US Coins

Inside Coin World: Collecting Seated Liberty dimes

During their production from 1837 to 1891, Seated Liberty dimes underwent a number of design modifications both permanent and temporary, making it a popular series for collectors.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

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Cover Feature: Collecting Seated Liberty dimes

Seated Liberty dimes, struck from 1837 to 1891, offer collectors a vast array of design subtypes and die varieties. As Paul Gilkes writes in his cover feature in the May monthly issue of Coin World, the series is a popular one today.

Over its existence, mottoes were shifted, arrows came and went, a completely new reverse design replaced the original, and the weight of the coin was changed several times. Multiple Mint facilities struck the coins, with some pieces becoming extremely rare; one coin is unique, known by a single surviving example.

To learn more about the Seated Liberty dimes series and what makes the coins so collectible, read Paul’s feature, found only in the May monthly issue of Coin World.

Paper Money Feature: military payment certificates

From shortly after the end of World War II to the Vietnam War, U.S. military service personnel stationed overseas had to use a distinctive currency rather than local currencies or traditional forms of U.S. currency. As Jeff Starck writes in his feature, these special notes, called military payment certificates, served a very specific need.

Military payment certificates became necessary because traditional forms of money pumped into local economies by U.S. service personnel could make their way into black markets. While eventually the MPCs (as the notes are called) did enter black markets, officials lessened the impact by conducting unannounced conversion days on which the current series had to be exchanged for a new series. Shortly after, the old series would cease to have value. 

To learn more military payment certificates, see the feature in the May issue.

First of their kind: 1796 Draped Bust quarters

Chris Bulfinch examines the nation’s first 25-cent coins: the 1796 Draped Bust quarter dollars. Although production of the first federal silver coinage began in 1794, most of the effort was reserved for the two biggest denominations, the half dollar and the dollar. It would be another two years before the first quarter dollars would be struck.

The number of 1796 quarters struck proved to be small, but despite the low mintage, no more of the denomination would be struck for the remainder of the century. The next quarter dollars were not struck until 1804, and those next Draped Bust coins bore a second reverse design. That switch in design made the 1796 quarter dollar a one-year type coin, and that makes it even more special to collectors.

To learn more about the nation’s first quarter dollar coinage, read Chris’ feature article in the May issue of Coin World.

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