US Coins

Week of April 25 to May 1

Highlights of the week April 25 to May 1 include display of a Confederate half dollar, confirmation of the first female U.S. Mint director and employment of new larger currency plates.

April 25

1867, professor and numismatic scholar Charles Edward Anthon elected to first of 12 terms as American Numismatic and Archaeological Society president; 1904, Panamanian deputies recommend to National Assembly coinage of balboa-denominated coins; 1987, Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s Fort Worth, Texas, printing plant construction begins; 2004, National Geographic’s Ultimate Explorer TV show explores “Lost Gold of the SS Republic.”

April 26

1835, U.S. Mint Director James P. Kimball born; 1895, James H. Eckels begins tenure as U.S. comptroller of the currency; 1921, Pacific Coast Numismatic Society in San Francisco endorses the New York Numismatic Club resolution condemning production of California gold tokens; 1957, Eric P. Newman displays his Confederate half dollar at Central States Numismatic Society convention; 1997, Currency Club of Long Island established.

April 27

1826, Mr. Christie (Christie’s) holds auction; 1911, U.S. Treasurer Elizabeth Rudel Smith born; 1936, Acting Mint Director Mary O’Reilly confirms authorization to manufacture Proof coins for collectors to be sold at a premium.

April 28

1863, A.K. Eaton patents green printing ink for bank notes that cannot be removed without also removing black ink, thus engraving in black over a green tint cannot be duplicated by photography (Patent No. 38,298); 1933, Senate approves Nellie Tayloe Ross as first female U.S. Mint director; 1939, Universal Pictures releases For Love or Money; 1952, BEP program to convert to 18-subject currency plates initiated.

April 29

1816, Congress OKs legal tender status for French silver 5-franc coins, and orders assays of British and Portuguese coins; 1924, Henry Chapman sells second Arthur Nygren Collection; 1967, Central States Numismatic Society establishes Elston G. Bradfield Literary Award for best article in CSNS journal, The Centinel.

April 30

1661, John Gifford claims Colonials melt down good English money and recoin it as lightweight local shillings; 1783, Gouverneur Morris outlines his coinage proposal to William Hensley; 1884, John Jay Knox pens “Preface” to his United States Notes; 1894, Jacob S. Coxey’s “army” marches on Washington demanding issue of 500 million greenbacks; 1964, due to unprecedented demand for Mint sets, the Royal Canadian Mint stops taking orders.

May 1

1776, Scots economist Adam Smith releases his long-awaited The Wealth of Nations; 1806, Secretary of State James Madison instructs U.S. Mint Director Robert Patterson to cease coinage of silver coinage larger than half dollar because of Bank of the United States exportation of silver dollars (at the time the Mint was under the responsibility of the State Department); 1847, cornerstone of Smithsonian Institution laid; 1878, Upham and Russell, Shawano, Wis., issues 10-cent scrip.

Fred Reed has been a collector and writer for many years. If you have additions or comments, you can reach him at or P.O. Box 118162, Carrollton, TX 75011-8162 and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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