies dated ; the dies were likely dated Some real large cents have had their dates altered to read The date shown at left is from an Classic Head cent that was modified, and the date at right is from an Coronet cent that was modified.

Any cent with an date is either altered or a counterfeit. Blame the War of That source dried up with the start of hostilities. There were no domestic suppliers. Toward the end of , the Mint struck its remaining copper stock and delivered , coins. Those coins, Breen claims, went into the pay packets of Mint workers. Breen claimed the Mint ordered more planchets from England as soon as the wartime embargo against trade was lifted in , but the blanks did not arrive until However, Bill Eckberg, writing in the Jan.

These arrived in the fall and were struck into coins as soon as possible. The resulting , cents were delivered on Feb. The mystery is, then, when were those coins struck and what was the date on those coins? It clearly was not If the coins were struck as soon as the shipment of blanks arrived, they were struck in , likely using still serviceable dies. Dies were expensive and difficult to produce in the early days of the Mint. They were used until they wore out, no matter what date they bore.

If the coins were struck closer to the delivery date, they were struck in Con-men, pranksters and hole-fillers have produced their own cents by altering and even cents to fill the gap. The obverse shows Liberty, with her hair flowing in the wind. The reverse features a chain of 15 links. The reverse, though, drew the most criticism. The 15 interlocked links of the chain were meant to symbolize the strength and unity of the new nation of 15 states. The design was reused on the pattern Continental Currency dollars and the Fugio cents.

However, despite its storied past and association with a signer of the Declaration of Independence, critics saw the chain as a symbol of slavery and pounced. The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty, and liberty herself appears to be in a fright. And so, for the first time but not the last , bad newspaper publicity forced the Mint to abandon an adopted design, unintentionally creating rarities in the process.

Some 36, Chain cents were struck in early While not rare, the coins are highly sought after. Production of Chain cents ceased in early March. By April, the Mint was churning out cents with a wreath on the reverse instead of a chain. She added and lost a couple hats over the years before settling on a coronet in Other retailers charge more.

In the company killed Bazooka Joe and his corny jokes and replaced him with brain teaser puzzle wrappers. The cent, which was copper for most of its nearly year run, lost all but a thin film of the metal in when the Mint switched from bronze to copper-plated zinc. Nonetheless, the coin is widely collected. Most of us started with Whitman penny boards — squeezing cents into barely yielding holes in blue folders.

Many were sated with Book 2 folders — to some date in the s. Still fewer went on to the rarified atmosphere of early large cents. Collectors accumulate not only coins, but also stories — stories about how the collector acquired the coin, stories about the history of our nation and stories about injustice and prejudice. Like all good stories, they bear telling and retelling. The Washington quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. In , during the depths of the Great Depression, the United States Mint released the Washington quarter dollar to celebrate the th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.

In , the nation suffered through nearly 10 percent deflation. The unemployment rate remained above 10 percent, sometimes much above, until the U. In , gold was still legal to own. Gold is worth about 65 times that amount today. The quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug.

The Interstate Power Co. The price included an oil change. This will be reflected in a rise in fur coat prices. The turn in business conditions was not a good turn. The company, however, weathered the Depression and prospered during the ensuing decades, only to close its store in , a victim of changing fashions. A Bicentennial dollar put away in has less than a quarter of its purchasing power now.

Gold, on the other hand is worth about 10 times its value. Mint ended ayear drought for commemorative coin collectors in the mids when itagreed to produce quarter dollars, half dollars and dollars marking the Bicentennial of the United States. In , the Mintceased producing regular-issue quarters, halves and dollars and switched to thedual-dated coins. The coins, especially the quarter with its colonialdrummer, were wildly popular. Mintages ran into the hundreds of millions. Today, all three coins are common, and the quarter dollars still circulate.

The coins were producedat a time of ruinous inflation. Americans had been freed to own golda couple years before, and the price of the precious metal was rising. Beyond the Bicentennialcelebrations, which commanded front pages July 4, newspapers were also filledwith news of the early morning Israeli raid on Entebbe to free hostages takenby Palestinian hijackers.

The Tides hotel was adollar cheaper. A Bicentennial dollarput away in has a purchasing power of only about a quarter dollar now. Gold is worth about 10 times its value. And an Apple I computer is worthabout times its original selling price.

American cigarettes are considered the best, and Roosevelt, who led the nation through the twin perils of the Great Depression and World War II, was crippled by polio as a young man. The nation was still transitioning to a peacetime economy when the coin was issued. Pent-up demand from a decade of Depression and five years of war stressed the economy. Civilian goods were often in short supply or had not been available for years. The dime contains. In , the value of that silver in the dime was slightly more than 5 cents.

The federal minimum wages was 40 cents an hour in Coffeehouse owner George W. Holt, a prolific issuer of shinplasters, advertised a few weeks before the Union takeover that his bills were good. Paper money lost much of its purchasing power in early April as Union forces closed in on New Orleans.

Coins were scarce and the shinplasters that replaced them had a checkered history. Newspapers regularly railed against unscrupulous merchants who refused to redeem their small-denomination bills. Beef rump roasts, and round and chuck steaks maxed out at Ham, 30 cents a pound. Rice, 8 cents a pound. Liverpool fine salt, 7 cents a pound. Nonetheless, the black market apparently thrived as Union forces closed in on the city.

Just think of eggs commanding fifty cents per dozen. We have heard of instances where four prices have been asked for articles and specie demanded in exchange. Today, it costs 75 cents — three Washington quarters. Old newspapers are a great source for information about prices in the past. The design and history speak for themselves. The purchasing power, though, can be hard to tease out.

This amazing and easy-to-use tool will tell you the purchasing value of coins and paper money at any point during the last years. That number, though, only goes so far. Not all goods rise in price at the same rate. Old newspapers, government reports and personal papers can tell you the prices of things when the coin was issued. The Google News Archive Search — https: It has centuries-long runs of numerous newspapers.

There are several other sites, too, that have digital archives of newspapers and magazines. New Orleans, April Sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through A strike is shown.

Italian born sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through Coppini immigrated to the United States in at the age of 26 and promptly found work creating sculptures for a wax museum.

Each state is allowed to place two statues in the National Statuary Collection. Some states used the collection to honor citizens who had made great contributions in life.

Other states turned to less notable politicians. Coppini sculpted the Clarke statue, which was placed in the Capitol in The obverse features an eagle in front of a lone star. The reverse shows a winged and buxom Victory cradling the Alamo, with cameos of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin beneath her outspread wings.

Charles Moore of the Commission of Fine Arts disapproved of the busy design. The Texas coin was not a huge success. Every year millions of people pass by it in the Capitol Visitor Center. In the early years of the 20th century Charles Keck designed three commemorative coins and dozens of monuments across the country. Shown among his accomplishments are the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar reverse and the foot tall bronze statue of Huey Long that stands atop his towering tombstone on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse.

Carter Glass on the obverse and Liberty in front of the Lynchburg Courthouse on the reverse. Keck, who designed the Booker T.

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She is shown here about She served for the next 14 or 15 years. Hallie Daggett of S dime fame served 15 years as a fire lookout atop a mountain. The Forest Service magazine ran an article about her in that is an interesting read about an interesting person in the history of numismatics. It is attached as a special extra segment after the blog.

The story requires several leaps of faith and researchers have cast serious doubts about its authenticity. Nonetheless, the story endures, perhaps more as a fairy tale than a truth, but a good yarn nonetheless. The story builds on one fact, a fact documented in Mint records and on pages of the massive Report of the Director of the Mint: The most famous one begins with San Francisco Mint Supt. John Daggett ordering the 24 coins struck to end the fiscal year on an even dollar amount.

He gave three each to seven of his banker friends and to his daughter Hallie, telling her to keep them until she was as old as he was 61 in at which time they would be very valuable. On her way home from the Mint, the story goes, she spent one of the dimes on ice cream.

Another version of the ice cream story says the daughter of a Ukiah, Calif. The Ukiah story predates the Hallie Daggett story by three years. It was first reported in the February issue of Numismatic Scrapbook magazine, but disappeared into obscurity, largely forgotten by the collector community. Of the 24 dimes, five were reserved for assay, leaving a possible 19 for collectors.

Only nine are known to collectors today, leaving open the possibility that some may exist out there in unsearched rolls and bags of worn Barber dimes. Hallie Daggett achieved a sort of fame later in life when she became the first woman fire spotter in the United States Forest Service.

You can read about her years on the mountain in this article from the May issue of American Forestry , the magazine of the American Forestry Association. Daggett, who was 35 when she began working for the Forest Service, died in All alone, 6, feet above sea level, on top of Klamath Peak in Siskiyou County, California, a young woman for months at a time during the prevalence of the forest fire season, did her part, and did it well, in the effort the Government is making to preserve the forests of the country from the destructive flames which have for years past caused an average annual property loss of twenty- five million dollars, and cost annually an average of seventy-five human lives.

She is Miss Hallie M. Daggett, and she is the only woman lookout employed by the Forest Service. Posted in her small cabin on top of the mountain peak it was her duty to scan the vast forest in every direction as far as she could see by naked eye and telescope by day for smoke, and for the red glare of fire by night, and report the result of her observations by telephone to the main office of the forest patrol miles and miles away.

Few women would care for such a job, fewer still would seek it, and still less would be able to stand the strain of the infinite loneliness, or the roar of the violent storms which sweep the peak, or the menace of the wild beasts which roam the heavily wooded ridges.

Miss Daggett, however, not only eagerly longed for the station but secured it after considerable exertion and now she declares that she enjoyed the life and was intensely interested in the work she had to do. Perhaps the call of the wild is in her blood. Her parents are pioneers, her father, John Daggett, having crossed the Isthmus in and her mother, a mere baby, being taken across the plains from Kentucky the same year.

Miss Daggett was born at the Klamath mine, in the shadow of the peak on which the lookout station is perched. She spent most of her early years out of doors riding and tramping over the hills with her brother, so that it was natural that with her inborn love of the forests she should be anxious to take part in the fight which the Forest Service men are making for the protection of the forests.

Debarred by her sex, however, from the kind of work which most of the Service men are doing she saw no opportunity until lookout stations were established, and then after earnest solicitation secured the place she held so well. Some of the Service men predicted that after a few days of life on the peak she would telephone that she was frightened by the loneliness and the danger, but she was full of pluck and high spirit, and day after day as her keen eyes ranged the hills which constitute the Salmon River watershed and as she made her daily reports by telephone she grew more and more in love with the work.

Even when the telephone wires were broken and when for a long time she was cut off from communication with the world below she did not lose heart. She not only filled the place with all the skill which a trained man could have shown but she desires to be reappointed when the fire season opens this year.

The story of her experiences she has told for American Forestry and here it is:. Such being the case, it is easy to see that I grew up with a fierce hatred of the devastating fires, and welcomed the force which arrived to combat them. But not until the lookout stations were installed did there come an opportunity to join what had up till then been a man's fight; although my sister and I had frequently been able to help on the small things, such as extinguishing spreading camp fires or carrying supplies to the firing line.

Of course I had been on the peak before during my early rambles, but had never thought of it as a possible home. One of my pet dreams had always been of a log cabin, and here was an ideal one, brand new the summer before, and indoors as cozy as could be wished; while outdoors, all outdoors, was a grander dooryard than any estate in the land could boast; and, oh, what a prospect of glorious freedom from four walls and a time clock!

Its central location in the district makes it, however, an ideal spot for a station. I can think of no better description of it than the hub of a wheel with the lines of ridges as spokes, and an unbroken rim of peaks circling around it; some eternally snow capped, and most all of them higher than itself. These all summer and then the gorgeous autumn coloring on the hillsides later on, when the whole country seemed one vast Persian rug.

I positively declined owning a cat on account of its destructive intentions on small life, — a pair of owls proving satisfactory as mouse catchers, and being amusing neighbors as well. Several deer often fed around evenings; there was a small bear down near the spring, besides several larger ones whose tracks I often saw on the trail; and a couple of porcupines also helped to keep from being lonesome, by using various means to find a way into the cabin at night.

Later the supply was packed in canvas sacks from a spring about a mile away in the timber. This was always a job sought for by anyone coming up on horseback; and thanks to the kindly efforts of the guards who passed that way, and my few visitors, it was always easy to keep the kettle boiling. So I did not need a horse myself, there being, contrary to the general impression, no patrol work in connection with look- out duties, and my sister bringing up my supplies and mail from home every week, a distance of nine miles.

Through all the days up to the close of the term on November 6th, when a light fall of snow put an end to all danger of fires, there was an ever growing sense of responsibility which finally came to be almost a feeling of proprietorship, resulting in the desire to punish anyone careless enough to set fires in my dooryard. They often joke now about expecting to have found me hidden under some log for safety, but it wasn't quite so funny then.

One soon becomes accustomed to the racket. But in the damage they cause starting fires lies their chief interest to the lookout, for it requires a quick eye to detect, in among the rags of fog which arise in their wake, the small puff of smoke which tells of some tree struck in a burnable spot. Generally it shows at once, but in one instance there was a lapse of nearly two weeks before the fall of the smouldering top fanned up enough smoke to be seen. Upon the speed and accuracy of this report, however, the efficiency of the Service depends, as was proven by the summer's record of extra small acreage burned in spite of over forty fires reported.

A good work and long may it prosper, is the earnest wish of one humble unit, who thanks the men of the Service one and all, for the courtesy and consideration which gave her the happiest summer of her life. A most uncommon common dime. The dime pattern is shown. Died, on board U. The fictional short story told the tale of Army Lt. Philip Nolan who is court martial for joining Aaron Burr in an early 19th century plot against the United States.

I wish I may never hear of the United States again. His wish was granted. The Court decides, subject to the approval of the President, that you never hear the name of the United States again. But nobody else laughed. Old Morgan who was holding the court was too solemn, and the whole room was hushed dead as night for a minute.

Even Nolan lost his swagger in a moment. Marshal, take the prisoner to Orleans in an armed boat, and deliver him to the naval commander there. The marshal gave his orders and the prisoner was taken out of court. Marshal, make my respects to Lieutenant Mitchell at Orleans, and request him to order that no one shall mention the United States to the prisoner while he is on board ship.

You will receive your written orders from the officer on duty here this evening. The court is adjourned without day. For the next 50 years Nolan served his sentence aboard a succession of ships, never to hear the words United States of America again until he was on his deathbed. Hale makes no mention of the coins Nolan could have used during his confinement, but there is only one option — the pattern half dimes and dimes struck with an obverse and an reverse.

The obverse shows a Seated Liberty surrounded by 13 stars and the date. The reverse shows a wreath of cereals corn and wheat as well as oak and maple leaves and the denomination. An estimated 12 to 15 such coins exist, all in Proof. Their origin is a mystery. The ice cream dime. Put another nickel in. All I want is having you. And music, music, music. A jukebox song cost a quarter dollar then, but pay phones, at least in song, were still a dime. When you need someone who cares.

One thin dime is all you need. With the rise of cell phones since the s, pay phones have become an endangered species. When the United States Mint produced the first dime in — spelled disme then — the coin marked a radical departure from earlier English pounds, shillings, pence and Spanish 8 reals and its subdivisions monetary systems.

Since the colonies were mostly English in origin, the British system of 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound prevailed across much of North America. Competing with it, primarily because of the sheer abundance of Mexican and South American coins, was the Spanish colonial system, in which a silver dollar-size coin was divided into eight real.

However, the commonly used 1 real coin, or bit, was equal to The dime was an awkward fit and would not be fully integrated into commerce until when the Spanish colonial coins were no longer recognized as legal tender in the United States.

A coin for the man without a country. Low mintage alone does not create value. Children filled blue Whitman folders withchange from circulation.

Mindful of rapidly rising prices, investors boughtcoins by the roll and bag. When collectorslearned that the Denver Mint produced only 2. The coin washoarded from the start. Researcher and dealer Q. David Bowers has written thata Milwaukee dealer amassed 8, rolls , coins and that a Texas dealeracquired about 1 million coins, which he sold to investors through ads in Numismatic Scrapbook magazine andwholesaled to dealers for years.

Without adoubt the gilt-edged security in the coin investment field. If he ever sold, it was likely at lessthan half his investment. On the bourse floor, thecoin kept dropping. Most of the mintage went in rolls and bags tospeculators. This Liberty Head 5-cent piece famously appeared in a episode of the Hawaii Five-0 television show. The book, which was issued through the s, ostensibly listed the prices the Texas coin dealer would pay for rare coins, but mostly it was a way for Mehl to make money by selling books.

Mehl never had to pay off on his advertising because only five Liberty Head 5-cent pieces were minted, and Mehl knew where they all were. Mint records show coinage of Liberty Head 5-cent pieces ceased at Philadelphia on Dec. Mint Director George H. Roberts advised Philadelphia Mint Supt.

Nonetheless five Liberty Head 5-cent pieces were clandestinely produced, likely at the request of mint storekeeper Samuel W. He later apparently sold or consigned his five coins to Philadelphia coin dealer August Wagner. In Wagner placed an ad in The Numismatist offering the five for sale. The nation experienced terrible inflation during World War I, causing the value of money to decrease by more than 50 percent. Green ended up with them in the mids. The design was quickly modified.

Snowden wanted the Mint to the shrink the cent, slightly enlarge the nickel 3-cent and 5-cent pieces and strike all three in an alloy of 75 percent copper, 25 percent nickel.

I would have uniformity of alloy. Due proportions of weight in each piece. Due proportions in the sizes of thecoins. On the reverse, I would have a wreath composed of wheat, corn and cotton, products of the country, surrounding the Roman V, III, I on the 5, 3 and 1-cent pieces respectively. The copper nickel cent and revised 3-cent piece died aborning, but the 5-cent piece made it to production. The larger Liberty head 5-cent piece replaced the smaller Shield nickel.

The new coin had a diameter of However, a fatal flaw was in the details. Researchers have concluded that the story was made up of whole cloth sometime in the s and repeated as gospel ever since. While Tatum turned out to be fraud, the underlying fact that con men gold plated the coins was recently confirmed by archaeologists digging in Deadwood, S.

Among a cache of some coins excavated in was a gold-plated Liberty Head 5-cent piece. In mid, after some 5. As the Civil War wound down, the government sought to replace the fragile paper fractional notes with coins. With silver still not circulating, the Mint turned to nickel coins to replace the silver half dime in Though not particularly beautiful, the Shield 5-cent piece was produced for 21 years. Almost a decade before the U.

Mint started striking nickel 5-cent pieces, the Mint struck nickel cents. The new Flying Eagle cents, which were 88 percent copper and 12 percent nickel, were immediately and immensely popular.

As the war wound down, the government sought to replace the shinplasters with coins. With silver still not circulating, the Mint turned to nickel coins to replace the tiny 3-cent silver piece in and the silver half dime in Curiously, the Mint also produced silver versions of the coins for a few years after the introduction of the nickel coins. Mint Director James Pollock viewed nickel coins as temporary expedients that would eventually be replaced in turn with silver coins once gold and silver traded at par again with paper money.

In mid, after noticing that the public readily accepted small sized copper Civil War tokens in commerce, the Mint switched from copper-nickel cents to copper coins. The first nickel nickels were graceless affairs, showing a shield on the obverse and a large 5 on the reverse. Were George and Martha Washington present when the half dismes were struck? The United States was a new nation, not yet 20 years old, when the U.

Mint set up temporary shop in the cellar of a Philadelphia saw factory in the summer of and began striking tiny silver coins in the name of the United States of America. Despite the lack of documentary evidence, the late Richard Doty, Smithsonian Institution senior numismatic curator, believed George and Martha Washington were present when the half dismes were struck.

The half disme shows Liberty on the obverse and a scrawny eagle on the reverse. Doty said the tiny silver coin is important because "coinage is an attribute of sovereignty. This is a literal manifestation of sovereignty. He said, "In execution of authority given by the legislature, measures have been taken for engaging some artists from abroad to aid in the establishment of our Mint.

Others have been employed at home. Provisions have been made for the requisite buildings, and these are now putting into proper condition for the purposes of the establishment. There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins incirculation calling the first attention to them. Those half dismes, with their archaic spelling of the word dime, cramped lettering and intimate connection to George Washington occupy a special place in the hearts of collectors.

By some accounts, the coins show Martha Washington on theobverse and were struck on silver provided by George Washington himself. In an aging Adam Eckfeldt, chief coiner in , reportedly said the coins were struck expressly for Washington on silver he provided in bullion or coin. In , the world famously needed a good five-cent cigar. Today it could stand a good five-cent nickel.

When the Mint began operation in , the silver half-disme was the first coin out. The story goes that Marshall made the witty remark to a buddy while a verbose senator went on and on about what the country does and does not need. This is my favorite. It comes from the June 20, , issue of the long-gone Literary Digest. Once the Senate was indulging itself with an endless, tiresome symposium of oratory as to the welfare of the nation.

Senator after senator got up, delivered himself of his views as to what would cure the ills of the body politic. Marshall was patience itself. But one Senator, more verbose than any of his colleagues, went on and on and on. Marshall leaned over to the Secretary of the Senate and said in a voice which must have reached the loquacious speaker: The Mint spends eight cents to make each one.

The nickel has cost more than a nickel to produce for the last decade, from a spike of slightly more than 11 cents in In the early days of the U. It meant the year the die was created. Dies were used until they wore out, regardless of the date on them. But, when the Mint switched to better steel, die life improved dramatically. While some , cents were produced in , all but a comparative handful were dated or before. Only one cent die was produced in That die failed in service, after striking an estimated perhaps 60, coins.

Today the cent is scarce, all but unknown in uncirculated condition. Early collectors found the coin so difficult to obtain that, some time about , unknown collectors, perhaps Joseph Mickley and Edward Cogan, produced their own from worn-out dies the Mint had sold as scrap years before.

The coin, which is usually found in high grade, is a beloved novelty with a prominent obverse die crack and widespread rust. This Proof Lincoln, V. Coins Signature Auction in early August For more than a century collectors have been asking: Was Victor David Brenner, the man who designed the most popular coin in the history of the world, denied his due in because he was Jewish? The coin was wildly popular. In New York City, police were called to keep order Aug.

Newsboys who braved long lines hawked their treasures at three for a nickel, nearly doubling their money. Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh had signed off on the design months before the coin's release, but when pressed about the initials said he had not noticed the offending V.

Three days after the coin was released, he ordered production halted and the initials remove, but not before 28 million cents had been struck at Philadelphia and , at San Francisco. Over the years, darker motives have been ascribed to the removal of the initials. Brenner was a private medalist and a Jewish immigrant.

Mint employees, particularly Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, chafed at seeing outsiders work on U. Immigrants, especially Jewish immigrants, were none too popular in the United States in the early s.

The Immigration Act of , which limited immigrants to 2 percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States in , pretty much shut the door on Jewish immigration for decades. Brenner, born Viktoras Baranauskas in his native Lithuania, was unmistakably Jewish.

Acting on rumors the VDB cents would be recalled and destroyed, people hoarded the coins. It is believed to be the most reproduced piece of art in the history of the world. They remain there today. The cent that was so good they made it twice.

By the s, the Mint was losing money on large cents. The Mint experimented with tiny, holed, 10 percent silver coins in and and copper-nickel cents featuring a shrunken Seated Liberty on the obverse in By , the Mint had settled on copper-nickel cents with a flying eagle on the obverse and an agricultural wreath on the reverse. The Mint figured that even though the coins did not contain their full value in metal, the white color would be close enough to silver that the public would accept them.

It would probably aid us in our efforts to deliver the Country from the present large and unsightly coin if a specimen were furnished to each member of Congress. If you concur in this suggestion I will deliver the department from the trouble of distributing them and send them to the Members of Congress, or transmit them to you for distribution if you prefer that course.

No one knows how many Flying Eagle cents were struck, though the number is widely estimated at 1, to 2, — enough to make the pattern collectable as part of the regular-issue Flying Eagle cent series. There has never been enough coins in existence to meet the high demand.

Even in the lowest grades such as Good-4, most examples will command thousands of dollars and even much more when they remain in higher condition.

The coin, too, was the object of desire of hoarders. Atlantic City collector R. Leeds acquired pieces, which were sold with his collection in Rice accumulated specimens in the late s and early s. When his hoard was dispersed in , Pittsburgh collector John Andrew Beck bought many of them. Beck, who died in , had some of the elusive pieces.

The coin hobby was in a period of great strength at the time, all of the Flying Eagle cents found ready buyers, and the price increased! When the Flying Eagle cent was officially released the following year, it proved popular with the public.

Cents were needed in commerce, but no one liked handling the old heavy large cent. The white color, too, eased acceptance. The Lincoln Cent and anti-Semitism. Although cents may have been struck in late , none was struck from dies dated ; the dies were likely dated Some real large cents have had their dates altered to read The date shown at left is from an Classic Head cent that was modified, and the date at right is from an Coronet cent that was modified.

Any cent with an date is either altered or a counterfeit. Blame the War of That source dried up with the start of hostilities. There were no domestic suppliers. Toward the end of , the Mint struck its remaining copper stock and delivered , coins. Those coins, Breen claims, went into the pay packets of Mint workers.

Breen claimed the Mint ordered more planchets from England as soon as the wartime embargo against trade was lifted in , but the blanks did not arrive until However, Bill Eckberg, writing in the Jan.

These arrived in the fall and were struck into coins as soon as possible. The resulting , cents were delivered on Feb. The mystery is, then, when were those coins struck and what was the date on those coins? It clearly was not If the coins were struck as soon as the shipment of blanks arrived, they were struck in , likely using still serviceable dies. Dies were expensive and difficult to produce in the early days of the Mint. They were used until they wore out, no matter what date they bore.

If the coins were struck closer to the delivery date, they were struck in Con-men, pranksters and hole-fillers have produced their own cents by altering and even cents to fill the gap. The obverse shows Liberty, with her hair flowing in the wind. The reverse features a chain of 15 links. The reverse, though, drew the most criticism. The 15 interlocked links of the chain were meant to symbolize the strength and unity of the new nation of 15 states.

The design was reused on the pattern Continental Currency dollars and the Fugio cents. However, despite its storied past and association with a signer of the Declaration of Independence, critics saw the chain as a symbol of slavery and pounced.

The chain on the reverse is but a bad omen for liberty, and liberty herself appears to be in a fright. And so, for the first time but not the last , bad newspaper publicity forced the Mint to abandon an adopted design, unintentionally creating rarities in the process. Some 36, Chain cents were struck in early While not rare, the coins are highly sought after.

Production of Chain cents ceased in early March. By April, the Mint was churning out cents with a wreath on the reverse instead of a chain. She added and lost a couple hats over the years before settling on a coronet in Other retailers charge more. In the company killed Bazooka Joe and his corny jokes and replaced him with brain teaser puzzle wrappers.

The cent, which was copper for most of its nearly year run, lost all but a thin film of the metal in when the Mint switched from bronze to copper-plated zinc. Nonetheless, the coin is widely collected. Most of us started with Whitman penny boards — squeezing cents into barely yielding holes in blue folders.

Many were sated with Book 2 folders — to some date in the s. Still fewer went on to the rarified atmosphere of early large cents. Collectors accumulate not only coins, but also stories — stories about how the collector acquired the coin, stories about the history of our nation and stories about injustice and prejudice.

Like all good stories, they bear telling and retelling. The Washington quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. In , during the depths of the Great Depression, the United States Mint released the Washington quarter dollar to celebrate the th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. In , the nation suffered through nearly 10 percent deflation. The unemployment rate remained above 10 percent, sometimes much above, until the U.

In , gold was still legal to own. Gold is worth about 65 times that amount today. The quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. The Interstate Power Co. The price included an oil change. This will be reflected in a rise in fur coat prices. The turn in business conditions was not a good turn. The company, however, weathered the Depression and prospered during the ensuing decades, only to close its store in , a victim of changing fashions.

A Bicentennial dollar put away in has less than a quarter of its purchasing power now. Gold, on the other hand is worth about 10 times its value. Mint ended ayear drought for commemorative coin collectors in the mids when itagreed to produce quarter dollars, half dollars and dollars marking the Bicentennial of the United States. In , the Mintceased producing regular-issue quarters, halves and dollars and switched to thedual-dated coins. The coins, especially the quarter with its colonialdrummer, were wildly popular.

Mintages ran into the hundreds of millions. Today, all three coins are common, and the quarter dollars still circulate. The coins were producedat a time of ruinous inflation.

Americans had been freed to own golda couple years before, and the price of the precious metal was rising. Beyond the Bicentennialcelebrations, which commanded front pages July 4, newspapers were also filledwith news of the early morning Israeli raid on Entebbe to free hostages takenby Palestinian hijackers.

The Tides hotel was adollar cheaper. A Bicentennial dollarput away in has a purchasing power of only about a quarter dollar now. Gold is worth about 10 times its value. And an Apple I computer is worthabout times its original selling price. American cigarettes are considered the best, and Roosevelt, who led the nation through the twin perils of the Great Depression and World War II, was crippled by polio as a young man.

The nation was still transitioning to a peacetime economy when the coin was issued. Pent-up demand from a decade of Depression and five years of war stressed the economy. Civilian goods were often in short supply or had not been available for years. The dime contains. In , the value of that silver in the dime was slightly more than 5 cents. The federal minimum wages was 40 cents an hour in Coffeehouse owner George W.

Holt, a prolific issuer of shinplasters, advertised a few weeks before the Union takeover that his bills were good. Paper money lost much of its purchasing power in early April as Union forces closed in on New Orleans. Coins were scarce and the shinplasters that replaced them had a checkered history. Newspapers regularly railed against unscrupulous merchants who refused to redeem their small-denomination bills.

Beef rump roasts, and round and chuck steaks maxed out at Ham, 30 cents a pound. Rice, 8 cents a pound. Liverpool fine salt, 7 cents a pound. Nonetheless, the black market apparently thrived as Union forces closed in on the city. Just think of eggs commanding fifty cents per dozen. We have heard of instances where four prices have been asked for articles and specie demanded in exchange. Today, it costs 75 cents — three Washington quarters. Old newspapers are a great source for information about prices in the past.

The design and history speak for themselves. The purchasing power, though, can be hard to tease out. This amazing and easy-to-use tool will tell you the purchasing value of coins and paper money at any point during the last years. That number, though, only goes so far. Not all goods rise in price at the same rate.

Old newspapers, government reports and personal papers can tell you the prices of things when the coin was issued. The Google News Archive Search — https: It has centuries-long runs of numerous newspapers. There are several other sites, too, that have digital archives of newspapers and magazines. New Orleans, April Sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through A strike is shown.

Italian born sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through Coppini immigrated to the United States in at the age of 26 and promptly found work creating sculptures for a wax museum.

Each state is allowed to place two statues in the National Statuary Collection. Some states used the collection to honor citizens who had made great contributions in life. Other states turned to less notable politicians. Coppini sculpted the Clarke statue, which was placed in the Capitol in The obverse features an eagle in front of a lone star.

The reverse shows a winged and buxom Victory cradling the Alamo, with cameos of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin beneath her outspread wings. Charles Moore of the Commission of Fine Arts disapproved of the busy design. The Texas coin was not a huge success. Every year millions of people pass by it in the Capitol Visitor Center. In the early years of the 20th century Charles Keck designed three commemorative coins and dozens of monuments across the country. Shown among his accomplishments are the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar reverse and the foot tall bronze statue of Huey Long that stands atop his towering tombstone on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse.

Carter Glass on the obverse and Liberty in front of the Lynchburg Courthouse on the reverse. Keck, who designed the Booker T. Washington memorial at Tuskegee University, nearly also designed the Booker T. The coin is struck in a style typical of Viking coins. Just before his departure, Leif was forced to convert from paganism to Christianity on pain of death by Norwegian King Olav Trygvasson, hence the Christian reverse. Note however that the text terminator on the inscription on the obverse is a "Hammer of Thor" rather than the traditional cross, indicating that Leif had not completely given up his pagan ways.

It is Uncirculated with an "antiqued" finish. It is an interesting and historical fantasy coin. France did not actually issue coins for its settlements in Arkansas, Alabama or Louisiana. These issues represent what the issues might have looked like had they actually been issued. The early colony was just up the Arkansas River from the Mississippi and adjacent to a village of the Quapaw natives. The name of the colony translates something like: The use of the spelling "Akansas" is typical of the time period, and is a French transliteration of the name of what is today called the "Quapaw".

The reverse bears the royal crown above, and a device combining the fleurs-des-lis with the bow and arrow. Isle du Massacre, located off the coast of Alabama, was a French settlement founded in by a French Canadian named Pierre le Moyne, sieur d'Iberville.

The island was named because of human bones that were found on the shore, apparently from an Indian burial mound that had been disturbed by a hurricane. The reverse features a coat-of-arms featuring three human skulls. The colony had trouble attracting settlers, perhaps because of its unfortunate name. Engle enjoys collecting antique illustrated children 's books, traveling, and volunteering as a "victim " for various wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.

She and her husband live in Clovis, California. Click here to login. Categories by Grade All. Catalog Spring Fall Out of Stock Add Book to Wishlist.

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A Newbery Honor Book. Margarita Engle was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After the Missile Crisis of , travel was prohibited, and I was not able to return to Cuba until Since then, I have visited many times, renewing my passion for the friendly people, natural beauty, and fascinating history of Cuba.

When I try to imagine what it would be like to survive that many years of war, I am awed by the heroism of those who choose to heal the wounded, instead of fighting. Engle 's interest in writing The Surrender Tree was also, in part, didactic. Her adult fiction books include Skywriting and Singing to Cuba. When not writing, Ms. Engle enjoys collecting antique illustrated children 's books, traveling, and volunteering as a "victim " for various wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.

She and her husband live in Clovis, California. The unemployment rate remained above 10 percent, sometimes much above, until the U. In , gold was still legal to own. Gold is worth about 65 times that amount today. The quarter dollar was released into circulation Aug. The Interstate Power Co. The price included an oil change. This will be reflected in a rise in fur coat prices.

The turn in business conditions was not a good turn. The company, however, weathered the Depression and prospered during the ensuing decades, only to close its store in , a victim of changing fashions. A Bicentennial dollar put away in has less than a quarter of its purchasing power now. Gold, on the other hand is worth about 10 times its value. Mint ended ayear drought for commemorative coin collectors in the mids when itagreed to produce quarter dollars, half dollars and dollars marking the Bicentennial of the United States.

In , the Mintceased producing regular-issue quarters, halves and dollars and switched to thedual-dated coins. The coins, especially the quarter with its colonialdrummer, were wildly popular.

Mintages ran into the hundreds of millions. Today, all three coins are common, and the quarter dollars still circulate. The coins were producedat a time of ruinous inflation.

Americans had been freed to own golda couple years before, and the price of the precious metal was rising. Beyond the Bicentennialcelebrations, which commanded front pages July 4, newspapers were also filledwith news of the early morning Israeli raid on Entebbe to free hostages takenby Palestinian hijackers.

The Tides hotel was adollar cheaper. A Bicentennial dollarput away in has a purchasing power of only about a quarter dollar now. Gold is worth about 10 times its value. And an Apple I computer is worthabout times its original selling price. American cigarettes are considered the best, and Roosevelt, who led the nation through the twin perils of the Great Depression and World War II, was crippled by polio as a young man.

The nation was still transitioning to a peacetime economy when the coin was issued. Pent-up demand from a decade of Depression and five years of war stressed the economy. Civilian goods were often in short supply or had not been available for years. The dime contains. In , the value of that silver in the dime was slightly more than 5 cents. The federal minimum wages was 40 cents an hour in Coffeehouse owner George W. Holt, a prolific issuer of shinplasters, advertised a few weeks before the Union takeover that his bills were good.

Paper money lost much of its purchasing power in early April as Union forces closed in on New Orleans. Coins were scarce and the shinplasters that replaced them had a checkered history. Newspapers regularly railed against unscrupulous merchants who refused to redeem their small-denomination bills. Beef rump roasts, and round and chuck steaks maxed out at Ham, 30 cents a pound.

Rice, 8 cents a pound. Liverpool fine salt, 7 cents a pound. Nonetheless, the black market apparently thrived as Union forces closed in on the city. Just think of eggs commanding fifty cents per dozen. We have heard of instances where four prices have been asked for articles and specie demanded in exchange. Today, it costs 75 cents — three Washington quarters. Old newspapers are a great source for information about prices in the past.

The design and history speak for themselves. The purchasing power, though, can be hard to tease out. This amazing and easy-to-use tool will tell you the purchasing value of coins and paper money at any point during the last years. That number, though, only goes so far. Not all goods rise in price at the same rate.

Old newspapers, government reports and personal papers can tell you the prices of things when the coin was issued. The Google News Archive Search — https: It has centuries-long runs of numerous newspapers. There are several other sites, too, that have digital archives of newspapers and magazines. New Orleans, April Sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through A strike is shown.

Italian born sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is known mostly for Texas-related works, including the Texas Centennial commemorative half dollar of through Coppini immigrated to the United States in at the age of 26 and promptly found work creating sculptures for a wax museum. Each state is allowed to place two statues in the National Statuary Collection.

Some states used the collection to honor citizens who had made great contributions in life. Other states turned to less notable politicians. Coppini sculpted the Clarke statue, which was placed in the Capitol in The obverse features an eagle in front of a lone star.

The reverse shows a winged and buxom Victory cradling the Alamo, with cameos of Sam Houston and Stephen Austin beneath her outspread wings. Charles Moore of the Commission of Fine Arts disapproved of the busy design. The Texas coin was not a huge success. Every year millions of people pass by it in the Capitol Visitor Center. In the early years of the 20th century Charles Keck designed three commemorative coins and dozens of monuments across the country. Shown among his accomplishments are the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial half dollar reverse and the foot tall bronze statue of Huey Long that stands atop his towering tombstone on the grounds of the Louisiana statehouse.

Carter Glass on the obverse and Liberty in front of the Lynchburg Courthouse on the reverse. Keck, who designed the Booker T. Washington memorial at Tuskegee University, nearly also designed the Booker T.

Washington half dollar Phillips, who had lobbied for the commemorative. Beside the Booker T. Liberty Monument features a massive bronze sculpture of Liberty atop a granite base.

Four sculptures representing an Indian, a Frenchman, a Scottish soldier and an American stand at the base of the plinth. Demagogue Huey Long was assassinated in as he was preparing to run for president of the United States. The Alamo and the U. The statue of Victory , cast in , is often cited as the inspiration for Liberty on the Saint-Gaudens double eagle. Saint-Gaudens , unfortunately, died before the coins were released into circulation. Both designs remained in production until the end of circulating gold coins in The double eagle has a checkered past.

Only one is legal to own. In , the Mint made an ultra-high-relief , one-ounce version of the coin for sale to collectors. From Ticonderoga to the Panama Canal. James Earle Fraser's work graces the obverse and reverse of the Indian Head five-cent piece, but he also designed numerous monumental sculptures in Washington, D. James Earle Fraser, whose work graces the obverse and reverse of the iconic Indian Head five-cent piece, also designed numerous monumental sculptures in Washington, D.

At the National Archives, his Recorder of the Archive appears on the pediment above the south entrance. At the Treasury Department building, immense statues of Albert Gallatin fourth and longest serving Secretary and Alexander Hamilton first Secretary and subject of a current Broadway hit guard the north and south entrances, respectively. Since the Mint has also struck gold versions of the year-old design.

Frasier, who grew up in South Dakota, and his wife designed the Oregon Trail commemorative half dollar. The obverse of that coin shows a romanticized image of life on the trail with a man leading a Conestoga wagon into the sun while his wife and baby ride inside. Those are the canvases some artists have worked with since the early s when the U. Two mountains and a coin.

The coin is a crowded affair, showing the monument beneath a bird and between wheat ears. Lee on the obverse and an eagle on the reverse. He planned to blast a high-relief frieze of mounted figures of Lee, Jackson and Confederate President Jefferson Davis leading troops.

The Stone Mountain coin, curiously, may have played a part in his firing. After Borglum was fired, his portrait of Lee was blasted off the face of the mountain and Augustus H. Lukeman took over — until the money ran out in Work began again in and was completed in A nickel and the Supreme Court. Copper coins placed on a laptop can disperse heat, making the computer easier to handle. The copper in the yen is a better conductor of heat than the aluminum in the computer and is good at letting the heat escape.

The Tweet went viral among the computer gaming community and was picked up by newspapers around the world in June. Copper yen became pennies in England and pre copper cents in the states. Suzuki worked on the laws of thermodynamics and used it on his laptop. Essentially it means that if the copper coins you stack on your laptop are cooler than the laptop itself, the copper coins start soaking up the heat to balance themselves with the laptop.

Placed in a bad bottle of wine, it would cleanse the wine of its sulfur smell. But if you have this coin, chances are, you can afford a good bottle of wine…. A penny saved may be a penny earned, but a penny dropped into a glass of smelly wine can save the drink.

You crack it open, pour yourself a glass, only to find out that your wine stinks like match sticks and burnt rubber. The culprit is thiols stinky sulfur molecules that either built up in storage or were created during fermentation gone wrong.

Swirling the wine in the glass might help a bit, but the American Chemical Society has a sure-fire, better-living-through-chemistry cure. Pull out an old penny, give it a nice, solid cleaning in the sink and then drop it right into your glass.

Stir it around briefly with a spoon. Pull it out and taste and smell a world of difference. A hollowed-out Jefferson 5-cent coin with a tiny piece of microfilm inside was accidentally paid on June 23, , in the midst of the cold war as a tip to a paper carrier. When the paper boy dropped the coin, it split, revealing its contents and casting deep suspicion on the customer. Similarly altered coins have carried other harmful content. A hollowed-out nickel stuffed with microfilm played a part in the prosecution of notorious Soviet spy Rudolf I.

Abel used numerous nickels to conceal messages and microfilm that eventually found their way back to the Soviet Union. The coins were dropped at several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn for retrieval by confederates for shipment to Russia. One of those nickels was apparently spent and flowed unnoticed through the channels of commerce until Jimmy Bozart, a year-old paperboy, accidentally dropped it. Bozart collected 35 cents weekly from each of his Brooklyn Eagle customers.

A pair of schoolteachers living in East Flatbush tipped him 15 cents on June 23, As he walked down the stairs from the sixth-floor apartment, he dropped the 50 cents. He found the front of the coin a few feet away, with a tiny piece of microfilm inside. Bozart figured something was up and turned the coin over to police. Four years later, the FBI came calling, asking him to testify in the Abel espionage case. New York police rewarded him with a commendation.

A citizen bought him an Oldsmobile as a reward. Abel, who died in , was convicted of espionage and traded Feb. The prisoner exchange was the basis for the Steven Spielberg film, Bridge of Spies. Powers, curiously, had a hollowed-out coin in his possession, too, when he was captured May 1, , after his plane was shot down. Powers decided not to use the poison pin, a move that many called cowardly at the time. This dated Oak Tree sixpence has teeth marks and may have been used as a teething piece by a Colonial infant.

Right where the windpipe or that indenture is in your throat. And leave it there until all teeth are in. Make sure you tie it up high enough where the child cannot put the dime in their mouth. Heaton, who popularized collecting by Mint mark, complained about the practice in an August article in The Numismatist.

In ANA member L. Pettitt wrote about his budding collection of teething-ring dollars. The string looped around the baby's neck became a plaything and a practical teething ring for generations.

At present, I have one of these dollars, an over 1 which came to me from a lady in Trenton who said it had been in her family since the early s until she sold it to me. Two others, which came to me from Alex Kaptik of the Philadelphia Coin Club, are dated and I love these old dollars and was prompted to collect them because of the prices of fine dollars of this era.

Issued in and , Province of Canada cents featured Queen Victoria on the obverse and the denomination on the reverse. Canadian cent pieces, which have been lately thrown off the British mint, possess a remarkable peculiarity.

They are not only tokens of value, but also standards of weight and measure; cents weigh exactly 1lb. Thus in the common transactions of life the buyer will have a ready check upon the dishonest dealer. Despite their potential utility, the coins were not popular. Previously, Canadians had used heavier bank tokens. The new cent was expected to be a convenient tool as a weight and measure: But this was largely lost on a public who preferred the much heavier and more familiar copper bank tokens.

It would be the mids before the entire coinage of 9. Canada continued to produce large cents first in British mints, later in the Royal Canadian Mint until , when it switched to smaller cents, the same size as United States cents.

Line up 16 and you have a foot. Taking a bite out of coins. Inside the tower, pennies and pounds have been used as pendulum weights to regulate the timepiece since it was set ticking more than years ago.

A penny a day keeps the time right. Adding an old English penny 9. In , news photos showed a pile of coins on the pendulum as timekeepers tried to regulate a clock that was suddenly six seconds off.

Adding a penny to the top of the pendulum effectively shortens the length of the pendulum, causing the pendulum to run slightly faster. In , a commemorative crown was added to the pile of well-worn Victorian pennies.

The crown takes the place of three pennies when placed on the pendulum. The countdown crown, fittingly, has a stopwatch as part of the design.

The central element was a large numeral 3 three years to the Games superimposed over two swimmers. The Mexico City 8-real coin pictured in the first edition of the Red Book was similar to the coin shown here. It became so fundamentally a part of the everyday course of business during the colonial period that its official adoption as the standard unit of value for United States money was a natural and desirable development.

That brilliantly written description perhaps unintentionally connected the coin with pirates in the minds of young collectors and inspired generations of numismatists to add one to their collections as a birth-point of U.

The coin retains its preeminent place in the current Red Book, though the coin pictured now is a Mexico City piece. The current description ends with a timely warning that probably would not have been necessary in These are produced mostly as souvenirs and have little or no value. The first edition of the Red Book credited Sylvester S. Crosby with what little was known about the Gloucester token: In , Sylvester S.

It appears to have been intended as a pattern for a shilling of a private coinage, by Richard Dawson of Gloucester county? The dated piece s gave a denomination of XII or shilling and showed a building on the obverse and a star on the reverse.

Half or less of the legends showed. The first edition of the Red Book credited Crosby with what little was known about the piece. That description remained unchanged for some 35 years. In , another specimen was discovered. Another Gloucester token mystery has arisen since the first Red Book was published.

The condition of the unique piece is too poor for a positive attribution. The Red Book text has been updated several times to reflect current research concerning the mysterious origins of this original dollar, the King of Coins. The King of Coins. The dollar has always been a coin of mystery and desire. Was it struck in or decades later? In , when the first Red Book was printed, both sides had their adherents. The Red Book told the story down the middle, giving both sides of the argument, but offering no conclusion.

In , Eric P. Newman and Kenneth Bressett, who went on to edit the Red Book, set the record straight with the publication of The Fantastic Dollar. No dated dollars were produced before , when the Mint struck display sets of coins for diplomatic missions. Years later, a handful more Class II were secretly struck at the Mint for sale to connected collectors. As for the nearly 20, dollars listed in Mint records, Q.

A Complete Encyclopedia they were struck with dies dated or earlier. In the years since , the Red Book text has been updated to reflect current research.

The 24th edition of the Red Book, cover-dated , was the last to carry an entry for the debunked Good Samaritan shilling, on page 17, tucked between the Massachusetts Pine Tree Pieces and the Maryland coinage. The Red Book, in its 70th edition this year, has changed several times, reflecting research discoveries. The Good Samaritan shilling, a famous 19th century fraud, might be the only coin to be delisted from the R.

For the first dozen or so editions, the Red Book write-up described the piece:. This piece is of the same general type as the Pine Tree Shilling, but has a device illustrating the parable of the Good Samaritan on the obverse.

It is in silver and dated on the reverse. In , numismatic researcher Eric P. Newman blew that argument apart, exposing the piece as a fraud. In the British Museum purchased a Good Samaritan Shilling that was known to exist as early as The coin, Newman determined, was a Pine Tree Shilling on which the obverse had been ground off and replaced with the seal of the British Commission of Sick and Wounded, a 17th century precursor of the Red Cross.

English coin dealer Thomas Snelling and American dealer Thomas Wyatt separately faked their own versions of the supposedly genuine coin and palmed them off on unsuspecting collectors. The Red Book continued to list the piece for a few years after Newman exposed the fraud, but changed the text. Some changes serve as markers for collectors of the books.

Red Book 70th anniversary: The O Morgan silver dollar. Yeoman, commonly known as the Red Book for its distinctive red cover, was printed in but dated The foundation was strong and durable; every edition since has stayed true to its basic format — a retail price guide and numismatic primer. Readers over the decades learned not only the current price of the coin they were interested in, but a bit of its history and, in some cases, the rationale for producing it.

First editor Yeoman was as much interested in the educational aspects of collecting as the financial. The book has served an astounding four generations of collectors. And while its print run is diminished from its all-time high of 1. The Red Book is an incredible first point of contact for most collectors.

The book whets the appetite of the curious and encourages them to explore the hobby further. The Vietnam War saw one of the biggest changes ever in United States coins, but the changes had nothing to do with the war. At the same time American involvement in the South East Asian war was escalating from just a few hundred soldiers in to more than half a million in , the price of silver was also rising.

The death warrant for silver coinage was signed Sept. In , the Mint ceased production of 90 percent silver dimes, quarter-dollars and half dollars. Some silver would remain in the half dollar through , as U. Our current clad coinage began during the Vietnam War and continues to this day. Twenty-one years after the last American left Vietnam, the United States produced one of the most democratic coins ever made to commemorate those who lost their lives in war — the Vietnam Veterans Memorial silver dollar.

Most of the men whose names appear on the coin fell during the Battle of Ia Drang. Of 21 discernible names on the commemorative silver dollar, 17 men died at Ia Drang. Sixteen of those 17 died during the hour battle in and near a football-field size clearing called Landing Zone Albany.

The battle was the subject of the book and movie We Were Soldiers Once Galloway wrote the book. The result was some million white, zinc-plated steel cents as well as uniquely marked silver nickels. For Hawaii, overprinted currency in several denominations was provided. In case the islands were captured the paper money could be demonetized. World War II challenged the Mint.

After a decade of low-production because of the Great Depression, sudden wartime prosperity dramatically increased the demand for coins.

The result was zinc-plated steel cents and silver nickels. In , the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco produced some million white steel cents.

They were instantly recognizable in change and were prized by children as lucky coins for decades after. Then the artillery shells were recycled at the Mint from through and used to make cent planchets. The shellcase coins are a lighter color than earlier and later pieces because the alloy lacked the trace of zinc used in other copper cents. War nickels, produced from mid through , were composed of 35 percent silver and had a large Mint mark on the reverse above Monticello.

The large letter was meant to allow for easy identification so the silver could be retrieved after the war. All other coins remained unchanged throughout the war. Some paper money, though, was changed for war reasons. After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the United States became concerned that the enemy might occupy the islands. In answer to the threat, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced special paper money for use in Hawaii. If Hawaii had been overrun, the bills would have been demonetized.

The Peace dollar's creator originally envisioned a broken sword in the eagle's grasp, signifying an end to war. The shattered hardware was interpreted by others as a symbol of defeat, however, so an olive branch took its place at the eagle's feet. We continue a five-part look at the way war has shaped U. While World War I wreaked havoc on European currencies, the coinage of the United States went through the war unchanged.

The United States, though, doubled down on the silver dollar and changed its design to celebrate the peace that followed the war. Speaking at the American Numismatic Association convention, Zerbe called for the nation to commemorate the peace with a coin for circulation. Late the next year Anthony de Francisci won a competition to design the peace coin, but his winning entry was not without controversy. In a letter to her parents, she said the president objected to a dimple on her chin.

The president approved the design, but veterans groups protested the broken sword was a symbol of defeat. Just three days before production started Dec. The last Peace dollars, curiously, were dated and produced in , during the early days of the Vietnam War.

The entire later-day mintage of , coins was melted. Coins glorified God during the Civil War, celebrated peace after World War I and honored those unfortunate soldiers who died in the jungles of Vietnam. During the Civil War and again during World War II the Mint tried new metals to replace those hoarded at home and needed for battle abroad. Coinage, even cents, disappeared from circulation at the start of the Civil War.

Metal coins were hoarded and traded at a substantial but fluctuating premium to paper money. In April , Congress authorized a change in composition for the cent and the creation of the 2-cent piece.

The cent, which had previously been a nearly 5-gram copper-nickel coin, was changed to a 3. The 2-cent piece was produced to take the pressure off the cent.

Twice as much value for each strike of the press. The coin was most important, though, for the legend it bore: Watkinson urged Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P.

The Continental Currency dollar, designed by Benjamin Franklin, bears the names of all 13 rebelling colonies and the fateful date Coins celebrated the unity of the 13 original states during the Revolution, glorified God during the Civil War, celebrated peace after World War I and honored those unfortunate soldiers who died in the jungles of Vietnam.

Over five weeks, we'll look at the way war shaped our coinage. The coins were designed by Benjamin Franklin, have the names of all 13 rebelling colonies and bear the fateful date The coins, basically a larger version of the Fugio cents, feature a chain of 13 links on the reverse, each inscribed with the name of a breakaway colony. The coin is known from four silver pieces and a handful of pewter and brass examples. In a sale of one of the silver coins, the Heritage Auctions catalog tells the story of the pieces.

No authorization for the production of the Continental Currency coinage has come to light, but it is probable that the coins were intended to take the place of the dollar-denominated paper currency issued by the Continental Congress in the latter part of The four resolutions from May 10, to May 9, provided for the issue of paper money in various denominations, including the one dollar bill. The six resolutions of July 22, through September 26, omitted the one dollar denomination.

Thus, it is logical to conclude the pewter pieces were intended as a substitute for the paper dollars in those issues. Paper Continental Currency, some bearing the same designs, is much cheaper. John XXIII issued millions of aluminum, aluminum bronze, steel, silver and gold coins between his election in and his death in This one, from , celebrates the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

You can pick up coins issued by this saint for a dime or so in just about any junk box in the world. Pope John XXIII issued millions of aluminum, aluminum bronze, steel, silver and gold coins between his election in and his death in The Vatican City coins typically show the pontiff on the obverse and a religious image on the reverse. The beloved pope was canonized April 27, , by Pope Francis, a pope whose substance and style are informed by the life of St.

The council changed how the church interacted with the rest of the world and how the faithful interacted with the church. The most visible changes concerned the celebration of the Mass. Successor Paul VI closed the event. He noted in the final address on Dec. His supreme aspirations to life, to personal dignity, to his just liberty, to culture, to the renewal of the social order, to justice and peace were purified and promoted; and to all men was addressed the pastoral and missionary invitation to the light of the Gospel.

The , and lire coins show the pope on the obverse and the bishops assembled beneath the Paraclete on the reverse. The steel and lire coins sell for just a few dollars each. Louis IX reigned between and and was named a saint in King Louis IX of France was a pious man who fed the poor, cared for the fallen, built grand churches and launched two crusades. Louis ascended to the throne in at the age of His strong-willed, sternly moral mother, Blanche of Castile , served as regent during the early years of his reign, thwarting plots to unseat him.

Louis, who loved sermons, attended two Masses every day, and was often accompanied by priests chanting the hours. In he joined the Seventh Crusade. He landed in Egypt during the summer of and was defeated at the Battle of Al Mansurah the following April.

He was captured by the Egyptians and held for ransom. The Eighth Crusade landed at Carthage on July 17, Dysentery swept through the troops and felled the king on Aug. His most common coin is the thin, dime-size billon denier tournois. Saint Helena appears on the obverse of this gold solidus minted at Sirmium in or Like her son, St.

Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, is revered as a saint, too, for her charity, devotion and discovery of the True Cross upon which Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. It is unknown whether she was wife or concubine to Constantius I, but she bore him a child who would become ruler of the Roman world. Roman historian Eusebius Pamphili wrote, "Especially abundant were the gifts she bestowed on the naked and unprotected poor. To some she gave money, to others an ample supply of clothing; she liberated some from imprisonment, or from the bitter servitude of the mines; others she delivered from unjust oppression, and others again, she restored from exile.

She might be seen continually frequenting His Church, while at the same time she adorned the houses of prayer with splendid offerings, not overlooking the churches of the smallest cities.

In short, this admirable woman was to be seen, in simple and modest attire, mingling with the crowd of worshipers, and testifying her devotion to God by a uniform course of pious conduct. Helena, found in Jerusalem the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified. The legend of the story of the discovery of the True Cross is that when visiting the holy places in Palestine, St.

Helena was guided to the site of the Crucifixion by an aged Jew who had inherited traditional knowledge as to its location. The Cross of the Lord was distinguished from the other two by laying the crosses on a dead youth who was revived by the touch of the third Cross. Lifetime coins of Helena are plentiful and cheap, too. They typically show her on the obverse and a star or Securitas on the reverse. The reverse shows the emperor dragging a captive and stepping on another.

The world changed Oct. On that day, Constantine the Great, fighting beneath Christian banners, defeated Maxentius, winning control of the western half of the Roman Empire. The day before, Constantine had a vision. That night in a dream, Christ appeared to Constantine and told him to paint the sign on the shields of his soldiers before they went into battle.

Maxentius drowned in the battle, and his head was paraded through the streets of Rome the next day. Four months later, Constantine and Licinius, who ruled the East, issued the Edict of Milan, permanently ending persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. Over time, Christianity replaced the old religions as the religion of the state. Constantine was baptized a Christian on his deathbed by Eusebius of Nicomedia in He is especially revered as a saint by Orthodox Christians.

Lifetime coins of Constantine the Great are cheap and plentiful. Most show Constantine on the obverse and a god or military representation on the reverse. A bronze medal currently available from the Austrian Mint shows Saint Eligius as a bishop striking coins as master of the mint at Marseilles in seventh century France.

Eligius to or apparently took to heart the New Testament proposition that the want of money is the root of all evil and aimed to do something about it. He made money as mint master of Marseilles. His skill and honesty were recognized by Frankish king Clotaire II, who commissioned him to make a throne of gold adorned with precious stones. After Clotaire II died in , the successor, Dagobert, named him chief councilor.

He founded several monasteries … built the basilica of St. Paul and restored the basilica of St. In honor of the relics of St. Martin of Tours, the national saint of the Franks, he had several churches built. He did the same thing for St. Denis, whom the king had taken as a patron saint. Eligius was consecrated as a bishop in and died Dec.

Over the years, he became venerated as a saint and is recognized today as the patron saint of goldsmiths and coin collectors. Less well-heeled collectors can buy medals showing the saint. The Austrian Mint sells a medal depicting Eligius as a bishop striking coins on the obverse. The reverse shows the anchor-cross. The bronze medal sells for 18 euro. The Paris Mint struck a large format — mm — bronze medal honoring the saint. The obverse shows the saint. The reverse shows the famed throne surrounded by a dozen of his coins.

This uniface Albany, N. In background image, church cornerstone notes founding in Religion and money have a long history, dating at least as far back as the time of Moses. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. The money changers provided the silver shekels of Tyre that were used to pay the temple tax.

No other coin would do. From the time of Constantine the Great to Christian religious references have appeared on European coins and even a few Colonial pieces. In the First Presbyterian Church of Albany even issued its own pennies.

The church pennies were struck to stop churchgoers from placing worn or counterfeit coins in the collection plate. Church pennies are worth a pretty penny today. Most of their coins are incredibly historic and uncommonly inexpensive. Here he appears on an 5 franc piece. Benevolent at home, Leopold gave workers the right to form unions and take Sundays off. All men were given the right to vote. The Belgian government bought him out in , extracting the payment, of course, from the Congolese.

The former leader is seen on coins and in other images wearing his idol's hairstyle. The emperor Diocletian appears on the obverse of this ancient Roman billon follis. On the reverse is a religious representation. The emperor championed traditional Roman religious practices, requiring his subjects to conform or face death.

The forces of good and evil collided cataclysmically during the reign of Roman emperor Diocletian Which was which, though depended on your perspective.

Soviet coins under Joseph Stalin, who caused the deaths of countless millions of his countrymen, never featured his likeness. The korun piece is shown here. This Vienna Mint 1-pfennig piece is typical of Nazi coins.

It shows an eagle holding a swastika. Hitler appeared on a few pattern pieces, but did not want his portrait on German coins until after he had won the war.

Read the rest of the series: The central design element of Nazi coins, by and large, was an eagle holding a swastika. These pieces show the Brandenburg Gate surreally topped by a swastika on the reverse. Some truly evil people won't show up in a thematic coin collection dedicated to badness. The evil that men do lives after them;. The good is oft interred with their bones. For coin collectors, the visages of evil people often live on, too, for decades, centuries and even millennia.

For the next few weeks, Five Facts will look at coins depicting five truly evil people who were responsible for endless human misery and millions upon millions of deaths. Some will be obvious. Neighboring Vietnam invaded in , ending the slaughter. One of the numismatically important 20th century evildoers is a real surprise.

Collector plates enjoy a long history, but in the s interest notched way up as marketing firms promoted plates as collectibles. Norman Rockwell never had it so good. The history of commemorative plates dates back to the s when factories started producing plates, bowls and mugs marking royal events in Europe and political events in America. These have always enjoyed support from a small group of collectors. Prices are stable for these genuinely historic items.

Royal Copenhagen joined the club in While the companies have since merged, the Bing and Royal plates are still produced each year. The two series enjoy a collector base that has largely supported prices over the years — except for plates issued during the boom years of the s and early s. Beyond these narrow areas, the market for collector plates pretty much went bust in the early s. There was no secondary market to create price appreciation. In early August eBay had , listings for collector plates.

Most had no bids. As the original purchasers of collectible plates in the s retire, die and downsize, more and more material is coming on the market. EBay listings are full of complete collections of various series of plates — often 20 and more — complete with boxes and certificates of authenticity that attract no bids. One that paid off. The bottle, which came filled with bourbon, was limited to an edition of 1, Seeking a different challenge for your collecting pursuits?: Kennedy Coin and Chronicles set awaits numismatic community's response to Sept.

Collectibles that once cost small fortunes can be found begging for pennies at flea markets such as the Chicagoland Flea Market in Rosemont, Ill. In the early days of the United States Mint, dies were created by hand using punches to place design elements, letters and numbers. In some cases, mint workers grabbed the wrong punch or failed to properly space the lettering. In a die cutter botched three reverse dies. He caught the error on one of the three dies, punching a 1 over the first zero in the denominator, the lower set of numerals in the fraction.

His third die was spectacularly bad. Because dies were expensive, even bungled ones were used to produce coins until they wore out. One of them was still going strong in Coins struck by the bungled dies tend to be worth more than regular coins, especially in higher grades. Why remains a mystery. There was plenty of space for the last two letters. The late researcher Walter Breen speculated it was done on purpose, somehow in sympathy with the unfinished pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States.

Whatever the reason, only about 7, were struck before the die broke, making a rarity for the start of the now year-old 1-cent series.

Here's what the West Point Mint's bullion storage vault looks like. Keep up with all of CoinWorld. Strong-strike No P dime, obverse. Note the smooth surface, lacking any hint of a Mint mark, between the date and Franklin D. The Philadelphia Mint had neglected to place a Mint mark on one or two dies. Coins with a noticeably strong strike surfaced in Sandusky, Ohio.

Less desirable coins with a weak strike were released in Pittsburgh. Bieda noted that some think that all the No P dimes were struck from the same set of dies, but that the pressure used to strike the coins was raised during the production cycle, resulting in a sharper strike.

Less, once again, is more when it comes to numismatics. Worthless cents and a partial country. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions. Collectors knew something was up in when cents without a Mint mark started showing up in circulation. For the first time since , the Philadelphia Mint was not striking cents that year. Only the Denver Mint was coining Lincoln cents. All Denver Mint cents should have had a D below the date. They were Denver cents without a Mint mark.

During the production of some 7 million cents that year, several dies clashed — banged against each other without a cent blank between them — because of a mechanical error. Clashed obverse dies showed parts of the reverse.

Clashed reverse dies showed parts of the obverse. The standard remedy was to grind off the clashed parts and place the dies back in service. Sometimes, though, the grinders got overly enthusiastic. On at least one die, they ground off the Mint mark. True No D cents — called Die Pair 2 by collectors — have a strong reverse. Three other dies also produced cents with a very weak or in some cases missing Mint mark. These coins were probably created by worn dies — Die Pairs 1, 3 and 4 — on which the D Mint mark recess gradually filled with debris or grease — a not uncommon occurrence — until the D entirely disappeared.

These varieties have a mushy, poorly defined reverse. Coins with a weak D command a small premium over regular D cents. Coins on which the D is entirely filled command a larger premium, but much less than the No D cents with a strong reverse. Less is more when it comes to cents. The amusement park dime. Government seeks gold double eagle rehearing involving coins from 'the family of a thief'.

Price of Peace dollar multiplies thanks to NGC sample slab: Decision to diminish Alexander Hamilton appalls former Federal Reserve chairman. The buffalo on this reverse of a D 5-cent piece lost part of its leg to an overly enthusiastic Mint worker. As usual, Mint workers tried to fix the reverse die by grinding away the clash marks. The buffalo on coins struck from it hobbled along on only three legs.

Collectors immediately seized upon the coin, which apparently was released mostly in Montana. Collector Aubrey Bebee, who later gave much of his collection to the American Numismatic Association, reported in a article in Numismatic Scrapbook. Bebee and I had the great pleasure of meeting Harold C.

White, who informed us of the existence of this freak. I bought several of these nickels from Mr. White, as I doubted that I would be able to find any as late as Collectors sucked up the coins. Most grade Extra Fine or better. With Indian Head 5-cent pieces, less is more. The Provincial Congress of New Jersey authorized a 30,pound later raised to 50, pounds paper money issue Feb. Nineteen people were authorized to sign the bills, and each bill had to be signed by three men before being released into circulation.

John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the signers. Notes signed by him command a premium of several hundred dollars over other New Jersey notes. The partially signed bills were placed in a trunk in the attic. The fully signed bills were hidden under broken pottery and other debris in tubs in the basement. Thomas Hawkshaw in command of 20 troops searched the farmhouse after being tipped off by a loyalist local.

They found the partially signed bills, but not the fully signed ones. A warning against the acceptance of these incompletely-signed notes appeared in the Pennsylvania Journal. As they are not perfect, and of consequence not a legal tender, and being the property of the State of New-Jersey, the public are requested to stop such as are offered in payment. The bills, called raid notes by collectors, are especially prized. They are dated , were signed by a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and played a real part in the Revolutionary War.

Raid notes typically command a premium of two to three times the value of notes with all three signatures. Less is more when it comes to Colonial paper money. Mint reports Truman Coin and Chronicles Set sold out within 15 minutes. Mint temporarily suspends sales July 7 of American Eagle silver bullion coins. Canada completes melting of gold coin hoard.

With coins, though, less can be more. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe used the phrase in the s to describe his minimalist style.

Living simply advocates adopted the phrase in recent years to describe how a fuller life can be lived with fewer possessions. In the workplace, though, duck your head when your boss babbles the chant, often in conjunction with some blather about right sizing. Less is more, means less money for you, more for him. In the corporate world less is never really more.

Only more is more. For the next few weeks, Five Facts will be exploring five numismatic items that are worth more than their full-bodied counterparts. One coin in the series, though, stands out as something very special — the small date cent. The coin, which is known by only 10 specimens, gets two pages in the Newcomb catalog, but no catalog number. Advanced collectors, though, are eager to pick up the coin on the rare occasion that one is offered at auction. Newcomb wrote the coins have a good ring when dropped but have inferior workmanship, especially in the leaves that make up the wreath on the reverse.

All of the pieces known show evidence of circulation, indicating they passed as cents during the decade before large cents were replaced in by the current-size small cents. Why was it produced?

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United States Mint Homepage - Coins and Medals, Shop, Product Schedule, Customer Service, Education, News and Media and More. The web's most comprehensive Coin Price Guide for finding coin values & old paper money values. Coin collection Price Guide. Commemorative Coins; Site Map. Commemorative coins and Bauhinia blakeana – Bauhinia × blakeana commonly called the Hong Kong Orchid Tree is a legume tree After the surrender of.

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On reverse below the double-bitted axe blade are the letters "BK" which are thought to represent "Bauruk Khauzad", meaning "Axes of the Dwarves". The island was named because of human bones that were found on the shore, apparently from an Indian burial mound that had been disturbed by a hurricane. The early colony was just up the Arkansas River from the Mississippi and adjacent to a village of the Quapaw natives. The reverse features a coat-of-arms featuring three human skulls. Just before his departure, Leif was forced to convert from paganism to Christianity on pain of death by Norwegian King Olav Trygvasson, hence the Christian reverse. It is Uncirculated with an "antiqued" finish.

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The island was named because of human bones that were found on the shore, apparently from an Indian burial mound that had been disturbed by a hurricane. The coins are dated Year of the Third Age, shortly before the town was destroyed. The name of the colony translates something like: The obverse depicts Captain Roberts with a knife in his death and the date , the year before the real Captain Roberts was killed. The third coin is a copper 1 Sol of Isle Dauphin which features a crowned fish on the reverse. The other side is written in runes.

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It is an interesting and historical fantasy coin. The coin weighs about 9 grams of pure copper, and is struck on a "button blank" meaning that it is not punched from sheet metal, but rather cold-forged with a 50 ton hammer from a small thick metal button. The other side is written in runes. The coin features the all Seeing Eye. The bi-metallic coin is 29mm in diameter and has a mintage of only pieces.

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The obverse depicts Captain Roberts with a knife in his death and the date , the year before the real Captain Roberts was killed. The One side has an Elvish song written in an archaic Elvish language. The reverse features a coat-of-arms featuring three human skulls. The early colony was just up the Arkansas River from the Mississippi and adjacent to a village of the Quapaw natives. In an effort to attract more settlers it was renamed in to Isle Dauphin.

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It is an interesting and historical fantasy coin. The coin weighs about 9 grams of pure copper, and is struck on a "button blank" meaning that it is not punched from sheet metal, but rather cold-forged with a 50 ton hammer from a small thick metal button. The obverse depicts Captain Roberts with a knife in his death and the date , the year before the real Captain Roberts was killed. The legend on the reverse translates as Theoden, King of the Eorlings. The coin is shaped like a holly leaf. Just before his departure, Leif was forced to convert from paganism to Christianity on pain of death by Norwegian King Olav Trygvasson, hence the Christian reverse. The result is a slightly off-round but thoroughly antique look.

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**Commemorative Coins of Bangladesh**Special Coins of Bangladesh * *Commemorative Note * *