My Coin Collection

A  s a kid in the 1950s my small change would contain Indian Head Pennies, Buffalo Nickels, Mercury Head Dimes, and an occasional Standing Liberty Quarter. I loved the Mercury Head Dimes. Their design was both beautiful and classic, and like the quarters & halfs, they were 90% SILVER. I held history in my small hands. But starting in 1964 the U.S. removed all the SILVER from circulating coins and the appeal of new coins vanished with the Silver. Now, I only collect coins with SILVER or EXOTIC Metals. AMERICAN SILVER EAGLES.
My Favorite Coins
HOVER over any featured coin to MAGNIFY the coin
1921 PEACE DOLLAR
HIGH RELIEF COIN
Hover over the coin to flip it!
T he Peace Dollar design was created by Anthony de Francisci. He used his 22 year old wife, Teresa de Francisci, as the model for Lady Liberty (a.k.a. Columbia). His intials (an F over an A) are located under Columbia's neck. The design was finalized late in 1921 and the first Peace Dollars were struck on Dec 28, 1921. 1,006,473 of the 1921 Peace Dollars were struck in only 4 days! The 1921 Dollars were struck in a Special High-Relief which made a beautiful coin but broke many coining dies. In 1922 the dies were changed and all remaining years were struck in a more shallow relief. Starting in 1926 the GOD in "IN GOD WE TRVST" was engraved deeper so that the word GOD would stand out more prominently. During its ten years of production, over 190 million Peace Dollars were coined.

T his design was the last Silver Dollar Coin struck by the United States Mint for circulation. This was also one of the few US Coins to use the Art Deco * style which is apparent on the obverse in the word "TRVST". Lady Liberty wears a Radiant Crown not unlike that on the Statue of Liberty. The reverse of the Peace Dollar depicts a Bald Eagle At Rest on a Rock of PEACE. The Eagle faces to the East and watches a new sun rise over a Land at Peace. The Eagle also clutches an Olive Branch of Peace. It clutches NO ARROWS in its talons however, as this coin's design celebrates the hard-won Peace that followed the end of World War I.

T he Peace Dollar was the Silver Dollar in use during The Roaring Twenties. During the 1920's the country's total wealth actually DOUBLED! The pinnacle of wealth was reached in September, 1929 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 381.74 (a value it would not achieve again for 25 years! ). There was an explosion of new consumerism fueled by a prosperity never seen before in the history of the World. For the first time in the U.S. more people lived in cities than in the country. It was a decade of new ideas and unbridled freedom. We had Prohibition, the Speakeasy, Flappers, Bathtub Gin, Movies, Electric Lights, Automobiles, Telephones, Air-Mail, Art Deco, and Jazz Music. Women got the right to vote, commercial radio broadcasts begin and in 1927 Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. Rudolph Valentino and Norma Shearer ruled the silver screen. What a decade!

T he Peace Dollar is a Beautiful and Artistic Coin and although there were NO MIRROR PROOFS ever struck, I am very happy to have this (MY FAVORITE COIN), a superior quality, 1921 "HIGH-RELIEF" PEACE SILVER DOLLAR.

* VIEW a short YouTube Video Inside The Niagara Mohawk Building (1 min 42 sec)

TOTAL  ALL YEARS   190,577,279

1921
1922
1922-D
1922-S
1923
1923-D
1923-S
1924
1,006,473
51,737,000
15,063,000
17,475,000
30,800,000
6,811,000
19,020,000
11,811,000
1924-S
1925
1925-S
1926
1926-D
1926-S
1927
1927-D
1,728,000
10,198,000
1,610,000
1,939,000
2,348,700
6,980,000
848,000
1,268,900
1927-S
1928
1928-S
1934
1934-D
1934-S
1935
1935-S
866,000
360,649
1,632,000
954,057
1,569,500
1,011,000
1,576,000
1,964,000

* 1921 High Relief Coin (All produced during the last 4 days of 1921! )
** 1926 'GOD' re-engraved to make it stand out
*** 1928 Rare Date, Lowest Mintage Peace Dollar

1929-1933 (5 YEARS)
NO PEACE DOLLARS WERE PRODUCED

Mint marks are located under the 'ONE' on the reverse.
They are extremely small (only 1/32 inch high).
D - Denver Mint
S - San Francisco Mint
NO Mint Mark - Philidelphia Mint

1945-S MERCURY HEAD DIME
MINTAGE: 41,290,000
H ere is another of my favorite coin designs and I am happy to have a few Uncirculated specimens. It has a sort of Art Deco feel to it, which I very much like. The design features a portrait of Lady Liberty (a.k.a. Columbia) wearing Mercury's winged Phrygian Cap which signifies Freedom and the Pursuit of Liberty. The reverse features a Fasces, a bundle of wooden rods with an axe all tied together as a symbol of Strength Through Unity, and surrounding this is an Olive Branch of Peace. Both the Phrygian Cap and the Fasces are also used on the official Seal of The United States Senate.
T his design was created by Adolph Weinman, whose initials (a W over an A) appear to the right of Columbia's neck, and was used on United States Dimes from 1916-1945. They were commonly known as 'Mercury Head Dimes'. Weinman used the bust he had sculpted of a friend's wife, Elsie Stevens, as the model for Columbia. His design lasted through Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. However in the Low Mintage Year of 1922, NO Nickels, Dimes, Quarters, or Half-Dollars were minted by any United States Mint. Also, during the Great Depression, with commerce at a virtual standstill and in order to conserve Silver stockpiles, NO 1932 or 1933* Mercury Dimes were minted. In all though, almost 2.7 Billion Mercury Dimes were produced. That translates to 195 Million Troy Ounces of Silver!

T he most sought after Mercury Dime by far is the 1916-D of which only 264,000** were coined. Even extremely worn 1916-D specimens are worth over $1,000. A nice specimen goes for an amazing 10-50 thousand dollars! Note that the DATE is almost too large for the coin and in fact angles upward about 6 degrees to fit inside the field area. On late date Mercury Dimes the Date size was adjusted down and made level to "IN GOD WE TRUST".

T he mint mark for the Mercury Dime is located on the reverse to the right of the 'ONE'. Here is my 1916-S Mercury Dime with the San Francisco Mint Mark, S.
* Also No Buffalo Nickels in 1932-1933, No Standing Liberty Quarters in 1931, No Washington Quarters in 1933, No Walking Liberty Half-Dollars from 1930-1932, and No Peace Dollars from 1929-1933.

** FYI, the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, which is considered rare, had a mintage of 484,000.

1917-D STANDING LIBERTY QUARTER - TYPE I
MINTAGE: 1,509,200
Use of V in Place of U
On the Reverse
T he Standing Liberty Quarter design is an excellent example of the Art Deco Style, which thrived in the 1920s and which I love so much. Notice the generous use of a V in place of a U on the reverse. The design was created by the American sculptor, Hermon Atkins MacNiel, and his recessed initial M appears to the right of the star just above the date. Goddess Liberty is depicted wearing loose flowing robes and carrying the Shield of The United States and an Olive Branch of Peace. The design was meant to show Liberty Marching Forward in Defense of Peace. On the reverse is an Eagle in flight and thirteen stars, representing the original Thirteen States.

Type I Quarter
Liberty Bare-Breasted
V ery late in 1916 the US Mint made significant changes to the original design without consulting the artist. One such change was to depict Goddess Libery bare-breasted which was consistent with the Art Deco style of the day. Only 52,000 of the 1916 Quarters were minted with this design before the year ended. After the artist complained about the many unauthorized changes to his design, the US Mint allowed MacNiel to modify the design as he wished. In early 1917 Goddess Liberty was given a chain-mail vest to cover her breasts and the arrangement of the 13 stars on the reverse was modified. Still about one-third of the Quarters in 1917 (known as Type I) depicted the Goddess Liberty bare-breasted before the changes took effect.

M acNiel choose the silent film star, Doris Doscher Baum, as the model for Goddess Liberty. Everafterward the actress was known as, "The Girl on the Quarter". She was also the model for the bronze sculture of Pomona, the Roman Goddess of Abundance, located atop the 22 foot tall Pulitzer Fountain, in the Grand Army Plaza, New York City.

Original Exposed Date
Wore Off Very Quickly
1916-1924
Modified Recessed Date
Clearly Visible on Even Worn Coins
1925-1930

A fter only a couple of years in circulation the DATEs would wear off completely, so starting in 1925, the DATE was set in a deep concave block lower than the coin's outer rim. Thereafter, even on worn coins the date was clearly visible.

D Mint Mark Located
Above and Left of the Date

I n 1931, with the depression on and commerce at a virtual standstill, NO QUARTERS were produced by any US Mint. Then in 1932, a new Washington Head design was chosen for the Quarter, so 1930 ended up being the last year for the Standing Liberty Quarters. In total, over 226 Million* were coined. This may seem like a lot, but over its entire 15 year run it amounted to only TWO quarters for each person in the United States. I am proud to have this Rare and Uncirculated, 1917-D (Type I) Standing Liberty Quarter in my collection.

* By comparison, today's mintages for quarters are measured in Billions per Year.
Seated Liberty Quarters
1853-P SEATED LIBERTY SILVER QUARTER (ARROWS & RAYS)
BORN OF THE 49ers GOLD-RUSH !   MINTAGE: 15,210,020
T he California Gold Rush of 1849 had a major effect upon Gold & Silver prices worldwide. With the markets flooded with Gold, the price of Gold dropped which made Silver more valuable by comparison. It actually caused the Silver value to exceed the Face value of most US Silver coins including the Quarter and the Half-Dollar. People began melting down all US Silver coins at an alarming rate. This caused a great shortage of small change in the United States. By 1852 there were very little Quarters and Halfs left in circulation. Something had to be done.

I n February, 1853, Congress reduced the weight of the US Quarter to 96 grains from about 103 grains. The 1853 Quarter would contain just slightly less Silver than previous Quarters so that it was not worth while to melt it down. To readily distinguish the 1853 Quarter from all previous years, two large arrows were added on each side of the date on the obverse, and a burst of 'rays' were added to the reverse. This made the coin stand out very nicely from previous years.

I n order to replace all those previous year Quarters that were melted down the US Mint decided to produce a huge quantity of 1853 Quarters. Over 16 million* were produced in that one year, which was 50% more than ALL previous years COMBINED. With the small change shortage restored to a balance and with more and more Silver coming in from the Nevada Silver strikes, Silver prices began to stabilize.

T he 'Rays' on the reverse proved very difficult to produce, requiring multiple steps to stamp. Therefore, in 1854 the US Mint decided to remove them from the reverse. The 'Arrows and Rays' Quarters and Halfs were only produced for one year. Three years later, in 1856, the 'Arrows' from the obverse were also removed. For the first time in 60 years the nation finally had an adequate supply of uniform fractional coinage.

* 15,210,020 from the Phildelphia Mint and 1,332,000 from the New Orleans Mint

Walking Liberty Half Dollar
1943 WALKING LIBERTY SILVER HALF DOLLAR - PHILIDELPHIA
MINTAGE: 53,190,020
T his particular coin brings back memories of my youth and my Dad. They were coined from 1916-1947, through two world wars, with 1943 being the highest mintage year. Adolph A. Weinman won the contest to design the artwork and his initials appear on the reverse to the right of the words 'HALF-DOLLAR'. All I needed for a great afternoon was a Half Dollar from my Dad to spend as follows: a Double Feature movie (35¢), a bag of popcorn (10¢), and a coke (5¢). It was 90% SILVER and had a nice weight for my small hand. The coin contains .36 Troy Ounces of SILVER.

Exotic Silver Proofs
2009 INTERNATION POLAR YEAR HOLOGRAM COIN - SILVER PROOF
CERTIFIED  # 4911 of 12,500 MINTED
2014 TREASURES OF THE WORLD SILVER PROOF - WITH GOLD NUGGETS
CERTIFIED # 3075 OF 7,500 MINTED

1996 BERMUDA TRIANGLE 3 DOLLAR MAP COIN - SILVER PROOF
THE ROYAL MINT     MINTAGE: 5,000
Tutankhamun & The Great Pyramids
2009 TUTANKHAMUN PYRAMID SILVER PROOF WITH ENCAPSULATED TOMB SAND
POBJOY MINT   MINTAGE: 3,000
I n September 2007, Taya Pobjoy, Managing Director of the Pobjoy Mint in England, traveled to Luxor, Eqypt to visit the tomb of the world's most famous pharoah in the Valley of the Kings and collected sand from inside Tutankhamun's Tomb! The world's first Pyramid Coin containing this very sand depicts an image taken from a wall decoration in the Boy King's Tomb. The sand is encapsulated behind a thin plate of glass in the sun symbol at the top of this 1oz. Solid Silver Coin.
2013 SUPER HIGH RELIEF GIZA PYRAMIDS COIN WITH ENCAPSULATED PYRAMID SAND
1 OZ SILVER PROOF       POBJOY MINT   MINTAGE: 1,999
T
he Great Pyramid was built from 2560-2540 BC as a tomb for the Pharoah Khufu (aka Cheops). It was built 480 feet (146 meters) tall. The base or 'fields' of the reverse of this 1 oz. Solid Silver Coin simulate the undulating desert sands in the area of the Pyramids. Encapsulated within the coin is Sand Gathered from the Actual Site of the Great Pyramids by Taya Pobjoy, Managing Director of the Pobjoy Mint, England. The Pyramids on this High-Relief coin rise .165 inches (4.2mm) high.
Cleopatra 2oz. Solid Silver High Relief Coin
CLEOPATRA TWO OUNCE SOLID SILVER ULTRA HIGH RELIEF COIN
ELEMENTAL MINT : SILVER BULLION
C leopatra, Egypt's last Pharoah. Just the mention of her name illicits visions of unparalleled beauty and enormous power. I am proud to have this TWO OUNCE Solid Silver Ultra High Relief coin. IT IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. The coin is 40mm (1.575 inch) in diameter and 6mm thick (.236 inch, almost 1 ⁄ 4 inch thick!) It has a reeded edge and it is composed of .999 fine Silver. Cleopatra sits in front of a Cartouche of her name and the Eye of Horus 𓂀.
O n the reverse is the Goddess Isis ☥, the Eqyptian Goddess of health, marriage, & wisdom. Cleopatra was thought to be her reincarnation. The Goddess Isis is shown in front of the Great Pyramid and surrounded by hieroglyphs. Under the Goddess is the troy weight (2oz), purity (.999), and content (Ag).
Anubis 2oz. Solid Silver High Relief Coin
ANUBIS TWO OUNCE SOLID SILVER ULTRA HIGH RELIEF COIN
ELEMETAL MINT : SILVER BULLION
A nubis was the Ancient Eqyptian God of Death. He was the guardian of graveyards, protector of tombs, and in charge of weighing hearts. Anubis was in charge of weighing a person's heart at their death which is shown on the obverse of the coin. This would determine if a person's soul would enter a heavenly existence or be devoured. On the reverse Anubis guards a Pyramid Tomb sitting on top of a pedestal with a Winged Sun Disk representing power and royalty. Anubis is usually depicted as the African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus) or as a man with the wolf's head. This particular coin is an ultra high relief Solid Silver Two Ounce bullion piece almost 1 ⁄ 4 inch thick! Another beautiful Silver coin minted by the Elemetal Mint based in Dallas Texas.
Space Coins
Apollo-14 Space Coin

APOLLO 14   40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY COIN
MADE FROM METAL FLOWN AROUND THE MOON
S tuart Roosa was the command Module Pilot on this Apollo 14 Moon Mission. Stuart is family. He, his brother, and I each shared the use of a reference book, Smoley's Parallel Tables of Logarithms and Squares, as I progressed through High School and College. This was way before calculators, and the book helped augment my Slide Rule calculations.
T echnology on board the spacecraft was rudimentary by today's standards. Their 70-Pound onboard computer had a memory of 4KB and a speed of 8MB/sec. By comparison, my current iPhone has a memory of 64GB (16 million times bigger), a speed of 6400MB/sec (800 times faster), and weighs only 7 ounces (160 times lighter). In fact, most astronauts carried a Slide Rule on board as a computer backup!
📺 CBS Newscast of the Apollo 14 Launch (6:08 Video) January 31, 1971
Mars Curiosity Rover Space Coin

MARS CURIOSITY ROVER COIN
MADE FROM METAL USED IN THE ENGINEERING PROCESS
T he successful landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars on August 5, 2012 was the culmination of years of hard work by many talented NASA Engineers. Over 500,000 lines of code were written for the onboard computer which had to handle the entire Entry, Descent, & Landing (EDL) remotely, without any assistance from Mission Control on Earth. Please view this most inspirational video.
🎦 EDL, a.k.a. 7 Minutes of Terror (5:07 Video)
Imperial Roman Empire Bronze Coin
IMPERIAL ROMAN EMPIRE COIN
SOLID BRONZE       240-410 AD
G ifted to me by my son, I'm excited to now possess an authentic Bronze coin from the Roman Empire. It was coined between 240-410 AD (which makes it at least 1600 years old!). During the 500 year reign of the Roman Empire many such coins were issued, both as currency and to mark special events. They were all coined by hand. A blank of hot bronze was placed on a bottom die, then a hand held top die was placed on that and struck by a hammer. This coin is about the size of a modern dime.

🎦 How Ancient Coins Were Made (We Think) ~ YouTube Video (2 min, 35 sec)