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Dec 02 2022

Newman Portal Symposium Video Available

Video from the recent Newman Portal Symposium, held November 17-19, 2022 is now available. The Newman Portal Symposium brings together speakers on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including U.S., world, and ancient numismatics. Our feature presentation examined U.S. coins in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), which included comments from the ANS Resolute Americana chair of American numismatics, Jesse Kraft. Our next Symposium will be held in spring 2023, in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society convention.

Videos from all Newman Portal Symposia are posted at
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Mar 23 2023

Pete Smith Writes U.S. Mint Coin Bag Guide

While most of us have seen a U.S. Mint coin bag here or there, no one has attempted a wider treatment of the subject, until now. Pete Smith’s The Incomplete Guide to United States Mint Coin Bags (92 pp.) represents the first best attempt to restore order to the chaos of cloth banks utilized by the various Mints. Using online sources, as well as his own experience in the bullion trading business, Smith identifies the major categories of bags and creates a framework for collectors and future researchers. 

Bags surely existed in massive quantities but are infrequently seen today. Smith notes that 56,470 bags would have been required for the 1940-S cent coinage and by extension asks, “where are they now?” Today, the most prized bags are those used to transport gold or Carson City coinage, and nearly all bags identified date to the 20th century.

Newman Portal has digitized some of the late 19th century Mint correspondence relating to coin bags. P. J. Kornder of Brooklyn complained to the Mint Director in 1891: “I would like to call your attention to the enclosed bag which I got from the Mechanics Bank Brooklyn with $10 in Pennies, it is the poorest bag I ever saw and so small that they cannot be properly tied. I spilled them all over the street in carrying. I send you this merely to draw your attention to them, perhaps they are being furnished inferior to the required kind &c.”

Link to The Incomplete Guide to United States Mint Coin Bags on Newman Portal:
Link to Mint bag correspondence, 1879-1895:[]=creator%3A%22u.s.+mint%22
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Mar 19 2023

New Orleans Mint Restoration

“An idle derelict” in 1975, the New Orleans Mint at 400 Esplanade Avenue was donated by the United States to the Louisiana State Museum in 1966. Reconstruction completed in 1979, and today the space serves the Louisiana State Museum with a variety of rotating exhibits, including a tribute to the numismatic history of the museum. Recently scanned from the Newman papers is a contemporary, well-illustrated eight-page brochure detailing the reconstruction.

The New Orleans Mint was designed in Greek Revival style by William Strickland, who was also the architect of the (second) Philadelphia Mint that opened in 1833. The New Orleans Mint struck its first coin in 1838 and its last in 1909, and the building served a variety of purposes prior to its reconstruction, including use as a prison. 

Link to “Old Mint Restoration Now Complete”:
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