US Coins

Inside Coin World: A change in the law removes restrictions

The “Coin Values Spotlight” column in the Aug. 12 issue of Coin World focuses on the 1912-D and 1912-S Liberty Head 5-cent coins, whose existence became possible due to a 1906 law.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Coin Values Spotlight: A change in the law

A 1906 change in the law governing the striking of minor coinage led to the production of one the key dates in the Liberty Head 5-cent coin series. Ever since the creation of Branch Mints in the 1830s and the 1873 redesignation of them as Mints now on an equal footing with the Philadelphia Mint, production of minor coinage had been restricted to the Philadelphia facility. Once those restrictions were lifted, cents and 5-cent coins could be struck at any of the Mints.

As Paul Gilkes writes in his “Coin Values Spotlight” column in the Aug. 12 issue of Coin World, the first pieces of the 5-cent denomination to be struck elsewhere were the 1912-D and 1912-S Liberty Head coins. While the Denver Mint coin was struck in fairly sizable numbers, production of the San Francisco Mint coin was limited to four days during the last week of December, with a mintage barely topping 250,000 pieces.

To learn more about the current market for the two coins, read Paul’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of the Aug. 12 Coin World.

Detecting Counterfeits: 1960s fake gold

While much of the attention today is focused on recently struck counterfeits produced in China, columnist Michael Fahey warns that older counterfeits still plague the hobby. Writing in his “Detecting Counterfeits” column, Michael references counterfeit gold coins made in the 1960s and 1970s.

These pieces were typically made of real gold in a fineness and weight equal to that found in genuine coins (laws prohibited the ownership of collector gold coins but not of gold bullion or post-1933 coins, thus fakes of collector pieces offered a market for the gold).

Michael focuses on a 1908 Coronet $2.50 quarter eagle, describing the diagnostics to look for when examining the coin. To learn more about those diagnostics and some general things to look for when examining uncertified gold coins, read the column in the Aug. 12 issue of Coin World.

Found in Rolls: Converting a skeptic

Bill O’Rourke shares comments from a new reader of his “Found in Rolls” column, who admitted that he had been skeptical of Bill’s finds of silver coins and other collectible pieces in rolls obtained from his local banks. Then he searched through a roll of Kennedy half dollars and became a believer.

The reader’s first search yielded a quartet of Kennedy half dollars that should not be in circulation: four Proof coins that were once part of four Proof sets. After making these finds, the reader reported, he is converted and is now ready to begin searching additional rolls.

To learn more about the coins the reader found and about coins recently discovered by the columnist, read Bill’s column in the digital and print editions of the Aug. 12 Coin World.

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