Paper Money

Inside Coin World: Finding railroad scrip at a local coin shop

A 50-cent scrip note issued by the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which was the target of a famous Union Army raid during the Civil War, is a recent inexpensive purchase by Thomas Cohn, as related in his newest “Coin Shop Lottery” column.

Original images courtesy of Thomas Cohn.

Every weekly and monthly issue of Coin World has content exclusive to the print and digital editions, including columns and features.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the Sept. 30 issue.

Coin Shop Lottery: Railroad scrip with a story

Each month, columnist Thomas Cohn takes readers on a visit to his local coin shop where, armed with a small budget, he purchases interesting items that have stories to tell. His latest purchase, discussed in his column published in the Sept. 30 issue of Coin World, is a 50-cent scrip note for the Western & Atlantic Railroad.

The railroad ran from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was a major artery for the shipment of Confederate troops and military supplies during the Civil War. A famous Union military mission known as the Andrews Raid used this railroad.

The railroad issued scrip notes during the war, including the 1862 note that Cohn purchased for a few dollars. To learn more about the note and the railroad that issued it, see his column in the Sept. 30 issue of Coin World

Designs of the Times: Intergenerational treasure boxes

Brad Karoleff collects Bust silver coinage of the early 19th century and his column “Designs of the Times” focuses on that theme. This month, however, he writes about intergenerational treasure boxes that, in the past, often held coins unfamiliar to members of the younger generations.

These treasure chests, some in the form of cigar boxes, could hold various trinkets including coins. Brad’s introduction to Bust coinage began with a well-worn 1832 Capped Bust half dollar pulled from a cigar box created by one set of his grandparents. However, such treasure boxes seem to be disappearing from the holdings of current generations.

Read more about this apparently “lost” practice and how these boxes filled with treasure birthed numismatic interest in years past in Brad’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

About VAMs: Counterfeit Micro O Morgan dollars

In fairly recent years, numismatists have identified a group of “Micro O” dollars — Morgan dollars supposedly struck at the New Orleans Mint — as a series of closely related counterfeits apparently intended to circulate as real coins. In his latest “About VAMs” column, John Roberts writes about their discovery and about one coin in particular.

The 1901-O Morgan, Micro O dollar is now identified as a counterfeit with now known authentic examples. The reverse was one used on some genuine 1880-O and 1899-O Morgan dollars, each bearing an O Mint mark smaller than the standard Mint mark used on the denomination. 

To learn more about the circulating Morgan, Micro O dollars and the diagnostics for the 1901-O coin, see John’s column in the Sept. 30 issue of Coin World.

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