Archive for April, 2012

America’s Buffalo Nickel Coins

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

James Earle Fraser was a student of the famed sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens. In time, he became famous in his own right with many sculptures and works well known around the world. His most familiar work would appear on the five cent coin, known as the Buffalo Nickel or Indian Head Nickel, depending on the source.

A wonderful perspective and a iconic portrayal of history, both the obverse and reverse are often cited as uniquely American.

The portrait on the front of the nickel was long believed to be a composite, although that has not stopped various Native American tribes claiming to be the model for the front of the Buffalo nickels. However, Fraser eventually named the Indians who inspired the coin design, once it had reached the end of its production run. He named three Native Americans, a Sioux named Irontail, a Cheyenne named Two Moons and a Kiowa Indian by the name of Big Tree.

The bison is a symbol of the great expansion westwards, and it is this animal, not a buffalo, that can be seen on the coin. A bison named Black Diamond that once belonged to the zoon in New York’s Central Park, was believed to be the model for the animal depicted on the coin, although an animal at the Bronx Zoo named Bronx is also said to be the animal on the coin. If you attend coin shows around the country, you may see the stuffed head of Black Diamond; the animal was slaughtered in 1915.

Coins in the US can only be redesigned after they have been in circulation for at least 25 years. In 1938, the last Buffalo nickels were minted, with a design showing Thomas Jefferson and Monticello.

Gold Rush Origin Of The Double Eagle

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

The Double Eagle is a twenty dollar gold piece that was produced in United States mints between 1849 and 1933. The origin of the Double Eagle can be traced back to the discovery of gold in California in 1848. This was the beginning of the Gold rush that resulted in the mining of indescribable amounts of gold.

In order to deal with all the bullion that was arriving at the mints across the country, the Coinage Act was approved on March 3, 1849. This Act authorized the production of the Double Eagle, so called because it was worth twice the ten dollar Eagle that had been in circulation since 1792. Although the lesser denomination had seemed adequate until that time, it was decided that a coin of larger value was necessary to process all the gold efficiently.

The chief engraver, James B. Longacre, designed the first coin with the head of Liberty on the obverse and the heraldic eagle on the reverse. Other than the addition of the motto and spelling out the denomination, this basic design lasted into the 20th century. In 1907, the St. Gaudens design was deemed of greater artistic merit. With a few changes, this was the Double Eagle that lasted until production was discontinued in 1933.

The Many Benefits Of Junk Silver

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Some investors do not realize the advantages and benefits of junk silver. When it comes to acquiring silver, junk silver is one of the most convenient types of actual physical silver that you can acquire. It offers many benefits for the investor that are not typically available when investing in tradition silver.

Today, junk silver has been preserved in the form of silver coins. There was a time, prior to using paper, that coins were produced and were the dominant material used in producing currency. In this way,the 90% silver coins can be viewed as simply old currency. Their value today is based on the higher market prices of silver and the intrinsic value which is captured.

Among the primary benefits of purchasing junk silver is that it is was produced as legal tender. This means that the silver has a guaranteed value that can be used in transactions. For example a silver quarter dollar will always be worth at least a quarter dollar, no matter what happens to the market price of silver.

A major benefit with purchasing silver coins is its divisibility. This means that it is easy to divide it into smaller units. The large bags typically purchased can be opened up and measured out by individual coins or units of face value. Investors are not forced to purchase a brick of silver that is more than they intended, the investor can purchase smaller increments that better suits their needs.

The many benefits of junk silver have made it one of the most convenient and easy ways to invest. In addition to it being convenient to purchase, it also offers advantages that other types cannot offer.