Pocket Change Numismatic History

What is a Mint?
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What is a Mint?
By David Yoon

Some questions seem too obvious to be worth asking. Everyone knows that a mint is a production facility that strikes coins. But wait—are facilities that produce tokens or medals included? Is it really the facility at all, or rather the organization that operates it? Or even the organization that controls how coins are issued? All of these possibilities occur in numismatic usage, and they aren’t always the same.

Before modern machinery, minting of coins did not require much infrastructure. Considered on its own, the striking process only requires a pair of dies, a hammer, and a supply of blanks, plus a…

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Laban Heath’s Improved Adjustable Compound Microscope
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Laban Heath’s Improved Adjustable Compound Microscope
By David Hill

Heath’s microscope and one of his counterfeit detectors.

The ANS Library and Archives recently acquired an interesting little gadget—one of Laban…

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New Candidate for Oldest U.S. Numismatic Society Discovered
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New Candidate for Oldest U.S. Numismatic Society Discovered
By David Hill

Charles Ira Bushnell

A couple of months ago, friend and fellow numismatic researcher Joel Orosz sent me a news clipping containing…

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The Ottoman Kuruş and Control of Coinage
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The Ottoman Kuruş and Control of Coinage
By David Yoon

by Ellen Nye and David Yoon

In August 2018, as Turkey faced a currency crisis, its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called…

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Money, Pain, and Human Sentiment
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Money, Pain, and Human Sentiment
By Nathan Elkins

As one of the leading international centers of numismatic research, it’s no surprise that the stories coins tell about the…

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Where Is It From?
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Where Is It From?
By David Yoon

There are many ways to describe where a coin is from. One by reference to the place of minting (e.g.,…

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Representations of Justice in Numismatics
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Representations of Justice in Numismatics
By Elena Stolyarik

Since ancient times, justice has been one of the fundamental concepts of civilized society. Through the centuries its allegorical personification…

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He Owned a Fort
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He Owned a Fort
By David Hill

Steven Pell, painting by DeWitt M. Lockman

I don’t mean to turn this blog into my own personal travelogue, but I…

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The Franc: A Coin, A Currency, and Orphan
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The Franc: A Coin, A Currency, and Orphan
By Gilles Bransbourg

The Franc is one of the oldest and most widespread currency units in the world, currently the official currency of…

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The Allan Evans Papers
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The Allan Evans Papers
By David Yoon

The many treasures of the American Numismatic Society’s archives include not only the Society’s own history and papers documenting the…

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A Numismatic Reunion
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A Numismatic Reunion
By The American Numismatic Society

Guest post by David D. Gladfelter. David studies, writes, and speaks about the history of bank note engraving and printing,…

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Henry Chapman's Granddaughter Sets the Record Straight
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Henry Chapman's Granddaughter Sets the Record Straight
By David Hill

A few weeks ago I gave a talk at a meeting of the New York Numismatic Club (NYNC) on the…

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