Coins are mass-produced, everyday objects, and they wouldn’t exist without their economic function. But coins are also miniature works of art. And, like all works of art, they arise from the vision of their creators and are implemented by the technology of their times.
Numismatics. It's a world in which collectors will pay millions of dollars for a single nickel or silver dollar. It may not always make much sense to those "outside our world," but hobbyists understand that these small pieces of metal are actually pieces of history that we can hold in our hands. And who knows the identities of those that held them.
In numismatics, as in life, it’s wise to follow the Fugio Cent’s advice —“mind your business” because “time flies.”
In the modern era, Americans have become accustomed to a monetary system with only four circulating coins. But the familiar penny, nickel, dime, and quarter actually represent a historic low in denominational diversity.
1804 Dollar: The King of U.S. Coins The 1804 dollar is among the most coveted of all U.S. rare coins, with only 15 known examples. Strangely enough, no dollars dated 1804 were actually struck in that year. The United States Mint only struck dollars dated 1803 in 1804; there was a silver shortage and the expense of creating a new die was saved (regular.
More than just geographic neighbors, the three major nations of North America have shared numerous historical and contemporary experiences – including in the realm of numismatics.
Originally published in The Numismatist, November 2003
When you’re first getting into coins, figuring out what you want to collect can be a daunting prospect. Most of us have a starter set that got us interested, commonly wheat pennies or buffalo nickels. But the question is, where do you go next?
Originally published in The Numismatist, July 2018
Originally published in The Numismatist, January 2018