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1974-D Aluminum Cent No Longer Certified

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited July 31, 2022 3:18AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Very interesting. I just read that Michael McConnell was able to keep the insert for the 1974-D Aluminum Cent struck by Ernie Martinez and given to Harry Edmond Lawrence. Probably just as well since the Mint probably wouldn't display it in the PCGS slab.

Paul Gilkes wrote:

One of the stipulations for the coin’s return was that McConnell could break the cent out of its PCGS holder so he could retain the grading label.

The cert still verifies today. Keeping the cert will probably ensure that it stays in the PCGS Cert Verification database.


Comments

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    MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 32,219 ✭✭✭✭✭

    seizure (demand for return) was a bad thing.

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 20, 2020 4:49PM

    @MsMorrisine said:
    seizure (demand for return) was a bad thing.

    Unfortunately, I don't think they could have let it stay out there with its provenance. It would have set a bad precedent for current Mint employees.

    I think it would have been easier to let it stay out there if it was found anonymously.

    Of course, they could have returned it after waffling it ;)

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    ms70ms70 Posts: 13,946 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Randall Lawrence, the son of former Assistant Denver Mint Superintendent Harry Edmond Lawrence, discovered the 1974-D aluminum cent among items that had been presented to his father at his 1980 retirement..."

    How could that not be argued it was lawfully released?

    Great transactions with oih82w8, JasonGaming, Moose1913.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 20, 2020 5:09PM

    @ms70 said:
    "Randall Lawrence, the son of former Assistant Denver Mint Superintendent Harry Edmond Lawrence, discovered the 1974-D aluminum cent among items that had been presented to his father at his 1980 retirement..."

    How could that not be argued it was lawfully released?

    Employees don't have authority to release anything they want.

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

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    ms70ms70 Posts: 13,946 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @MsMorrisine said:
    seizure (demand for return) was a bad thing.

    Unfortunately, I don't think they could have let it stay out there with its provenance. It would have set a bad precedent for current Mint employees.

    I think it would have been easier to let it stay out there if it was found anonymously.

    Of course, they could have returned it after waffling it ;)

    A nice salt bath.

    Great transactions with oih82w8, JasonGaming, Moose1913.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    appreciate the update.

    sure wish there were a way to differentiate the agrees/likes/lol as to the fact that something has been posted vs what was posted.

    i like that this was posted here.

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have an acquaintance that purchased some boxes from an abandoned locker storage facility. In one of the boxes was an old change purse - empty - almost... There was one cent in there... and it was aluminum (judging by weight and appearance). I saw it once, about fifteen years ago. I contacted him about it a year ago.... Now he cannot find it... Still looking for it. As I recall, it was either '74 or '72.... At the time, evaluating it, the cent looked authentic. I hope he finds it... Cheers, RickO

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    MWallaceMWallace Posts: 3,864 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

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    Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MWallace said:

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

    I think that the 1974 was authorized to be coined but not released. The 1974-D was not authorized to be coined.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Batman23 said:

    @MWallace said:

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

    I think that the 1974 was authorized to be coined but not released. The 1974-D was not authorized to be coined.

    This.

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    MWallaceMWallace Posts: 3,864 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @Batman23 said:

    @MWallace said:

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

    I think that the 1974 was authorized to be coined but not released. The 1974-D was not authorized to be coined.

    This.

    Got it. Thank you both.

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    JBKJBK Posts: 14,788 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 9:09AM

    But offmetal errors are never authorized. They just happen accidentally. ;)>:)

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 9:06AM

    @JBK said:
    But offmetal are never authorized. They just happen accidentally. ;)>:)

    Crazy errors continue to escape the Mint.

    This is why I think it may have had a better chance of staying out in the wild without the provenance story.

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    oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,906 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 9:14AM
    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,Coin Finder, GotTheBug, edwardjulio, Coinnmore...
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 9:34AM

    That has it's own fairly popular thread here. I like cent on wrong planchets, but the trick is always to get them fully struck as many times the full rim isn't formed and sometimes the letters are cut off as well, as is the case with the 1974-S. The 1974 and 1974-D don't have such undersized planchet issues.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1039077/the-amazing-1974-s-aluminum-cent#latest

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,947 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It wasn't > @Batman23 said:

    @MWallace said:

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

    I think that the 1974 was authorized to be coined but not released. The 1974-D was not authorized to be coined.

    We don't know that it wasn't authorized. We just can't prove that it was. And the very fact that there was an aluminum planchet in Denver should tell us that we don't have the whole story.

    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 10:22AM

    @MrEureka said:

    @Batman23 said:

    @MWallace said:

    @Zoins said:

    Apparently, its creation wasn't authorized.

    OK. Maybe I just learned something. I thought the "creation" WAS authorized, but the release was not. Are you saying the "creation" WAS NOT authorized?

    I think that the 1974 was authorized to be coined but not released. The 1974-D was not authorized to be coined.

    We don't know that it wasn't authorized. We just can't prove that it was. And the very fact that there was an aluminum planchet in Denver should tell us that we don't have the whole story.

    Can Ernie Martinez provide any additional details?

    From @FredWeinberg's info, it does seem inconclusive and possible that they were authorized, but without any surviving records, possibly due to the US Mint records purge by Stella Hackel.

    PCGS wrote:

    Weinberg points out that his extensive file on 1974 aluminum cents contains only one reference to aluminum cents being struck at the Denver Mint. It's a letter to the editor in the March 20, 2001 edition of Numismatic News submitted by Michael P. Lantz of Lakewood, Colorado who wrote that he worked "the graveyard shift when they were stamped (minted)," and that a friend his, die settler and later General Foreman of the Mint Ernie Martinez, "stamped the aluminum cents on one of the Denver Mint's standard presses."

    Lantz stated he was told about ten of the coins were produced by Martinez. "After stamping the blanks, he returned the finished aluminum cents to Harry Bobay, General Foreman, who took them to the Coining Division office where they were shipped back to Mint headquarters in Washington D.C. From there, who knows what happened to them."

    Weinberg says he has no reason to doubt Lantz's letter.

    "He named names, and admitted he didn't strike them himself, so there appears to be no ulterior motive to his letter. What's interesting is that there was no further articles or follow-up to this published account, and apparently no one in the numismatic community made note of it."

    R.W. Julian indicates he was told of the records purge on a visit to the Philadelphia Mint. This may have affected records covering their authorization. However, Hackel could not recall such a purge.

    R.W. Julian wrote in 2001:

    In 1984 I was planning a trip to Washington to do research in the Archives but thought a visit to the GSA record center in Philadelphia might be of value. I asked Eleonora Hayden, then Mint Historian, to obtain for me the necessary written permission from the Bureau.
    [...]
    When I arrived at the Records Center I was informed that Stella Hackel had destroyed the records in 1978 and I was shown a thick sheaf of destruct orders that had been kept on file. Hackel used one of her office staff to sign off on the destruction and then went to an Archives employee to get the necessary authorization from that quarter. No effort was made by Hackel to consult with Miss Hayden or the people in the Archives who actually dealt with such records. It was done in secret and those who should have been informed were deliberately kept in the dark.
    [...]
    About two years ago a friend asked Hackel why she had destroyed the records. She claimed that she could not remember the matter at all.

    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v04n22a10.html

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    TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It’s interesting to compare this story with the San Francisco intentional errors of the 1970s that the secret service OK’d for public sale. If the mint was concerned that this provenance would encourage bad behavior of current mint employees how did that safe deposit box of manufactured errors not also encourage bad behavior?

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TurtleCat said:
    It’s interesting to compare this story with the San Francisco intentional errors of the 1970s that the secret service OK’d for public sale. If the mint was concerned that this provenance would encourage bad behavior of current mint employees how did that safe deposit box of manufactured errors not also encourage bad behavior?

    Patterns seem to be of more importance to control than errors, even now.

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    TurtleCatTurtleCat Posts: 4,594 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @TurtleCat said:
    It’s interesting to compare this story with the San Francisco intentional errors of the 1970s that the secret service OK’d for public sale. If the mint was concerned that this provenance would encourage bad behavior of current mint employees how did that safe deposit box of manufactured errors not also encourage bad behavior?

    Patterns seem to be of more importance to control than errors, even now.

    And the mint had a history of selling patterns to well connected people. So in one sense precedence was established over 100 years ago.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 10:24AM

    @FredWeinberg said:
    When the 74-D first came out, I was sent a photo of it from an attorney asking about the legality of a 1974 Aluminum Cent.

    I told him that the photo he sent me showed a 1974-D cent in aluminum, and I wasn't aware of any being struck at the Denver Mint. That sent me on a search of my files, where I found the letter mentioned above, printed in NN by a retired Denver Mint employee.

    I feel we really owe Michael P. Lantz a debt of gratitude for the information he provided, on both this and the 1964 Peace Dollar. I've seen him speak on coins on YouTube as well.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 10:29AM

    @TurtleCat said:

    @Zoins said:

    @TurtleCat said:
    It’s interesting to compare this story with the San Francisco intentional errors of the 1970s that the secret service OK’d for public sale. If the mint was concerned that this provenance would encourage bad behavior of current mint employees how did that safe deposit box of manufactured errors not also encourage bad behavior?

    Patterns seem to be of more importance to control than errors, even now.

    And the mint had a history of selling patterns to well connected people. So in one sense precedence was established over 100 years ago.

    Yes, but I think that changed a long while back, like in the 60s and 70s. Patterns have really dried up. At least we can get waffled ones now :D

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 10:39AM

    @JBK said:
    If I ever come across one of these I am going keep my mouth shut.

    Here's an idea, if you found one and waffled it, would they let you keep it? That would still be worth 5 figures.

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    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can't waffle it unless you access to the US Mint.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2020 12:20PM

    @ErrorsOnCoins said:
    You can't waffle it unless you access to the US Mint.

    Well, you can waffle it, but perhaps not with the US Mint cancellation pattern. I'd like to believe each Mint has their own cancellation pattern.

    Here's an example, which admittedly looks more like a potato chip ;)

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1048000/is-this-a-us-mint-waffled-coin-or-pmd#latest

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    MartinMartin Posts: 843 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What you really really want is a 72 aluminum cent struck on the doubled die Die
    Then you would have
    Something

    Martin

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    RedCopperRedCopper Posts: 173 ✭✭✭

    I guess understand why the mint would not chime in on this one ! But we can all agree there are two sides to every story .
    The 1974 D aluminum cent everyone here is referring to was exhibited at an ANA I believe in
    2019
    I got to view the coin and speak with a lawyer from the department
    Of the Treasury. He explained to me in detail how the coin was minted and how the Treasury knew it was not authorized. It was minted from a strip of aluminum that was part of the mints inventory . He also explained there was only one minted from that particular aluminum strip. So the coin was minted without approval and smuggled out of the mint.
    Stories such as Fred’s have no
    basis because there are no provable facts.
    Andy’s doubt can be proven if need be but I think we have all had enough conspiracy theories for the past 4 years.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2020 11:47AM

    @RedCopper said:
    I guess understand why the mint would not chime in on this one ! But we can all agree there are two sides to every story .
    The 1974 D aluminum cent everyone here is referring to was exhibited at an ANA I believe in
    2019
    I got to view the coin and speak with a lawyer from the department
    Of the Treasury. He explained to me in detail how the coin was minted and how the Treasury knew it was not authorized. It was minted from a strip of aluminum that was part of the mints inventory . He also explained there was only one minted from that particular aluminum strip. So the coin was minted without approval and smuggled out of the mint.
    Stories such as Fred’s have no
    basis because there are no provable facts.
    Andy’s doubt can be proven if need be but I think we have all had enough conspiracy theories for the past 4 years.

    What evidence and provable facts did this Treasury lawyer provide to you, or suggest he had access to, that leads you to believe this story more than others? Also, can you provide some provable facts for your story, such as the lawyer's name? It would be useful to understand the provable facts you are relying on when providing your story and commenting on others.

    According to Denver Mint employee Michael P. Lantz, Ernie Martinez (US Mint die setter and later General Foreman) said he minted these and minted about 10 of these, while this lawyer said only one was minted from a particular strip. Did the lawyer suggest other strips were used for the others sent to Harry Bobay, then General Foreman, or that no others were minted and presumably the lawyer either didn't know about the ones claimed by Ernie or thinks Ernie was in error?

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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I didnt even realized this cent was seized. When did this happen?

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2020 12:07PM

    @DCW said:
    I didnt even realized this cent was seized. When did this happen?

    It was returned to the US Mint in 2016 before it was supposed to go to auction. Read more here.

    https://www.coinworld.com/news/precious-metals/1974-d-aluminum-cent-returns-to-us-mint.html

    At least it was slabbed and TrueViewed :)

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    FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It wasn't my 'story' - I was just reporting what
    I found in my files regarding the letter to NN.

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
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    RedCopperRedCopper Posts: 173 ✭✭✭

    Fred I will email you the lawyers name tomorrow or by next week .
    I believe I also have his phone
    number .

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    RedCopperRedCopper Posts: 173 ✭✭✭

    Fred - I believe the Department of the treasury has a precedent
    established with the confiscation of the 10 1933 Saints .

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    FredWeinbergFredWeinberg Posts: 5,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have no dog in that fight -

    Retired Collector & Dealer in Major Mint Error Coins & Currency since the 1960's.Co-Author of Whitman's "100 Greatest U.S. Mint Error Coins", and the Error Coin Encyclopedia, Vols., III & IV. Retired Authenticator for Major Mint Errors
    for PCGS. A 49+-Year PNG Member...A full numismatist since 1972, retired in 2022
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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RedCopper said:
    Fred - I believe the Department of the treasury has a precedent
    established with the confiscation of the 10 1933 Saints .

    What is to stop them from going after patterns or grabbing 1913 nickels?

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    jughead1893jughead1893 Posts: 1,045 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nothing

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    MFeldMFeld Posts: 12,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2020 2:47PM

    @DCW said:

    @RedCopper said:
    Fred - I believe the Department of the treasury has a precedent
    established with the confiscation of the 10 1933 Saints .

    What is to stop them from going after patterns or grabbing 1913 nickels?

    What’s to stop them is the absence of any previous efforts at confiscation, despite plentiful opportunities over a period of decades. Thus, if confiscations were attempted, I think it could be successfully argued that buyers of the coins had a solid and reasonable basis for relying upon their legality. That was not so in the case of the 1933 Saints.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A comment apropos nothing in particular, for the benefit of future collectors.

    In the late 1960's and throughout the 1970's the San Francisco Assay Office routinely sent Proof U.S. coin planchets that did not meet Proof coin planchet quality standards to be struck as regular issue coins. While the SFAO was still striking nickels for circulation (1968-1970) it simply retained nickel planchets and struck them. Same with cents 1968-1974. All other usable planchets were shipped to Denver for striking. That is how the 1974-D and 1977-D 40% silver Ike dollars happened.

    In this same era, the SFAO was striking Proof sets for various foreign countries, including Nepal, which had aluminum one and two paisa denominations. The two paisa planchet was close in size to a U.S. cent, and I am sure if one were struck in a U.S. cent collar it would have expanded outwards to cent size. It is plausible that a few foreign planchets made their way from San Francisco to Denver in barrels of planchets.

    I have no doubt that the accepted story as to how the 1974-D aluminum cent came to be struck is true. HOWEVER, if the people who promoted the 1974-D aluminum cent to the point that the government got embarassed and seized it had kept their big mouths shut and gotten the coin slabbed as a 1974-D cent struck on an aluminum 2 Paise planchet, it would have sold at auction for maybe ten large and nothing would have been seized. Instead they tried for 200 large, and ended up with a paper label.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
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    JBKJBK Posts: 14,788 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RedCopper said:
    I guess understand why the mint would not chime in on this one ! But we can all agree there are two sides to every story .
    The 1974 D aluminum cent everyone here is referring to was exhibited at an ANA I believe in
    2019
    I got to view the coin and speak with a lawyer from the department
    Of the Treasury. He explained to me in detail how the coin was minted and how the Treasury knew it was not authorized. It was minted from a strip of aluminum that was part of the mints inventory . He also explained there was only one minted from that particular aluminum strip. So the coin was minted without approval and smuggled out of the mint.
    Stories such as Fred’s have no
    basis because there are no provable facts.
    Andy’s doubt can be proven if need be but I think we have all had enough conspiracy theories for the past 4 years.

    I am not doubting anyone (you or Fred) personally, but your lawyer friend's story already has me suspicious.

    "It was minted from a strip of aluminum that was part of the mints inventory . He also explained there was only one minted from that particular aluminum strip."

    Does the mint have hand punches that allow a worker to punch only one planchet from a whole strip? I am pretty sure the machines tHat normally punch strip have multiple punches on them. If the mint saw a strip full of holes yet knew that only one coin had been struck then that suggests they had full knowledge of who did it, so how did it escape?

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 31, 2022 3:42AM

    Bump

    CoinWeek is running an article by Blanchard which reminded me of this coin and how close it came to being a privately owned collectors item.

    https://coinweek.com/modern-coins/1973-74-aluminum-lincoln-penny/

    Blanchard and Company said:
    However, in early 2014 a San Diego resident claimed to own a 1974-D aluminum coin. The “D” signifies that it was minted in Denver. The owner’s father was once a deputy superintendent of the Denver Mint. Some initial estimates put the value of the piece at $250,000 USD, with some suggesting that the value could reach as high as $2 million.

    Later that year PCGS certified the coin as authentic. The owner planned to auction the piece. At the same time the U.S. Mint requested that the owner return the coin. The issue went before a judge, who said that “it is plausible that a Mint official, with proper authority and in an authorized manner, allowed Harry Lawrence to keep the 1974-D aluminum cent.”

    Despite the ruling, the owner returned the coin to the Mint and the 1974 aluminum penny remains a footnote in the history of the U.S. Mint.

    This caused me to look up more information on this leading me to this March 25, 2016 article by Paul Gilkes and Steve Roach.

    https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/1974-d-aluminum-cent-returns-to-us-mint.html

    There's some interesting discussion, particular around employee reputation and consequences of a trial, in the discussion of a December 2015 deposition from former US mint employee Dr. Alan Goldman.

    Reputation of Minter

    I wonder if the employee referenced in this article is Ernie Martinez?

    Paul Gilkes and Steve Roach said:

    [Dr. Alan] Goldman was the U.S. Mint official placed in charge of the experimentation of compositional alternatives to the copper alloy for the cent, including the striking of the pieces in aluminum. Goldman said in his sworn statement that there was no official authorization for the striking of any Lincoln cents on aluminum blanks in 1974. While there are no records to support or dispute his claim, **production of the 1974-D aluminum cents was likely executed by a Denver Mint employee well-known to pull pranks.

    That employee is deceased.**

    Reputation of Harry Edmond Lawrence.

    Dr. Alan Goldman also commented on Harry Lawrence's reputation:

    Paul Gilkes and Steve Roach said:

    Goldman said in his testimony that he knew Harry Lawrence personally as a “straight shooter” who would not have executed such production without being given proper authorization from Mint headquarters.

    Randall Lawrence said when he read Goldman’s remarks about his father Harry Lawrence’s unquestionable integrity, Randall Lawrence said that resolved his concern over his father’s name and legacy being besmirched.

    Potential Consequences of Losing the Trial

    Randall Lawrence ended up settling by returning the coin and opting not to go to trial.

    An interesting footnote is that the Denver Mint previously said that the 1974-D Aluminum Cent wasn't minted in the Denver Mint:

    One of the consequences of losing could be a judgement on non-monetized coins.

    Paul Gilkes and Steve Roach said:

    Vartian had warned that a court ruling in favor of the government could have broad consequences. Vartian said, “There has never been the slightest suggestion that any 1974 aluminum cents were stolen from the Mint,” adding, “These pieces may not have been issued as money, but that ground for declaring coins illegal to own was rejected in the Langbord case.”

    The U.S. Mint responded to a Coin World inquiry on the piece in December 2013, stating, “It would be inappropriate to offer our opinion on the legality of possessing a 1974-D aluminum cent, since we have officially informed you that they were not minted in Denver.”

    The government characterized the Langbord case — which involves 10 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagles allegedly discovered more than a decade ago — as upholding the government’s “interest in coins that had been stolen or, through fraudulent breach of trust, taken from the United States Mint at Philadelphia over 75 years ago.”

    In an amended complaint demanding a jury trial, Vartian argued that if the government was successful in claiming the piece, “the precedent would “place a cloud over all non-legal tender coins,” adding that the government has no compelling need to seize coins of unique and special value to collectors.”

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's the court ruling where the judge indicates the coin was plausibly released properly:

    https://casetext.com/case/lawrence-v-us-dept-of-the-treasuryus-bureau-of-the-mint

    Lawrence v. U.S. Dep't of the Treasury

    William Q. Hayes, US District Judge wrote:

    Accepting Plaintiffs' factual allegations as true, it is plausible that a Mint official, with proper authority and in an authorized manner, allowed Harry Lawrence to keep the 1974-D aluminum cent. Drawing reasonable inferences, it is plausible that Harry Lawrence lawfully obtained possession of the aluminum cent, giving Plaintiffs superior claim of title to the aluminum cent. The Court concludes that the facts alleged may plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 17, 2022 9:38AM

    Paul Gilkes wrote:
    One of the stipulations for the coin’s return was that McConnell could break the cent out of its PCGS holder so he could retain the grading label.

    Just ran across this thread again due to the new thread on the 1977 aluminum cent.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1085079/1977-aluminum-cent-the-real-deal#latest

    A thought that jumped out me when looking this over again is that it would have been great to have the Lawrence pedigree on the label.

    Too bad this one can't be privately owned, but at least the 1977 can be.

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