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Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/12/2017  9:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The first Congressional proposal for a U.S. Mint was ten years before its establishment in 1782 and it was made by the Congressional Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris.



On the 15th of January, 1782, Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris' plan to establish a United States Mint and coinage was laid before the United States in Congress Assembled. Morris wrote:

Finding by the Act of the United States in Congress of the seventh Instant that I am Instructed to prepare and report a Table of Rates at which the different Species of foreign Coins most likely to circulate within the United States shall be received at the Treasury I have been induced again to turn my Attention to an Object which has employed my Thoughts very frequently and which would have been long since submitted to Congress had I not been prevented by other Business and much delayed by those Things relating to this Business which depended upon others. I shall now pray Leave to deliver my Sentiments somewhat at large on this Subject.

The United States labor under many Inconveniences and even Disadvantages which may at present be remedied but which if suffered to continue would become incurable and lead to pernicious Consequences. It is very fortunate for us that the Weights and Measures used throughout America are the same. Experience has shewn in other Countries that the Efforts of the Legislator to Change Weights and Measures altho fully seconded by the more enlightened Part of the Community have been so strongly opposed by the popular Habits and Prejudices that Ages have elapsed without producing the desired Effect. I repeat therefore that it is happy for us to have throughout the Union the same Ideas of a Mile and an Inch a Hogshead and a Quart, a Pound an Ounce. So far our commercial Dealings are simplified and brought down to the level of every Capacity. With respect to our Money the Case is very widely different. The Ideas annexed to a Pound a Shilling and a Penny are almost as various as the States themselves.

Calculations are therefore as necessary for our inland Commerce as upon foreign Exchanges and the commonest Things become intricate where Money has any thing to do with them. A Farmer in New hampshire for Instance can readily form an Idea of a Bushell of Wheat in South Carolina weighing sixty Pounds and placed at one hundred Miles from Charlestown but if he were told that in such Situation it is worth twenty one Shillings and eight Pence, he would be obliged to make many Enquiries and form some Calculations before he could know that this Sum meant in general what he would call four Shillings. And even then he would have to enquire what Kind of Coin that four Shillings was paid in before he could estimate it in his own Mind according to the Ideas of Money which he had imbibed. Difficulties of this Sort do not occur to Farmers alone, they are perplexing to most Men and troublesome to all. It is however a fortunate Circumstance that Money is so much in the Power of the Sovereign as that he can easily lead the People into new Ideas of it and even if that were not the Case yet the loose State in which our Currency has been for some Years past has opened the Way for receiving any Impressions on that Subject. As we are now shaking off the Inconveniencies of a depreciating Medium the present Moment seems to be that in which a general Currency can best be established so as that in a few Months the same Names of Money will mean the same Things in the several Parts of the United States.

Another Inconvenience which admits of the same easy Remedy and which would indeed be cured by the very same Act is the Want of a legal Tender. This is as necessary for the Purposes of Jurisprudence as a general Currency is for those of Commerce. For altho there is great Impropriety not to say Injustice in compelling a Man to receive a Part of his Debt in discharge of the whole yet it is both Just and proper that the Law should protect the honest Debtor who is willing to pay against the vexatious Suits of an Oppressive Creditor who refuses to receive the full Value.

The Nature Value and Use of Money have always occasioned strong Temptations to the Commission of Fraud and of Consequence the Practice of counterfeiting is coeval with that of Coining. No Government can Guard its Subjects entirely against the wicked Ingenuity which has been exercised in this respect. But it has always been the Object of every wise Government to take all the Precautions against it which are within the Compass of human Ability. These Precautions will be most effectual where the Coins are few and simple because they by that Means become familiar to all Ranks and Degrees of Men but where the Coins are so numerous that the Knowledge of them is a kind of Science the lower Order of Citizens are constantly injured by those who carry on the Business of debasing sweating clipping counterfeiting and the like. It is therefore to be lamented that we have so many different Coins in the United States.

It is not necessary to mention what is in every Body's Mouth that the precious Metals were first used as Bullion and that the Inconvenience of weighing and the Difficulty of Assaying introduced the Practice of Coining in Order that the weight and fineness might be known at the first View and of Consequence the Value be instantly ascertained. It is equally unnecessary to observe that the great Privilege of declaring this Value by particular Marks has among all Nations been vested exclusively in the Sovereign. A Trust so important could not indeed be vested any where else because the Danger of abusing it was too great. And History informs us that Sovereigns themselves have not on this Occasion behaved with that Integrity which was alike due to their Subjects and to themselves to the Interests of their People and to their own personal Glory. Experience has already told us that the advantage of Gold as a Coin is in this Country very considerably diminished for every distinct Piece must be weighed before it can be safely received. Both Gold and Silver Coins are indeed preferable, in one respect to common Bullion that the Standard is presumed to be just and consequently they are received without the Delays and Expences of assaying. It must however be remembered that they are all foreign Coins and of Course we are not only exposed to the Tricks of Individuals but should it suit the Interest or Convenience of any Sovereign to make base Money for us there is Nothing to prevent it. If for Instance the King of England or any of his Birmingham Artists should coin Guineas worth but sixteen shillings Sterling our Citizens would readily and freely receive them at twenty one Shillings Sterling. It is my Duty to mention to Congress Information I have received that Guineas of base Metal are coined at Birmingham so well as to escape any common Attention. Now there can be no Doubt but that every such Guinea received here would be a national Loss to us of an English Crown. How much we suffer in this Way at present it is impossible to estimate.

What I have already had the Honor to observe contains some of the reasons why it appears to me highly necessary that an American Coin should be adopted without Delay and to these Reasons it may be added that there is a want of small Money for the common Occasions of Trade and that it is more felt by our Soldiery than any other Persons. For the little Pay which they do receive being either in Gold or at best in Dollars the Sutlers and others with whom they have Dealings continually take the Advantage of their want of Change and rate the Prices of their Goods accordingly.
Edited by numismatic student
01/12/2017 9:05 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/12/2017  9:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Price list for select rare coins by Benjamin Maximillian Mehl in 1904.

Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/12/2017  9:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply


The existence of the 1913 liberty head nickel was rumored but unconfirmed in 1919. I was not until 1920 at the ANA Convention that the world was able to see a 1913 LHN. Remember that in 1919, people were getting over a World War unlike anyone had ever seen in history. Still they were willing to pay $500 for a nickel without ever having seen one.

According to IRS Income statistics as of 1919, the average annual per capita income in the U.S. was $187.32. Highest per capita net income was in the District of Columbia.

Edited by numismatic student
01/12/2017 10:05 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/12/2017  9:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Original invoice for the finest Panama Pacific Commemorative set ever graded. Signed by Farran Zerbe who was responsible for Pan Pac set sales.

Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  08:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
King Farouk of Egypt owned almost every rarity in US coinage. He also indulged his hobby as his people starved in the streets.

Edited by numismatic student
01/13/2017 08:34 am
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  08:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Letter from King Farouk's secretary to Max Mehl thanking him on behalf of the monarch for the sale of the King's 1913 Liberty Head Nickel.

Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  08:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
John Quincy Adams was the only U.S. President known to have been a serious collector of coins.

Pillar of the Community
Learn More...
United States
1445 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  09:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add scopru to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great information!
Everyday is a great day. Semper Fi.
ANA Number: 3178122
My Wants List: http://goccf.com/t/188411
Pillar of the Community
United States
7489 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  09:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CoinCollector2012 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Numismatic_Student, do you own all this stuff? I would love to own a coin that belonged to John Quincy Adams.

Sets in progress... Mercury dimes, Washington quarters, 7070 Type Set
View my collection here! http://www.coincommunity.org/galler...hp?cat=10518
ANA: 3183215
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  09:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No, I don't own this stuff. I just love the history associated with my hobby.
Valued Member
United States
280 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  09:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ARcoins to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for posting. My Dad was born in 1919. IRS statistics fascinating.
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  6:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
ARCoins - I am sure that you father made a great contribution to what our Country is today from where it was in 1919.

Weighing and filing overweight planchets. In 1850, the Mint hired forty women to supplement their adjusting staff. By 1860, female adjusters were paid 11 cents an hour in a 10 hour day, considered a generous wage in those years. Public domain image.



A later picture after photography in the latter 1800s.

Edited by numismatic student
01/13/2017 6:16 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  6:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nellie Ross was a trailblazer. She was the first female governor of a U.S. State (Wyoming) and was also the first female Director of the U.S. Mint.

Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  6:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Women sorting coins at the Philadelphia Mint in 1942.

Pillar of the Community
United States
5220 Posts
 Posted 01/13/2017  6:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Treasury department' s south entrance in 1860 before the Civil War.



The Treasury's south entrance today.

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