The schedule of Numismatic Bibliomania Society events at the 2014 Chicago World's Fair of Money is still being finalized. But President Marc Ricard informs me that the auction should contain some rarities and that Dan Hamelberg has some rare documents he'll bring for show and tell.
Here's some information on Dan's documents.
Dan Hamelberg writes:
The primary document is the Congressional Act creating the Mint signed by Jefferson as Secretary of State. As you know, Jefferson had a major impact on the establishment of the first U.S. Mint, and had an important role in determining the structure of coinage. Additionally, I will bring to the meeting the cover page of the appointment of Henry Voigt as the first coiner to the U.S. Mint signed by Jefferson. I will also be bringing the 1790 copy of Jefferson's work on weights, measures, and coins.
To top it off, I will bring the first English version of Jefferson's Notes on Virginia with map. This is not a numismatic item, but it goes along well with the other items.
Here's some more background from the Swann Galleries April 8, 2014 sale, where the Mint Act document was sold as lot #144.
Sale 2344 Lot 144
THE DOLLAR BECOMES THE COIN OF THE LAND--SIGNED BY JEFFERSON JEFFERSON, THOMAS. An Act Establishing a Mint, and Regulating the Coins of the United States. Document Signed by Jefferson as Secretary of State. 5 printed pages on 3 disbound folio sheets, 15 x 9 3/4 inches; folds, minor dampstaining in upper right margin; uncut. [Philadelphia]: [Francis Childs and John Swaine], 2 April 1792
First printing of the coinage act, which defined the American currency system--and established the dollar as legal tender.
The ninth clause lists the denominations of coins which can be produced by the new mint. The most important was "Dollars or Units--each to be the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy one grains and four sixteenths of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver." The other denominations, ranging from ten-dollar gold "Eagles" down through quarter dollars, "dismes," cents, and half cents, are all defined in relation to the dollar. The tenth clause dictates that each coin bear the word "Liberty," and that the gold and silver denominations read "United States of America" and bear an eagle on the reverse. The final clause dictates that "the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars or units, dismes or tenths, cents or hundredths, and milles or thousandths." We have operated on a decimal system ever since, although the "mille" in the third decimal place fell by the wayside very quickly.
The act also authorizes the hiring of a director, assayer, chief coiner, engraver, and treasurer, and sets the salaries for each. Other provisions have been superseded by later acts. For example, we private citizens can no longer bring our own bullion to be minted into coins.
This printing is certified with the signature of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson at the bottom of the final page. It is also signed in type by Jonathan Trumbull as Speaker of the House, John Adams as Vice President, and George Washington as President. The act is printed on paper made by Henry Schutz in Pennsylvania, with his "HS Sandy Run" watermark--the same paper favored by George Washington for his private correspondence (see Gravell, American Watermarks 164 and image 308).
Evans 24886. Copies traced at only two institutions in ESTC and OCLC, neither of them signed; no complete signed copies known at auction since at least 1917. This may be the only extant complete signed copy.
For more information, see:
Get ready for the 2014 World's Fair of Money
Wayne Homren, Editor
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