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The E-Sylum: Volume 3, Number 41, October 8, 2000, Article 5


A great example of Tom DeLorey's writing appears in the November 2000 issue of COINage magazine, asking the question, "How do you accurately count billions of coins?". In "Heavy Numbers" (p30), he examines the U.S. Mint's practice in recent years of counting coins by weight, and goes on to discuss earlier methods, such as counting-boxes.

After discussing how mintages were often reported by counting the number of $1,000 sacks or kegs filled, he asks another key question: "What happened to the leftover coins that could not fill up a bag at the end of the year?"

The answer? ".. if you are a wise coiner, you will keep these coins on your books as planchets and deliver them as coins the following year. Thus, your first bag for each year should be a mixed one - and unless that bag is opened by a coin collector, nobody will ever care.

That did happen one time, however, in the early 1950's - with amazing good fortune to the collector who opened a Mint-sewn bag of 1894-S dollars only to find 20 brilliant uncirculated 1893-S dollars mixed in the bag.

All of the other 100,000 1893-S dollars records by the Mint were released into circulation shortly after striking, and to this day virtually every uncirculated 1893-S dollar can be traced to that bag of 1894-S's."

Wayne Homren, Editor

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