Exchanging coins with the Mint Collection
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Here's a record of exchanges of pattern pieces between H.P. Newlin and the Mint Cabinet of Coins. Thought it might be of general interest.Newlin.jpg

Edited by RWB
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Besides the 1933 Saint, 1913 Liberty Nickel....didn't I read that technically all/most patterns could be seized...the 1856 Flying Eagle cent....and a few other coins ??

What do they all have in common such that I kept reading -- from posters and numismatists -- that recent precedents could be used to declare them illegal despite multiple sales over the decades/centuries ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Exchange, sale, purchase and other distribution of pattern/experimental pieces was commonplace during the 19th century. The Newlin exchanges during 1885-1886 merely happens to be clearer than most.

The last attempt to confiscate pattern/experimental pieces was in 1910 by Director Andrew. It failed, as have all others. The difficulty is that many patterns were legitimately sold on authority of the Mint Director - an authority which he/she possessed. Further, none of them were coins - the design or composition not having been legally adopted. Pieces given to members of Congress or others, but not accompanied by a return order, were considered nominal gifts of valueless chattel. That is, the US Mint/Treasury had to establish that it was retaining all ownership in the pieces. A more recent circumstance reinforces this. At several of the Annual Mint Conferences held in Washington and Philadelphia, the Mint and/or BEP have given - free and clear - sample planchets, autographed currency and other items to participants. There was no accompanying statement retaining ownership, so the items were legal gifts.

Decisions precluding items called patterns or experimental pieces from being confiscated date from the Linderman auction and Director Kimball's attempt to seize certain pieces as being illegal off-metal items. The US Attorney disagreed with Kimball's arguments and the pieces were allowed to be retained by Linderman's Estate. Andrew's 1910 attempt, which included a "sting" operation, failed for similar reasons and affirmed that "once the horse was out of the barn, it was free."

A parallel conclusion was reached in regard to US gold coins that had not been subject to distribution by common means. Treasury counsel determined, with support from Mr. Tripp and myself, that if any record or any kind existed showing even one piece had been released on authority of the Treasurer or other Official (including the Director), then all such pieces were deemed legitimate. DE of 1933 were the only coins for which no release record could be found. (The Farouk export license could have been argued as applying. This was explained.)

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:28 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

What do they all have in common such that I kept reading -- from posters and numismatists -- that recent precedents could be used to declare them illegal despite multiple sales over the decades/centuries ?

They have false information, speculation and ignorance in common.

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On 7/23/2021 at 10:44 AM, RWB said:

They have false information, speculation and ignorance in common.

It's high-ranking Treasury and government officials stating it.  They can MAKE the policy. 

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On 7/25/2021 at 9:08 AM, RWB said:

...and the courts moderate shifts such as you suggest. Precedent is a powerful legal concept.

Indeed it is. It takes a slight beating when an ideological majority flips, as in the PA Supreme Court lately, but never as much as pure ideologues would expect.

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On 7/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, VKurtB said:

Indeed it is. It takes a slight beating when an ideological majority flips, as in the PA Supreme Court lately, but never as much as pure ideologues would expect.

You have to admit that a judge who was a numismatist or coin collector (even as a kid) might have set down different rules for the Langbord Trial.

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I'll not further criticize the Court's rulings; I was not privy to all the discussions. The Court's reasons for permitting one witness to explain something he did not comprehend yet suppress and prevent testimony by another, better qualified, witness, elude my simple thoughts.

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On 7/26/2021 at 8:27 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

You have to admit that a judge who was a numismatist or coin collector (even as a kid) might have set down different rules for the Langbord Trial.

I’d like to believe federal judges would either a) not let that persuade them, or b) not take the case. I’d never want a numismatist taking a case like that.  

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