Regarding Tom Kays' item about the chrome cents of 1954, Tom DeLorey writes:
Either somebody chromed a bunch of coins as a legitimate (albeit illegal) tax protest of some sort, or some coin dealer thought up a clever way to get people to come into their shop at the cost of a mere two cents per response.
Dave Lange writes:
Regarding the chrome pennies, a clue is found in the phrase "Wagner Tax Protest Pennies." Robert F. Wagner was mayor of New York City 1954-65, and it's likely that his administration imposed a one-cent tax for some reason. The theater's management evidently had a bunch of cents chrome-plated to protest this new tax.
In those days the Treasury and Secret Service were overly cautious and pedantic when it came to any alteration to our coins, routinely denying to collectors that any mint errors or varieties were genuine. The forces of authority must have bullied the theater into recalling all of the plated coins. It seems likely that the theater received more publicity from the recall than from the original issuance.
A different Google search turned up a newspaper article from July 20, 1954 explaining all the fuss. Tom and Dave are correct in their assumptions. Click on the link below the read the complete story. Has anyone ever come across one of these chromed cents?
To read the complete article, see:
Chromium Cent Scheme Backfired in Brooklyn
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: THE CHROME PENNIES OF 1954
Wayne Homren, Editor
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