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Tyler Heldt's Blog

10 Jul 2022

history on the buffalo nickel

Coins | Tyler Heldt

The buffalo nickel or Indian head nickel was a unique coin minted between 1913 to 1938 it was the predecessor to the Jefferson nickel. The buffalo nickel was designed by James Earle Fraser as part of the United States government drive to beautify coinage. This was the coin after the well known v-nickel and the buffalo nickel was its successor. When the United States government commissioned Fraser to create the buffalo nickel and when they saw the final product they were impressed. The design was approved by the United states government in 1912 but was held up for months because the Hobbs manufacturing company (which made the slugs for the coins) did not like the design of the buffalo nickel. Eventually franklin McVeigh the treasury secretary at the time decided to bypass Hobbs manufacturing and start the production of the buffalo nickel in 1913. The first buffalo nickels were distributed in February 22 1913 when president Taft showed them off during a ceremony. The coins were officially circulated march 4 1913 and were well received by the United States public. The buffalo nickel was made in three mints the Philadelphia mint with no mint mark, the Denver mint with the D mintmark and san Francisco with the S mint mark. In 1913 The Numismatist gave the new buffalo nickel a lukewarm review and suggested that the Indian head should be reduced but other than that most of the reviews were positive and the coin was a good coin in the United states public's eyes. But there were some problems with the new coin. It was destroying the dies that made the coin. The dies were being used up 3 times faster than the V-nickel or liberty nickel. This was a big problem for the United States Mint because it was using more dies than the United states mint could make. Also the dies would wear the coins away fast and make some not so good looking coins. As this happened the United states mint made new dies that would not wear the coins down and would not break as much as the last dies would. In 1916 the word liberty was given more emphasis and moved slightly on the coin. But this affected the Denver and san Francisco mint dies and made their coins less quality and affected the output of coins in circulation. Tens of millions of buffalo nickels were minted between 1910 and 1921 but then a recession happened and buffalo nickels were not minted in 1922. This started the downfall of the buffalo nickel and the United States mint was looking for replacements and was eventually replaced by the Jefferson nickel.

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09 Jul 2022

my first flying eagle cent

Coins | Tyler Heldt

Last year I was at a coin show in Timonium in Maryland and I was looking for some coins in a bargain bin. I found some Indian head cents for my collection and I found something that you don't see everyday. I found a flying eagle cent and this is neat because it's such a rare coin to find especially in a bargain bin. The flying eagle cent is a very historically important coin because it was the first small cent coin in United States history. It was made because for one the large cent was too cumbersome and the second reason it was no longer profitable to the United states mint. Also the flying eagle cent was a very artistic coin for the age it was in. It was a very well designed coin but sadly it was only made for 3 years (from 1856 to 1858) and this is what makes it so rare. You don't see flying eagle cents that much because they are either very expensive or destroyed by weathering or bad cleaning but the coin I found was a very cool piece. It was a 1857 in a vg condition. But the best part was that I got it for 15 dollars. This was a very good price and I happily bought it for my collection. This coin was important for lots of reasons and why it is so important to coinage history and United states history. The designer was named James B Longacre and he made the flying eagle cent for the United states government and their program of new coinage. The flying eagle cent is a unique coin because of the small size and the new design on the coin. It was the first coin with an oak leaf wreath on the reverse and this coin helped design the Indian head cent that is one of the most famous cents in united states history and has paved the way for future coin designs like the like the Indian head cent wheat cent or the steel cent or the memorial cent and the shield cent. You might think that these coins have nothing in common other than the wheat steel memorial and shield cent having Lincoln on the obverse of the coins but they all have one thing in common. Well actually two except for the shield cent is that all the cents were the same size and that they were made out of a copper zinc mix. These are too things that have made modern coinage what it is today and how modern cents were all designed because of the flying eagle cent.

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