Dave Lange submitted these notes on U. S. Mint canvas bags. Thanks!
Recently, a long-time friend of mine who deals in all sorts of numismatica emailed me to say he'd sold some U. S. Mint canvas bags on eBay and discovered that the buyer is an NGC grader. I confirmed that fact and mentioned that I, too, have a modest collection of Mint and Treasury bags. This prompted me to look for them in the valley of forgotten collectibles that is my hobby room. I'm attaching scans I made of some of the more interesting pieces.
The first is a bag that formerly held $20 in 1941-S cents. Some time ago there was a debate on one of the message boards about whether cents were shipped in less than $50 quantities, and I mentioned having this bag. I find it particularly amusing that the font of the "S" in the word "CENTS" printed on the bag is similar in style to the somewhat scarce Large S variety of 1941-S cents---probably just a coincidence.
The next example demonstrates how the Mint re-used bags after they'd been returned by the recipient bank. It's stamped for $1000 in 1971-D half dollars, but partially obscured on the other side is text revealing that it formerly held 1966 dimes. Since the Mint wasn't including mintmarks for coins dated 1965-67 there is no indication of which facility produced said dimes.
The last item is one of the U. S. Mint's souvenir "mini bags." These were sold to collectors by mail and to mint tourists onsite during the early 1970s, and each 15-cent bag contained five cents from the Philadelphia Mint, five from the Denver Mint and five from the San Francisco Assay Office. I believe they were first offered in 1970 and then produced annually through 1973. This example formerly held cents dated 1973, and I purchased it by mail that year. When Mint Director Mary Brooks got fed up with speculators hoarding S-Mint cents and contributing to the cent shortage in 1974 she ordered that the souvenir bags be discontinued. At some point I emptied the bag, saving only the finest cent from each mint for my collection and spending the rest.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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