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- Posted: August 26, 2019|New for 2020: The Royal Canadian Mint's Peace Dollar World War I was one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history. It also happened to be among the first wars that was brought home to those not on the frontlines through photos and videos. The entire world celebrated peace when it finally ended. The U.S Mint got in on the festivities with Anthony de Francisci’s Peace Dollar, which made its debut in 1921. 99 years later, Canada issued a Peace Dollar ...Read more »
- Posted: August 22, 2019|Many economists and historians could reasonably make the case that the history of the world is the history of money. From the debasement of currency in the Roman Empire to the rise of the ‘sound pound,’ money has played a central role in the rise and fall of countries throughout the world. It is little wonder, then, that those who are interested in coin collecting tend to have a deep interest in history. Important as money has been to world history, its value and who holds it, have been largely determined in war. The Babylonians, the Japanese, the Russians, and countless other civilizations built themselves largely on the backs of those whom they conquered, while the likes of the Iroquois and the Spartans continue to be remembered long after their peaks thanks to their ferocity. Warriors of History ...Read more »
- On August 15 the U.S. Mint will begin accepting orders for the latest products in its American Liberty series of $100, 1 oz. high relief gold coins and accompanying silver medals, which for the first time will also be struck in high-relief and have a weight of 2.5 ounces. Obverse The obverse design for both products features a left-facing profile of Liberty with flowing hair wearing a headdress with 13 ...Read more »
- When John M. Mercanti retired as the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint, he had accomplished one of the most storied careers in the Mint’s history. He had served as an engraver –sculptor for 37 years. The only engravers to serve longer were George T. Morgan at 48 years, William Barber at 47 years and Frank Gasparro at 39 years. Mercanti also designed, sculpted or engraved over 100 coin and medal designs, more than any other designer in the history of the U.S. Mint. Mr. Mercanti’s U.S. Mint career began in 1974 in the pre-digital age when everything was done by hand and finished at the Mint in 2010 when most of the design work was done with the aid of digital technology. John Mercanti was born on April 27, 1943 in Philadelphia, ...Read more »
- Posted: June 19, 2019|Single events seldom define generations, and in the rare cases that they have, they’ve typically been World Wars. In one case, though, a four-day concert did just that. Named for Woodstock, a town located 43 miles from where the event took place, the festival was advertised as “3 Days of Peace & Music.” Fifty years later, it remains so much more than that to those who attended. The Place The event started as the brainchild of Michael Lang, Artie Kornfeld, Joel Rosenman, and John P. Roberts. The four, a combination of entrepreneurs and lawyers, had major clashes in style that, along with various challenges, threatened to end the project. One of those challenges had to do with the venue. The first planned site was in Wallkill, New York, but the town’s residents protested successfully to stop it. Just a month before the event, the organi ...Read more »
- Posted: June 19, 2019|By Louis Golino This year American coin collectors will be able to celebrate July 4 – the day of American independence – with a new, limited-edition two-coin set that will be released the day before. Canadians will also have a great way to mark Canada Day -- the July 1 holiday that used to be called Dominion Day. That is when the country became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Called Pride of Two Nations, the set is the first-ever joint numismatic release between the United States Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. It will commemorate their legacy of close relations and longstanding friendship as well as the rich history of both nations with a set that will include the first-ever enhanced Reverse Proof ...Read more »
- 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 »
- A Tangible Connection to the "Longest Day" 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 ...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 »