295 records found.
U.S. Mint Sweats Gold
An 1893 letter from the U.S. Treasurer to the Superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint notes that bags used to store gold coins contained measurable amount of gold dust. Two bags are noted in this correspondence, one yielding 2.87 grains of gold and the other 2.16 grains (worth 12.3 cents and 9.3 cents respectively). Enos H. Nebecker, the U.S. Treasurer, notes a number of coin bags from the New York assay office had been forwarded to the Mint for harvesting the remaining gold. Presumably the number of bags was large, as the shipping costs from New York to Philadelphia would have offset any profit.
What the government took with one hand it gave back with the other. Congress made appropriations to make the country’s circulating coinage whole, so that if underweight gold pieces were returned to the Mint, they could be melted and recoined at full weight.
Link to February 27, 1893 correspondence: https://archive.org/details/extractgolddustfromoldcoinbags18930227/mode/2up
Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202
Bowers & Merena’s Coin Collector on Newman Portal
Newman Portal acknowledges Joel Orosz for loaning his run for scanning, as well as Jennifer Meers at Stack’s Bowers who provided several missing issues. We are also grateful to Collector’s Universe, the copyright holder, for making this content available for full-view.
Link to The Coin Collector on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/539529
Ernie Nagy Publishes Numismatic Collateral of British and American Abolition
Link to Numismatic Collateral of British and American Abolition on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/539733
Link to John Kraljevich’s Black History Month blog: http://omeka.wustl.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/nnp-selections/blackhistorymonth2017
Prison Tokens, Coupons and Scrip of the United States and Canada
The main body of the book consists of a state by state (and province) listing of known issues, and a quick check of ebay reveals an active collector market for these money substitutes. Tokens appear to be the most common form of prison money, struck in base metals at minimal cost. Various shapes are encountered, perhaps to discourage counterfeiting, including quatrefoils and octagons. Plastic and wooden pieces also appear in the series. One finds also scrip and coupon books, the latter used to suppress trading between prisoners, who must present the book along with the coupon. This is a scheme shared used by universities, when distributing student tickets for athletic events.
Link to Prison Tokens, Coupons and Scrip of the United States and Canada on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/589917
Friends in High Places
Link to U.S. Mint General Correspondence on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202
Link to Chapman auction sale catalogs on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctioncompanydetail/21
Link to U.S. Mint fixed price lists on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/512757
The First Half Eagle Struck in 1795
“General Washington, whose habit was to see the heads of departments every week at his table, upon one of these occasions, expressed to the director of the mint his satisfaction at the activity which had been introduced into the silver coinage, and added, ‘I have long desired to see gold coined at the mint but your predecessor found insuperable difficulties. I should be much gratified if it could be accomplished before I leave office.’ ‘I will try,’ was the reply ; and the director went to the mint, summoned the officers, ascertained the wants and difficulties of each department, and by great diligence, speedily removed all obstacles. In six weeks he carried to the President a handful of gold eagles, and received his thanks and approbation.”
Breen’s Encyclopedia gives a coining period of July 31 to September 16, 1795, for the first half eagles and further states that the half eagle dies were in production while David Rittenhouse was still Mint Director. A $5 gold piece from the Yale University collection, said to have been the first struck and reputedly owned by Martha Washington, was stolen in the 1960s, along with a Brasher doubloon and other pieces, and never recovered. The piece is alluded to in correspondence from Dick Picker to Eric Newman, May 1, 1962, after Yale curator Ted Buttrey exhibited the piece at the New York Numismatic Club. Buttrey commented to Len Augsburger via email on June 17, 2017, “The $5 gold, like the Brasher, was part of the Yale collection which I curated. The collection was stolen after I left Yale in 1964. The Brasher showed up later, but there is no way to trace the $5.”
Link to Memoir of the life, character, and public services, of the late Hon. Henry Wm. De Saussure on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/589594
Link to Richard Picker correspondence on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/520539
Kolbe & Fanning 100th Sale Video
Link to Kolbe & Fanning’s Auction Sale One Hundred video on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/589357
Link to Kolbe & Fanning auction sale catalogs on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctioncompanydetail/513111
Charles Opitz Odd & Curious Reference Collection to be Sold
Kagin’s has announced the sale of the Charles Opitz reference collection of odd and curious money, scheduled for the ANA National Money Show in Phoenix, AZ, on March 12. Odd and curious money encompasses just about anything outside of the familiar “form factors” of typical metal coins and paper money. Porpoise teeth, cardboard coins, woodpecker scalps, and hoe money are only a few of the hundreds of categories available to the collector of non-traditional forms of money. Charles Opitz’s excellent guide to the subject is available on Newman Portal, and this massive 843-page compendium represents a lifetime of research on the subject. With multiple illustrations on nearly every page, this will be the definitive guide for the foreseeable future. For collectors with any interest in the subject, the Opitz sale will be an important opportunity to view and study these intriguing objects.
Link to Charles Opitz Odd & Curious and Traditional Money on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/1482
A Debate Over Star Points
Link to 1891 Leech correspondence: https://archive.org/details/newdesignexperimentalhalvesstarpoints18911024/page/n3/mode/2up
Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence entry on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202
Works of James Ross Snowden
Link to Snowden “Books by Author” page on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/1816