US Coins

Research on 1866-S No Motto coins: Inside Coin World

The San Francisco Mint used leftover 1866-S No Motto dies lacking the “In God We Trust” motto while officials awaited dies bearing the new motto. The dies arrived April 13, but it is unclear what version of the coin was delivered over the next couple of days. Learn more in our Aug. 28 issue.

Original images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The latest Coin World issue, dated Aug. 28, 2017, has been sent to the presses, and we have a quick preview of some Coin World exclusives, to be found also in our latest digital edition.

1866-S No Motto coins: the latest research

California gold expert Dan Owens reveals the latest research on the 1866-S No Motto coinage, struck as the nation’s coinage transitioned to designs bearing a new motto. At the San Francisco Mint, leftover dies lacking “In God We Trust” were placed into service while officials awaited the new dies from the Philadelphia Mint. Several denominations, including the double eagle, were struck early in the year.

Owens writes that “the given estimated coinage for the 1866-S Coronet, No Motto double eagle is 120,000 coins. However, based on contemporary accounts, it appears that from 142,000 to 151,250 pieces were actually struck.” The uncertainty involves a small number of coins struck in mid-April; what version were they?


Millions of 1975 dimes were struck; only two are rare

This week’s “Readers Ask” column notes, “In 1975, the Bureau of the Mint struck 585,673,900 Roosevelt dimes for circulation — 513,682,000 at the Philadelphia Mint and 71,991,900 at the San Francisco Assay Office. By intent, none of those dimes has a Mint mark. …” All are common and inexpensive; those pulled from circulation are worth face value, nothing more.

However, two similar dimes — struck at the San Francisco Assay Office with a Mint mark — are rare. The difference is that these two pieces were found in Proof sets with Proof finishes. Only one of these dimes has ever been sold at auction; it realized an astounding $349,600.

Collectors should not confuse these rare dimes with the similar pieces they can find in circulation.


What did George Washington’s ledger reveal?

John Kraljevich Jr. writes about George Washington’s domestic finances in his latest “Colonial America” column. As Washington left Mount Vernon to take command of the American army in 1775, he turned over responsibility for his domestic household to a cousin.

The cousin “immediately began recording the debits and credits of Washington’s estate into a ledger in exacting detail. While many of the entries are of numismatic interest, the most fascinating ones were entered when Martha left to join George in Boston in November 1775.” How many gold doubloons did Washington leave behind?


What lies hidden on the VAM-8 1884-S Morgan dollar?

The VAM-8 1884-S Morgan dollar was discovered in November 1998, when collector Bill Van Note detected something barely visible in the dentils below the date on the obverse. John Roberts, in his “About VAMs” column, writes about the defining diagnostic of the variety discovered by the collector.

“Like many of his finds, the variety features a misplaced date. The upper portions of the digits 18 are seen protruding from the toothed border directly under the date.” What is uncertain is why the digits are there, and how they were punched into the die.


Want to subscribe?

Get access to all of these articles, and a whole lot more, with a Coin World digital edition subscription!

Coin World subscribe

Community Comments