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23 Dec 2021

Seated Liberty Half Dollars

| CopperCollector

The Seated Liberty Half dollar is one of the most popular coins of the seated liberty series. The halves, which shared a design with the half dime through dollar, was as you can see a very popular design. Christian Gobrecht carefully created this beautiful coin. Christian Gobrecht design was originally for the dollar in 1836 but was used in the next four or five years for the rest of the silver coinage. The design which I have already described in some of my other Seated Liberty Coinage posts depicts liberty seated on a rock holding a shield with liberty on it. The date resides underneath liberty, and on latter issues arrows are on either side of the date to signify a weight change due to the gold rush in California. The reverse shows an eagle with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around it and HALF DOL. under it. Proof coins were all struck at the Philadelphia mint. Mintage records are unknown for dates from 1839-1854 but 15 to 20 are estimated to exist for each year.

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18 Dec 2021

The Mint's First Medals

Coins | CopperCollector

America's First Medals was a series that was started around the bicentennial of the United States of America. During the Bicentennial three coins were made to celebrate it. A quarter with a drummer boy on the reverse, a half dollar with Independence Hall on the reverse, and the final coin was the dollar with a Liberty Bell floating around in space. The original medals were for the heroes of the Revolutionary War. This particular medal, which was made for General Daniel T. Morgan, commemorated the battle at the Cowpens in South Carolina. The leader of the entire United States army named Nathaniel Greene was running low on soldiers. In fact his force was so low he could not attack the British straight on without totally loosing his entire army. So General Nathaniel devised a plan. He decided to split his force in half. One half was under General Nathaniel the other was under General Daniel T. Morgan. General Daniel's job was to threaten the British outposts in South Carolina. This dangerous move put the British army in between the two American armies. Interestingly, The British didn't attack either army but instead sent Lt. Banastre Taleto to intercept General Morgan's Soldiers. A few days later General Daniel's most memorable battle took place. The battle at the Cow pens. General Daniel now realized the British were coming to attack him. He formed his army into three lines. Once the British made it the General and his army were ready and waiting. The British thinking it would be easy to destroy this small force quickly made their way through the first two lines. Thinking they had one the entire British army slowed down once they had made it through the second line. The Americans then showered the now supposing victorious with deadly gunfire from that third and final line. The British now in a state of confusion were forced to surrender when the first two lines of the American army were put back together. General Daniel Morgan had won.The Medal is a very interesting piece. This ad in the Numismatist caught my eye. I was looking through some older issues and found a Stack's Bowers add about the Daniel T. Morgan medal selling. According to the add it hadn't sold in like twenty years. The original medal is also unique. On the obverse it says in Latin, "The American Congress to General Daniel T. Morgan. An Indian representing America is crowning General Morgan with a laurel wreath. The reverse says again in Latin, "Victory, the vindicator of liberty." The reverse's picture is the General leading his troops with their flags flying. Below this picture reads in Latin "The enemy put to flight, taken, or slain, at the Cowpens, January 17, 1781. Before I had acquired this coin I had never known about the battle at Cowpens. But Coins can tell you about history just like history can tell you about coins.

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26 Nov 2021

Seated Liberty Quarters

Coins | CopperCollector

In 1796 the first quarters were minted. The design used was the draped bust design. This design was used for pretty much all of the other silver denominations. On the quarter the draped bust design was used from 1796 to 1807. The mint then stopped minting quarters during the years 1809 to 1814. The began production again in 1815. The new design that was used is known as the capped bust design. There are two types of capped bust designs but basically they are identified with the planchet. During 1815-1828 the quarters were larger. The diameter was shrunk in 1831 and was kept like that for the rest of the series. The seated liberty quarters began in 1838 and the series ended in 1891. The seated liberty quarter's mintages are less than the dime and half dime making the quarter a bit rare than the dime and half dime.The design like the dime, half dime, half dollar, and were the design originally came from the dollar. Liberty is seated on a rock with a pole in her left hand and a liberty cap on the top of the pole. A number of stars surround liberty and the date is underneath the seated figure. Her left hand holds a shield with the word LIBERTY written across it. The reverse has UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around it a eagle facing left holding in its right talon a olive branch symbolizing peace and in its left talon the eagle holds some arrows. Some later seated liberty coins have arrows around the date this represents a medal weight change. After a few years the arrows were taken off because everybody new that they were the lighter version of the coins.Striking on seated liberty quarters varies from mint to mint. The mints that struck the seated liberty coins are New Orleans San Francisco, and Carson City. Quarters were rarer in circulation during their time than the half dime and dime. Instead of the United States coins people liked the Spanish 2 reales. Once the California Gold Rush was on all silver coins dried up in circulation because silver had almost become more valuable than gold. This happened during the years of 1850 to 1853. This hoarding caused the United States mint to decrease the weight of all silver coins hence the arrows.Just as all the other Seated Liberty coins proofs were made at the Philadelphia mint. In 1859 proof quarters were only made available through silver sets. The proofs used to be able to be bought as a single coin for face value. Assembling a full date run of either circulation or proof quarters is much more difficult than for say the dime. Most date run sets are started at 1874 until the end of the series. Resources: A guide book of seated liberty quarters by Q. David Bowers Seated Liberty Quarters Wikipedia

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12 Nov 2021

Liberty Seated Half Dimes

Coins | CopperCollector

Seated Liberty Half Dimes are a long series stretching over forty years. The half dime is another coin that would be needed for a dansco 7070. Seated Liberty half dimes were minted from 1837 to 1873. Christian Gobrecht who designed quite a few more coins, was the designer. The design was used on coins like the dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, and the half dime. The half dime was first minted in Philadelphia in 1837 then New Orleans in 1838.The obverse of the half dime looks like this. Liberty is seated (hence the name seated liberty) holding in her right hand a shield with LIBERTY on it. A liberty cap sits on a pole in her left hand. The beginning of the series has liberty without a drapery on her elbow. But in a few years the drapery is added. Another feature to this first type is the field. The field has no stars in it. The date is found under liberty.The reverse has a wreath in the wreath is HALF DIME. And around the wreath is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The mint mark is found in between the words HALF DIME and the bottom of the wreath. The half dimes had some changes during its minting time. 1840 drapery was added to the elbow and the shield was moved. 1853 the half dimes weight was reduced from 20.63g to 19.20 grams. To signify this arrows were added to either side of the date. The arrows were kept on the Half dimes for a few more years before being removed.Striking, most half dimes from 1837 to 1859 are nicely struck . 1860 to 1873 the half dimes were also struck very well most of the time but some show weakness on liberty's bust. Proofs were all made at the Philadelphia mint for every year except 1851 and 1853. Just like dimes proof half dimes were available for face value from the mint. Also like their bigger brothers the dime during the 1860s a demand was anticipated but the mint then raised the price to three dollars for the half dimes. This factor caused many proof half dimes and dimes to be dumped into circulation. When half dimes were being minted demand for them excluding proofs was very small. Not until the 1920s did the half dimes really become collectors coins. By then the coins had worn down in circulation so they are harder to find in Mint State. The majority of the series is easily attainable but a few semi key dates exist. The key date would be the 1870s. Only one is known and according to the "Red Book" the last time it sold was July 2004 for well over half a million dollars. The half dime is a long series which means there are probably different varieties. Like I have said before I am working on a Dansco 7070 album and am writing blog posts through some of the coins that I will need.

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18 Oct 2021

Updates

| CopperCollector

Lately I have been very busy so I thought I will give.you a quick update on what I have been doing. I recently just started a 7070 Dansco and am about halfway done ( all the easy dates are pretty much filled). I won a grab bag from the YN auction by the way thanks to the ANA for hosting it. My favorite coin was an 1810 capped bust large cent. But it also came with a 2019 cent and a planchet which was pretty cool. Finally anyone who wants to start a type set the cancel 7070 is an awesome album to own. I am working on a type set series of blog posts and will start posting more frequently again. Once again I want to say thanks to the ANA for the outstanding auction.

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22 Sep 2021

Twenty Cents Of Information

Coins | CopperCollector

Also known as a double dime the twenty cent piece is one fascinating coin. The first time the 20 cent coin was suggested was 1791 which as most of you know that was even before our first coins rolled out of the mint. The second proposal by a Nevada Senator named John Jones who believed that the coin could help with the change shortage in the West worked and the west got their 20 cents. The coin was not popular because it was way too close in size to a quarter. One difference though was that the third side of the coin or the edge was smooth instead of reeded like all the other silver coinage. The double dime was only made for three years with the last two being only for sale to collectors. The easiest twenty cent to acquire is the 1875S with just over 1.1 million made. Proofs were also made only at the Philadelphia mind for the entire series including the collector only years of 1877 and 1878. William Barber who was the fifth chief engraver designed the double dimes. Liberty is seated holding in her left hand a pole with a phyrgian cap also known as a liberty cap on the end of it. Her right hand holds a shield with LIBERTY written across it. Thirteen stars encircle liberty with the date below her. The reverse is similar to the trade dollar. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the top of the eagle with TWENTY CENTS below the talons of the eagle. Proofs were made for every year of the twenty cent. The last two years are proof only years which makes them scarcer

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03 Jun 2021

The Large Cent Type Set

Coins | CopperCollector

Hello everyone. Today's paper is about the large cent. Like all of you probably know I enjoy Large Cents. This paper is going to be about the Liberty Cap Large cent, The Draped Bust large cent and the Coronet head large cent.Liberty Cap Large CentThis large cent depicts a lady liberty facing right with the LIBERTY above her head. The cent was made from 1793 to 1796. The reverse has a wreath like every large cent does. The wreath encircles ONE CENT and around the wreath is UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Liberty Cap large cents were supposedly designed by Joseph Wright, but it could have been Henry Voigt. The odds are that Joseph Wright designed this coin because the Liberty Cap head facing left was also designed by Joseph Wright. Joseph Wright was born in 1756 and died in 1793. George Washington choose this man to become the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. Joseph was probably picked because he had a background of sculpting things. He and his mother had been wax sculptures before his appointment to Chief Engraver. Sadly Joseph died before he was able to become the Engraver. The coins he designed were modeled after the Libertas Medal. The Liberty Cap Large Cent was still not very successful but it lasted longer than the Flowing Hair Large cents.Draped Bust large centAfter the disappointment of the Liberty Cap large cent a new design was put into the minting machines. The Draped Bust large cent was produced from 1796-1807. The draped bust design came about by Robert Scot. He had been picked by the new president Thomas Jefferson to be the Chief Engraver at the mint. During president Jefferson's term he was told by Robert Scot that all the coins needed to be redesigned. They needed to be redesigned because Robert Scot felt that they should reflect the Democratic government. The coin's design has a bust of liberty wearing a drapery and she has a ribbon in her hair. The classic LIBERTY is above her head and the date resides below the bust. The reverse has a olive wreath around ONE CENT and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is wrapped around the wreath. the fraction one hundreth is at the bottom of the coin. The draped bust coins aren't very common but they were put just about all the different denominations.Coronet large centsThe next coin would be the Classic or Turban head large cent but I already have a blog post on that coins so if you want to learn about it just go check it out.The Coronet large cent had two different designs. Design 1 is called the Matron Head. Design 2 is known as the braided hair design. These two designs are almost the same but I would say that liberty is more stocky on design 1 than on design 2. The hair cords also change but it doesn't really matter to know how to tell them apart. The whole series has by far the longest mintage they were made from 1816-1857. The obverse design has yet another depiction of Liberty surprisingly though they didn't put LIBERTY over her head they replaced LIBERTY with 13 to 15 stars. Robert Scot designed the Matron head, the braided hair happened when Christian Gobrecht tweaked some of the designs. The Coronet large cent is the most common large cent you can find.Type SetTo sum up all of the above information and from my other blogs. The flowing hair large cent with chain design was only made in 1793. The flowing hair large cent with a wreath was also only made into 1793. The Liberty Cap large cent was made from 1793-1796. The draped bust large cents were minted from 1796-1807. The Classic head Large cent was made from 1808-1814. The finally the coronet which was minted from 1816-1857. Hope you learned something and have a nice rest of the day.

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04 Mar 2021

Die Varieties and Variation of the Large Cent

Coins | CopperCollector

Before I start I would like to give a define Varieties vs. Variation. Varieties almost always come from the hand engraved dyes you know like a engraver makes one die and then the next one the letter U is slightly bent. A Variation would be if the engraver didn't quite like how the coin was coming out so he made a change. Another reason could be that the mint had gotten a new engraver mid way through coinage. Both ways have affected coinage like the 1794 large cents I have two pictures of the varieties, the designer must have never been happy with his design.So with that knowledge I will first talk about the Varieties. Varieties are a more advanced way to collect large cents. With over 1200 different known it makes sense that nobody has ever completed a collection. The way that the large cent varieties are ranked on rarity is like this:1-2 the most common varieties of the most common years3-4 more common years but rarer varieties5-7 scarcer years and scarcer varieties8-10 very scare years and very scarce varieties10-12 rare years and rare varieties13-14 very rare years and very rare varieties15 only one to three specimens known to existA very useful guide the large cent varieties is the book I have been reading United States Coins 1793-1857. So now that you know how the rarity scale works we will jump in to how to identify your varieties. Many large cent Numismatists have to use a magnifying glass to see all the little items that make up the varieties. Most commonly used for reference on the obverse is the dates position to the bust, on later issues the angle of the coronet to the 5th & 6th stars, the stars are also used in finding the position of letters on the reverse. Which brings us to the reverse to further your surety of the type the reverse is used. Things like how many berries, what direction the leaf is pointing, and as I said earlier the letters position to the stars, finally the lines and dots in between the word CENTS. Tools that large cent die varieties hunters use are: a piece of paper but I have heard of people using a metal wire, a magnifying glass, and most important a light source. That is a quick overview of the Varieties of the large cent.Now I will talk about the as I call them Variations of the Large Cent. As is said in the first paragraph the variations were caused by the engraver not being satisfied with the coin or the mint hiring a new engraver. Most of these variations can be found in the red book. 1793 the sprig of leaves changes 2-3 times creating the rare strawberry leaf large cent. 1794 had an amazing amount of varieties the red book lists 13 different types. To name a few there is the Beaded Border, my personal favorite the Jefferson Head, and the head of 1793, 1794, and 1795. Fast forwarding to 1807 there is the "comet variety" which there appears to be a comet streaking behind lady liberty's head. Other variations exist like the unicorn where lady liberty has got a spike coming of of her head, the snail or dolphin large cent where liberty has a bump above her head. All these coins could be a fun collection it would be pricy if you included all of the variations of the 1794 cent but you don't have to do that. Here are the basic facts I hoped you learned the rarity scale the varieties are different dies engraved and variation were are designers fixing the coin up mid way through the coinage.

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24 Feb 2021

Uses of the Large Cent.

Coins | CopperCollector

The Large Cent was not a popular coin. Since many people disliked the coin they were put to other uses. Here are a few; they were often bought in kegs and then melted for their copper, used as buttons, hotel keys, gun sights, gears, good luck pieces, made into saucers, they were also very commonly altered especially to the date 1815. Large Cents were also used in food. People would drop them into their pickle jar and the vinegar and brine would dissolve the large cent turning the pickles green. Medicine was another interesting use. A Large Cent was placed into a saucer and vinegar was lightly dumped on top. The verdigris that formed was then given to the patient throughout the day. Undertakers would put large cents on the eyelids of dead people to keep them shut. These coins were minted from 1793-1857 excluding 1815 and millions were made. But because of these uses many have been destroyed or made into culls. So to sum it up people really didn't like the large cents.

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