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History Recovered: Saga of the 1792 Silver Disme


Book Summary

(Introduction) This paper is about a journey of discovery that entails the most extensive and intensive scientific examination ever conducted in the field of numismatics. The target of this groundbreaking investigation is a 1792 silver disme Judd-9, one of the great rarities from the 1792 US Mint pattern coinage. As a result of over 800 hours of investigations that included photographic analysis, the use of two types of scanning electron microscopes and a historic first for numismatics, the use of synchrotron-radiation-based X-ray micro-diffraction (μ-XRD) technique at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) of the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to recover images from the subsurface metal lattice over a period of nearly 2½ years, we conclude this coin is THE design work surface for one of the first two coins of the United States, a 1793 half cent. Additionally, we also believe it entails a potential love story. 

This paper is based on a presentation made at the American Numismatic Society Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC), September 22, 2023. It will additionally appear in the COAC proceedings.
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