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user_4972's Blog

06 Dec 2015

Seated Liberty and other Classic Designs.

| user_4972

The Seated Liberty design and many other influential and important coin designs have been used on many coins of the United States Dollar. In the 1800's coin designs were basically universal throughout all coins. One of the most notable of these is the Seated Liberty Design. It was used on the half dime, the dime, the twenty cent piece, the quarter dollar, and the half dollar. The Trade Dollar highly resembled the Seated Liberty design. Another notable design is the capped bust and other bust designs. The bust designs are available in many different varieties. The bust designs are classics in american coinage history. The 'head' design is also a copper classic, coming in classic head, coronet head and many others. Another 'classic' coin design was the Barber design. This was designed by Charles E Barber. The Barber design has been noted for being very plain and boring. Barber was a very vain man who put his design on three coins at once, and was very critical of other coin designs. The design was on the half dollar, the quarter dollar, and the dime. The lincoln design is one of the most popular of all of these. It has been on the penny since 1909. The penny has gone through eight reverse redesigns and a few obverse changes. The first reverse was the V D B wheat penny. This was changed to the wheat penny. The third design was the lincoln memorial penny. In 2009 four new reverses were put on the penny. The newest and current design is the Union Shield design. The obverse design also had the V D B put on it in 1916. This design has been collected almost since it came out. The V D B was removed because of criticism from Charles E Barber and the Public for being too large. Many other designs have put on multiple coin designs, but have not been the same. The eagle is the most popular reverse design in US history. All half dollars must have an eagle on it. Most other coins have eagles on them as well. Another design is George Washington. He has been on many commemoratatives, and the modern quarter. LaFayette has been on many coins with him. Many designs on US coins have been reused on multiple coins. Some have been well received and others have not, but all have been very collectible.

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07 Nov 2015

Strange Denominations

| user_4972

The United States of America has issued some strange denominations over its lifetime. I will talk about most of these excluding the two and a half dollar piece, as I will write an article on United States gold coins, and half dimes, as they have a value of five cents, like a nickel. The lowest denomination, the half cent, was worth half a cent; these were phased out with the large cents in 1858. The half cent's value was worth enough to be used so it was abolished. The next denomination, the two cent piece was one of the shortest lived in U.S. history, lasting for only a few years near the civil war. It was also the first coin the have the motto, "In God We Trust," on it. The two cent piece was also the inspiration of the shield nickel. The three cent piece had two different varieties. The first is the three cent silver, and is the harder of the two to find. The total mintage of these coins is not event thirty-five million. The second variety is called the three cent nickel. It is much easier to find. The next denomination was the twenty cent piece. These were issued for a few years and look almost the same the quarters, and as a fact were not well received by the public. The twenty cent piece is one of the hardest types to find with the lowest price for everyone costing almost $100. Over the one dollar mark we have valuable gold coins. The two and a half dollar coin is excluded from these.The three dollar piece had a fair run, but is still highly sought after. Most examples will cost upwards of $1000. One of the most valuable coin, even in US coins is the four dollar piece. This coin is known as the 'Stella.' Very few of these coins were ever made. All of the coins, however, were pattern coins. Almost all of these coins will cost more than one hundred thousand dollars. The most expensive one will cost eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars. There are two varieties of the Stella. Another notable strange denomination is the Half Union. The Half Union was a pattern coin worth fifty dollars. There are only two known examples of this coin and are both kept in the Smithsonian. The United States had made many strange denominations of the course of it's history.

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02 Nov 2015

Confederate Currency

| user_4972

The Confederate States of America was country formed in the south United States of America. It was short lived and unrecognized. The President of the Confederacy was Jefferson Davis, the largest opponent of Abraham Lincoln. Separating itself from the union the Confederacy created its own currency, the Confederate Dollar. The dollar was in the beginning worth about the same as the United States Dollar. However this was short lived and most notes said 'Two years after the ratification of peace between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America', meaning that they had nothing to back it up and were hoping to have it by at least two years after winning the war. This was not a good thing and the notes rapidly lost value and use. The Confederate Dollar was printed almost exclusively to paper, but a few confederate half dollars were produced too, but had their dies slashed and unavailable to make more. Today you can buy coins minted with the slashed die for about twenty thousand United States Dollars. The paper notes are available but are not common. I recently picked up an eighteen sixty four edition of the Confederate ten dollar bill for twenty dollars, far less than the average price for one. The confederate dollar has a bad reputation and it not a favorite among collectors. There are many more copies than legitimate notes. The easiest way to find a copy is if it says facsimile on the back. The other way is that the composition of metal in the ink on the notes caused them to turn toa brown color. I find it interesting that they are each hand signed and numbered.Many states and banks issued their own copies and special versions of notes. Their are many different styles of notes from all different colors. This series is becoming harder and harder to find quality notes. This era led to some interesting notes in the United States of America as well. In fact some United States notes from the period cost even more than the Confederate counterparts. This era is one of the most influential part of North American Numismatic history, bringing change tothe United States and Canada. Many people, such as I, find this era one of the most attractive times to collect currency from. If you find this interesting check out my article about America's first small cents.

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02 Nov 2015

German Currency

Coins | user_4972

German currency is some of the oldest modern and ancientcurrencies you can find.Germany, formed from the manycitystates, such as Prussia and Brandenburg,isone of the dominant powers in Europe.Germany, being one of my favorite countries, sticks out to me and many others for being so old and unique. The oldest German Currency you can find would be that of the German city states commonly known as the 'Thaler'. The 'Thaler' comes in many odd denominations being that is a pre decimal currency; it is not uncommon to find 1/12 1/24 and 1/3 Thalers. I happen to have a 1/12 Thaler from 1693 (NGC 2654394-003 if you are interested in seeing it) and it is the oldest dated coin that I own. After the states ended slow unification in the area occurred with countries such as Prussia coming into existence. This was short lived and was succeded by the German Empire. The German Empire used the very first incarnation of the Mark. The German Empire was defeated in World War I and was followed by the Weimar Republic. The Weimar Republic was doomed from the start with the 'Papiermark' (Papermark) being worth so little that it was used for wallpaper. Coins from this era are harder to find than most others but hyperinflation notes are readily available. After the Weimar Republic Nazi Germany was founded with Adolph Hitler as the 'Führer' (leader). Nazi Germany used the Reichsmark, however,it was used briefly in Weimar Republic as well. Coins from this era are often collected for the Swastika and non Swastika varieties. The Reichsmark was used shortly after the war as well. After the Nazis fell the divided Germany was formed. Divided German used the now readily available Deutschmark. The Deutschmark was used even after the reunification until 2002 when Germany (unfortunately) adopted the Euro. The Euro coins are available in special German issues to add variety to the currency which I heavily dislike. The history of the German currency is one of the most interesting histories of any European currencies. Germany has a bright future ahead with many Euro Commemoratives ready to be minted. Germany also has a large number of mints with them being labled in alphabetical order. The subunit of the Mark was the pfennig and replaced the fractions on the Thaler. German Currency is highly collectable with many people specializing in the field.

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05 Oct 2015

Flying Eagle and Indian Head Pennies

| user_4972

Another of my favorite coins is the Flying Eagle Cent. The Flying Eagle is one of the few coins that have very few dates of mintage (1856-58.) It was based off of the German Feuchtwanger Cent. The Flying Eagle was designed by James b. Longacre. The 1856 cent was largely used as a pattern coin. It is usually one of the more sought after coin with only 750 coins minted, which is one of the lowest mintage numbers I have ever seen. The following year in 1857 the Flying Eagle Cent became available to the public, and was met with positive reception, with many people trading in the large cents. The next year in 1858 two varieties were made, a small date and a large date. While the 1857-58 pennies are not nearly as valuable as the 1856 the are both highly sought after by collectors and demand a fairly high premium. The downfall of these coins was namely due to the metal composition being to hard to strike. After the 1858 coin was minted many new designs were proposed (in order to produce a better strike) but were not received well enough to be made into circulating copies; with the public seeing the design as 'too scrawny,' or something similar. The Indian Head cent was released in 1859. For the first few years of mintage the Indian Head cent was made of the same composition as the previous Flying Eagle cent, which as mentioned before did not strike well. Soon after that the composition was changed to what it would remain until 1982 when the cost of copper in the cent exceeded its value and was replaced by zinc. The Indian Head penny was not actually of a Native American, but of Liberty wearing a traditional Native American head dress. The Indian Head Cent was minted almost exclusively in the Philadelphia Mint until 1908 and 1909 when the San Francisco mint produced relitivly low numbers of coins. In 1909 the Indian Head Penny was minted along side the first Lincoln cent which would take it over and is still minted even today. Both the Flying Eagle and Indian Head Pennies have high demand among collectors. Most Indian Heads can cost around two dollars. The Flying Eagle is usually much more expensive with good condition coins going for around twenty five dollars. Both coins I would recommend highly for any collection and is a okay starting spot for beginners with a few exceptions.

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04 Oct 2015

Half Dimes & Nickels

Coins | user_4972

The Half Dime is one of my favorite coins. They were first minted as a 'Half Disme' but really uncommon and the counter part to the 'Disme'. Both of which, today,are very valuable. Unlike the nickel, Half Dimes were made of silver, not nickel, and were roughly have the size of a dime. Half Dimes were worth five cents, like the modern nickel. They were minted until 1873. The following coin became known as the shield nickel and was made of copper and nickel. The shield nickel is one of the few United States coin that does not picture a person or animal. Shield Nickels are usually demanding of high premiums of twenty dollars or more. The next nickel, the Liberty Head V Nickel was met with various problems. One of which was the initial exclusion of the word 'cents.' Since the similar size and design it was commonly gold plated and passed off as a higher denomination coin. Following this the mint quickly added the word cents to the bottom. Most do not carry a very high premium (with the exception of a few) and are available for around two dollars or less. The next nickel became known as the buffalo nickel. The buffalo nickel was flawed from the beginning with both 'five cents' and the date being the highest parts of the coin. The only modification, however, was of the words 'five cent'. Because of this, more dateless nickels are found than ones with dates. Even though there are more dateless nickels than dated ones, they carry a very low premium, usually two dollars or less. The following nickel, the first Jefferson Nickel was struck with the same composition as the past varieties. Soon after that, however, the second world war started and demanded nickel for the war effort. The nickels (commonly known as war nickels) were struck with thirty five percent silver and nine percent manganese. The silver content in these nickels is often worth twenty or more times face value with silver being at around fifteen dollars. These nickels commonly have a black tarnish and unattractive appearance. After that they were returned to the original composition. The design stayed the same until 2004. The special design nickels with different reverses brought about the new obverse. The second design featured the original Monticello reverse with Jefferson looking forward, making it one of the few coin where the person is looking forward. The current nickel features the mint marks of Denver and Philadelphia for circulation coins and San Francisco for proof coins. Event though the long run of these coins has been positive, the future of the nickel has been in question with the value of the dollar becoming lower. The metal in the nickel has even, at points, surpassed its intrinsic value. This caused the government to make it illegal to melt pennies and nickels for their metal. The mint marks on the Jefferson nickel are located next to the Monticello building on older nickels,above the dome on silver nickels,and on the front rim on the newer ones. - Peyton Smith

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