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Coins Of 1851 ~ Official Thread

Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,025 ✭✭✭✭✭

1851 saw the publication of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick. After reading it years ago, I finally understood why it's an American classic. There's a lot of subtle humor and for coin collectors, a Spanish 8 Escudo that gets nailed to the mast of the Pequod.

In other news, the Great Midwestern Flood of 1851 destroyed the town of Des Moines Iowa and set a yearly rainfall record that still stands today.

The first YMCA opens in Boston and the yacht "America" wins the "R.Y.S. £100 Cup" which became known as America's Cup and was successfully defended until 1983. It's the oldest continuous international sporting competition.

The coinage of 1851 is notable for the introduction of the 3c silver piece. It was conceived as a convenient way to pay for the new 3c first class postage stamp. It was also minted in .750 fineness until 1854, which is unique among silver issues.

In my collecting area, Seated Quarters, the 1851 issues are scarce as are all 1851 seated silver issues due to the vast amounts of gold entering commerce from California and causing silver to be undervalued, resulting in the coinage act of 1853 reducing the weight of silver coins which caused earlier issues to be melted.


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