US Coins

'Numismatic Bookie' tackles time travel coin

This illustration of an 1804 dollar was found in a book published in Budapest two years before the first coins were actually struck. How was that possible?

Image courtesy of Joel Orosz.

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Was an 1832 coin book prescient about the 1804 dollar?

A coin book published in Budapest in 1832 features an illustration of an 1804 dollar, Joel Orosz writes in his “Numismatic Bookie” column. Just one problem: The first 1804 dollars weren’t struck until 1834, so did the book predict the future?

Orosz writes that numismatist Eric P. Newman reported “the artists who engraved coins for such publications usually worked from the pieces themselves, but when lacking an actual sample, they used guesswork, choosing dates for their type coins by chance.”


Rhode Island Ship medal’s propaganda message

Gerald Tebben’s “Coin Lore” column explores the enigmatic and rare 1779 Rhode Island ship medal. The designs and inscriptions are widely seen as Revolutionary War propaganda, but in support of which side?

“The medal’s purpose and meaning have been the subject of speculation for more than 150 years. Some view it as pro-British; other as pro-American,” Tebben writes.


Were “Goodacre” dollars graded by more than one firm?

Paul Gilkes’ recent article about an auction featuring the art of Glenna Goodacre, designer of the obverse of the Sacagawea dollar, prompted a reader question for the “Readers Ask” column. If the 5,000 special coins paid to her as her fee were all graded by ICG, why is the reader’s coin in a PCGS slab?

Gilkes writes that the “eventual owners later submitted nearly 60 percent of those coins to PCGS or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. for crossover into the holder of one of those grading services.”


The mystery of pyramids on the coins of India

Mike Diamond in his “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column probes the mystery of tiny pyramid-shaped raised bumps occasionally seen on coins of India. Were these bumps made deliberately and if so, why?

“The best explanation seems to be that these pyramidal bumps are Vickers Hardness Test marks.”


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