Originally printed in The Numismatist
Every New Year brings reflections and resolutions, but the arrival of a year ending in “0” is especially noteworthy. Decades are natural markers of experience – long enough to have distinct identities, but brief enough to have meaning on a human scale. If the 2020s will be your first full decade as a coin collector, or if you’d just like a capsule.
The American monetary system has been evolving for more than two centuries, with some interesting twists and turns along the way. Did you know that in addition to the familiar cent and nickel, at one time or another five additional coins circulated with a value of five cents or less? Or that for a short time in the 19th century, Americans had the.