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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For those interested in numismatics, there is no coin more universally recognizable than the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle. Although there are thirteen known examples of this distinguished coin, only one is able to be owned in private hands. Last week on June 8th, the single acquirable 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $18,872,250, completely shattering the all-time record for a coin sale. Prior to this sale, this legendary coin was last sold in 2002 for $7,590,020. So, what exactly is the story behind this fabled coin and why is it so valuable?
As demand for bullion products and numismatic collectibles continues to grow, the US Mint has struggled to offer a steady supply. Just last week on Friday, May 28, the US Mint released a message stating that it was experiencing a shortage of silver, specifically in regard to the blank planchets required to strike coins.
Earlier this week marked the birth of the Eleventh Chief Engraver, Elizabeth Jones. As one of our country’s most esteemed engravers of the modern era, Rare Collectibles TV would like to celebrate her immense contributions to the hobby. From the resurrection of the commemorative coin program in 1982 to the official opening of the West Point Mint in 1988, Jones oversaw some of the largest events to occur in modern numismatic history.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara was joined by co-founder of the Stack’s Bower Gallery Harvey Stack live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.
In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt made his dislike for the circulating coinage of America clear in a letter to Secretary of Treasury, Leslie Mortier Shaw. This infamous letter overtly criticized America’s coinage, calling it “of atrocious hideousness.” Fortunately, Roosevelt knew just the man to produce new coins that would be worthy of the United States: Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara was joined by numismatic expert and author Mike Garofalo live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.
Although the nickel has been a mainstay in United States coinage for over a century, there was a time when these coins did not exist at all. In fact, it was not until after the Civil War that the five-cent denomination was struck using the metal. Today, Rare Collectibles TV celebrates the creation of the five-cent nickel, which began on May 16, 1866.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara was joined by fellow RCTV host James Gerstel live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.
With the passage of the Coinage Act of 1792, the United States had established its first mint in Philadelphia. While this single mint had been sufficient for thirteen states, by the 1830s the country’s expansion had pushed the Mint’s capabilities to the brink. In a time before railroads, automobiles, or aircraft, coinage and bullion were too heavy to transport efficiently. When gold was discovered in several locations throughout the American South, the need for branch mints became an absolute necessity.
Last November and December, the numismatic world witnessed an unprecedented event, as three of the most renowned and sought-after Morgan dollars on the collectible market were sold at auction. Conducted by Stacks, the auction sold off the coin collection of the late Larry H. Miller, consisting of over 1,600 individual pieces. With 36 coins selling for six figures or more, and 3 that sold for more than a million, the total sales of the auction came close to $24 million. All proceeds of the auction went to the construction of Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, Utah, a fitting tribute to Miller’s charitable and caring legacy.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara was joined by author and Vice President of NGC Miles Standish live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.
Seventy-three years ago, Benjamin Franklin became the first non-presidential figure to be portrayed on a circulating piece of American coinage. Considering Benjamin Franklin’s immense contributions to American society, it is no surprise that he was chosen to be depicted on an American coin. Afterall, he played a large role in writing the Declaration of Independence and negotiated the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which ultimately ended the Revolutionary War.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara was joined by author Rick Tomaska live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.
On April 23rd, 1918, Congress enacted the Pittman Act, which oversaw the melting of nearly half of every Morgan Dollar ever struck. To this day, this remains one of the largest mass melts of coinage conducted by the U.S. Mint in history. To this number in perspective, if each of the 270,232,722 Morgan Dollars melted during this act were stacked on top of each other, they would form a tower over 400 miles high. Why was such a large portion of the Morgan Dollar series destroyed in this manner? Like other coin melts, the answer lies with the current events of the time.
In this week’s episode of Coin Snacks with Jack, Rare Collectibles TV host and coin buyer Jack McNamara welcomed Emily Damstra to speak about her 2021 Type 2 American Silver Eagle design live on YouTube. Each new episode of Coin Snacks with Jack will go live on YouTube every Wednesday at 3PM EST/Noon PST and feature special topics and informative interviews.