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s12k3's Blog

08 Oct 2020

The History of The 20 Cent Coin

| s12k3

Hello! I have recently joined the Young Numismatist discord, and it’s been a blast. We had our first meeting last week, which was awesome. Today, I am going to write about the 20c coin. Unfortunately, I do not have one. But it is still an awesome coin. The American twenty-cent piece is a coin struck from 1 8 7 5 to 1 8 7 8, but only for collectors in the final two years. Proposed by Nevada Senator John P. Jones, it proved a failure due to confusion with the quarter, to which it was close in both size and value.


In 1 8 7 4 senator Jones began pressing for a twenty-cent piece, which he said would remove the shortage of small change in the West. The bill passed Congress, and Mint Director Henry Linderman ordered pattern coins to be struck. Linderman eventually decided on an obverse and reverse similar to that of other silver coins.


Although the coins have a smooth edge, rather than reeded as with other silver coins, the new piece was close to the size of, and immediately confused with, the quarter. The obverse sides of both coins were almost identical. This was made out of 90 % silver and 10 % copper like most coins. After the first year, in which over a million were minted, there was little demand, and the denomination was abolished in 1 8 7 8. At least a third of the total mintage was later melted by the government. Numismatist Mark Benvenuto called the twenty-cent piece "a chapter of U.S. coinage history that closed almost before it began".


A twenty-cent piece had been proposed as early as 1 7 9 1, and again in 1 8 0 6, but had been rejected. The 1 8 0 6 bill, introduced by Connecticut Senator Uriah Tracy, sought both a two-cent piece and a "double dime". It was opposed by mint director Robert Patterson, though his opposition was more to the two-cent piece, which Tracy proposed be struck in billon, low-grade silver that would be difficult to recover when melting the coins. The bill passed the Senate twice, in 1 8 0 6 and 1 8 0 7, but did not pass the House of Representatives. No twenty-cent piece was issued prior to the 1 8 7 0 s, but Americans were familiar with the denomination as the two reales piece struck in Spain, known as a "pistareen" in the United States, passed for twenty cents (its Spanish colonial equivalent passed for a quarter).


Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you enjoyed it. It's been two weeks since I wrote a blog. I have a blog on my YN auction wins coming this weekend.


Comments

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

The only odd denomination coins I currently own are 2 Cent pieces. Someday I hope to have one of each - 3 Cent Silver, 3 Cent Nickel, 20 Cent and Half-Cent.

coinsbygary

Level 5

I have always liked the twenty-cent piece, and I have an XF-40 1876 twenty-cent piece in my collection—good blog and information.

Mike

Level 7

One of the great coins it's to bad it has a short run. I do not have any either. But I will. It will take time but if there is a way. Thanks for The blog. Take care. And save up for one. We buy in a budget

Stumpy

Level 5

That was for me a very informative Blog! I don't have any of this type of coin and my ignorance knows no bounds. Thanks for the knowledge smack down. New knowledge is always welcome. Thanks again, Later!

"SUN"

Level 6

Nice blog. Yn programs can be very rewarding.

TheNumisMaster

Level 5

Thanks for the blog! The IAYC is super awesome! Cheers, NM

Kevin Leab

Level 4

Good read,,,,, I've always been interested in collecting this series but haven't started it yet

Kepi

Level 6

Great blog...very informative! Thanks ; )

coinfodder

Level 5

Very good blog. When did Congress ever listen to us, and create such an odd coin?

It's Mokie

Level 6

I am a big fan of the 20 Cent Piece, it's kind of exotic, it's a very short lived series, and it's a product of western political lobbying so it has a lot of history and a lot of appeal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the double dime, hopefully you'll get one soon.

Oobie

Level 4

I have always been interested in the twenty cent pieces, but they’re so expensive when you find them in decent condition. Nice blog!

Longstrider

Level 6

Good blog. I also like the twenty cent coin. Good luck.

s12k3

Level 4

thanks

Liberty's face is astounding on this, William had an odd view of what she was showing then, very scared. Odd denominations are great. Thanks for the blog!

s12k3

Level 4

some blogs later im going to do one about frac currency

Golfer

Level 5

Nice post. Very interesting. It's amazing the time between proposals for a 20 cent piece. 1806 then finally minted in 1875 ! I don't have a 20 cent piece myself.

s12k3

Level 4

Thanks! hope you get some soon!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

This is a coin I enjoy collecting. I have a few but hope to end up with a full collection.

s12k3

Level 4

Wow! In good condition, they are extremely uncommon! Good luck!

s12k3

Level 4

Also, it is not letting me add a picture because it says 'file too large'

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