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NNP Blog

Aug 07 2020

An 1890 Pencil Rubbing Sent to the Mint

Continued transcription of the National Archives content reveals additional tidbits, in this case an 1890 letter from A. B. Turner to the U.S. Mint. Turner asks about an 1799 U.S. ten-dollar gold piece, and encloses a pencil rubbing. The piece is described as “silver,” with the weight of a ten-dollar gold coin. If truly silver in appearance, the piece might been a counterfeit with the outer coating worn off. The Mint appears to have responded that the piece had no premium value beyond the gold content, valued at $10.60 (the Coinage Act of 1834 effectively decreased the weight of the ten-dollar piece from 17.5 to 16.718 grams). This was spot on – a 1799 eagle sold for $10.60 in the R. Coulton Davis sale (January 1890), conducted by New York Stamp and Coin. 

Link to National Archives & Records Administration material on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/Library/Archives?searchLetter=U
Link to transcribed letter from A. B. Turner: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/586807
Link to R. Coulton Davis sale on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?aucCoId=26&auctionId=513827
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