US Coins

Inside Coin World: About those 1805 silver dollars

An 1806 letter reporting on 1805 Mint production erroneously stated that the Mint had struck 321 silver dollars in 1805. The truth was quite different.

Image provided by Joel Orosz.

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

An 1806 Mint Report listed production of 1805 silver dollars

Joel Orosz writes in his “Numismatic Bookie” column in the July 16 issue of Coin World about a book that clarified a mysterious Mint reference to production of 321 1805 silver dollars.

“According to its own records, the Mint did strike 1805 silver dollars: 321 of them,” he writes. However, none are known or even suspected, except for one counterfeit piece. A later book, however, explained what was an error in the official report, thus ending excitement about a possible rare coin no one had ever seen. Read the explanation in Joel’s column found exclusively in the print and digital issues of Coin World.

Reader finds include one with mysterious ‘Mint mark’

John Wexler reports on reader die variety finds in his monthly column “Varieties Notebook,” and in his latest, he reports on a 1949 Lincoln cent from the Philadelphia Mint that some think exhibits a hidden S Mint mark.

“Is that the upper half of an S Mint mark protruding from the upper left side of the 4 in the date of a 1949 Lincoln cent submitted by Dr. Brian Allen?” he asks. While researchers have known about the coin for years, the evidence is inconclusive, and no one quite knows what the mark is.

What a dollar could buy in 1959

Gerald Tebben remembers his youth and the barber he frequented as a young boy. “Mounted on the wall right inside the door was a glass display case holding a collection of Morgan dollars arrayed in three or four open blue Whitman folders,” Gerry writes in his “Coin Lore” column.

“As I recall, a boy’s haircut in 1959 cost $1, which was also my weekly allowance,” he writes, explaining why so few people collected cartwheels — they represented too much money to many people. Read Jerry’s column for more about the purchasing power of a dollar in those days.

Hobby grows during the 1930s and 1940s

Despite the Great Depression and World War II, coin collecting continued to grow. Prices for many coins rose, writes Q. David Bowers in his “The Joys of Collecting” column. 

“Considering the price rises of the 1930s, you might think that by 1940 all profits had been taken and there was little room for future growth,” he writes, adding. “Wrong!” To read more about the hobby during those turbulent years in the world, read David’s column, found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Community Comments