Private Tokens And The Regulation Of Coins

Private tokens were  first seen in the early 1860s. In 1862, many Americans, especially in the Midwestern and Northern states began responding to the hoarding of gold, silver, and nickel by using private minters. Private tokens were made locally. Since there was no real regulation on the use of other coinage outside that of the United States Mint, the storekeepers and businesses began accepting these bronze coins. Private tokens were used until the end of the war. It is thought that there were over 25,000,000 of these one cent private coins minted by 1864. Private Tokens & The Coinage Act of 1864 One Cent Private Token The minting of private tokens – or coins –  ended with the passing of the Coinage Act of 1864. This stopped the manufacture of one and two cent small tokens....

America the Beautiful Quarters for 2011

The America the Beautiful Quarter Program will feature 56 different US National Sites. The obverse or “heads”, of all will be the classic George Washington profile designed by by John Flanagan in 1932. The reverse, or “tails” side of the coins will honor a U.S. national park or other significant national site. The America the Beautiful Quarter Program started up in 2010 with the release of coins honoring the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Yosemite National Park in California, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, and Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. The Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter 2011 Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter The first America the Beautiful Quarter released in 2011 is the Gettysburg National...

2009 Lincoln’s Birth Bicentennial Cents

2009 was the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. Four different versions of the Lincoln Cent were minted to celbrate the ocassion. All four were struck at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints which means that there are 8 different versions that were struck for general circulation. The thing that makes these cents interesting is their relative rarity. The lowest mintage was on the 2009-P “Presidency” Lincoln Cent at less than 130,000,000. The highest mintage among the 2009 cents was the 2009-P “Formative Years” cent at 376,000,000. Coins with numbers like this are bound to be in short supply among collectors. And there are lots of cent collectors both new and old. I really think this is a coin to keep an eye on and try to add a few to your own coin collection! Birthplace...

Valuable Copper Pennies and Zinc Errors

In the middle of 1982 the composition of the penny was drastically changed. Previous cents were minted from 95% copper but were changed to 0.05% copper in the form of a micro-coating of copper over a zinc core. Copper had become too valuable to be used for something with so little buying power as the lowly penny. In fact, as of today, it would take a little over 2.5 cents worth of copper to produce a traditional 95% copper cent. Add in the administrative and other costs involved and it goes even higher. In order to affectively produce one cent coins without losing money a metal is needed that is as near to being worthless as possible while still being somewhat durable. Copper Pennies What? Our good old Lincoln Memorial pennies are made of near worthless zinc instead of copper? Yes, it is true...

Barber Dime

1892–1916 The Barber dime was designed by Charles E. Barber and first minted in 1892. Barber was Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint at that time. The Barber dime was minted of 90% silver and 10% copper and used the same design as the half dollar and quarter dollar. The Barber dime displays Lady Liberty on the obverse with a Phrygian cap encircled with a laurel wreath and a ribbon. The inscription on the headband reads “LIBERTY”. The reverse was a very simple design consisting of a wreath around the words “One Dime”. Mint marks, if present, appear at the bottom below the ribbon that ties the wreath. Barber Dime Obverse The rarest Barber dime is the 1894-S. Only 24 of these coins were minted and of those only 9 are currently known to still exist. In 2007 an 1894-S Barber...

Winged Liberty or Mercury Dime

1916 – 1945 The Winged Liberty dime was designed by Adolph A. Weinman and first minted in 1916. This U.S. coin was minted of 90% silver and 10% copper. The Winged Liberty Dime is commonly known as the Mercury Dime. It is assumed that the obverse of the coin depicts the Roman god Mercury but it is actually Lady Liberty with wings on. Behind Lady Liberty’s neck is a “W” for the designer Adolph A. Weinman. Common date “Mercury” dimes in average circulated grades can often be obtained very near to the spot value of their silver content. In fact the Winged Liberty and the Roosevelt dimes are among the best forms of silver that you can get. They are recognized and trusted for their silver content all around the world. Winged Liberty "Mercury" Dime Obverse As...

Save Those Copper Pennies

We have all heard, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but did you know that it has never held more truth than it does today? Right now there is a real opportunity to invest in your future just by keeping an eye on your pocket change for copper pennies. While these coins are getting less common in pocket change every day they are still common enough to be found by anyone who keeps an eye out. If you see a US cent with a date earlier than 1982 you are looking at a coin that is worth more than double the face value in copper alone! 1981 Cent 2.95g Copper At the time of this writing copper is around $4.00 to $4.25 per pound. It takes around 155 pennies (depending upon the level of wear) to equal 1 pound of copper. This means that at $4.00 per pound 1 penny holds 2.5 cents of copper. I...