The Improbable

Without looking in the Guide Book of United States Coins or the Internet, see how many of these five questions you can answer. Get 2 or 3 right and you are doing well, for these are trick questions—emphasizing the improbable and obscure, but true!

1. Concerning the 1924 Huguenot-Walloon commemorative half dollar:
a. By an omission in the authorizing act, these coins were not legal tender.
b. B. Max Mehl, a leading coin dealer of the time, handled the distribution, assuring that most went into numismatic channels.
c. The men depicted on the obverse had nothing to do with the event being commemorated.
d. Most were unsold and were placed into circulation for face value.

2. Of these coin designers, which one was a member of and attended meetings of the American Numismatic Society in New York City?
a. Victor D. Brenner
b. Frank Gasparro
c. Augustus Saint-Gaudens
d. Charles E. Barber

3. Which one of these statements is false?
a. There were no 1804-dated silver dollars struck in calendar year 1804.
b. The mintage figure for the famous 1841 quarter eagle rarity was omitted from Mint records.
c. In the past 20 years, current American presidents have made it a point to visit the National Numismatic Collection, just a short walk from the White House.
d. In 1877, although trade dollars were being struck, the Treasury would not redeem them for face value.

4. Which one of these statements is true?
a. Before choosing Colorado Springs, the American Numismatic Association considered Iola, Wisconsin for its Headquarters building.
b. In 1949, when the Dr. Green Collection of gold coins was sold, the very rarest Saint-Gaudens double eagle was thought to have been the 1924-S.
c. In 1887 the Carson City Mint struck 100,000 silver dollars, but no gold coins.
d. All coins struck at the West Point Mint have a W mintmark.

5. A century ago in 1910 which one of these series was the “hottest” in the marketplace?
a. Mintmarked Morgan dollars, especially Carson City issues
b. Hard Times tokens of the 1832-1844 era
c. Indian Head quarter eagles and half eagles
d. National Bank notes

Answers: 1-c • 2-a • 3-c [as to the 1804 dollars, some were struck in this calendar year, but from dies dated earlier] • 4-b • 5-b

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