US Coins

Week of Feb. 21 to 27

Highlights of the week of Feb. 21 to 27 include Congress nixing use of foreign coins, President Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1793 cent coinage commencement and government attempting to boost mini-dollar use. Other events include:

Feb. 21

1679, king’s Privy Council approves construction of Mint in Jamaica if the coinage adheres to British standards; 1857, Congress withdraws legal tender status of foreign coins; 1863, Scientific American reports New York City’s Eighth Avenue Railroad Co. redeemed $8,400 face value in stamps taken as fares; 1871, First National Bank of Lincoln, Neb., chartered; 1894, U.S. government stamp printing contract awarded to Bureau of Engraving and Printing for first time.

Feb. 22

1777, Gen. George Washington’s aide-de-camp Lt. Col. John Trumbull, whose paintings appear on several U.S. notes, resigns commission; 1793, first ceremonial coinage of copper cent on Washington’s birthday a possibility, according to researcher R.W. Julian; 1926, ancient coin specialist and silver speculator Nelson Bunker Hunt born; 1963, President Kennedy issues Executive Order creating Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Feb. 23

1775, Virginia Gazette publishes royal proclamation permitting circulation of Georgius III Rex half pennies; 1844, Sotheby & Co. auction of the Thomas Thomas Esq. collection of coins and medals begins; 1864, President Abraham Lincoln interviews Comptroller of Currency Hugh McCulloch on money matters; 1879, special ceremony at New Orleans Mint attended by Treasury Secretary John Sherman marks resumption of dollar coinage after 18 years.

Feb. 24

1862, facsimile Confederate Treasury note illustrated in Philadelphia Daily Inquirer; 1864, first $10 Federal Reserve notes bearing motto in god we trust produced at Bureau of Engraving and Printing; 1913, Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John H. Landis recommends to U.S. Mint Director George Roberts destruction of 1909 and 1910 Washington 5-cent coin dies and hubs; 2000, Federal Reserve Board issues interagency announcement of program to provide direct shipments of “Golden dollars” to community banks across the nation.

Feb. 25

1813, Congress authorizes interest-bearing $100 Treasury notes; 1863, Congress authorizes national banks and national bank notes; 1863, Horatio Nelson Taft records in his diary a shortage of cents in the nation’s capital; 1866, New York Times reports arrest of William Garnont and Herman Lochman for possession of $500 in counterfeit fractional currency; 1891, Charles Foster takes office as Treasury secretary.

Feb. 26

1777, America’s first rare coin dealer, John Allan, born; 1798, Bank of England suspends specie payments; 1857, Congress passes joint resolution to study the proposals of Professor J.T. Barclay to prevent counterfeiting of U.S. coins; 1964, E.L. Goldwasser files patent for coin display album with die cut cardboard pages and transparent plastic slider covers.

Feb. 27

1819, bank note printer Jacob Perkins patents a progressive lever press; 1872, U.S. House defeats a bill directing officers of national banks to stamp as counterfeit spurious U.S. notes presented to them; 1943, coining of zinc-coated steel cents at Philadelphia Mint begins.

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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