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A Quiz from 1955

The August 1955 number of The Numismatist included a "Silver Quiz for Coin Collectors" compiled by Stuart Mosher. The original text is reprinted here:

Count 5 for each correct answer. If you score 50 you have a slightly better than average passing score. If your score is 75 or more you are indeed talented and by all rights should be quite wealthy. Some of the questions are tricky and those playing this game are warned not to jump at their first conclusions.

1. In what year were U.S. silver dollars first issued?

2. Does German silver actually contain silver?

3. Is pure silver as hard as pure gold?

4. Before we went off the gold standard in 1933, what was the ratio of value between gold and silver?

5. What is the chemical symbol for silver?

6. Name one Roman or Greek coin denomination struck in silver.

7. Did the U.S. strike any silver dollars between 1872 and 1879?

8. Was silver ever used as an alloy in U.S. gold coins?

9. How many "pieces of silver" did Judas receive for betraying Jesus Christ?

10. Is there any difference in weight of a U.S. standard silver dollar and 10 U.S. silver dimes?

11. Give the name of the designer of any type of a U.S. dime.

12. Is there any difference in weight of a U.S. half dollar of 1855 and a U.S. half dollar of 1955?

13. What country produces the most silver?

14. What is the fineness of modern U.S. silver coins?

15. Is silver rated high as a conductor of electricity?

16. What is the most valuable U.S. silver dollar?

17. Can you name a U.S. coin containing only 35% silver?

18. In what year was the famous silver Pine Tree shilling first struck?

19. Can you name one South American coin struck in silver?

20. How many ways can you change a U.S. silver 25-cent piece? (Using dimes, nickels and cents.)

Answers [all from original 1955 publication]:

1. 1794. Philadelphia Mint. 1,758 were coined. • 2. No. • 3. Yes. It is harder. • 4. 16 of silver to one of gold. • 5. Ag. From the Latin argentum. • 6. Denarius, quinarius, obol, drachm, stater and multiples, sestertius, antoninianus, argenteus, siliqua, shekel, siglos. • 7. Yes, in 1873 and 1878. • 8. No. • 9. 30. • 10. Yes. Dollar weighs 4121%2 grains, 10 dimes weigh 385.8 grains. • 11. Barber, Weinman or Sinnock. • 12. Yes. The 1955 half dollar weighs 192.9 grains and the half dollar of 1855 only 192 grains. • 13. Mexico. • 14. .900th fine, the alloy being one-tenth copper. • 15. Yes. It is the best conductor of all metals. • 16. The 1804 issue. • 17. The wartime five-cent pieces from 1942 to 1945 contained 35% silver, 56% copper and 9% manganese. • 18. 1652. • 19. Real, sol, peso, centesimo, balboa, boliviano, colon, dinero, lempira, quetzal, milreis, multiples of the centavo and centimo. • 20. 12: 2 dimes and 5 cents, 2 dimes and 1 nickel, 1 dime and 15 cents, 1 dime and 3 nickels, 1 dime, 2 nickels and 5 cents, 1 dime, 1 nickel and 10 cents, 5 nickels, 4 nickels and 5 cents, 3 nickels and 10 cents, 2 nickels and 15 cents, 1 nickel and 20 cents, 25 cents."

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