In the history of the United States, there has been no stronger alliance than that between America and France. This relationship stretches back to the origins of our country during the Revolutionary War, when France’s aid played a crucial role in America gaining independence from the tyrannical rule of Britain.
402 years ago, on November 21, 1620, the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts, creating what is now remembered as the Plymouth Colony. These Pilgrims, also known as Puritan Separatists, originally escaped religious persecution under King James I of England in 1609 by moving to the Netherlands. By 1620, however, they aimed their sights away from the European continent and focused on getting across the Atlantic Ocean to America. To celebrate the 300-year anniversary of this historic event, the US Mint struck a commemorative half dollar starting in 1920.
The US Mint has announced the next five women to be honored on the American Women Quarter series in the year 2023. This series has brought to the forefront several American women who have had a massive impact on our culture. In the next year, the reverse of the Washington Quarter will showcase such luminaries as Bessie Coleman, Jovita Idar, Edith Kanaka’ole, Maria Tallchief, and Eleanor Roosevelt.
We have all heard the story of Doctor Frankenstein, a scientist whose obsession with creating life leads to the birth of a monster constructed from the remains of deceased humans. Written in 1818, the story of Frankenstein is one that is almost as old as American numismatics itself. And although there has never been a numismatist to bring an inanimate object back to life, there certainly have been a few that have created monstrosities of their own. Here are a small handful of errors coins depicting designs you wouldn’t expect to find together. These are the Frankenstein’s Monsters of numismatics.
Superstitions have been prevalent in numismatics for thousands of years. The Colonists of early America believed that a Pine Tree shilling could ward off witches, children around the world will affirm that finding a heads-up penny on the sidewalk is an undeniable sign of good luck, and the Greeks placed coins on the eyes of the dead as payment to be taken to the afterlife. That last practice is commonly referred to as Charon’s obol and you may have seen it in a film or read about it in a book, but what did it really mean?
We often hear stories of homes being haunted by past residents, trinkets in curiosity shops holding the souls of their previous owners, and spirits lingering around tombstones where their bodies now lie. Often, these phenomena are condemned to movies and folklore, but very rarely does one of these occurrences take place in the realm of flesh and blood. There is, however, a coin that has haunted numismatics since the onset of the Civil War: the infamous “Ghost Coin” of the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia.
The American Gold Eagle is a beloved coin that brought gold back to the American people after an over 50 year hiatus. When Ronald Reagan signed the Gold Bullion Act in 1985, he authorized the creation of this stunning coin from newly mined American gold. The obverse showcases the most beautiful design on American coinage, the Saint-Gaudens Gold Double Eagle. As for the reverse, a design was chosen from Miley Busiek, a self-taught artist who worked hard for her recogniton. But Busiek, now known as Miley Tucker-Frost, did not originally envision her art on an American coin. So how did it end up there?
One of the most mysterious coins in US history, is the 1964 Specimen Kennedy. Much like the famed 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, this coin should not exist and the exact number of examples struck is unknown. About a dozen examples have been discovered, and it’s estimated no more than 15 were struck.
On April 18, 1906, the City of San Francisco was devastated by the greatest natural disaster it had ever seen. At 5:12 AM, before most residents were even awake to see the morning fog roll in from the Bay, an 8.2 magnitude earthquake shook the city for 42 seconds that seemed like eternity. The quake was followed by rampant fires that roared for days on end. When it was all said and done, approximately 25,000 buildings were destroyed.
In numismatics, there are several factors that could draw a collector to a particular coin. Some of the most popular coins in US history are those with an interesting story. The 1883 “Racketeer Nickel” is the prime example of an iconic coin whose popularity stems from its wild origin tale.
Before the United States had struck the world-renowned Saint-Gaudens and Liberty Head Gold coinage, America relied on gold coins struck in other countries such as the Spanish eight escudos. The idea of using foreign coinage in our new country did not sit well with our Founding Fathers as they believed that no country can be independent without its own monetary system. As a result, our first President George Washington signed the Coinage Act of 1792.
(Los Angeles, California) September 13, 2022 – A collector of California Gold Rush artifacts has paid more than $2 million for a historic 62-pound gold bar recovered from the 1857 sinking of the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the S.S. Central America.
In every field of collecting, there is a titan that reigns supreme as the most iconic figure. In baseball card collecting, no card is more iconic than the T206 Honus Wagner. To stamp collectors, nothing matches the luster of the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. In numismatics, the supreme figure is the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent.
One of the earliest and most prolific designers in the history of the US Mint is Christian Gobrecht, who served as the third Chief Engraver and was responsible for placing designs on a dozen coins which lasted long beyond his tenure.
Since the dawn of coin collecting, error coins have gained some of the highest praise in the hobby. There are eight different major error varieties you may encounter on your collecting journey. Any of these errors can warrant a handsome premium, so it is incredibly useful to be able to spot one when you see it.
Over the past 230 years, the US Mint has vastly improved its methods of producing coins. But even the technology from 1790 was vastly different from the earliest days of coin manufacturing. Early civilizations, like the Ancient Greeks and China during the Qin Dynasty, struck coins using methods that are no longer used today for circulating currency.
The Winged Liberty Head Dime, more commonly known as the Mercury Dime, has many controversies around its design. For one, the obverse is meant to depict Lady Liberty, not the Roman God of Travel Mercury, despite the winged cap they have in common. The second and more mysterious controversy is whether the model for Liberty was the American Venus herself, Audrey Munson, or the wife of a Pulitzer Prize winning poet.
Few have left an impact on American coinage like that of James Barton Longacre. Best known for serving as the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1844 until his passing in 1869, Longacre also has an impressive resume of incredible coins he gave our country, including the Liberty Head Gold Double Eagle. Longacre practically performed a complete overhaul of US coinage, and here is a chance to learn about the coins he brought to life.
When researching American coinage, the name Jean-Antoine Houdon appears several times as inspiration for the designs featured on the Jefferson Nickel, Franklin Half Dollar, and the Washington Quarter. But who was Houdon and why was he so influential among Founding Fathers?
While the term “gold rush” instantly evokes imagery of 49ers panning for gold dust in the sprawling hills of California, there have been a number of lesser-known gold discoveries to occur since America’s founding. From the Georgia Gold Rush of the southern Appalachian Mountains to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush of Colorado, America’s story is rife with the rich history of gold. Despite each gold rush telling its own unique story, there is only one that can claim the title of the first in American history: the North Carolina Gold Rush of 1799.
Nowadays, coin collectors get their start with coins like American Silver Eagles, acquired directly from the US Mint in near-perfect grades. The roots of this noble hobby started when we were kids looking through pocket change on an exhilarating treasure hunt where you didn't know what you'd find. These were coins that had been circulated and were harder to find in Mint State condition. To restore that grand tradition, we put together this list of a few of those coins that anyone can collect just by looking through their change!
Few coins have cemented themselves as true legends in the lore of American numismatics. Coins like the 1907 Ultra High Relief Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, and 1894-S Barber Dime are ubiquitous, telling intricate tales that we have listened to with stars in our eyes. After all, there are only a handful of each of these coins produced, and the reasons they exist range from inspirational to nefarious. The 1885 Trade Dollar is a coin that should be immortalized just like any of these other legends, yet we don’t often hear its mysterious story.
July 4, 1776 is the most important date in American history, as it marks when we, as a nation, adopted the Declaration of Independence. On this date, 246 years ago, we asserted to the world that we were not just a group of British colonies but instead, an independent nation. To honor the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Rare Collectibles TV would like to talk about one of the few American coins to display the year 1776.
From 2022 to 2025, the American Women Quarter series will honor 20 women who have had a massive impact on American life and culture. The five women who will grace the reverse of the quarter in 2022 have been revealed and include such luminaries as Maya Angelou, Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Adelina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong. Each of these women have influenced American history in different ways.
From 1965 to 1967, the US Mint struck several issues of coins known as Special Mint Sets. Meant to substitute the demand for Proof issues, these fascinating coins were struck after a combination of specific circumstances occurred.
One cannot tell the complete story of American numismatics without mentioning the legend that was Victor David Brenner. Designing the Lincoln Cent during the Renaissance of American Coinage, his design went on to be the longest-running coin series in United States history. In honor of June 12, the 151st anniversary of Brenner’s birth, here are some of the most notable issues of his beloved Lincoln Cent.
One of the most iconic pieces of film history is the movie poster. Designed to draw in audiences, these posters had to balance information with storytelling. Artists would hand-paint renditions of the actors in their iconic moments from the film, combining different elements to create something that evoked the same emotion as the film it was advertising. Collectors of vintage movie art, or movie posters, should be aware of the history of movie posters and how they came to be what they are today.
Throughout the history of the US Mint, commemorative coins have been struck that honor those who put their lives on the line to uphold American Freedom and preserve our union. On this Memorial Day, Rare Collectibles TV would like to highlight some of our favorite designs honoring American military service members.
When looking at a coin, there are two basic portions that we can refer to: the devices, also known as the raised design elements, and the fields, commonly called 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 known 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.
Throughout the history of American coinage, there have been many stunning coins that are favored among the vast majority of numismatists. From the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle to the Kennedy Half Dollar, artists have brought their talent to the US Mint and shared it with every American citizen. But not every coin struck is beloved by the public. The following coins have all been in some way controversial when they first debuted.
The Morgan Dollar is the most popularly collected and arguably the most beloved coin series in American history. Every Morgan Dollar has a story to tell, and today we will focus on the story of those struck at the New Orleans Mint. Every year from 1879 until the series’ retirement in 1904, a Morgan Dollar issue bore the iconic New Orleans “O” mintmark. Today, those issues are some truly exciting pieces for collectors to acquire.
Rare Collectibles TV is proud to announce that RCTV founder Rick Tomaska is hand-signing labels exclusively for NGC. These new labels will highlight some of the finest coins, personally inspected by Rick Tomaska.
The most successful coin program that the US Mint has ever produced gave the American people 50 new coin designs over the course of ten years. The State Quarters breathed new life into numismatics by introducing coin collecting to a new generation in a way that was familiar to longtime collectors.
In 2014, the United States Mint commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Half Dollar’s release by releasing a limited production set of Kennedys struck in the same high relief format originally used in 1964. Prior to this set’s release, the 1964 coins were the only examples to showcase the originally intended high relief design.
The Carson City Mint only struck silver Morgan Dollars for a span of 13 years from 1878 to 1893. Due to this limited run, Morgan Dollars with the illustrious “CC” mintmark are a favorite among numismatists. Devoted Carson City collectors also seek out a rare error variety produced in 1900, sometimes referred to as "the Last Carson City Morgan Dollar."
It is generally believed that silver was removed from United States coinage following Acts of Congress in the 1960s and 1970s. While this is mostly true, many are surprised to learn that select proof Eisenhower Dollars were still struck from silver from 1971 until 1976. The Mint’s decision to continue striking proof Ike Dollars from silver is rooted in a sentimental story that involves heartfelt advocacy from the former president’s wife and colleagues in Washington, D.C.