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- Circulating coinage from certain periods of American history is today scarce and difficult to obtain with the most well-known example being the Civil War (1861-1865), when there was a scarcity of copper, silver and gold. That led to widespread hoarding, reduced minting and even the issuance of alternatives to one-cent coins such as tokens and encased postage stamps. A second era, when similar forces were at play for different reasons, was the early years of the Great Depression – the worst and most severe economic downturn in U.S. history that lasted from the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as “Black Tuesday”) until the end of the decade in 1939. During this period, a quarter of the population was unemployed, millions beca ...Read more »
- On May 22, before a hearing of the House Financial Services committee, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed during questioning from members of the House of Representatives that a $20 note with Harriet Tubman on the front and Andrew Jackson on the back is unlikely to be issued before 2028 – well after a possible second Trump presidential term. In 2016, then-presidential candidate Trump said that putting Tubman on the $20 would be “pure political correctness” and instead suggested she should appear on the $2 bill, which is rarely seen in circulation. In addition to an abolitionist and political activist, Tubman (who was born a Maryland slave and lived from 1822 to 1913) is best known for her work for the Underground Railroad, which safely led hundreds of slaves to freedom in numerous risky clandestine raids. After the Civil War, she worked with Susan B. Anthony to promote enfranchising women, making her a key figure in both the anti-slavery and women’s suffrage m ...Read more »
- In June 1940, Axis forces accomplished what their leader, Adolph Hitler, called “the most famous victory in history” with the fall of France. The following year, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union, and the United States joined the war. Joseph Stalin, then leader of the Soviet Union, pressed for Allied forces to open a western front, but those forces instead engaged in the Mediterranean, in both Africa and in Europe, rather than launching a full-on assault. Finally, in May 1943, attendees of the Trident Conference decided to launch such an assault in France. Planning for Operation Overlord began, and the assault began on what is today known as “D-Day” on June 6, 1944. Covert Measures and Redirection One of the most important aspects of D-Day was the deception leading up to it. Well in advance of the attack, Operation Bodyguard was devel ...Read more »
- The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA’s) National Coin Week dates back nearly 100 years to 1924. Each year, a new theme provides a fresh opportunity for collectors to celebrate their favorite pastime and explore the history, present, and future of numismatics. The consistency of the ANA in promoting the event, which has run through the Depression, a World War, and other national crises, is a testament to the organization’s dedication to growing the hobby. Today’s collectors owe a debt of gratitude to those who have contributed to this rich tradition over the years. In the early 1900s, the world of numismatics faced an ethical crisis. Julius Guttag outlined it beautifully: "Years ago the dealer gave freely of his knowledge and endeavored to educate the new collector as much as possible. Today, many dealers make it their aim to keep the collector uninformed… If each and every dealer would show a live and honest interest in every new col ...Read more »
- Posted: April 05, 2019|Categories: Latest NewsOn April 2, 2019, the U.S. Mint announced that for the first time ever it has struck quarter dollars with W-mint marks for the West Point Mint and that the coins will only be available in general circulation. What’s more, only 2 million of each of the five 2019 quarters will be struck, a low number for a coin of this type, which has had an upwards of hundreds of millions struck in recent years. The first of these coins have already been produced and shipped by the Federal Reserve to banks and other financial institutions. They include both 2019-W Lowell National Historical Park and 2019-W American Memorial Park quarters, which should begin appearing in circulation within four to six weeks, according to the ...Read more »
- Most collectors are aware that U.S. Mint commemorative coin programs, which have been limited to two per year since 1998, are created through legislation that originates with members of the U.S. Congress and attempts to make its way through the legislative process. However, the U.S. Congress also periodically enacts various legislative proposals – some of which become law, and many which do not – that impact numismatics in other ways such as the provision that eventually was used to end the use of 90% "coin" silver in numismatic coins. During the 116th congress, which began on January 4, 2019, and continues until the end of 2020, several bills have been introduced that either call for the issuance of new coins or impact the numismatic industry. Bush coins ...Read more »
- To mark the 110th anniversary of the perennially-popular Lincoln cent, the U.S. Mint is issuing the first pennies that carry a “W” Mint mark, indicating that they were struck at the iconic West Point Mint. However, the 2019-W pennies will not be the first ones ever struck at the West Point Mint, since business strike cents were produced there from 1974 to 1986 to supplement production of the coin at the Philadelphia Mint at a time when billions were being struck each year. Those cents made in Philadelphia did not have a Mint mark, which is an important difference for collectors. An Intriguing Trend There will be three 2019 numismatic products that include versions of the 2019-W cent, includi ...Read more »
- On March 14 the U.S. Mint will launch its second and final commemorative coin program of 2019, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Legion and the remarkable work of this organization that has impacted not just U.S. service members, but the entire country. The History of the American Legion The organization was founded on March 15, 1918 in Paris, France by the American Expeditionary Forces that occupied Europe after the fighting of World War I had ended. This group was concerned about the welfare of their comrades after they returned to the United States, as well as of the communities where those vet ...Read more »
- American Achievement: the Apollo 11 Moon Shot While American technological and political achievements are numerous, few are as resonant as the great Space Race of the 1960s. This included the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs that reached their triumphant apex with the Apollo 11 mission that saw astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin land on the moon and their safe return, along with command module pilot Michael Collins, to Earth. The United States Mint is releasing a seven coin commemorative program to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the moon landing. The series will have broad appeal for numismatic collectors as well as technology and space buffs alike. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is really an attempt to capture the vibrant spirit of the Sixties and of the extraordinary achievements of America and Americans. The “one small step for man… one giant leap for mankind” celebrated with these ...Read more »
- The Australia Wedge-Tailed Eagle Series: History in the Making In 2014, John Mercanti and the Perth Mint made history as the former Chief Engraver of the United States Mint collaborated with the Perth Mint on the new Silver Wedge-Tailed Eagle. The new issue marked the first time that a US Mint engraver designed a coin for a foreign mint. The first release in the series had a mintage of just 50,000 pieces, and the response among collectors worldwide was so overwhelming that the series has become a mainstay of the Perth Mint and among the most anticipated annual releases among collectors. The 2019 edition marks the fifth anniversary release in the series and just the first time that a new design has been introduced after just one year of the previous ...Read more »