US Coins – Roger Burdette Explores The Most Unusual Coin Proposals In New Book
Seneca Mill Press LLC announces the release of the last numismatic book of Roger W. Burdette:
Fashions, counterfeits and weaknesses
Most 19th-century Americans viewed coins and change in two practical ways: the fear that their coins or paper money would be accepted by merchants for purchase, and the desire for more.
For the few people involved in economic policy and politics, other more esoteric aspects of money were of concern. Their three main topics were the prevention of adulteration or counterfeiting, the direct equivalence of international gold coins, and the use of metric weights for the coins. Underlying each of these assumptions were certain economic assumptions and profit opportunities that prompted governments to make decisions.
Forgery and counterfeiting was everyone’s business, as bad coins meant that merchants and banks would reject money offered by a person as payment. In this regard, it must be remembered that gold coins were simply practical tokens containing a certain weight of pure gold. Banks and merchants could, and sometimes did, reject legitimate gold coins because they looked badly worn or were lighter than official standards. It was the object of James T. Barclay and his obsession with preventing the degradation of the national currency.
Master of Nickel Mines Joseph wharton went to great lengths to promote nickel and copper alloys for minor coins valued up to 10 cents. Here he smashed skulls with persistent mint officers who thought of base metal coins only as temporary Civil War substitutes for silver dimes and a half dimes.
Businessman Dana bickford, alternatively, concerned the ability of travelers to easily know the value of their American currency in certain European currencies. His idea of an international gold coin was not conceived as a standard of value but as an equivalence calculator. His changes were in design, not content, although much of the work was facilitated by Georges dunning, former superintendent of New York Bureau of Analysis.
The silver producers of the 1870s wanted to stop the decline in the value of silver against gold. Others wanted a bimetallic standard so that gold and silver also circulated. Supporters of standard international currency wanted to follow the principles of Latin monetary union and make the gold coins of all the great nations exactly equal to each other. Additionally, many idealists around the world wanted all coin weights expressed in grams of pure gold or silver, and coin diameters and weights to be whole numbers. Here we find Hubbell wheel offering a bimetallic coin alloy and US metric weight coins. He was neither the first nor the last to advocate these measures but was certainly the most favored by a congressional committee. Nicolas veeder, on the other hand, did not want an alloy but a mechanical union of the two metals – much like modern bimetallic parts.
Others have proposed protecting coins by adding an iron ring or striking coins with one or more holes to allow for a suitable diameter while helping the blind identify a coin’s value.
Fashions, counterfeits and weaknesses brings together a strange team of idealists and opportunists – creators of the best-known but little understood currency proposals. The author, drawing on original archival sources, separates fact from fantasy while giving today’s collectors a delightful journey through some of the strangest coin offerings ever made.
Fashions, counterfeits and weaknesses is available from CoinWeek Supplies. The cover price for the 8½ x 11 inch book containing 273 color pages is $ 29.95. Buyers can also request a full edition of the digital index at no cost. This will make it easier to search by subject and provide a convenient copy for use on smartphones, tablets and similar portable devices.