US Coins

Week of May 2 to 8

Highlights of the week of May 2 to 8 include New York City approving change notes, U.S. purchasing California Mint site, and Scott and Co. purchasing Confederate coinage and die.

Numismatic events this week include:

May 2

1750, British spy Maj. John André, commemorated on a medal commissioned by U.S. Comptroller John Jay Knox, born; 1792, U.S. government borrows $400,000 at 5 percent from Bank of the United States for the protection of the frontiers; 1854, site purchased for San Francisco Mint, according to A.B. Mullett, Treasury Department supervising architect; 1863, Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, who appears on Confederate $500 notes, wounded; 1952, Central States Numismatic Society and Ohio State Numismatic Society hold joint convention in Cincinnati.

May 3

1735, New Hampshire Royal Gov. Jonathan Belcher warns assembly of private notes being circulated by group of Portsmouth merchants; 1838, half dime dies arrive at New Orleans Mint; 1864, House Select Committee begins investigations of fraud and promiscuity at Treasury Department; 1920, U.S. Senate passes bill to coin a 2-cent piece with portrait of Theodore Roosevelt; 1946, Worcester County (Mass.) Numismatic Society organized.

May 4

1696, hammered silver coins in England are officially demonetized; 1944, Edward Gans sells to the American Numismatic Society President Herbert Ives’ collection; 1989, Paper Money of South Vietnam, 1955-1975 by Nguyen Van Phung copyrighted; 1999, White House ceremonies launch Sacagawea dollar program; 2004, Treasury approves New River Gorge West Virginia State quarter dollar design.

May 5

1783, United States pays A. Dubois $72 for “sinking, casehardening, etc., four Pair of Dies for the Public Mint”; 1879, Dr. B.F. Taylor sells original Confederate half dollar and Confederate States of America die to Scott and Co.; 1945, Wayte Raymond purchases Hillyer Ryder Collection; 1983, American Numismatic Association historian Jack Ogilvie dies.

May 6

1859, gold discovered near Central City, Colo.; 1867, Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch authorizes Bureau of Engraving and Printing to make 20,000 prints from counterfeit $100 national currency plate for use in Laban Heath’s counterfeit detection guide; 1878, Edward Cogan sells John Swan Randall Collection; 1934, Omaha (Neb.) Coin Club formed at the home of Nelson T. Thorson.

May 7

1806, Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris dies; 1849, James B. Longacre completes gold dollar dies; 1891, Bureau of the Mint presents widow of Treasury Secretary William Windom special medal; 1915, Chicago Numismatic Society holds its final meeting; 1960, Phil Silvers takes to television screen as the Silver Dollar Kid; 1980, last of 45 International Monetary Fund gold auctions held.

May 8

1792, Congress approves purchase of copper for coinage, outlaws private copper coinage; 1815, New York City Common Council approves additional issue of $20,000 in small change bills; 1820, National Botanic Garden feted on 1997 commemorative dollar established; 1878, coin designer Robert Aitken born.

My favorite is history of Confederate coinage. What’s yours?

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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