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Rules Applied for Obtaining New Cent
By Allan Herbert, Numismatic News
January 22, 2013

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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When the new small cents were issued in 1857, were they available readily or were there restrictions placed on their dispersion to the public?

A contemporary report announced that the Philadelphia Mint began paying out the new cents on May 25, 1857, “in exchange for Spanish and Mexican fractions of a dollar ... or in exchange for the copper cent now in circulation.” However, you couldn’t just walk up to the counter and exchange a large cent for a new coin, as the Mint specified, “The silver and copper coins must be presented in even sums of $5 and not exceeding $50.

What happened to the final question and answer in the Jan. 15 Clinic?

Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader, we can apologize for the mistake and run the full text below of a question where the last few words were cut off:
Why was the issue of uncirculated sets, or mint sets, of coins discontinued in the year 1950? Although the generally given reason is the involvement of the United States in the Korean War, that reason actually was secondary.

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The Mint had gotten around to resuming proof set production, suspended in 1943, and decided that both kinds of sets weren’t needed. The officially stated reason was that it was the result of an economy drive, made with the claim that discontinuing the issue of uncirculated sets would save the government $10,000 per year, and that the issue of proof sets was enough to satisfy collectors. In citing the war as a secondary reason, the Treasury Department took one of its many swipes at collectors by citing them for hiding away coins and thus tying up metal needed for the war effort, studiously ignoring the fact that collectors held only a small fraction of the coins hoarded by the public.

Is it true that some U.S. dollars got mixed into the Spanish dollars (8 reales) that were counterstamped by the Bank of England in 1804?

One source lists “five known,” four with the octagonal counterstamp, and one with an oval counterstamp. The Bank of England counterstamped a total of 414,080 Spanish dollars in that year.

I have several older Lincoln cents that have the same narrow parallel dark streaks on the reverses. What caused them?

One of the regular Krause Publications numismatic columnists, Mike Thorne, cites the cause as the older coin folders. They had strips of glue on the paper backing, which had this effect on the coins. The problem was corrected in 1960 when the production method was changed, so most collectors probably have never seen such a coin.

I know these things get garbled with the passage of time, so can you please sort out a reference to the Order of the Purple Heart being made into a corporation?

In 1935 Congress passed an act to incorporate the Order as a dues-paying organization, in somewhat similar fashion to the Federal Charter of the American Numismatic Association. However, President Roosevelt vetoed the bill so that wearers of the medal, originated by George Washington, would not have to join an organization in order to maintain their status.

I have a 1929 Buffalo nickel that doesn’t have the “F” below the date. What can you tell me about it?

Your coin may be a counterfeit, so you’d better get it checked. A number of old, high quality counterfeits of the 1928 and 1929 were noted for the incuse “F” either being missing or illegible.

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