US Coins

Inside Coin World: Best source for varieties dries up

This 1974-D Kennedy half dollar with a doubled die obverse was among the several die varieties reported by readers and featured in the February “Varieties Notebook” column.

Original images by John Wexler.

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Varieties Notebook: No cents this month

The Lincoln cent series is the most fruitful for collectors of die varieties like doubled dies and repunched Mint marks, writes John Wexler in his February “Varieties Notebook” column in Coin World. However, none of the coins featured in the latest column are from that series.

John examines several die varieties this month, including a 1936 Winged Liberty Head dime and 1974-D Kennedy half dollar with doubled die obverses, and a 1941-D Jefferson 5-cent coin with a repunched Mint mark.

To read about those reader finds and to see what they look like, read John’s column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Coin Values Spotlight: Two alloys in one year

The U.S. Mint changed the composition of the Jefferson 5-cent coin in 1942 in response to a desperate need for the denomination’s copper and nickel. The substitute alloy featured a reduced amount of copper plus some silver and a small amount of manganese, as reported in the “Coin Values Spotlight” column for the Feb. 18 issue of Coin World.

At the Philadelphia Mint, both versions were struck: one in the old alloy without a Mint mark as was traditional and one in the new alloy with a P Mint mark. Both were struck in large numbers and are affordable today even in Mint State 66 full steps.

To learn more about these two coins and market trends for them over the last 10 years, see Chris Bulfinch’s Spotlight column, found only in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Coin Lore: Really smart guy, stupid decision

Alan Turing was a genius — one of the founders of the computer and an important player in breaking the Nazi Enigma code during the World War II. He was also an investor in silver, before he lost his investment.

As Gerald Tebben writes in his “Coin Lore” column, Turing, like many living in Britain during the war, feared a German invasion of the British isles, and he took steps to invest in a commodity that he thought might prove useful — more than 400 troy pounds of silver. To keep it safe, he buried the metal. Then he forgot where he buried it.

When Turing went to recover his hoard, he could not find it. The silver remains lost to this day, and is worth quite a bit more than when it was went it into the ground. Read more about the man and his lost treasure in Gerry’s column, found only in Coin World.

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