US Coins

Week of March 21 to 27

Highlights of the week of March 21 to 27 include congressional authorization of sesquicentennial coinage, landmark designation for Old San Francisco Mint and beginning of Bureau of Engraving and Printing work on Allied military currency.

March 21

1790, Thomas Jefferson presents a silver set of 10 Comitia Americana medals to George Washington; 1876, American Numismatic Society silver honorary member medal presented to Sylvester Sage Crosby; 1929, President Calvin Coolidge presents Col. Charles Lindbergh with the Medal of Honor.

March 22

1782, Robert Morris, Benjamin Dudley and a smith named Samuel Wheeler discuss machinery necessary for a proposed Mint; 1837, contracted date for completion of Dahlonega Mint; 1866, American Numismatic Society approves publication of American Journal of Numismatics; 1880, Geo. W. Cogan & Co. sells collection of Samuel Carter, cataloged by Carter, at public auction.

March 23

1804, Congress permits Bank of the United States to set up branches in the several states; 1865, Philadelphia Numismatic Society becomes the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia; 1925, Congress authorizes not more than 200,000 gold $2.50 quarter eagles and not more than 1 million silver half dollars to mark Sesquicentennial of American Independence.

March 24

1777, Benjamin Franklin negotiates loan with French officials; 1863, numismatic auctioneer William H. Strobridge offers Henry A. Smith Collection for sale; 1943, anticipating invasion of Sicily, work on Allied military lire begins secretly at Bureau of Engraving and Printing; 1962, Ontario Numismatic Association founding convention; 1972, Old San Francisco Mint declared historic landmark.

March 25

1725, silver chest from downed treasure ship Akerendam washes up on beach on the Norwegian west coast; 1807, Mint Director Robert Patterson recommends to President Jefferson hiring John Reich full time, in view of Engraver Robert Scot’s advanced age; 1939, numismatist Nelson S. Hopkins broadcasts coin show on WKBW radio in New York City; 1980, Mint Director Stella Hackel predicts 75 percent of Fiscal Year 1981 coinage requirements for 15 billion coins will be cents.

March 26

1847, Piqua, Ohio, Indian agent Col. John Johnson reports on his issue of fractional “shin plasters”; 1935, first sheets of $1 silver certificates small-size currency delivered to Treasury vaults; 1987, Great Britain announces plans for Britannia gold bullion coinage program; 2007, first Washington state quarter struck at Denver Mint.

March 27

1306, Robert the Bruce, who appears on Scottish bank notes, declares himself King of Scotland; 1838, first gold $5 half eagles struck at Charlotte Branch Mint, according to historian Clair M. Birdsall; 1939, New York World’s Fair Executive Committee orders an “official token” be struck to commemorate the expo; 1942, War Powers Act, Public Law 507, provides for silver alloy 5-cent coins.

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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