Week # 6 - Back in the Game
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Ok since we had one week off, I guess technically this is Week #6 of Numisma-Quest. Here we go....

 

What was the only United States coin to be demonetized and when?

 

First post that correctly answers the above question wins a secret prize package (intriguing - huh?).

 

Don't forget, we also draw for a runner-up prize from all posts with a correct answer.

 

Good Luck!

 

 

REMINDER: The Numisma-Quest ends/ended on Saturday at midnight EST. Entries after that time will not be valid. See the Trivia Info post for more details.

 

 

When you post your answer, only the administrators can see it. Stop back each Monday. We will make all the posts visible and announce the winners.

 

 

 

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All silver dollars were demonitized by Congress in June 1874, revoking their legal tender status.

 

Hoot

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By the way, even though the Mint Act of Feb 12, 1873 abolished the silver dollar as a denomination (in favor of the trade dollar), Congress did not demonitize the silver dollar, taking away its legal tender status, until June of 1874 (as I already said). The Mint Act of Feb. 28, 1878 restored the silver dollar to its legal tender status. All of this was crazy, as it revolved entirely around the politics of silver operating on a world-wide basis.

 

Hoot

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Trade dollar. 1891?

 

The coin act of 1964 made all coins legal tender that had been minted in the US. It's still not clear to me if that meant all coins that were minted in the US from the start were still legal or if just the coins that were legal at the time (1964).

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Silver dollars. They were demonetized by Congress in June 1874.

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Guest

The Trade Dollar.

It was demonatized in 1876, then finally repealed in February, 1887.

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The question:

What was the only United States coin to be demonetized and when?

 

The answer:

The trade dollar, in 1876

 

Our winner this week is coinhead1!

Your prize is the latest edition of the NGC Census report AND the Intercept Shield Double Protection Box System. You will receive two Intercept Protection Boxes. Each holds 10 graded coins.

 

 

The winner of the drawing from all the remaining contestants who answered correctly.....coincollecting!

 

Your prize is a certificate for 1 free Earlybird Submission.

 

Prizes will be sent out ASAP.

 

Thank you for playing. Hope to see you all back here on Friday for week #7

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Anyone have any ideas why mhooten, Fairlaneman, and I all have a reference (Breen for me) indicating that in June 1874 Congress demonitized "all previous silver dollars"?

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Thanks Dena and gang. Sounds like a really great prize. Can't believe I actually won something. First time for me on a contest like this.

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Another neat contest. Thanks and congrats. I got my first issue of CoinWorld today from winning last month. Thanks again.

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This was a tricky one. The correct answer is the trade dollar, demonetized by the Act of July 22, 1876, Section 2.

 

There's more to the story, however, as some board members answered the silver dollar, supposedly demonetized in June of 1874. That's what Walter Breen said in his 1988 encyclopedia, referencing Don Taxay's 1966 book The U. S. Mint and Coinage, but Taxay was incorrect. Section 3513 of the Act of June 22, 1874 lists the current silver coins of the USA and their legal weights. Section 3586 places a legal tender limit for these coins of five dollars in any one transaction. Not mentioned at all are the silver three-cent piece, the half dime and the standard silver dollar, clearly making previous issues obsolete, yet nowhere in this act is the legal tender status of these coins revoked.

 

The confusion arises from the language found in the Act of February 28, 1878, the infamous Bland-Allison Act which gave us the Morgan Dollar. This law "restores" unlimited legal tender status of the standard silver dollar, a status that had legally remained in place throughout the intervening years. The reason for including this language was pure politics. The silver interests wanted to make it clear that discontinuance of the standard dollar in 1873 was a "crime," and the wording of the Bland-Allison Act was intended to send a message that the silver dollar was untouchable. It's also possible that Congress simply believed that the silver dollar had been demonetized. This would be neither the first nor the last time that our legislators let passion get in the way of fact.

 

NGC, however, is nothing if not fair. Rather than let me be pedantic about this whole thing, Dena has pursuaded me to see both sides of the issue. Since two well respected authors both stated that silver dollars were demonetized in 1874, we'll award a duplicate prize to the first person who had that answer, as well as the first one whose answer was the trade dollar.

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Personally, I think they should just get a wheat penny or something as a consolation prize for thorough and yet not thorough enough research. Or maybe a vial of Elvis sweat from Graceland? He must have sweat alot posing in that Ohio space suit. wink.gif

 

Arch

Harsh measures for a harsh world

(grin/duck)

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Thank you for the research and write-up David! And thank you also for your egalitarian approach in the award, but truly, getting the more complete story is the best reward. This would not be the first time that well-known authors were mistaken or incomplete in their remarks. (I encounter it all the time in the field of biology).

 

Two things you said still perplex me. "Section 3586 places a legal tender limit for these coins of five dollars in any one transaction." But then you say the Act of Feb. 1878 "...'restores' unlimited legal tender status of the standard silver dollar, a status that had legally remained in place throughout the intervening years." These seem to be partially contradictory remarks. For the common person, in trade and transaction a five dollar limit may have been plenty, but for industry, merchants, and banks, a five dollar limit would have been a pittance. So in effect, the Act of June 1874 was a serious blow to the silver economy, at least in theory. It may not have completely demonitized silver (for which the silver dollar was the standard of exchange) but it did place serious limits on its exchange capacity. I can imagine that this caused more than its share of turmoil. Not knowing enough about the politics and practices of trade at the time, I am not sure how that played out in the common exchange of silver.

 

Can you fill in some of the gaps, or is that asking too much? Thank you for your time and again (to you, Dena, Arch and others) for this forum and weekly fun. smile.gif

 

Hoot

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Arch, now don't you know how much a vial of Elvis sweat is worth that's been authenticated and slabbed by PCGS? laugh.gif

 

Hoot

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The legal tender limit of five dollars was applied to the silver coins then current: dime, quarter dollar, half dollar and trade dollar. By omission, the standard dollar was not addressed, though it may be read that its legal tender limit was likewise limited to five dollars. The same may be said for the trime and half dime. The language is not absolutely clear.

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Thought about that trade$nut. Really funny that a Buffalo collector got the right answer. Tee Hee. What is a trade dollar anyway?

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