I. R. Bama's Blog

03 Jan 2022

My Retirement Presents Part III: 1803 Half Dollar

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

It has been a long time since part II of this series and here is the third and last. I saved the best for last! And it's a nice one too. A nice winter snowstorm is giving me some time off and I will take advantage of that.

14 Dec 2020

Three Cent Coins Part Two: Economics: Why a Three Cent coin?

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

Several weeks ago, I identified Metallurgy in my blog as being the third pillar of Numismatics, along with Art and History. But in researching the two three cent coin denominations, I realized that there is a fourth pillar of our discipline and that is economics. Art and History were pretty easy for me to recognize, but as I study numismatics more deeply I recognized that it is also underpinned by metallurgy and economics as well. This may not be news to many of you but for me it was a discovery. Quite humbling too, as I really didn't enjoy taking the subject in college. Over the years, I have developed an appreciation for the subject and wish I had studied it a lot harder than I did.

11 Dec 2020

Three Cent Coins Part One: If You Got the Money Honey, I've Got the Trimes

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

This is the first part of a three part series on three cent coins, namely the Trime (three cent silver) and the three cent nickel, and a discussion of the economics that brought this odd denomination into circulation. In an earlier blog, I postulate that there are three foundations or pillars of numismatics; Art, History and Metallurgy. But there is a fourth pillar which became clear to me while researching three cent coins. That would be the pillar of Economics. Economics can be considered an essential foundation because it explains the economic justification for a coin's existence. It goes hand in hand with History.

19 Nov 2020

Metallurgy: The Third Foundation of Numismatics

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

When I think of Numismatics as an academic discipline, I envision it as resting on three pillars or foundations of knowledge. The first two, art and history are the ones we typically think a lot about andthen there is the one we don't spend too much time on. That would be metallurgy.

14 Nov 2020

What About that Twenty Cent Coin?

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

Yeah, what about that one? That's an odd denomination. How did that one come to be? Well, I happened to stumble across this article on the U.S. Mint website that explains it all. https://www.usmint.gov/learn/history/proposed-issue-of-twenty-cent-coin

04 Nov 2020

"Carry Me Back to Ol' Virginny" Part 2: The Jamestown 400th Anniversary Silver Dollar

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

Once upon a time, three ships left London on a transatlantic voyage to the New World and came to Virginia. Just 5 days before Christmas in 1606, The Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery arrived on the coast of present day Virginia off the middle peninsula with a crew of 39 members and 105 passengers who were the first colonists arrived in late April of 1607.

01 Nov 2020

"Carry Me Back to Ol' Virginny" Part One: The Jefferson 400th Commemorative Silver Dollar

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

" To be a Virginian either by birth, marriage or adoption, or even on one's mother's side is an introduction to any state in the Union, a passport to any country and a benediction from above" (anonymous).

29 Oct 2020

American Indians and U.S. Coins #2 Pratt's Gold Indians: The Man on the Coin (part 2)

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

Of all our coins that depict American Indians and imagery associated with them, only one coin featured the likeness of one individual. That man was Chief Hollow Horn Bear and he is a notable figure in history in his own right, which is why his image was used on a coin, a1922 stamp and a1970 $10.00 military payment certificate (often referred to as MPC). Be sure to check out Longstrider's recent blog featuring his MPC with the Chief's image on it.

17 Oct 2020

The Capped Bust Quarter

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

The inspiration for my decision to buy the four Capped Bust Half Dollars that I wrote about last week was due to my acquisition of a capped bust quarter last year. I really liked the design of the coin and it was affordable for me at the time. It was obtained by a private sale from a listing on Craigslist. I had a little trepidation about meeting someone in a town 50 miles away, so I made arrangements to see the coin and make the transaction in a local restaurant in a shopping center to reduce the risk. I was not worried about the coin being a counterfeit because it was slabbed and graded by NGC. This particular coin is a variety 2 1835 quarter in XF 40.

09 Oct 2020

Auction Action: Four Capped Bust Half Dollars

Coins-United States | I. R. Bama

I just got these four Capped Bust Half dollars in the mail from my auction win on Sunday night. Designed by John Reich the coin is composed of .8924 silver and .1076 copper, weighs 13.48 grams and its diameter is approximately 32.5 mm due to these coins being struck in an open collar. The edge of these four coins are smooth and reads Fifty Cents or Half A Dollar with a star between Dollar and Fifty 1814-1831. From 1832- 1836 there were vertical lines between these words. The lettered edge varieties were struck from 1807 to 1836. The remainder of designs minted featured a reeded edge. There is a reeded edge variety of the 1836 of the half dollar which commands premium prices.


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