US Coins

Conflicting theories on stray letters

The reverse of this Frederick Douglass quarter dollar has several letters duplicated from 12:00 to 1:00.

Images courtesy of Mike Diamond

Coin World's latest weekly edition is out the door and will be in the hands of subscribers shortly. Here, we present previews of a few of the columns found exclusively in the print and digital editions of the Feb. 26 issue of Coin World.

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Stray letters on quarter caught between two theories

Mike Diamond profiles a group of Frederick Douglass National Historical Site quarter dollars with something extra. “Each coin bears one to three stray letters of FREDERICK DOUGLASS lightly impressed upon the raised ring that houses the normal incuse letters,” he writes in his “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column, exclusive to the print and digital editions of the Feb. 26 issue of Coin World.

So what causes this? Diamond is uncertain, but writes, “While no definitive conclusion can be reached, one should nevertheless opt for the more prosaic explanation and file this away as a case of machine doubling until more persuasive evidence comes to light.”

Recently discovered die marriage excites specialists

The VAM-86 1878 Morgan dollar was not discovered until 2010, making it a relatively new variety discovery. John Roberts writes in his “About VAMs” column that it was the second of two new die marriages discovered in 2010 for the 1878 Morgan dollar with the Long Nock reverse.

“The finds triggered a swarm of interest in an already well-studied date, as treasure hunters tried to cash in and specialists scrambled to update their sets. Time has done nothing to abate demand,” he writes.

Patriots versus Eagles, but not what you expect

The Super Bowl matchup between the Boston and Philadelphia football teams was not the first time the two cities were headliners. John Kraljevich Jr. writes in his “Colonial America” column that “these two American cities were the most important metropolises in the English-speaking Western Hemisphere throughout the 18th century.”

He adds, “Most early American coins depicting eagles were issued in the years of the Confederation, following the American Revolution, by which time the eagle had been popularly adopted as a symbol of the new nation.”

Questions results in an answer and more questions

Wendell Wolka in his “Collecting Paper” column in the Feb. 26 issue writes that a recent question from a reader resulted in both an answer and additional questions. The question was about “an Illinois banker stamp that he had found on a number of notes issued by the Platte Valley Bank of Nebraska City, Nebraska.”

Wolka found an answer but several new questions remain unsolved. “So it goes with obsolete paper money — one question gets answered and two new ones are raised to take its place,” he writes.

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