Category Archives: March 2012

Half Cents Are Still Elusive

Half CentHalf-cent coins have always been hidden in the background of United States coinage. They were never plentiful enough to make much of a difference in the way people conducted business and for some illogical reason they have never been very popular with collectors. They seem to be the forgotten half-sister of the large cents that ruled coinage from 1793 to 1857.

Half-cents were made during that same time span, and they were some of the very first coins made in 1793 as well as some of the last made in 1857. However they differ greatly from the cents in that they were only made sporadically over the years, while cents were produced in quantity every year except in 1815. The fact that half cents were not made with a long run of dates probably accounts for the reason why they have never been a popular collectible item. the challenge of finding a full set of dates seems to be one of the most rewarding parts of saving coins.

The reason for this coin’s lack of acceptance by the public was not because of its low value. At the time they were in use the purchasing power of these coins must have been equivalent to a half dollar in terms of today’s money. With no
other fractional coins at hand the half-cent should have been extremely useful.

Perhaps it was because so few of those coins were available they saw only limited circulation. Perhaps it was because most small transactions were usually carried out by barter rather than with coins. Whatever the reason, we can only know today that the mintage was always limited, and many of the surviving specimens are still in relatively good condition.

Posted in March 2012 | Leave a comment

1971-2000 Original U.S. Mint Proof Sets

1971-2000 Original U.S. Mint Proof SetsThese treasured 1971-2000 Original U.S. Mint Proof Sets are a collector’s dream come true. You get a full 30 years’ worth of consecutively dated Proof Sets, all of which were sold out from the Mint many years ago. Presented within their original government packaging, each set contains a Kennedy half-dollar, Washington quarter, Roosevelt dime, Jefferson nickel and Lincoln penny. Some of these sets were issued with 6 coins and will also include a Susan B. Anthony Dollar or Eisenhower Dollar. Proof sets are one of the most popular and eagerly awaited coin sets released by the U.S. Mint every year. Original packaged United States proof sets are highly coveted by collectors and are all sold out limited editions from the United States Mint.

Made from specially polished planchets and polished dies, these coins are sure to be a magnificent addition to your collection. Minted exclusively in San Francisco, proof coins can usually be distinguished by their sharpness of detail, high-wire edge and extremely brilliant, mirror-like surface.

–Includes the difficult-to-find 1995 proof set.

–Each set includes either 5 or six coins depending on whether a dollar coin was minted that year

–The 1976 proof set is a special selection commemorating the U.S. bicentennial year 1776-1976. It contains three “S” mint mark coins with Bicentennial reverse designs (a quarter, half dollar, and Eisenhower silver dollar). You won’t find these in circulation because each is made of 40% silver.

Posted in March 2012 | Leave a comment

Denali National Park

Denali National Park Quarter DesignIn 1980 this massive park was expanded from 2 to 6 million acres. At the same time the name was changed from Mount McKinley National Park to Denali National Park and Preserve. Of course, the park does include 20,320-foot Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. The mountain was named after William McKinley, a Congressman, Governor of Ohio and President of the United States from 1897 until 1901. Denali, the “High One,” is the name native people gave the mountain many years ago. This national treasure exemplifies Alaska’s character as one of the world’s last great frontiers whose wilderness remains largely unspoiled.

The park supports a wide diversity of wildlife, including moose, grizzly bears, caribou, wolves and Dall sheep. Archeological evidence that this land has supported human life for many millennia as Alaska’s native people likely moved through this area seasonally, hunting large mammals, fishing and gathering plants.

Only a sparse layer of topsoil supports the wide-ranging plant life in Denali. Permafrost covers much of the park’s surface. However, over 600 species of flowering plants as well as many species of lichen, mosses, fungi and algae, manage to survive. Of course, these plants have adapted to the long winters and short growing season. The glaciated landscape includes raging rivers, many lakes, and unique geological formations.

The Denali National Park and Preserve quarter is the fifth released by the U.S. Mint in 2012 and is the 15th overall in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

Posted in March 2012 | 1 Comment

$2.50 or Ten Cents?

Silver Ten Cent CoinSilver ten-cent coins made from 1798 through 1807 were the same size, and used the same design on the reverse as the $2.50 gold pieces of that time. It has been established that in at least one instance, in 1804, the same reverse die was used to make both silver dimes and gold quarter-eagles. Both dies were so similar that there was little reason to distinguish between them. The strange coins are not considered special varieties because the mix-up was not significant.

Posted in March 2012 | Leave a comment

Fascinating Coin Fact

Massachusetts Common Wealth CoinMassachusetts 1787 CoinCopper cent and half-cent coins of Massachusetts were made in 1787 and 1788 using the title “Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in reference to the State. They are the only coins of that period that use such a designation. Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania are also “Commonwealth” States, a term defined as “free state”, and still used occasionally in official documents.

Posted in March 2012 | Leave a comment