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Library

    • Posted on August 21, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    There is currently some controversy over whether the lowest denomination US coin – the penny – should be eliminated from circulation. Has the penny become obsolete

    From the perspective of the US Mint, the most basic argument for eliminating the penny is its cost. It now costs about 1.5 cents to produce a one-cent coin. The penny’s composition was changed from a bronze (95% copper) to mostly zinc in 1983 due to inflation and rising material prices. Nickels suffer from the same problem – they cost more than 9 cents to produce! A 2007 regulation prohibits the melting of US pennies and nickels; while some scrapping of pennies probably does occur, the illegality of the process does preclude a more widespread level of hoarding for this purpose.
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    • Posted on August 14, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    As long as coin collecting has been a hobby, numismatists have enjoyed exhibiting and displaying their collections. With the advent of the internet, a new means of sharing collections has been developed: the online set registry. The two major third party grading services, PCGS and NGC, have created an internet-based database whereby collectors can input the details of their collections. In addition to basic details like the date, denomination, and grade of each coin, collectors can also upload photos and personal notes about each piece. Each registered set is then scored and ranked.
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    • Posted on August 7, 2017
    • By TPM
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    Doubled die errors are a type of mint-made error. There are a few famous examples of doubled die errors in US coinage, such as the 1955 doubled die cent (one of the most valuable mint-made errors in existence). A doubled die error is a type of hub-and-die error, rather than a strike error, as many assume. The error originates when the die itself is constructed – not when the coins are actually struck.
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    • Posted on July 31, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    “A penny saved is twopence dear,” wrote Benjamin Franklin. This aphorism is frequently misquoted as “A penny saved is a penny earned,” but the original version is much more informative as to the history of the penny. The term is English in origin, dating to the Dark Ages (cf. the German equivalent, pfennig). Its value was eventually standardized at 1/240th of a pound sterling under that currency’s pre-decimalization system. The US cent had a similar value at the time of its introduction.
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    • Posted on July 24, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    Before our five-cent coins were known as “nickels,” the US Mint actually produced silver half dimes. These half dimes were produced in a variety of designs from 1792 to 1873. However, the story of the nickel as we know it today begins shortly before the Civil War.
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    • Posted on July 17, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    Over the past 30+ years, the two major third party coin certification companies (PCGS and NGC) have greatly expanded their holder and label offerings. Originally, both grading services offered just one standard issue holder with variation whatsoever. However, as time has passed, both companies have introduced a plethora of new options.
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    • Posted on June 26, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    California was sparsely populated prior to the arrival of American settlers in the early 19th century. Even by 1846, San Francisco was a still small settlement with about 200 residents. It was in June of year that a group of American settlers rebelled against Mexican rule and raised their own flag, featuring a grizzly bear. The rebellion was soon subsumed into the official US takeover of California as part of the Mexican-American War. The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 sparked the California Gold Rush, and the ensuing immigration of hundreds of thousands of settlers cemented American control. California became a state as part of the Compromise of 1850. The “Bear Flag” was adopted as the official state flag of California in 1911.
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    • Posted on June 19, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    The Presidential $1 coin program was established by Congressional legislation in 2005. Beginning with the George Washington coin in January 2007, the US Mint produced four separate varieties each year, with each President honored in succession. The obverse design of the coins changes with each President, while the reverse design featuring the Statue of Liberty is consistent. Grover Cleveland, who served two separate terms as both the 22nd President and 24th President, is honored on two separate issues.
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    • Posted on June 12, 2017
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    The Pilgrims were English Dissenters, a religious group that objected to certain practices of the Church of England. Facing persecution under the rule of James I, a group including William Bradford fled to the Netherlands in 1608, and more famously to the New World in 1620 aboard the Mayflower. Though they planned to sail to Virginia, they were forced to land in Massachusetts by poor weather. They established the Mayflower Compact to govern their settlement outside the governance of the Virginia Colony; this document is considered a founding document of American democracy. The annual Thanksgiving holiday is traced to the Pilgrim’s celebration of a successful harvest in 1621.
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    • Posted on June 5, 2017
    • By TPM
    • Library

    In 1803, Thomas Jefferson commissioned the Corps of Discovery, a small group of volunteers tasked with exploring the American West. The leaders of the expedition were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and the venture is more commonly known as the Lewis & Clark Expedition. The United States had somewhat inadvertently purchased a large claim from France, the Louisiana Purchase, and Lewis & Clark were some of the first Americans to explore these territories and the lands further west. They reached the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River in November 1804 and spent the winter there near present-day Astoria, Oregon. The expedition helped later American claims over the Oregon Country, which was also claimed by Great Britain until the Oregon Treaty of 1846.
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