1796 – 1804 One Dollar Silver Coins – Ask Beth

A website visitor and blog reader contacted me with the following question:

Dear All, 
Have a nice day,……Say hello from Jakarta-Indonesia 
Please need advice that I have collection a numbers of 1796 – 1804 One Dollar Silver Coins and I have contact a such institution regarding old coins, and send them a picture of my collection. They told me that coins was forgery and don’t have commercial value. 
Please need advice 
Thanks and Best Regards 

Here is my response: Continue reading

U.S. Coin Basics: Presidential Dollar Coin

Could third attempt be a charm for small dollar coin?

Presidental Dollar Coin - Cash In Your Coins/image compliments of Coin World

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorized the production of Presidential dollars coins for circulation as well as the First Spouse bullion coin program, which also included bronze medals.

Within two years of introduction in 2000, it was evident the Sacagawea dollar would suffer the same fate as its predecessor, the Anthony dollar. Given a choice, the public would choose the $1 note rather than a dollar coin.

Although studies suggested a dollar coin would save the government up to $500 million per year due to replacement costs (the coin would circulate up to 30 years and the paper equivalent would last between 14 and 18 months), practicality and habit still reigned. However, Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del, was determined to find a way to obtain greater circulation. He looked to the success of the 50 State quarter dollars program and began advocating a redesign of the dollar coin. His idea was bolstered by a national survey and study conducted by the Government Accountability Office that indicated many Americans who did not seek or who rejected the Sacagawea dollar for use in commerce would actively seek a dollar coin if an attractive, educational rotating design were to be struck on the coin. Continue reading

Ex chief engraver recalls President Reagan’s medal

Ex chief engraver recalls President Reagan’s medal. This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in the April 27, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
President Reagan’s medal - Cash In Your Coins - image courtesy of Coin World

Chief Sculptor-Engraver Elizabeth Jones’ Ronald Reagan Presidential medal features a right-profile portrait on the obverse and Half Dome on the reverse.

Chief Sculptor-Engraver Elizabeth Jones knew her first project would entail designing President Reagan’s medal for the U.S. Mint’s Presidential series. She had hoped for some time with the president, to do sketches from life or possibly photograph him. (Jones was an accomplished photographer as well as sculptor.)

A presidential sitting could not be arranged in the fall of 1981 due to Reagan’s schedule, so Jones worked from photographs provided by the White House and from other sources to sculpture his right-profile portrait for the obverse.

Jones thought the president should have a say in what would be depicted on the reverse of his presidential medal, so she asked him. He said he would like to have Yosemite National Park (his favorite national park) featured on it. She worked from photographs and focused on the iconic granite monolith Half Dome, which rises some 5,000 feet above the Yosemite Valley in California. Continue reading

U.S. Coin Basics: Sacagawea Dollar

The dollar coin never encountered by most Americans

sacagawea dollar

The Sacagawea dollar coin was first issued in 2000.

After years of trying to trying to downplay what many had considered one of the United States’ greatest coinage failures, the U.S. Treasury Department on Oct. 21, 1997, did an about face. In testimony before the House Banking Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Nancy Killefer, assistant secretary for management and chief financial officer of the Treasury Department, for the first time in more than 17 years went on record encouraging production of a new circulating small-sized dollar coin to replace the Anthony dollar.

The driving force in changing Treasury’s attitude was the eminent drawn-down of the government’s stockpile of Anthony dollars, which Killefer estimated would be depleted within 30 months. The threat of depletion forced the question of what kind of dollar coin should be produced. Since its introduction in 1979, the public had not generally accepted the Anthony dollar and relatively few coins were drawn out of government reserves in the early years. However, in 1994, demand for Anthony dollars increased, due to an acceptance by several metropolitan transit systems and the installation of 9,000 stamp vending machines by the U.S. Continue reading

Budget cuts at U.S. Mint hit collectors

Budget cuts at U.S. Mint hit collectors as no 1982 or 1983 Uncirculated sets produced. This From the Memory Bank article was first published in the March 23, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
Privately issued 1982 and 1983 Uncirculated Mint sets - Cash In Your Coins - image courtesty of SilverTowne

Privately issued 1982 and 1983 Uncirculated Mint sets are found today in a variety of packaging options. The 15-coin 1982 set show is housed in an envelope and in sheet-type coin holders.

New collectors are often puzzled by the fact that the U.S. Mint did not produce Uncirculated Mint sets for the years 1982 and 1983.

The gap in Uncirculated set production occurred ostensibly because of across-the-board budget cuts ordered by President Reagan soon after he was sworn into office in January of 1981. Reagan had won election on a platform of holding down federal hiring and government expenditures.

In April of 1981, Treasurer Angela “Bay” Buchanan told members of Congress that in order to meet the President’s mandates the Mint would request funding for 179 fewer full-time positions in the 1982 budget and that because of the reduction in the workforce something else had to go. Continue reading

1982 U.S. Proof sets

U.S. Mint guaranteed delivery for 1982 U.S. Proof sets 11 months after ordering. This From the Memory Bank article was first published in the February 23, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
1982 US Proof Set - photo courtesy of Coin World

Collectors who ordered 1982 Proof sets were guaranteed delivery by Dec. 31, even though ordering began in February of that year.

Would you wait 11 months for your Proof set to arrive?

Back in 1982 collectors were surprised to find order forms for Proof sets arriving in their mailboxes the last week of January. The order forms were about three months ahead of schedule because the Mint was gearing up to deal with orders for the new commemorative program later in the year. Continue reading