An aluminum 1974-D Lincoln cent once held by a former Denver Mint
assistant superintendent and two of 10 1933 Saint-Gaudens double
eagles in U.S.
Mint custody will be displayed by the Mint Aug. 1 to 5 in Denver
at the American
Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money at the Colorado
Also on exhibit will be the four-piece 2017 American Liberty 225th
Anniversary silver medal set featuring 1-ounce .999 fine silver medals
struck at the Mint's four production facilities and each executed with
a different finish.
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The Mint also plans to unveil the adopted designs for the 2018
America the Beautiful quarter dollars and participate in the World
Mints Passport Program, in which collectors obtain coins from each of
the world mints in attendance. The U.S. Mint will be distributing the
2017-D Ozark National Scenic Riverways quarter dollar.
The 1974-D aluminum cent was reportedly given by Denver Mint staff
to Harry Lawrence, assistant superintendent of the Denver Mint, upon
his retirement in 1980. The strike passed to Lawrence's son, Randall,
upon the elder Lawrence’s death later that year.
Soon after moving to the San Diego area in 2014, Randall Lawrence
sold the 1974-D aluminum cent to LaJolla, California, dealer Michael
McConnell. The coin was put up for auction in April 2015 through
Heritage Auctions, but withdrawn after the Department of Justice, on
behalf of the U.S. Mint, filed suit seeking return of the aluminum
cent as government property.
U.S. Mint officials argued that the 1974-D aluminum cent was struck
without authorization of U.S. Mint officials in Washington. The
Philadelphia Mint had produced aluminum cents during research into
composition alternatives for the cent.
After a year of legal wrangling, the 1974-D aluminum cent was
delivered to U.S. Mint officials on March 17, 2016. The piece is the
only example extant from among a purported dozen or so pieces struck.
Connecting coins, the arts, and American
Another column in the August 7 monthly issue of Coin World
continues with the art theme, as the artists who’ve designed our
most gorgeous pieces of paper currency are profiled.
The two 1933 double eagles to be on display in Denver are among 10
that have been secured at the Fort Knox Gold Bullion Depository in
Kentucky for more than a decade. All 10 gold pieces were exhibited
together at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Denver in 2006.
The 2006 exhibit came a year after U.S. Mint officials seized the
gold pieces under claims the pieces were stolen government property,
and two years after the gold pieces surfaced in a safety-deposit box
in Pennsylvania controlled by Joan Switt Langbord. The Langbord family
voluntarily turned over the gold pieces to the U.S. Mint through the
Secret Service for authentication purposes.
The gold pieces were the subject of protracted litigation in federal
court that ended in the spring of 2017 when the U.S. Supreme Court
refused to hear an appeal of lower court rulings granting ownership to
the federal government.
Although the Mint's press release now refers to the pieces to as
“double eagles” and “gold coins,” the 10 gold pieces were claimed to
be “chattel,” not coins, in the words of government attorneys. The
government has taken the position that the double eagles are not coins
since they were not officially monetized for circulation distribution,
a position that numismatists reject based on historical practices by
the Mint in 1933.
A coin alleged to be the King Farouk 1933 double eagle resurfaced in
1996, 42 years after withdrawn from auction at the behest of the U.S.
State Department, and was seized by U.S. authorities. A legal battle
ended in 2001 when the government and British dealer Stephen Fenton
(who claimed ownership of the coin) reached an agreement that
permitted the coin to be sold at auction with the two parties
splitting the proceeds. The coin sold for $7.59 million in a July 2002
auction by Sotheby’s in conjunction with Stack’s. An additional $20
was applied to the purchase price to allow the coin to be “monetized,”
and it is the only 1933 double eagle declared legal to own. The coin
is on exhibit at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The designs for the medals in the 2017 American Liberty 225th
Anniversary silver medal set are adapted from the 2017-W American
Liberty 225th Anniversary gold $100 coin, but without the coin
inscriptions. The silver medals also are struck in lower relief that
the gold coin, which is produced at the West Point Mint in high relief.
The set is to be offered at a date that is yet to be announced, as
are details on pricing and mintages.
The four-medal set will comprise medals struck at the Denver
(Uncirculated), Philadelphia (Reverse Proof), West Point (Enhanced
Uncirculated) and San Francisco Mints (standard Proof). Each medal
will bear the Mint mark of the respective facility where it is struck.
A standard Proof medal struck at the Philadelphia Mint, offered individually, has been available from
the Mint since June 14, priced at $59.95 each, with no mintage or
household ordering limits.
A standard Proof version is struck from specially prepared dies and
polished planchets and displays frosted devices against mirrored
fields. A Reverse Proof finish displays mirrored devices against
Uncirculated pieces are struck on planchets that are burnished by
being tumbled with steel media in a cleaning and brightening solution
and then dried before striking. For the Enhanced Uncirculated version,
the burnished planchets are struck with dies having specific design
elements subjected to varying intensities of laser frosting and
The silver medals are struck on the same type of 40.61-millimeter
planchets as are used to strike American Eagles.
2018 America the Beautiful quarter dollar designs
The approved America the Beautiful quarter dollar designs for 2018
depict reverse images reflective of Pictured Rocks National Seashroe
in Michigan; Apostle Islands National Seashore in Wisconsin; Voyageurs
National Park in Minnesota; Cumberland Island National Seashore in
Georgia; and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.