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How FDR Changed U.S. Coinage While Fighting Polio

Franklin D. Roosevelt has a sweeping legacy that still impacts lives today. Whether it’s Social Security benefits or the Hoover Dam, the effects of Roosevelt’s accomplishments can be felt all over the U.S. Perhaps the best tribute to FDR is the Roosevelt dime. But what many don’t know is that the Roosevelt dime wasn’t created…

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Ben Franklin’s Many Gifts to Colonial Currency

When most people think about Benjamin Franklin and currency, they think of, well, the Benjamin. The U.S. $100 bill is literally synonymous with Benjamin Franklin. But that is by no means his only tie to U.S. currency. Benjamin Franklin was integral in the printing of some of the U.S.’s very first paper currency. As the…

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Pike’s Peak Gold Rush and the Birth of the Denver Mint

This is the fourth installment in a series of articles about the United States mints. In the 1850s in the United States, when many people thought of the Wild West, they thought of gold. Tales of people from showing up broke as beggars and leaving as rich as sultans were told all over America. By…

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What an Ounce of Gold Bought You in 1950

It’s 1950, the Andrews Sisters are on the radio and you’re cruising down the road in your Chevy. As you stop to fill up your tank, you exclaim, “Twenty-two cents a gallon! That’s highway robbery!” You head to the station down the street offering gas for nineteen-cents a gallon. Times were a lot simpler back…

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The One Thing That Saved the San Francisco Mint

This is the third installment in our series about United States mints. In the mid-nineteenth century in San Francisco, one thing was on everybody’s mind: gold! But the nearest mint to the California Gold Rush was all the way in New Orleans. A mint was badly needed to turn the huge supplies of raw gold…

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South African Gold, Paul Kruger, and the Krugerrand

  Legends of gold in South Africa predate the country’s existence, and the ancient gold artifacts from the region have long proven them to be true. Early settlers to Africa were always eager to find this legendary gold, though few had any success. After a few minor gold discoveries, settlers in the 1800s began to…

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The New Orleans Mint

This is the second article in a series on United States Mints. During the 1830s the U.S. was in the midst of a swift expansion. As explorers and settlers pushed further South and West, infrastructure was needed. Amongst the missing amenities in these new regions, was a facility to produce currency. Even though the Philadelphia…

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Rare Silver Coin Found in Roll of Half Dollars

You never know what you’ll get when you sort a roll of coins. One lucky man in New Orleans got the find of a lifetime. He found a very special 1861-O Seated Liberty half-dollar hiding in a roll of Kennedy half-dollars. After undergoing knee surgery, this unnamed coin collector decided to sort through rolls of…

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The First U.S. Mint

This is the first in a series of articles about the United States mints. It’s 1776 and the ink is still drying on the U.S. Constitution. One of our Founding Fathers’ first actions was to create a continental currency, thinking that it would ease trade and unify the emerging country. A dream team of Benjamin…

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Why Our Most Ambitious Paper Currency Never Lasted

In 1896, the United States Treasury produced silver certificates. Many believe these notes to be the most beautiful paper currency in U.S. history. These certificates debuted to the delight of art lovers and numismatists alike. Commonly dubbed educational currency, these notes were short-lived. Battles between artists — and between puritanical and artistic ideals — were…

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World’s Oldest Coin Is Shrouded in Mystery

One of the world’s oldest coins was recently sold in Germany. The price? Over $380,000. Issued between 600 and 625 B.C., this coin is unique because of the stamp of Phanes. The exact identity of Phanes remains unknown. And perhaps it’s the not knowing that makes this ancient coin so valuable. “I am the badge…

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Rare $10 Gold Eagle on Display at Bellevue Rare Coins

The year 1795 was a pivotal one in our nation’s history. Our forefathers were still establishing the government of the United States. George Washington submitted the Jay Treaty to the Senate; the 11th amendment to the Constitution was ratified; and it was also the first year the U.S. Mint struck gold coins. Owning any item…

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How the Peace Dollar Won WWI

Europe was mired in the middle of World War I. Germany was spreading rumors that Britain couldn’t back their currency. These rumors triggered turmoil in India, a British colony at the time. Whether it was true or not was not important. People panicked. Only bold action from the United States could protect one of its…

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New First Spouse Commemorative Gold Coins Now Available

On November 21, the United States Mint opened sales for the newest release of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program, which features Edith Roosevelt, the wife of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States. The seventh year of this half-ounce gold coin series that highlights the spouses of the presidents began a week…

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Why the Carson City Mint Was Abandoned

Carson City is only one of seven cities in the past 200 years to be home to a United States Mint. Compared to metropolises such as Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver, Carson City, located in northern Nevada, seemed both tiny and in the middle of nowhere. But it had something that the other cities didn’t…

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