I'm not sure what possessed me, but about a week ago I decided to create an entirely new set before the close of the Registry Awards deadline today. I had no idea just how much work that would be or I never would have attempted it!
Nearly four years ago, I read a really good article by Jeff Starck in Coin World entitled "The U.S. Mint Goes to War." I already have a Custom Set organized around the entire set of foreign coins struck by the U.S. Mint and other private mints in the USA, but isolating just those coins that were produced at the time of World War II seemed pretty compelling.
Once I started looking at it, there were still quite a few foreign coins struck by the U.S. Mint in the years of 1939 through 1946. A total of 187 by my count struck for 26 different foreign countries or colonies. That's not including varieties, and not including the five denominations of U.S. coins struck in each of those years. The busiest year was 1944 when the mint struck coins for 13 different countries/colonies in addition to those for the U.S.A.
I currently have roughly half of that number in holders, so I built the set fairly quickly and spent much of the long weekend and all free time yesterday and early this morning researching, writing the set description, upgrading the individual coin descriptions, and editing the pictures to give the set a uniform look and feel.
Yesterday, with less than 24 hours to go, I received an email from the ANA announcing that every issue of "The Numismatist" from 1888 through the most recent was now available online. Talk about a spectacular resource that I wish I had had access to a week ago! I was still able to dig out a lot of good information, but I feel like I just barely scratched the surface of what's now readily available to any ANA member.
I reviewed the set one more time this morning and realized that 34 of the 97 coins are top population (i.e. none finer) and 15 of those are THE finest known specimen for PCGS and NGC combined.
If you'd like to check the it out yourself, the set is named (big surprise) "The U.S Mint Goes to War," under "Thematic & Topical Coins." The direct link is
The coin pictured below is my MS67RD One Cent piece minted by the Denver mint in 1944 for circulation in Curaçao. The "D" mint mark appears just to the right of the date. These pictures were taken before I had it graded and it is one of my favorites from the set. It is now the finest known example by two grade levels.
Good luck to all in the judging.
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