The E-Sylum:  Volume 5, Number 3, January 20, 2002, Article 11


  Bob Dunfield of Tradewind Numismatic Books writes: "I
  have been reading through old (1960's) 'Numismatic
  Scrapbook'  booklets, and am finding a lot of interesting
  things.  In one copy, there's an ad to trade new 1962
  Chevrolets for "Unc. 1955 rolls";  also an interesting article
  on boxes in the mint, opened in the 1860's, and then
  resealed, containing 1804 dollar dies, half cent dies, 1836,
  1840's, one tenth cent dies, etc. including patterns.  What
  do you think happened to these dies?

  The article appeared in 'The Numismatic Scrapbook
  Magazine', Dec., 1961 issue, by Walter Thompson.  The
  title is "The 1804 Dollar Die and Others Found at the Mint
  in 1867"   The following text is taken from the article:

  "In all of American numismatic history, there is no coin that
  has been as controversial as the 1804 dollar. In view of the
  recent agitation over a newly discovered specimen it seems
  that fate had a hand in the accidental discovery of the
  following documents at the National Archives.......May 18 '67
  ...On the 8th of July, 1859 several experimental dies were
  boxed, sealed, and placed in the vault, in the Cabinet, by the
  then Director of the Mint, and a list thereof was filed in the
  Director's office.  Another sealed box of experimental dies
  was placed in said vault July 30, 1860, and a list filed in the
  same office.  Neither of these papers can now be found, and
  the Director deems it proper to have the boxes opened and
  again sealed up. It is ordered that the boxes referred to shall
  be opened this day in the presence of the Director, Chief
  Coiner & Engraver. A list of the dies shall be replaced in the
  boxes and sealed up under the official seals of the Director
  and Engraver. H.H. Linderman, Director..........May 18,

  ...List of dies Sealed up  in box by Director of the Mint,
  July 30th, 1860 & resealed May 18th, 1867:

  Dollar Die 1804
  Silver Dollar Dies 1838
  "" ""1836
  '' '' 1839
  Experiment Dies Half Dollars 1 head & 4 rever. 1859
  Paquet Half Dollar Die 1859
  ''   Quarter Dollar Die 1859
  Half Dollar Die 1858
  " "  ''  1859
  Dollar Dies (Silver) 1851 & 1852
  Half Cent Die 1836
  " ' ' 1851
  " " " 1851
  " " " 1852
  " " " 1844
  " " " 1846
  " " " 1847
  " " " 1848
  " " " 1842
  " " " 1840
  " " " 1852
  Quarter Dollar Die 1827
  Experimental gold Dollar Die 1852
  " "  " " 1836
  ..............................................  May 18, '67

  List of Dies Sealed up in box by Director of the Mint July 8th
  1859 & resealed May 18th 1867......

  3 Flying Eagles 1 cent obverses, 2 - 1854, 1 - 1855
  1 Liberty Head 1 Cent obverses 1854
  1 reverse 1 cent
  1 ring cent obverse & reverse 1850
  1 cent (Liberty Seated) obverse & reverse 1851
  1 Tenth Silver Cent obverse & reverse
  1 cent blank obverse & Wreath reverse
  1 - 2 cent Eagle obverse & reverse
  1 - 3 Cent Liberty Cap obverse & reverse silver
  1 - 3 Cent Figure 3 obverse & reverse silver

  ........... The fact that an 1804 dollar die appears on this
  list coupled with the revealing information contained in
  Linderman's letter that it was found in the Mint Cabinet
  vault should settle once and for all the question of where
  existing Type II 1804 dollars were struck.  The conclusion
  to be drawn is that these long disputed coins were struck
  at the mint for trading purposes.  The fact is further
  substantiated by the nature and character of the other dies
  on the same list.

  All the other dies listed as being sealed in a box July 30,
  1860 are either patterns or coins of great rarity and both
  classifications represent prime trading material or if another
  conjecture is to be made - readily saleable at a price. As
  a matter of fact restrikes are known of many of the dies
  listed, notably the Gobrecht dollars, 1827 quarter and the
  half cents.

  A review of the correspondence with Director Snowden
  in "What the Archives Reveal About the 1804 Dollar"
  (NSM August 1961) pinpoints the years 1859 or 1860
  when coins from this die, known as Type II, were struck.
  This discovery lends further credence to the generally
  accepted fact that the type I 1804 dollar was also struck
  by the mint in the 1840's."

  Copyright Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, Vol. XXVII
  No. 12, December, 1961 , Whole No. 310, and Walter

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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