Special Sub-Topic: Money Detective: USA 20th Century
|Of these four, which is the most valuable collector coin, not face value but value to a collector?|
1913 Liberty Head nickel. Production of the Liberty Head nickel was suspended after the 1912 run, with the so-called Buffalo nickel planned for 1913, but at the Philadelphia mint a person or persons unknown struck 5 1913 Liberty Heads, and today they are worth a mint in themselves.
|What was portrayed on the front of the so-called Buffalo nickel?|
the head of an American Indian. "Buffalo" nickel was a misnomer. It was officially called the Indian Head nickel and was minted from 1913 to 1938. Barber head refers to coins designed by Charles Barber around the turn of the 19th/20th century.
|What quarter was minted for 16 years just before the Washington quarter was introduced?|
the Standing Liberty quarter. This coin showed a full-length figure of a woman representing Liberty standing in the opening between two low walls - not the most popular of designs.
|What unusual but serious problem did collectors have with the "Buffalo" nickel and the Standing Liberty quarter?|
the dates wore off too easily. You'd find these coins in circulation in the 50s or 60s, and on some of them the dates would be worn off, even when most of the coin was still in pretty good shape. You could be holding a rarity and not know it. A true headache for numismatists.
|When the United States stopped using silver in most of its coins, the 1000-count bags of silver dollars that had been sitting in the Treasury Dept.'s vaults were sold at face value to eager crowds of collectors and speculators. In what decade did this happen?|
the 60s. Many people got Morgan or Peace Dollars that were worth only face value. But some got bags of rare, valuable coins from the San Francisco mint and especially the Carson City mint that were quite a find. Of course, many silver dollars were melted down in the 70s during the silver boom when the dollars were selling for as much as $24 each. Pretty hard to resist, huh? Wonder how many people sold those bags of common dollars for $24,000?
|In World War II America, Lincoln cents with one particular date were very easy to spot in change. What was the date?|
1943. Copper was needed for the war effort, so in 1943 the Treasury used a zinc/steel alloy for the Lincoln cent, which meant that a shiny new penny looked a lot like a dime and an older one resembled something you'd find in a plumber's tool box. Very easy to spot in a handful of pennies.
|On Federal Reserve notes of the type just before the recent design change, names of cities, as well as letters and numbers that represented those cities, could be found on the $1 to $100 bills. What was the significance of these cities?|
the cities where Federal Reserve Banks were located that distributed the bills to other banks. Every note of that series had a letter in the seal on the left side of the bill, for example A for Boston, B for New York, etc., and the same letter was the first letter of the serial number. Numbers corresponding to the letters (1 for A, 2 for B, etc.) were also printed on the front of the bill in black ink in a rectangular formation.
These things still appear on the current $1 bill, still not
re-designed (anybody know why?). Take a look!
|The series of bills which was discontinued in the late 1920s, the one previous to the design used for most of the 20th century, was much larger than the bills we're familiar with. Because of their size, many people called them by a certain nickname. What was it?|
saddle blankets. People must have had bigger wallets in those days. Also, during the Civil War, the Union printed very small bills officially called fractional currency (like 50 cents and 25 cents), known in slang as shin plasters.
|Today the largest denomination of paper money the US prints is the 100, but what was the largest denomination bill the US ever issued?|
$100,000. Woodrow Wilson's portrait appeared on these monster gold certificates, which were printed only in Dec., 1934 and Jan., 1935 and were used mainly to transfer deposits from one Federal Reserve bank to another and were not meant for public use.
|Which of these people was NOT a designer of one or more US coins?|
B. J. Surhoff. Roberts designed the JFK half dollar, Brenner (initials VDB) designed the Lincoln cent, and Weinman designed the so-called Mercury dime (actually Winged Liberty or Winged Cap dime). As of the 2002 season, Surhoff is an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves.
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