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3 day ago

An Old Design on a New Coin: Laura Gardin Fraser's Talent Finally Recognized

In the history of American coinage, the list of women who have designed coins has remained few. While Emily Damstra and Jennie Norris join that list with their stunning American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle designs, another woman is also finally being honored by having her design on circulating coinage: Laura Gardin Fraser.

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10 day ago

Experimental Coinage of World War II

There have been numerous moments throughout United States history that have impacted the production of American coinage. One of the most prominent examples of a historic event that had a direct affect on coinage was World War II. Due to the need for strategic metals such as copper and nickel in the war effort, the composition of the Cent and Nickel had to be changed. 

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17 day ago

A Metal Rarer Than Gold or Silver: A History of Palladium

In the field of numismatics, gold and silver have long been the king and queen of metals used to strike coins. There isn’t a collector alive that isn’t familiar with the coins struck from these two metals, and their beloved hues have been the object of desire in almost every culture around the world. Recently however, other precious metals have become more and more popular as science continues to advance and new materials are discovered and utilized. Among them is palladium, which has seen a meteoric rise, spurring interest in the metal for use in the numismatic market as well. 

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24 day ago

The Triumphant Return of Commemorative Coins with George Washington in 1982

While most Americans know the U.S. Mint for the circulating coinage that occupies their wallets, another important function of the Mint is striking commemorative coins. While technically legal tender, commemorative coins are produced primarily to celebrate individuals, events, places, and institutions important to the United States. In addition to their celebratory nature, commemorative coins also help raise money to support historical preservation efforts. Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, over $500 million dollars have been raised to help build museums, maintain national monuments, and support various programs. 

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1 month ago

The Christmas That Made America: Washington's Courageous Crossing

On Christmas night in 1776, General George Washington and his army executed a surprise attack on Hessian forces that was as an early turning point of the Revolutionary War. Known famously as “Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware,” this attack saw Washington lead 2,400 soldiers across the partially-frozen Delaware River into Trenton, New Jersey, where a large portion of British troops were stationed.

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1 month ago

The Most Underrated American Silver Eagles You Should Be Looking For!

On October 29th, 1986, the first American Silver Eagle was struck and numismatic history was forever changed. President Ronald Reagan authorized the creation of the American Silver Eagle with the Liberty Coin Act which allowed the U.S. Mint to utilize the National Defense Stockpile to issue silver coinage. Over the years, several special issue American Silver Eagles have been struck that are not truly appreciated when first released. In honor of 35 years of America’s favorite modern silver dollar, here are some of the most underrated American Silver Eagles ever produced.

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2 months ago

Two new error discoveries keep collectors on their toes!

At the end of a very exciting year for new coin releases, including the 2021 Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter as well as the 2021 Type 2 American Gold and Silver Eagles, a few more new coin varieties have been verified. 

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2 months ago

The Columbian Half Dollar: America’s First Commemorative Coin

Christopher Columbus is remembered for famously voyaging to the Americas aboard La Santa Maria in 1492. This event, credited for expanding Western culture to the “New World,” shaped our world to a greater degree than perhaps any other event in history.

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2 months ago

The Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle: A Legacy like No Other

The Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle’s design carries a legacy unrivaled by any other American coin design. For over a century, the motif has been celebrated for its unprecedented artistry and timeless beauty. Though the design is adored by all, many people don’t know the equally fascinating story as to how the Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle came to be.

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2 months ago

How a Cameo Coin is Made: The Perfection of Proofs

When looking at a coin, there are two basic portions that we can refer to: the devices, or the raised design elements, and the fields, or the flat background. Although these two portions of the coin can exhibit a uniform appearance, they can also exhibit a two-toned appearance. These two tones are known as frosted, which appears as white on the devices, and mirrored, which appears as black on the fields. When a coin exhibits frosted devices and mirrored fields, it is know as Cameo contrast. Coins that exhibit stark Cameo contrast are highly sought after and generally thought of as having the highest level of eye appeal.

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3 months ago

Surprise Variety 2021 American Gold Eagle Discovered!

In an exciting numismatic development, an uncirculated 2021 American Gold Eagle with a W Mintmark has been discovered.

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3 months ago

Celebrating Saint-Gaudens Beloved Indian Head Design

This week, over one hundred years ago, the beloved $10 Indian Head eagle series officially entered circulation. As one of just two designs crafted by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the $10 Indian Head is celebrated for launching the American Coin Renaissance, which led to the complete overhaul and reinvigoration of America’s coinage. With the Coin Renaissance and designs like the Indian Head, America’s money became not just a means of financial transaction, but stunning pieces of art that could be enjoyed by the public as well.

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3 months ago

Witch Pieces: How a Silver Coin Was Thought to Ward off Evil

For over 350 years, the Pine Tree Shilling has fascinated numismatists and historians alike. Struck in Massachusetts while the Thirteen Colonies were still under British rule, this silver coin was one of several struck to fill the currency shortage. The most fascinating part of the Pine Tree Shilling is possibly its revival as a tool to ward off witches in the late 1690s.

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3 months ago

The Long Journey to the Creation of the Oregon Trail Commemorative Half Dollar

This month marks the 95th anniversary of the inception of the Oregon Trail commemorative Half Dollar, the longest-running commemorative coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint, and one of the most widely collected coins from its period. 

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3 months ago

Susan B. Anthony: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

On October 10, 1978, President Jimmy Carter authorized production of dollar coins displaying Susan B. Anthony’s portrait. When the coin was struck just months later, Anthony became the first female American citizen to appear on our coinage, adding to her extensive list of achievements.

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4 months ago

Robert Scot: The Engraver That Started It All

Today, Rare Collectibles TV celebrates the birthday of Robert Scot, the first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. For over thirty years, Scot’s work defined American coinage, laying the foundation for future coin engravers to follow.

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4 months ago

U.S. Mint Announces Silver Shortage

Rarely do we see a silver shortage with implications as far reaching as what we are experiencing right now. Between the global pandemic hindering the output of entire industries and the demand for silver reaching new heights with the rise of technologies like solar power, it is becoming more and more difficult to acquire silver. This immense scarcity has even crept into our beloved hobby, making it increasingly more difficult to obtain classic numismatic silver as of late.

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4 months ago

How Benjamin Franklin Honored France and America in the Libertas Americana Medal

One of the most influential pieces of American medallic art is the Libertas Americana Medal. Designed in part by Benjamin Franklin and struck to honor France’s part in the victories in the battles of Yorktown and Saratoga, the Libertas Americana Medal features an image of Liberty on the obverse with a Phrygian cap on a stick. This stunning image would inspire coin designers for years to come.

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4 months ago

Happy Birthday, William Kneass!

On Saturday the numismatic community celebrated the 241st anniversary of the birth of William Kneass. As the second Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, Kneass provided a tremendous model to follow for future engravers.

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4 months ago

The Fourth Philadelphia Mint: A Continuation of American History

Throughout its history, the Philadelphia Mint has been housed at four different locations. This week, we celebrate the laying down of the cornerstone of the fourth location on September 17th, 1969. Since its inception in 1792 at the intersection of Seventh Street and 631 Filbert Street in Philadelphia, the Mint has played a central role in the history of American coinage. In 1833, and again in 1901, the Philadelphia Mint relocated to accompany the need to expand and improve production, much like how the United States expanded and grew from a small handful of thirteen former colonies to the powerful nation it is today. 

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5 months ago

From 1986 to 2021: An American Gold Eagle Legacy

In 1974, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ban on gold had been active for over 40 years with no end in sight, causing the American demand for gold to hit an all-time high. 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, recognized the detrimental effects that this gold ban was having on the American people in the modern day and did not hesitate to act. On December 31, 1974, President Ford restored the hopes of the American people by signing Executive Order 11825, which made gold legal once again. 

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5 months ago

The 1922 High Relief Peace Dollar: A Numismatic Legend

Introduced to the United States in 1921, the Peace Silver Dollar ushered in a new era of hope at a time when the world so desperately needed it. The Peace Dollar is today remembered as one of the most iconic coins in history, and the issue that stands above all others is the 1922 edition in high relief.

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5 months ago

Frank Gasparro: The Man Who Memorialized Lincoln, Kennedy, and Eisenhower in American Coinage

As the tenth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, Frank Gasparro was one of the most active designers of American currency during his time at the mint. Born August 26, 1909, coincidentally the same year that the Lincoln Cent was first struck, Gasparro was drawn to art and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. As a teen, Gasparro studied under the famous artist Giuseppe Donato, who once was a student of master sculptor Auguste Rodin, known for his iconic sculpture, “The Thinker”.

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5 months ago

How Coins Changed in 1976: The Story Behind the Bicentennial Coins

In 1976, our country celebrated one of its most important dates yet: the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which formally marked the Thirteen Colonies as their own nation. After two hundred years, our glorious nation had overcome hardships ranging from the Civil War to the Great Depression. Despite these challenges, the United States of America still stood strong and continued to espouse the belief that all men and women had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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5 months ago

The Discovery of an Artist: Celebrating James B. Longacre's Birthday

This week, Rare Collectibles TV commemorates the birth of James B. Longacre, fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint and creator of some of the most famous coin designs of the nineteenth century. Having crafted coins such as the Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle, Indian Head Cent, and Shield nickel, Longacre’s legacy is one still respected and celebrated by numismatists today. 

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6 months ago

The Lasting Honor of the Washington Quarter

In 1932, our country celebrated the bicentennial birthday of perhaps the most important man in its history, George Washington. Along with the countrywide celebrations of the first president to lead our nation, the bicentennial was marked with a very special occasion: the introduction of a new quarter design featuring Washington’s likeness. While originally intended as a one-year-only commemorative coin, the Washington Quarter has gone on to become one of America’s most popular and enduring coins.

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6 months ago

Why Was Silver Removed From Coinage?

Throughout the history of the U.S. Mint, the issue of managing the money supply and preventing hoarding has been a consistent challenge. During the Great Depression for instance, the hoarding of gold coins forced the government to enact Executive Order 6102, to prevent said hoarding from damaging the economy further. In the mid-1960s, the U.S. government faced a similar issue, this time with silver. 

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6 months ago

U.S. Mint Announces American Women Quarter Series

Over the past two decades, the quarter has seen a variety of innovative new designs due to a series of government programs, including the 50 State Quarters Program and the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The most recent quarter redesign came this year in the form of the 2021 General Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter.

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6 months ago

Silver Union: The History of the Trade Dollar

When it comes to American numismatics, there is no shortage of fascinating history behind the creations of the US Mint. There is, however, one particular coin that tells a story like no other coin ever produced: the Trade Dollar.

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6 months ago

Buon Compleanno, Anthony de Francisci!

Today we celebrate the birthday of one of the most legendary coin designers in United States history: Anthony de Francisci. As his 1921 Peace Silver Dollar design was the very last of the Renaissance of American coinage, De Francisci is considered to have left a profound impact on our country’s coins.

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7 months ago

How John R. Sinnock Brought Art to Numismatics

This week, we celebrate the birth of the eighth Chief Engraver of the US Mint, John R. Sinnock. Throughout his career, Sinnock designed some of the most significant coins and medals used in America, including the illustrious Franklin Half Dollar and the prestigious Purple Heart. To this day, Sinnock’s legacy continues to grow as the Franklin Half Dollar series continues to increase in popularity and numismatic value. 

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7 months ago

The Legacy of the Groundbreaking Susan B. Anthony Dollar

Released just before America’s 203rd anniversary of becoming a nation, the Susan B. Anthony Dollar entered circulation on July 2, 1979. While the Eisenhower Dollar had been struck since 1971, its large size made it cumbersome to carry around. A study done by the Treasury Department showed that a smaller dollar coin replacing half of the paper dollars produced could save over $19 million in production costs. With all that in mind, the U.S. Mint went to work.

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7 months ago

U.S. Mint Releases Video Honoring New American Eagle Designs

To honor both the 35th Anniversary of the American Eagle Coin program and the new designs on the American Gold Eagle and American Silver Eagle, the United States Mint has released a video with comments from designers and Mint officials.

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7 months ago

The Fugio Cent: The Coin That Started It All

American coinage has long been characterized by a rich and remarkable history. From classic coins like the Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle to modern examples such as the American Silver Eagle, the United States has continually produced some of the world’s most stunning coinage. While so many American coins have gained acclaim over centuries, one of the most important coins to be produced was the 1787 Fugio Cent.

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