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Everything posted by RWB

  1. This is a very impressive, carefully researched and clearly presented book. Required reading and reference for 1834-1839 US gold coins. /Roger Burdette/
  2. This telegram - really a personal comment by Director Leech - suggests IGWT was not authorized on the new Bland dollar of 1878. What do readers think?
  3. Why? Isn't there enough shiny junk coming out of the Mint's Marketing Division without adding mirror-like coins with a "D" on them? Why not turn the whole thing over to Google's parent company, Alphabet, and do proofs with all the remaining letters, and maybe add special characters like: %, #, &, @, and the ever popular $$$$$ ! Then we can do more "privy marks," too.
  4. Well, I checked the OP's return policy, and I think I located the problem. If this is correct, I really cannot blame ebay for getting testy. The offending section says (as best I can tell on my internet watch): "If you change your mind about a purchase for any reason, and return it, we will not refund your payment AND we will send you a free kitten." I think it's the capital "AND" that they don't like...? :)
  5. Cheap brass medal made at the Mexico City Mint for sale in the 1987 ANA bourse and by mail. I believe there was also a 0.999 silver version with the weight and metal on the date side. Might be of interest to some medal collectors.
  6. PS: jgrinz - I like your photo better than the VAM one.
  7. Workmen must have had good aim -- the spittoons were only 10-inches diameter. RE: " Looks like the document got some spit on it too." Maybe they lined the old, leaking ones with purchase orders until the new equipment arrived.... ? :)
  8. You ought to compile the images and data you have and send it it NNP. San Francisco Mint archival data is mighty scarce.
  9. You got it! Remember - it took up to 8 squeezes of the hub into a soft steel die to make a complete, usable die. The slight offset necessary to create a doubled-image working die could occur at any point in this repetitive process. Further, working dies were impressed using a large screw press (until 1892), and there is always variation when human/animal energy is employed. If the sides of letters, numbers and other design elements were not beveled, the coins would not release easily from the dies during manufacture. However, excess beveling, as on Peace dollars for example, creates a mushy, muddy-looking coin. (This, combined with excess curvature of the junction between relief and die table, is why modern commemorative and other coins are so "dull and lifeless.")
  10. Can the OP explain why the faint date is so much smaller than the strong date? :)
  11. Here's a supply order from 1891. The only unusual thing, at least to us, is the requirement for "rubber spittoons." The 6-dozen paper tacks refers to brass fasteners used to hold multi-page documents together (i.e.: "brass tacks")
  12. Does it way "Kellogg" on the reverse?
  13. Tiny Panamanian coin, yet look at the detail ! What our mint turns out today is corporate-digested mush compared to that little bug.
  14. For the past several days this, and other message boards, have been competing with "door nails" for maximum deadness. Thoughts?
  15. Members should note that losses refer only to weight. The purity (fineness) had not been determined at the point where this form was completed. Handwriting was likely that of the Deposit Weigh clerk with each entry being made when the gold was presented, then updated after melting. A matching table contained assay results for each deposit and the net gold value. California native gold contained silver and usually, iridium & osmium, plus platinum. For modern identification of gold-rush era sources, these trace elements and their proportions can indicate a specific region or mine as origin of the gold.
  16. Re-posted by popular request. [See next post for end of article.]
  17. 1873. Bottom half of the sheet is similar to this portion. Once, there must have been hundreds of these.
  18. We collectors usually ignore the incoming, or deposit end of the coinage business, yet that is what supplied the silver and gold required for manufacturing coins. The following photo is a detail taken from the San Francisco Mint’s weekly report on gold deposits. Most of the column titles are self-explanatory, but a few terms used in the “Description of Bullion” column might be unfamiliar to readers. Amal = amalgam = gold extracted from crushed ore using mercury; some of the mercury remains. Grains = placer or gold dust particles. Jew[elry]. ingot = gold jewelry indiscriminately mixed and melted into a bar. Balls = roughly pressed amalgam in baseball-size spheres. King = a cone or dish-shaped piece of gold retrieved from the bottom of a crucible. Cake = mercury-gold amalgam pressed into a short cylinder about 4-in thick and 10-in diameter (varied widely); pressing usually done in remote areas with a simple lever press (looked like big garlic press), mints/assay offices used a small hydraulic press. Sovereigns = standard British Empire gold bullion piece; Imperial standard. Bars = usually melted placer grains and dust; not refined. French gold = coins or bars of the French coinage standard of 0.900 fine; variable alloy but copper if coins. In far right column the term “dirty” indicates that the Melter & Refiner found a lot of sand, magnetite and non-gold material mixed in the deposit. Jewelry deposits were usually inspected before acceptance and plated items were refused. The Deposit Clerk could also reject any deposit that was exceptionally dirty, and could hold bars pending drilling is he was suspicious of the color or weight. A common fraudulent practice was to cast low fineness bars, then plate them with nearly pure gold and pass the whole thing as pure. Since the Mints and Assay Offices did not pay for deposits until they had been melted and assayed, it was rare for a bad deposit to be accepted. The minimum deposit value was $100 although that regulation was not strictly enforced at times.
  19. OK. I was off by at least 50% on the value....good thing I don't buy/sell coins. Imagine what I'd price that "roll" of Constantine rubles at....
  20. This posted information is correct: shows all 125,000 coins minted in November 1900. Scroll down, handwritten entry at the bottom. Flip forward a page, and the 125,000 coins are also booked for the 6 months ending December 31, 1900, and also the calendar year 1900.
  21. Nope. Minor mechanical doubling. Worth melt.
  22. Imaginary. All the gold was provided in 1900 and the coins struck/dated in 1900. Lazard Frères was the agent for Costa Rica for both 10 and 2 colones coins. The Mint archives could correct a lot of mistakes regarding foreign coins struck by US Mints, but that means a person has to go take a look, analyze the materials and report findings -- oh, and publishers to bother reading any of it.
  23. Here's a photo of the coin in question - after fixing the typo diameter. As kbbpll notes, all the coins were struck in November 1900. They are readily available so it's likely few went into circulation. Most of the population were peasants picking bananas for whom a gold coin was unimaginable. These went to the 5% who controlled money.