US Coins

The month of August: Orders establish Purple Heart

Events during August include:

Week of Aug. 1 to 4

Aug. 1, 1866, prohibitive 10 percent federal tax on state-chartered bank notes takes effect.

Aug. 2, 1909, first Lincoln, V.D.B. cents released to public.

Aug. 3, 1999, U.S. Mint copyrights Sacagawea dollar coin design by Glenna Goodacre.

Aug. 4, 1976, RARCOA sale of Nathan M. Kaufman Estate Collection begins.

Week of Aug. 5 to 11

Aug. 5, 1939, Congress bans further production of commemorative coins authorized prior to March 1, 1939.

Aug. 6, 1892, Congress authorizes World’s Columbian Exposition half dollar.

Aug. 7, 1782, commanding General George Washington issues General Orders establishing Purple Heart.

Aug. 8, 1786, Congress adopts decimal system of money.

Aug. 9, 1862, editorial cartoonist Frank Ballew lampoons postage stamps as small change in Harper’s Weekly.

Aug. 10, 1861, U.S. demand notes bear this printed date.

Week of Aug. 12 to 18

Aug. 12, 1947, Secret Service confiscates L.G. Barnard’s 1933 $20 double eagle.

Aug. 13, 1861, inventor R.E. Hitchcock patents photographic medals.

Aug. 14, 1912, Wayte Raymond announces formation of United States Coin Co., backed by Elmer Sears.

Aug. 14, 1969, new (fourth) Philadelphia Mint opens at Fifth and Arch streets.

Aug. 15, 1870, first national gold bank, Kidder National, Boston, deposits bonds.

Aug. 16, 1869, Third Issue of fractional currency ceases, according to Matt Rothert.

Aug. 17, 1963, Canadian Numismatic Research Society holds first meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Aug. 18, 1942, Philadelphia Mint begins coining wartime alloy 5-cent coins.

Week of Aug. 19 to 25

Aug. 19, 1929, first U.S. small size currency $10 counterfeits discovered.

Aug. 21, 1930, Detroit Coin Club celebrates 150th meeting, with black leather commemorative medal.

Aug. 24, 1814, British burn main U.S. Treasury Building.

Aug. 25, 1920, Moritz Wormser presents Farran Zerbe’s call for a circulating “peace” coin at American Numismatic Association Chicago convention.

Week of Aug. 26 to 31

Aug. 27, 1861, first “Richmond Issue” Confederate notes released.

Aug. 28, 1951, ANA presents first Howland Wood Best of Show exhibit award to Richard S. Yeoman.

Aug. 29, 1863, John Gault advertises “Penny Tokens of Copper” in Harper’s Weekly.

Aug. 30, 1851, Canadian Currency Act passed, making the dollar legal tender up to $10.

Aug. 31, 1842, Congress authorizes one-year interest-bearing notes of $50 and up.

Fred Reed has been a collector and writer for many years. If you have additions or comments, you can reach him at or P.O. Box 118162, Carrollton, TX 75011-8162 and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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