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Godless Canadian Coins 1911 Except for one year, all Canadian coins have featured the phrase 'DEI GRA' or 'DEI GRATIA' on the obverse side. The Latin words mean 'by the grace of God' and refer to the reign of the monarch whose likeness appears on the coin. The year 1911 was the lone exception. George V had ascended to the throne in 1910, so 1911 was the first year he was featured on British Empire coinage. Because of an oversight or a misunderstanding (nobody is quite certain), the phrase was omitted from Canadian coins in 1911--much to the outrage of the public. (Some people blame the Liberal goverment's defeat in the federal election that year on the 'godless' coins.) The phrase was restored to Canadian coinage in 1912 and has appeared every year since then.
Tags: numismatics  coins  Canada 
Added: 7th October 2009
Views: 1712
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Posted By: Lava1964
1943 Steel US Penny The 1943 silver-colored penny was a special wartime issue made of steel and coated with zinc. During the Second World War copper was badly needed to make shell casings. In response to the wartime demand for copper, pennies that year were made of steel. They are not great rarities, though. These coins are generally worth about 12 to 15 cents apiece in circulated condition, and as much as 50 cents or more if uncirculated.
Tags: steel  penny  numismatics 
Added: 12th December 2010
Views: 1182
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Posted By: Lava1964
1883 No-Cents Nickels In 1883, the United States unveiled its new 'Liberty Head' five-cent piece. Conmen immediately sensed an opportunity: Because the reverse bore the Roman numeral 'V' without the word 'cents,' it looked very much like the widely circulated five-dollar gold piece. Crooks simply painted the nickels gold and passed them off as five-dollar coins. To combat this practise, a few months later the mint issued a revised variety of 1883 nickels--these ones bearing the word 'cents' beneath the V. (That design lasted until the Liberty Head nickel was replaced by the buffalo nickel in 1913.) According to numismatic lore, a deaf mute named Josh Tatum was among the most prolific perpetrators of fraud with gold-painted no-cents nickels. He supposedly escaped conviction because he could not ask shopkeepers for change; he merely accepted what was given to him. This is where the verb 'to josh' is said to have originated.
Tags: 1883  nickels  numismatics 
Added: 22nd October 2009
Views: 801
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Posted By: Lava1964
100 000-Dollar Gold Certificate You don't see too many of these circulating nowadays. Woodrow Wilson's portrait appears on this $100,000 gold certificate from 1934. Such banknotes were almost exclusively used for transferring funds between Federal Reserve banks. This denomination is no longer printed, but it is still legal tender. Since 1969, the $100 bill has been the largest denomination banknote printed in the United States.
Tags: gold  certificate  numismatics 
Added: 15th November 2009
Views: 2091
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Posted By: Lava1964
Rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel In 1913, the Indian Head nickel (commonly known as the buffalo nickel) was introduced, replacing the Liberty Head design that had been used since 1883. These were the first official strikings of nickels in 1913; the United States Mint's official records show no Liberty Head nickels were produced that year. Yet five Liberty Head nickels dated 1913 came to the attention of the numismatic community in 1920. All five were in the possession of Samuel Brown, a coin collector who attended the American Numismatic Association's annual convention and displayed the coins there. Brown had previously placed an advertisement in The Numismatist in December 1919 seeking information on these coins and offering to pay $500 for each. Ostensibly, the coins had been purchased as a result of this offer. However, Brown had been a Mint employee in 1913, so many numismatic historians have concluded that he illegally struck the coins himself and then removed them from the Mint. Other numismatic authorities, however, note there are several methods by which the coins could have been legitimately produced. For instance, they may have been lawfully issued by the Mint's Medal Department 'for cabinet purposes,' or they could be trial pieces struck in late 1912 to test the following year's new coinage dies. In January 1924 Brown sold all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels. The intact lot passed through the hands of several other coin dealers before finally being purchased by Colonel E.H.R. Green. Green kept them in his collection until his death in 1936. When his estate was auctioned, all five of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels were purchased by two dealers, Eric P. Newman and B.G. Johnson. The dealers broke up the set for the first time. The fictional theft of one of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels (known as the Olsen specimen) was the focal point of a December 1973 episode of the popular police drama Hawaii Five-0. It was titled 'The $100,000 Nickel' (which indeed was the value of the coin at the time). Rumors of the existence of a sixth 1913 Liberty Head nickel occasionaly circulate. If one did surface in perfect condition, numismatic experts estimate it could command $20 million at auction. You might want to check your piggy bank...
Tags: numismatics  1913  nickel  rare 
Added: 20th May 2011
Views: 1300
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Posted By: Lava1964
1896 Five-Dollar Silver Certificate Controversy A new series of $1, $2 and $5 banknotes were printed by the U.S. government in 1896. Known to collectors as the "educational series," the banknotes used classical art motifs to promote advancements in science. For example, the $5 silver certificate's design (shown below) highlighted the new importance that electricity brought to modern society. However, the naked breasts on the female figures sent some prudish folks into a tizzy. Some merchants and bankers in Boston considered the $5 bills to be obscene and refused to accept them--thus creating the term 'banned in Boston.' Despite the controversy, many banknote collectors consider the 1896 series to be the most beautiful ever produced by the U.S. government.
Tags: 1896  banknotes  numismatics  controversy 
Added: 17th July 2011
Views: 2830
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Posted By: Lava1964
Canada Discontinues Pennies On May 4, 2012 Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was on hand at the Royal Canadian Mint to see the last penny roll off the line. Six weeks earlier he had announced that Canada's one-cent coin would be discontinued. An overwhelming majority of Canadians applauded the government's decision. Most felt the move was long overdue. Citing low purchasing power and rising production costs, the government decided to phase the penny out of existence starting in the fall of 2012, when the Royal Canadian Mint will stop distributing the one-cent coin to financial institutions. Over time, that will lead to the penny effectively becoming extinct, although the government noted that one-cent coins will always be accepted in cash transactions for as long as people still hold on to them. The value of the penny has decreased to about 1/20th of its purchasing power in the last 100 years. Indeed, the lowly penny has fallen so far that Ottawa described it as a "burden to the [Canadian] economy" in a pamphlet explaining the change. In part because of rising prices for the metals it's made of, it actually costs 1.6 cents to produce every penny. The government estimates it loses $11 million a year producing and distributing the penny, and that doesn't include the costs and frustrations for businesses and consumers that use them in transactions.
Tags: pennies  Canada  numismatics 
Added: 29th March 2012
Views: 944
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Posted By: Lava1964
Mercury Dimes The coin commonly referred to as the "Mercury dime" was a ten-cent coin struck by the United States Mint from 1916 to 1945. It is one of the great misnomers in numismatic history. Designed by Adolph Weinman, it is properly called the Winged Liberty dime, as the face depicts a female Liberty figure rather than the male god Mercury. It gained its wrong but commonly used name as the obverse depiction of a young Liberty, identifiable by her winged Phrygian cap, was confused with the Roman god Mercury. Weinman is believed to have used Elsie Stevens, the wife of lawyer and poet Wallace Stevens, as a model. The coin's reverse depicts a fasces, symbolizing unity and strength, and an olive branch, signifying peace. The value of each Mercury dime is more than $2 because of the current price of silver. The Roosevelt dime replaced it in 1946.
Tags: numismatics  Mercury  Liberty  dimes 
Added: 26th January 2013
Views: 817
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Posted By: Lava1964
1916 Booby Quarter By the 1910s the Art Nouveau movement was influencing the designs of American coinage. In 1916 designer Hermon McNeil created what he thought was an attractive portrait of Lady Liberty for the new silver 25-cent piece. No red flags were raised as the design received official approval for mintage in late 1916 for distribution in January 1917. Instead of winning applause, however, the coin caused outrage because the Standing Liberty figure (as it is known to collectors) has her right breast exposed. Moralists decried the image as obscene and decadent. The public's response was so swift and negative that the Treasury Department modified the die for future strikes to cover the exposed breast with armor--even doing so without the official approval of Congress. Furthermore, the federal government did its best to recall the original allotment of 52,000 coins. That was easier said than done. First, any new coin is largely hoarded by collectors for its novelty. Second, the small mintage of these coins enhanced their desirability among collectors. Third, the infamy attached to this coin made it even more collectible than usual. Therefore most of the 1916 "booby quarters" did not stay in circulation very long before they were stashed away by average citizens as curiosity pieces (and perhaps erotic souvenirs). According to the Treasury Department, however, the public's moral outrage had nothing to do with the more modest revised design. It was supposedly symbolic. With war clouds looming, it was thought that Lady Liberty should be shown as fully protected by armor rather than being seen as partially exposed and vulnerable.
Tags: 1916  Standing  Liberty  quarter  breast  numismatics 
Added: 27th October 2016
Views: 501
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Posted By: Lava1964

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