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The U.S. Mint in 1795.

BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

At the beginning of 1795, some members of the United States Congress were becoming increasingly impatient with the mint. During its first two years of operations, the mint had produced a little more than 1.1 million copper coins, just over 25 thousand silver coins and no gold pieces. The lawmakers were also unhappy with the designs that had appeared on the mint’s products. There were calls for the mint to close and the authorization of a privately produced coinage to take its place.

In its defense, the mint had been hampered by the bonding requirements that prevented the Chief Coiner and the Assayer from performing their duties. Both officers were each required to post a $10,000 bond before they could handle gold and silver. Since these men earned only a little over $1,000 per year, posting such a lofty amount was financially impossible.

Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who had the cabinet level responsibility for the mint, recognized the problem and relayed those concerns to President George Washington. Congress reduced the bonds to $5,000 for the Coiner and $1,000 for the Assayer. Jefferson secured loans for each officer to post their bonds. The mint issued the first silver dollars in October 1794 and the first half dollars in November.

This was not enough for some members of Congress. They wanted more, and the U.S. Mint began 1795 with a difficult assignment. The facility had to issue far more silver coins and introduce the gold coinage to satisfy its critics. At the same time, the mint had to improve the appearance of the coins it issued. Those requirements would result in an unusual production schedule.

Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    CrustyCrusty Posts: 1,078 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really enjoyed reading this information. Thank you for sharing it here with us.

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    CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,919 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic thread Bill, thank you.

    Any idea to the reasoning behind the ridiculously high $10K bond for the Coiner and Assayer? The powers that be must have understood how unrealistic it would have been for men of that position to pay such a bond. Could it have been a political move to try and block the mint from success? Perhaps propagated by lobbyists on the side of private minters?

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    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent retrospective for me. Coin collecting makes me a better student of history. Thanks. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

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    ashelandasheland Posts: 22,694 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great thread! I wish I had been to FUN to see the exhibit.

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,254 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks, informative posts.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    it is weird, i really never tire of reading about the challenges and issues surrounding us making some coins. nice thread BJ. :)

    <--- 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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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the time to put this tougher and post up and liked reading through it.

    I see others mentioning your FUN exhibit. So was this thread read a summation of the exhibit?
    (sorry I did not make it around to any of the FUN exhibits).

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see others mentioning your FUN exhibit. So was this thread read a summation of the exhibit?

    Yes

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    AndyKAndyK Posts: 60 ✭✭✭

    Love this post. My 1795 off center draped bust silver dollar (my avatar picture) is the pride of my collection. Knowing additional history behind it makes it even more so! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    CircCamCircCam Posts: 235 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you @BillJones - excellent presentation as always and really appreciate you sharing with those of us who didn’t have the opportunity to make it to FUN.

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    FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,153 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome post- I love reading about this kind of history!

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    dbldie55dbldie55 Posts: 7,719 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent read, thank you for taking the time to post it.

    Collector and Researcher of Liberty Head Nickels. ANA LM-6053
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    CharlotteDudeCharlotteDude Posts: 2,892 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Educational, informative… and an excellent read. Thanks!

    Got Crust....y gold?
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    Inspired70Inspired70 Posts: 504 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really well done! Your knowledge and presentation are both extraordinary Bill. Thank you for excellent work here.

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    kazkaz Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for taking the time to post this, Bill, very interesting and a relaxing read.

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    divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,528 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bill,

    As always, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on the coins of yesteryear. I really wish I could have come to the fun show in person to see these wonderful pieces and enjoy them.

    Thanks for taking the time to share these coins for those of us who could not check these out in person.

    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

    Successful transactions: Shrub68 (Jim), MWallace (Mike)
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    Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,150 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great post(s)!

    ** 1795 Lettered Edge Cent Mintage 37,000.
    Estimated Number of Survivors 650 (Based Die variety survival rarity estimates)**

    I knew they were scarce, but didn’t realize they are that scarce!

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9, 2023 7:31PM

    @Walkerguy21D said:
    Great post(s)!

    ** 1795 Lettered Edge Cent Mintage 37,000.
    Estimated Number of Survivors 650 (Based Die variety survival rarity estimates)**

    I knew they were scarce, but didn’t realize they are that scarce!

    My numbers could be off. I think the “Coin Facts” number was lower which sent me to the individual rarity variety numbers. I have not seen a lot of them, but I have not been looking. The lettered edge half cent is easier because of the C-1, but none of these coins are easy to find.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,473 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Bill for posting, see you solved the issue with too large of posts. For those that did not have the pleasure of seeing these at FUN, you missed a 1 in a lifetime exhibition on 1795 US coins. It is nice to see the info and images posted here.


    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
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    NeophyteNumismatistNeophyteNumismatist Posts: 888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you, @BillJones for this great thread. I enjoyed it a lot. I absolutely love your half cents, and I agree that is some of the best under type I have seen! Just a pleasure to read - thanks again!

    I am a newer collector (started April 2020), and I primarily focus on U.S. Half Cents and Type Coins. Early copper is my favorite.

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    OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,521 ✭✭✭✭✭

    :) Wow! Very nice post.

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

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    goodmoney4badmoneygoodmoney4badmoney Posts: 1,127 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting, really well done!

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    logger7logger7 Posts: 8,083 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks a lot for the posts, Bill. I look forward to the article in numismatic publications.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones... What a great and informative thread. I totally enjoyed reading this history of early American coinage. Cheers, RickO

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    Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That was a great informative read. Some nice looking coins too. Thanks for posting!

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    lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,462 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    I see others mentioning your FUN exhibit. So was this thread read a summation of the exhibit?

    Yes

    And this is why I should take the time to at least glance through the exhibits. However, the majority of the time I do not :/ as I am thinking of something else. Thanks again as this fits in with my current in-work mini set.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

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    Coin FinderCoin Finder Posts: 6,953 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent! 2023 post of the year award !!!

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    1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,823 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @thebigeng said:
    Excellent! 2023 post of the year award !!!

    May I nominate this thread as the first to be pinned at the top for 2023!

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    sparky64sparky64 Posts: 7,026 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 11:19AM

    I spent a lot of time at this exhibit and learned so much.
    For some reason I was being drawn back the 1795 gold half eagle several times.
    The fields have a mirror to them that is mesmerizing to me.
    When I asked Bill about that he mentioned that the mint took care to make sure these were above average and then I recalled that fact within his narrative.
    Anyway...fantastic exhibit.
    Thank you.
    -Mark

    "If I say something in the woods and my wife isn't there to hear it.....am I still wrong?"

    My Washington Quarter Registry set...in progress

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    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is an excellent and educational exhibit of the Mint in 1795.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bill,
    Thanks for one of the most informative posts of the early years of our mint and most enjoyable read.
    Jim


    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very impressive and thank you.

    Have a nice day
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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 6:25PM

    @DeplorableDan said:
    What an great read, thank you for posting this Bill! I thoroughly enjoyed looking over your exhibit at FUN as well, and it was a pleasure to meet you in person. Your half dollar is drop dead gorgeous, and if I add a 1795 coin in the future, I want it to look like that one.

    I found that piece at the summer FUN show. After some negotiations I purchased it.

    The coin was once in an NGC MS-62 holder where it sold in a Heritage auction. It is now in a PCGS AU-58 holder. Even so, it failed at CAC, which gave me a path to purchase it.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    psuman08psuman08 Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    Thank you for sharing. It is great to learn more about the early period at the mint.

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    BarndogBarndog Posts: 20,458 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BillJones wraps up "thread of the year" title in January. Thank you!

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