Mark’s Musings About Mint Marks

1922 "Plain" Lincoln Cent

1922 “Plain” Lincoln Cent, Little or No Trace of the D Mint Mark Visible

Did you ever wonder about that little “letter” below the date of obverse side of coins (or found on the reverse of some series)? That “letter” is better known as the “mint mark” designating the origin of the Official Mints or branches where the coin was actually minted (ie., Philadelphia, Denver San Francisco, West Point for modern era coinage and Carson City, Nevada, Charlotte, North Carolina, Dahlonega, Georgia, New Orleans, Louisiana, Washington, D.C.; and even in Manila, Philippines for historical coinage of days past).      Perhaps some background information is needed here…

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Mystery, Gold, and Auctions…

It’s been said that “mystery is a resource, like gold, and its preservation is a fine thing.”

Sometimes at Pot of Gold Auctions, mystery, gold and preservation intertwine…as was the case recently with an 1834 $2.50 Classic Quarter Eagle No MOTTO Gold piece.
1834 Classic Quarter Eagle

1834 $2.50 GOLD Classic, ANACS VF 30, Lot #369, July 15, 2014

 

Initially, this coin was received from one of our consignor’s in raw form; herein lays the “mystery”. The coin was not as brilliant and did not share the luster of similar gold coins, the fields were weak, grainy and dimpled, the reeded edge and rim appeared “off”; however the weight was correct at 4.18 grams and the diameter was exact at 17.50 millimeters and it was 180 years old! Questions began to arise… What was this coin’s history? Where had this nearly two century year old coin spent a good portion of its existence? And the flip side…Was it possible that this piece could be a “cast reproduction”, ie., a fake with no mysterious history at all? Read on…

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Treasure And History Collide In One $50 Coin

In the early 1800s, money was gold.  At that time, America’s largest gold coin was the $10 gold piece with our patriotic eagle on the reverse. The name for the coin became known as the “Eagle.” A $50 piece of currency is five times the size, and is called a “Quintuple Eagle”.  Such a $50 Ingot or Slug as shown here, was used in large transactions, and was the coin of choice, since people shunned paper money and in fact paper money was illegal… ” Read on…

1852 $50 GOLD California Assay 887 “Quintuple Eagle" Ingot, graded by PCGS

1852 $50 GOLD California Assay 887 “Quintuple Eagle” Ingot, graded by PCGS

In the early 1800s, money was gold.  At that time, America’s largest gold coin was the $10 gold piece with our patriotic eagle on the reverse. The name for the coin became known as the “Eagle.” A $50 piece of currency is five times the size, and is called a “Quintuple Eagle”.  Such a $50 Ingot or Slug as shown here, was used in large transactions, and was the coin of choice, since people shunned paper money and in fact paper money was illegal… ” Read on…

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