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Mokester's Blog

17 Jan 2020

From The Classic Era of Commemoratives

| Mokester

Yesterday I visited my local coin shop to pick up some donations for the Kid Zone at our Pennsylvania Association of Numismatist Coin Show and HAD to leave with something for the Mokie Zone. I had my heart set on a California, Bay Bridge, or Texas commemorative half but saw this beautiful Columbia, South Carolina Sesquicentennial Half looking up at me and whispering "Mokie, Mokie, you know you want me, you know you NEED me". Like an Ancient Mariner passing an island of Sirens, I couldn't resist. So what are some of her many highlights? The Columbia SC Half was minted in 1936 at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints. My example, from Philadelphia, had a total mintage of 9,007 while her sister coins in Denver and San Francisco had mintages of 8,007 and 8,009. At the time of release, a three coin set would set you back $6.45 while a single example was $2.15. Nowadays, the cost of any of the three mints is about the same, which seems logical given the similar mintage. The obverse features Liberty holding the Scales of Justice in her left hand and a drawn sword in her right hand. The Capitol Building in 1786 and the Capitol building in 1936 are at her sides. Liberty's face is rather masculine with a passing resemblance to Jesus' face on the Shroud of Turin. She appears to have her eyes closed for Blind Justice perhaps?The reverse depicts the State tree of South Carolina, the Palmetto, with two bunches of arrows and an oak branch at its base. This symbolism apparently alludes to a Revolutionary War Battle in which the British were unable to take Fort Moultrie because of its sturdy construction from Palmetto logs. There are also 13 stars representing the original colonies including South Carolina. The coin commemorates the 150th Anniversary of Columbia as the Capitol of South Carolina. As you can see in the map Columbia is centrally located within the state which must have been one of the considerations for her designation as the state capitol. The local celebration in Columbia occurred in March of 1936 but the coins did not appear until October. A total of 25,000 coins were authorized so the mintage split allowed for approximately 8,000 three coin sets and an extra thousand for more frugal collectors. 1936 Mokie would have probably been one of the frugal ones. LOL

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14 Jan 2020

The Jefferson W Nickels Will Be Highly Successful, Change My Mind!

| Mokester

As you are all probably aware by now, the U.S. Mint is going to release another trio of W mintmarked coins with their annual sets. To be specific, we are going to get a W Proof Jefferson Nickel, a W Reverse Proof Jefferson Nickel, and a W Uncirculated Jefferson Nickel in our annual sets. So was 2019 a success? Let's crunch the numbers:Clad Proof Set

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10 Jan 2020

A Local Coin Club Anniversary

| Mokester

The true heart of this hobby can be found in the hundreds of local coin clubs scattered throughout our nation. The South Hills Coin Club of Bethel Park PA is one of the two local clubs that I call home. We are about 75 members strong and we have very lively meetings with door prizes a 50/50 drawing and a monthly raffle for some neat coins. We also feature a Pizza Night and other cool events. This year is a special one for us, we are celebrating our Diamond Anniversary (60th) and are honoring this event by producing a 1.5 inch bronze medal and wooden nickels.

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10 Jan 2020

The First Coin......

| Mokester

All of us on this site are very familiar with the Red Book and all of us are probably aware the first coin appearing in the Red Book is not even a U.S. Coin. But on more detailed study, the Spanish 8 Reales (the Pillar Dollar) and all its fractions is absolutely a U.S. Coin. The Pillar Dollar was minted from 1732-1772 and replaced the crude Cob style 8 Reales minted before 1732. This style of 8 Reale and the later Bust type 8 Reales were legal tender in the United States until 1857. This example from my personal collection contains .9170 fineness silver with a total silver content of .7980 ounces. This coin was minted in 1737, at the Mexico City mint during the reign of Philip V. It was sea salvaged from the Reijgersdahl Shipwreck which sank near Cape Town, South Africa in 1747. The Reijgersdahl, a Dutch ship, was bound for the India at the time of the sinking and this coin probably would have eventually been used in the China Trade had the ship not sunk. Several thousand 8 Reales were recovered In 1979, dated between 1732 and 1744.It's fascinating to think about this coins journey from the Mexico City Mint to Texel Island in the Netherlands, and finally to a watery grave off the coast of South Africa until finally recovered and slabbed by the Professional Numismatist Guild (yes, that PNG). That's what makes coins fascinating, their history, their journey, and their eventual arrival in our collections.

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03 Jan 2020

A Minor Mystery

| Mokester

Do you ever find yourself with a mystery coin that you just want to know more about? Usually it's a foreign coin or some obscure token from long ago, but my mystery coin (more accurately bullion piece) is seemingly of very recent manufacture. It's a reproduction of an 1893 CC Morgan Dollar and it has the word COPY prominently displayed on the reverse. But in this instance, the "Copy" disclaimer is somewhat cleverly placed and also indicates a production number of BA0423. The edge of the round is mostly reeded with an unreeded segment which says "1 Troy Ounce .999 Silver". My digital scale puts it at 1.001 ounces and the diameter is the same as a Morgan Dollar, which makes it slightly thicker than a Dollar. It has a nice Proof finish and the reproduction of the Morgan design is pretty good, it won't fool a collector but it has a nice appearance.I picked up this piece in a tub of miscellaneous items that was labeled, Ask For Price. The cost, and this was in September, was $7. At the time I purchased it, I thought it was an attractive, maybe silver plated, novelty since spot was around $18. But when I brought it home, I found the silver fineness declaration on the edge and no have no doubt it is an ounce of silver. Since it is COPY #BA0423, does this mean that these were minted up to BA9999? What does the BA stand for? Is it the company name, or is it Die B married with Die A and there are other combinations out there somewhere? Have these dies without the COPY label been used to make 1893CC Dollars without the Copy designation? I have been looking at EBAY to see if I can find another like this, so far no luck. Oh well, maybe someday this piece will reveal all its secrets. Another benefit of Coin Collecting, it exercises your brain. Happy 2020 Everyone!!!!!!!!!

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26 Dec 2019

A Rambling Man

| Mokester

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas or Hannukah season. It was fun in the Mokie household but I am glad the season is over and we can focus on 2020. But since this blog will be a Ramble, first let me look back on 2019 and list 5 highlights:1. I was able to volunteer at 4 coin shows this past year, the first two in February, then May, then ending in October. 2. I finished my Newfoundland Type Set (in Whitman Folder), luckily the folder does not hold a space for that Newfoundland $2 gold piece. 3. I found out earlier this month that an article I wrote for ErrorScope, the CONECA club magazine, will be published in their January/February issue. 4. I finally found a Peace Dollar VAM on my own, in the wild, and now have it slabbed with its attribution. 5. I created a beautiful man corner in my home to hold all (well most) of my numismatic-subject books and display many of my coins. The last coin I will receive this year is pictured below, it is a 2013 Canadian $3 depicting the allegorical image of Miss Canada. Now not being Canadian, I had never known there was a specific Canadian Allegorical image but according to the very lengthy description that came with the coin, Miss Canada, prior to WW1, was considered the well behaved, and devoted daughter of Britannia. The accompanying paperwork goes on to state that in those pre-WW1 years, Miss Canada was well known and frequently pictured in advertisement and political cartoons. But with Canada gaining a sense of its own nationalism, the idea of Miss Canada as the subservient daughter of Britannia became highly unpopular and Miss Canada, as a symbol of the Nation, started to fade away after WW1. This particular coin was minted in Bronze, Silver, and Gold. My example is Bronze. Now looking forward to 2020, here is what I hope to accomplish in the Numismatic arena.1. Volunteer at 4 more shows, to include the Worlds Fair of Money, coming to Pittsburgh this August. 2. Get that Newfoundland $2 Gold Piece. . 3. Start working on the expensive New Brunswick Provincial issues (I already have the Large Cent). 4. Win a scholarship to the summer seminar in Colorado Springs, my entry went in a couple of weeks ago. 5. Do well with my presentation about Trade Dollars at our January coin club meeting. Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society.Take care all and Happy New Year to all my ANA friends!!!

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04 Dec 2019

What Is It About This Hobby?

Coins | Mokester

I started collecting coins in 1968 at the age of ten. At that time, my interest was kindled by friends in my neighborhood, who were in Scouting and had started collecting to earn their merit badges. I have stayed in the hobby due to several factors that hold true to this day.

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27 Nov 2019

Time Flies

Coins | Mokester

Well a little over a month ago, I blogged about a 1926-S Peace Dollar that I had picked up during the PAN show CoinZip auction. I had bought it simply to support the club and I had received it for the minimum bid of $20 plus 10% for the club. At that time, I had no idea it was a Top 50 Peace Dollar VAM. But since frequent blogger Longstrider had made me aware of this segment of the hobby, I visited the VAMWORLD 2.0 site, went to the listing under 1926-S and found a DOT. My find has been officially certified by the Variety Slabbing Service (they only do Peace and Morgan VAMS, and they do not provide a grade). I think turnaround from sending the Dollar to receiving her back was about 10 days. I am very pleased with my first wild VAM find. If you want to read about more VAMS, and find your own, please visit VAMWORLD 2.0 at:http://ec2-13-58-222-16.us-east-2.compute.amazonaws.com/wiki/HomeI hope you all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!!!

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16 Nov 2019

The Fort McHenry Garrison Flag

Coins | Mokester

When we see our flag today, we see a blue field with 50 stars and 13 alternating red and white stripes representing the 13 original colonies. But as you're all aware, our flag has evolved over the decades and has added stars along the way as new States are added to the Union. But did you know that the Stripes also increased in number too? The flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814 when the British attacked had 15 Stars and 15 Stripes representing the 13 original colonies and the two new states of Vermont and Kentucky. Of course the practicality of adding stars AND stripes to the flag was soon in question and all our subsequent flags have 13 stripes. Oddly enough, by 1814, when Fort McHenry was attacked by the British, we actually had 18 States so our flag was already outdated. A new flag with 20 Stars and 13 Stripes (the current stripe standard) did not appear until 1818. But this is a blog about a particular coin issued in 2012 to commemorate the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. According to legend, Francis Scott Key was observing the bombarding of Fort McHenry in September of 1814 when through a clearing of the smoke, he spied our flag flying proudly over the Fort and wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner, this became our National Anthem in 1931 and has bedeviled famous singers ever since. In my humble opinion, the design of this coin is one of the best in the modern era with its obverse portraying Liberty proudly holding the Flag with Fort McHenry in the background along with Liberty, In God We Trust, and 2012 P. The Reverse shows a view of the star filled field billowing in the breeze with One Dollar, E Pluribus Unum, and United States of America. The obverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, the reverse was designed by William C. Burgard III and sculpted by Don Everhart. Two oddities about this coin, the date 2012 does not correspond to the actual event pictured which occurred in 1814. Unlike the vast majority of U.S. coin, the design itself does not feature the date at the center bottom (even though it is slabbed incorrectly) the body of Liberty should be at the center bottom to make the design work properly.

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13 Nov 2019

A Dream Come True???

Coins | Mokester

Coin World has just released news about our Mint's plan to issue all new one-year type coins for 2026 (our 250th Anniversary). According to Coin World, the mint has proposed redesigning both the obverse and reverse of all our minor coins, cent through half dollar for 2026. If the Mint is able to pull this off, it will be a huge boon to the collecting community, it will attract many new collectors, and it will make up for the rather half-hearted effort the mint put forth in 1976.The idea of a complete one-year redesign is such a bold decision, I can only think the Mint has finally found a Director and Management Team that really understand us collectors and what makes us tick. Even though it is a few years away, they should start tossing crumbs starting in 2021 with at least a Medal a year dedicated to the upcoming Nation's Birthday. Allow me to dream for a bit. Even though the Mint is considering all new designs, maybe do a separate set using dual dated designs of yesteryear. The Mint could do a dual dated Flying Eagle Cent, Shield Nickel, Bust Dime, Standing Liberty Quarter, and Seated Liberty Half in proof with W mint marks. Maybe do a silver one ounce medal using the 1794 Dollar Design. Maybe make my collecting life complete by just listening to Old Moke for once!!!!!You can read the Coin World article here: https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/mint-hopes-to-redesign-minor-circulating-coinage-for-one-year-types-in-2026

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