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Mokester's Blog

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Oddly enough, by 1814, when Fort McHenry was attacked by the British, we actually had 18 States so our flag was already outdated.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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12 Nov 2019

A Very Controversial Choice

Medals | Mokester

2017 was a momentous year in the history of the United States Mint and once certainly deserving of special products. One of the popular items was the 2017-S Enhanced Uncirculated Mint Set. These enhanced finish coins were not double struck, like a proof, but were struck on carefully handled planchets that have a soft matte finish, very pleasing to the eye. But controversy arose with a special medal produced for the 225th Anniversary. The medal was made in Gold with 1/10 and 1 Ounce versions from the West Point Mint. The Mint also produced 5 different 1 ounce silver medals. These five medals were a standard Proof from Philadelphia, a standard Proof from San Fransisco, a reverse Proof from Philadelphia, an Uncirculated from Denver, and an Enhanced Uncirculated from West Point. The last 4 of these were issued together as a set. That's why we have both a Philadelphia and a San Fransisco Proof. The Obverse of each medal depicted an allegorical Liberty and the reverse depicted an Eagle in flight, both designs having a modern flair.Sounds good so far, a nice assortment of items for the 225th Anniversary but the controversy arose due to the choice of allegorical Liberty for the Gold and Silver issues. Instead of using a European featured liberty (even on our Liberty Heads with Indian War Bonnets), the Mint chose a very modern looking and very African-American looking Liberty. Personally, I found her very attractive and i bought all the Silver issues and one extra in a slab. But reading message boards around the time of issuance, I could clearly see a very strong collector backlash against the Mint's choice for their Liberty. Some people said she looked just like Michelle Obama (and they were not pleased) some just said it was ugly without really explaining their reasoning although the subtext was often barely concealed. Due to the Mints controversial choice of Liberty, I suspect sales may have suffered but I am very happy with my purchase and I hope the Mint is thinking outside the box for our upcoming 250th Anniversary. The beautiful obverse was designed by Justin Kunz with the Mints Sculptor/Engraver Phebe Hemphill bringing it to life. The exquisite reverse with its soaring Eagle was designed by Chris Costello with Sculptor/Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

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