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22 May 2018

Elongated Cents: A WW2 "Squishin' Mission"

Exonumia | Mr_Norris_LKNS

Recently some friends visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  Since that is not very far from us, my son and I met them there.  The NMUSAF is a VERY cool museum, especially if you are at all interested in the history of powered flight, military aviation, American history, the space race, etc.  It's all fantastic, but I must admit my favorite gallery is still the Second World War gallery.  Among the many displays there are a handful scattered around the museum that contain items of numismatic interest.  But this past month has been all about the "Memphis Belle", arguably one of the most famous aircraft of WW2, if not US Air Force history.  This particular B-17 Flying Fortress is to the Air Force what the flag raised over Mount Suribachi is to the USMC:  a symbol of the dedication and great sacrifice leading to ultimate victory over the enemy.  "Memphis Belle" just finished up a 13-year tour of duty in the Wright-Patterson AFB restoration hangar, and now sits proudly on display for all to enjoy.In the Museum gift shop, along with several types of "challenge coins" for sale, are three penny press machines, each with four different designs from which to choose.  With a US cent and two quarters, you can go home with a neat little souvenir of your visit.  Our friends, also being numismatists, decided to do so.  They carefully chose pre-1982 US cents, and positioned them so that the date, although squished, would still be visible on the unmarked side of the elongate.In case you weren't aware, in mid-1982 the composition of US cent coins changed from 95% copper/5% zinc to almost the exact inverse:  97.5% zinc, plated with 2.5% copper.  While these will work in a penny press, the end result is an elongate with silvery zinc showing through the copper plating.  This initially can make the image harder to see; but worse than that, exposed zinc quickly deteriorates.  Cents from 1864 to 1962 are bronze:  95% copper, with the remaining 5% a mixture of tin and zinc; these press well, and tone the same over time as an unpressed cent.  There are two exceptions to the 1864-1962 bronze composition:  the 1943 zinc-plated steel cent, and the 1944-1946 "shell case" cents.  Shell case cents had some spent brass cases from military munitions thrown into the mix when melting the metals from which the coin blanks would be made.  Many folks don't know about shell case pennies, but even the most casual "wheat cent" collector seems to know about the 1943 steel version.  It is therefore likely the most recognizable WW2-era US coin.  Coincidentally, 1943 was the year "Memphis Belle" completed her 25th, and last, combat mission.Two of the penny press designs available were of the venerable B-17 bomber and the famed P-51 Mustang fighter.  I decided I would not only like to press these images onto pennies, but that I would use pennies with WW2 dates.  See the picture.  Note that these were pressed onto 1943 steel cents.  The quintessential WW2 US bomber and fighter on the quintessential WW2 US coin!  I don't know why the B-17 coin didn't roll out as nicely on the edge as the P-51, but I still like it.  Although not pictured, I did press these same designs into some 1944 shell case cents also.  Maybe the shell cases in those cents were from spent rounds fired by an actual B-17 gunner, or a P-51 pilot!  (grin).[UPDATE:  I think I've figured out why the B-17 rolls out short... The machine rolls the image left to right.  The wing, engine cowlings, and front canopy in the design leave such a mass of metal "un-pressed" near the right end, that it doesn't push enough metal ahead to the right to finish it.  I have both full-length and short elongates of this design done on bronze cents, but mostly full length, so the hardness difference between bronze and steel is a likely contributor, along with extreme wear being a possible reason a bronze one came out short.  Crank speed might be a factor but I don't know.]Some people may not feel good about "squishing" pennies, like it's destroying coins.  I'd agree if these were rarities or mint state coins... but they aren't.  "Steelies" and shell case pennies are very common in circulated grades.  In fact, most wheat cents are.  I'd advise anyone to get familiar with the Red Book before squishing pennies... you wouldn't want to squish a rare variety and potentially deprive the world of a treasure (or yourself of a small fortune).  (I carefully checked my 1969-S pennies before squishing XB-70 Valkyries into them...)  But think about all the boxes, jars, or jugs of wheat pennies you might have, some of which are pretty scuffed, dinged, worn down, burned, or green, that once you've filled a few Whitman folders with the better ones, you're left with a bunch of "problem pennies".  They aren't desirable, but you can't bring yourself to get rid of "because they're wheat pennies".  Why not turn them into some cool elongated cent souvenirs?  You actually WANT darker brown ones because it makes the image show up better... and unnaturally-toned or oddly-discolored coins can make for some beautiful elongates.  Trying to match the imprint with a cent of a date that is significant to the design adds a new layer of fun to it, and makes for an even more interesting collectible.My next "squishin' mission" is to find a beater of a 1903 Indian cent where the date is still clear, because another image choice at the Museum is the Wright Flyer, which flew that year!

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10 May 2018

Part 2: How I Created the Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint® (Version 3.0)

Exonumia | DrDarryl

New ideas and concepts are sometimes hard to grasp.  Let me assist. The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint is a visual that aided in identifying a new area of collecting, Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies.  It puts Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies on equal footing  of importance along with Coins for Commerce/Collectors and National Medals. (I identified this new area of collecting. Any new area of collecting is an area posed for growth.)The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint legitimizes Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies by showing its real world place within the U.S. Mint manufacturing operation. (I did not  pulled this concept out of thin air, I showed my research process (search for patterns)).   The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint  is not documented in any published guidebook or catalog on the market today. (I am the originator of The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint (version 3.0),  it was first shared publicly in my blog, and  is originally documented in my draft book, hence the copyright mark.)Currently, there are four collecting specialization areas  of Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies. (I am the originator of these four collecting specialization areas and it  aids new collectors.) Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies is a rich research area. (I'm finding and documenting a very large amount of previously unknown information. As a result, I'm becoming the foremost expert in this area of collecting (working on my third book.))To recap:1.  I identified Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies as new area of collecting that is posed for growth.  2.  I revealed my research process that resulted in the The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint.3. I first publicly shared  The Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint (version 3.0)  at my ANA blog.4. I identified four areas of collecting Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies .5.  Special Medals for U.S. Government agencies is a rich research area.Real Life Pose for Growth Example:The inception of the POTUS sGm series began in 2014 (release of my first book).Eisenhower June 1960 (Gomez-C2-05) sold for $24.99 on July 19, 2009.Eisenhower June 1960 (Gomez-C2-05) sold for $695.95 on May 27, 2017. A price gain of 2784.91%  was achieved.(image is not this price gain example, image is visual of Gomez-C2-05 (C2=Class 2, 05 = reverse design 5)

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03 May 2018

How I Created the Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint® (Version 3.0)

Exonumia | DrDarryl

This blog entry shows the latest revision (version 3.0) to the  Manufacturing Triad of the U.S. Mint® .  The primary intent is to show the mechanism to manufacture "special medals for U.S. Government agencies". Currently, I have identified four U.S. Government agencies that procured "table-type award medals". In essence, I created four new U.S. Mint® series. As a reminder, special medals for U.S. Government agencies required NO legislative approval.

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12 Apr 2018

President Eisenhower’s 1960 Paris Summit Medal

Exonumia | DrDarryl

This is a President of the United States (POTUS) special Government medal (sGm) tied to directly to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his attendance at the 1960 Paris Summit to meet with Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

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07 Apr 2018

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Distinguished Intelligence Medals Struck by the U.S. Mint

Exonumia | DrDarryl

The second highest award within the CIA special Government medal (sGm) series* is the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.  The Distinguished Intelligence Medal is awarded by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for performance of outstanding services or for achievement of a distinctly exceptional nature in a duty or responsibility. Both the services and achievement criteria could be classified in nature and may restrict the awardee in physically receiving the medal.Not much is written about the original manufacturer of the CIA medals. However, this is a goal of my  ongoing research on the subject of "special medals for U.S. Government agencies" . The  original CIA medals are a product of the U.S. Mint®.Yes, the U.S. Mint® manufactured the original CIA medals! The telltale signs are the initials "FG" hallmark displayed on the original medals. The "FG" hallmark can be seen on the obverse and reverse of the original Distinguished Intelligence Medals.  The CIA procured these medals under the third manufacturing function of the U.S. Mint, which is to manufacture "special medals for U.S. Government agencies".  The procurement is between two U.S. Government agencies (CIA and the U.S. Mint®), therefore no public records exists of these procurement transactions. As a result, the U.S. Mint has never publicly released information relating to the manufacture of the CIA medals. This is a true "information hole" within  U.S. numismatics, hence my ongoing research on the topic of "special medals for U.S. Government agencies" .There are two types of original Distinguished Intelligence Medals. The most obvious difference is the antiquing of the medal's finish of the type 2 medals. The reverse of the type 2 medal shows a change with the the engraving pad where the type 1 text "AWARDED TO" was removed (the "1968" seen in the image was engraved post -manufacturing). An engraved  serial number at  the 12 o'clock position on the rim. The type 2 also has a few slight design changes on the reverse.As note to collectors: When the "FG" hallmark is  seen on the reverse it's an original U.S. Mint medal! This is true for all original CIA medals (which shares the type 1 and type 2 reverse designs).

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27 Mar 2018

Just for fun.

Exonumia | wdhyder

A recent purchase for my ANA collection is a 1911 personal token from Waldo C. Moore. He was later the 13th president of the ANA.Now for the fun part.Assuming you have not seen this before, can you interpret the rebus? For extra credit, identify each image and how it builds towards the sentiment expressed.

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20 Mar 2018

Construction of the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC

Exonumia | DrDarryl

Construction in progress. Planned dedication is the 75th anniversary of D-Day (June 6, 2019). Read about it at http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/# I made a small contribution (name on contribution page) in the construction of the memorial.If you look carefully at the animation https://youtu.be/Z1gxhh0jUe4 (time 1:58) you will see a plaque in the shape of large medal.

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12 Mar 2018

Hawaii: Presidential Numismatic Artifact

Exonumia | DrDarryl

 President Eisenhower awarded/gifted a special Government medal (sGm)  during his visit to Hawaii from June 20-25, 1960. My research has shown that: 1. Only 400 medals were struck by the Philadelphia Mint. 2. The medal was designed by Frank Gasparro.3. The medal is the first U.S. Mint product to bear the design element for the State of Hawaii (not to be confused with the Kingdom of Hawaii or the Territory of Hawaii).4. Only 267 survived and are available to collectors.This information may seem trivial now, but it was undocumented for over a half-century. More importantly, the medal itself is a presidential artifact. Better yet, a presidential numismatic artifact. Even better, a presidential numismatic artifact personally awarded by the President himself. Better than better is the fact that the medal is tied to the first visit by a President to the State of Hawaii, and the same President that signed into law the establishment of the 50th state. In other words, the medal is tied directly to a US historical events and the Office of the President of the United States.The images and newspaper documents President Eisenhower's visit to the State of Hawaii. The medal is in my collection.There is a another interesting story about the cancelled Alaska medal...It would have been nice to have a sGm that represented the 49th state (of which President Eisenhower also visited earlier on June 12-13, 1960 and signed into law the establishment of the 49th state.

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11 Mar 2018

Manufacturing Triad of the Bureau of the Mint: Version 2.0

Exonumia | DrDarryl

The attached model graphic should help in providing a 30,000 feet view of my on-going research:1. Creation and organization of the four new series based on multiple executed procurements  between U.S. Government agencies  and the Bureau of the Mint/U.S. Mint.2. Validation of the "Manufacturing Triad of the Bureau of the Mint" model based on creating and organizing  four new series.3. Research findings are being added to  a chapter in my POTUS sGm book (yet another delay).Did you know that the Department of the Interior procured 2 types of gold medals?Draft classification and organization of the Department of the Interior medals is shown in the image with the sGm.

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