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.
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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!
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.
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.
Due to the increasing price of silver during the 1960s, the intrinsic value of silver coins became higher than their face value. The sky rocketing price of silver coupled with new restrictions imposed on holding gold by Executive Order 10905 caused the public to begin hoarding silver coins. As result, the amount of silver coinage in circulation began to drastically decrease at an alarming rate. In fact, during this period of time, about $700 million worth of silver coins, or about one third of the total circulating silver coinage of the United States had been permanently removed from circulation. This left the United States with a severe shortage of coins.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused many stores to rethink whether or not handing out change is possible. Leading the charge is the Kroger Company, who will stop providing coinage as change at their supermarkets. The decision was made due to several factors including sanitation purposes related to the coronavirus and a general coin shortage in the United States.