Posts Tagged ‘Coins’

America’s most infamous coins…

Every coin tells a story. But few more than America’s eight most notorious coins…

The U.S. collectible coin market can be an absolute minefield and is one of the most competitive coin collecting markets in the world.

Some of the most collectible coins date back to the 1800’s and are extremely famous. Let me tell you why…

Indian Head Penny (1859-1909)

America’s most infamous coins...
The Indian Penny – featuring a not-so-Native-American!

The Indian Head Penny is famous for celebrating Native Americans, but it actually doesn’t show a Native American.

According to legend, designer James B. Longacre used a portrait of his 12 year old daughter, Sarah, wearing a headdress. It is, however, more likely that the portrait was based on a classical Greco-Roman statue Venus Accroupie (Crouching Venus).

Either way, the ‘Indian’ is not a Native American! The obverse features the head of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress, while the reverse depicts a wreath as well as the words ‘One Cent’ and a shield in the middle at the top of the coin.

Morgan Silver Dollar (1878-1921)

America’s most infamous coins...
The design inspired by a school teacher…

For the new silver dollar, designer George T. Morgan decided to portray Liberty as a goddess, inspired by Philadelphian school teacher, Anna Williams who had a fair complexion, Grecian nose and golden hair. Morgan eventually persuaded Anna Williams to sit as the model for Liberty for the obverse of the Morgan Silver Dollar.

In 1878 artists’ models were considered immoral, therefore, Morgan publicly stated that the model was a statue in a Philadelphia museum. Word soon leaked out, however, and it is rumoured that Williams was fired from her teaching job!

‘No Cents’ Liberty Head Nickel (1883)

America’s most infamous coins...
The coin that created an opportunity for crooks

When the new Liberty Head Nickel was issued in 1883, the denomination was nowhere to be seen, instead a large ‘V’ (Roman ‘5’) was on the reverse.

The coins were the size of the $5 gold coin in circulation at the time which created an opportunity for unscrupulous crooks who came up with a cunning plan to pass them off as $5 by gold plating the new nickels and cutting reeds into the edge by hand. The U.S Mint soon became aware and within a few weeks the design was changed to include the word ‘Cents’ under the ‘V’. The ‘No Cents’ coins are also known as ‘Racketeer’ Nickels.

Lincoln Penny (1909)

America’s most infamous coins...
The first coin to feature Lincoln’s famous motto

Designer Victor David Brenner added his ‘VDB’ initials to the new Lincoln Penny design in 1909 which was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.

While the public generally loved the Lincoln cent when it was first released, they didn’t like the prominence of Brenner’s initials. The U.S. Mint quickly removed the initials as it appeared as though Brenner was either boasting or advertising. This was the first cent to feature Abraham Lincoln’s motto ‘In God we trust’ on the obverse.

Morgan Dollar (1921)

America’s most infamous coins...
Forever associated with the notorious criminal couple Bonnie & Clyde

When notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were shot and killed by police in 1934, a 1921 Silver Morgan Dollar was recovered from the jacket of Clyde Barrow among other possessions. The outlaw lovers were believed to have committed 13 robberies among other felonies between 1932 and 1934.

The hunt for the duo captured the nation’s imagination during the Great Depression and their fame was heightened by their practice of leaving glamourous photos of themselves at crime scenes.

Even more so now, the 1921 coin is forever associated with Bonnie and Clyde.

Roosevelt Dime (1946)

America’s most infamous coins...
The stolen design…

In 1945 plans were quickly laid for the introduction of a new coin to honour Roosevelt after his passing. The task was assigned to John Ray Sinnock and coinage began in 1946. Controversy soon arose because sculptor Selma Burke claimed that Sinnock had stolen her design without giving her credit, however Sinnock strongly denied this.

In addition, conspiracy theorists claimed that Sinnock’s initials ‘JS’ (at the base of Roosevelt’s neck) actually referred to Russian leader Joseph Stalin because of Roosevelt’s supposed ‘communist’ learnings.

Franklin Half Dollar (1948)

America’s most infamous coins...
The coin that made a statement

The Franklin Half Dollar was designed by John R. Sinnock and his ‘JS’ initials were again seen by conspiracy theorists as a tribute to Joseph Stalin.

In addition, the crack on the Liberty Bell was controversial, some people saw it as a statement that Liberty in the United States was under threat (despite the fact that the image exactly reflects the bell’s appearance).

Finally, what appears to be a small ‘o’ and large ‘F’ on the reverse (‘oF’ in the United States of America) was rumoured to be a mistake and that the Mint would recall all 1948 coins to correct the ‘error’.

Anthony Dollar (1979)

America’s most infamous coins...
The Dollar that the public refused to use

The Anthony Dollar was revolutionary – the first circulating coin to feature a historical woman. Susan B. Anthony was an author and protest speaker among other titles but best known as President of the National American Suffrage Association. The coin was also the first small-sized Dollar that was issued for wide circulation.

However, it quickly became notorious – and almost universally rejected – because it was the same colour and about the same size as a quarter. Therefore, it was often mistaken for a Quarter, and the public refused to use it! (Interestingly, it is now a sought-after collector’s item.)

For me, one of the best things about coin collecting is the story behind the coin and I’m sure you’ll agree that these coins from America have some truly fascinating stories to tell.


Discover the coins from the USA

America’s most infamous coins...

Today you can secure for your collection the coins your fellow American Change Checkers are collecting, from 1 cent to 1 dollar!

Click here to order the United States of America Coin Pack.

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust… And a Peter Pan 50p!

The wait is finally over and it is with great excitement that we can reveal the brand new Isle of Man Peter Pan 50p coins to you all…

These amazing coins have been developed in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to celebrate 90 years since Peter Pan author, J.M. Barrie, gifted all future rights in Peter Pan to them.

Our friends at the Westminster Collection say, “It has been an honour working with this fantastic charity to create the WORLD’S FIRST Peter Pan 50ps, and for every coin sold a donation will go directly to GOSH Charity to support the hospital’s most urgent needs: fund support services, pioneering research, equipment and refurbishment.”

Peter Pan remains one of the most cherished and loved children’s stories of all time and as such demand for these new 50p coins is expected to be extremely high.

Whether you’re an avid 50p collector, a Peter Pan fan, or just a big kid at heart, I’m sure these coins are bound to sweep you off your feet.

The Official Peter Pan 50p Coin

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust... And a Peter Pan 50p!

The brand new Peter Pan 50p features an engraving of David Wyatt’s illustration from the Oxford University Press edition of Peter Pan, alongside a well-known and much loved quote from the book.

This is the first time ever that Peter Pan has featured on a 50p coin and I’m sure that this magical design will go down a treat with collectors, especially following the popularity of previous book character coins.

The COMPLETE Peter Pan 50p Set

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust... And a Peter Pan 50p!

Six coins have been created in total, each featuring a different quote and an accompanying specially commissioned design showcasing one of David Wyatt’s stunning illustrations from the Oxford University Press edition of Peter Pan.

Each coin is dedicated to a favourite character from the book, including Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tick-Tock the Crocodile, Tinkerbell, Wendy and Nana.

Whilst I’m sure you’ll agree each design is truly beautiful, my personal favourite has got to be Tinkerbell! Let me know in the comments below which design you prefer.

But these coins aren’t just available in Brilliant Uncirculated quality; they will in fact be available in a range of other finishes too…

The Silver Proof Peter Pan 50p Coins

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust... And a Peter Pan 50p!

Struck in Sterling Silver to an immaculate Proof Finish, these coins feature an impressive full-colour illustration of the stunning designs, really bringing the magic of the story to life.

Silver Proof 50p’s are amongst the most sought-after new issues around and with JUST 10,000 of the individual Peter Pan Silver Proof 50p and JUST 1,995 of the Silver Proof set available worldwide, a sell-out is expected.

The Gold Proof Peter Pan 50p

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust... And a Peter Pan 50p!

This is the crème de la crème of the range you could say…

Struck from 22 Carat Gold to a perfect Proof Finish, JUST 500 lucky collectors worldwide will be able to own this prestigious new coin.

New Gold Proof 50p’s have a strong sell-out history and high demand is expected for the Gold Proof Peter Pan 50p.

The British Isles really have had some fantastic releases recently and I must say that these coins from the Isle of Man have got to be some of my favourites! But what do you think about these coins? Let us know in the comments below!


Add the 2019 Peter Pan 50p coins to your collection!

All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust... And a Peter Pan 50p!

These beautiful new coins are now available to add to your British Isles collection, starting from £6.25 for the individual Peter Pan coin in Brilliant Uncirculated quality and £37.50 for the Brilliant Uncirculated set.

If you’d like to take a piece of magic home with you, click here to order your Peter Pan 50p coins.

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

As many collectors will know, 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the 50p coin.

Since its issue in 1969, the world’s first seven-sided coin has become a huge favourite with collectors and has served as a canvas to commemorate some of the most iconic moments in British Military history.

As we mark a milestone year for this iconic coin, The Royal Mint’s celebration continues as they reissue five of the most important 50p coins celebrating British Military history!

These five 50p coins, pieced together for the first time, mark a rare milestone moment for British Coinage. Not to mention the set also includes the 1994 D-Day 50p re-issued in the NEW 50p specifications for the first time ever!

Earlier in the year, the Base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof British Culture 50p sets sold-out within just TWO HOURS of going on sale. The Brilliant Uncirculated set released just a short while later also saw an overwhelming response from collectors.

Find out the story of each of the coins featured in the British Military 50p Set below…

Victoria Cross Medal 50p

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

The Victoria Cross is the highest award for gallantry that a British serviceman can achieve. A recommendation for the Victoria Cross is normally issued by an officer at regimental level and has to be supported by three witnesses.

This coin was originally issued in 2006 to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Victoria Cross.

Depicting the obverse and reverse of a Victoria Cross medal, the design by Claire Aldridge carefully details the Cross pattée with a crown and Lion as on the medal itself.

Victoria Cross Soldier 50p

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

The Victoria Cross Award was introduced in 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of the Crimean War.

Since then, two-thirds of all awards won have been presented by the British Monarch at investitures which are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

To date, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times. A large number of these were awarded during the World Wars: 634 in World War One and 182 awarded in World War Two.

Initially issued in 2006 to mark 150 years of the Victoria Cross Award, this coin features a soldier carrying a wounded comrade with an outline of the Victoria Cross as designed by Clive Duncan.

Battle of Hastings 50p

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

The Battle of Hastings was fought on the 14th of October 1066 between the French Army, led by Duke William II, and the English Army led by King Harold.

King Harold was eventually defeated by William who then became known as William the Conqueror; he was crowned the first Norman King of Great Britain. 

Issued in 2016 to mark 950 years since this legendary battle, the reverse design of this 50p by John Bergdahl was inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry.

Battle of Britain 50p

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

The Battle of Britain was an intense air battle fought mainly throughout the summer of 1940 between Germany and Britain.

The name for the conflict was derived from a Winston Churchill speech in which he said “The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin.”

Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain this coin was first issued in 2015. The reverse design, by Gary Breeze, depicts three airmen running to their planes with enemy aircraft overhead.

D-Day Landings 50p

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

On 6th June 1944 a mighty alliance of British, American and Commonwealth armed forces crossed from England to Normandy and began assault on German forces.

It was the largest seaborne invasion in history and began the liberation of German-occupied France, laying the foundations for the Allied victory of World War Two.

A timeless tribute to the thousands of Allied troops who fought tirelessly in the War, this 50p coin was issued in 1994 to commemorate 50 years since D-Day.

Originally struck as a large 50p in the pre-1997 specifications this is the first time ever this D-Day 50p coin has been issued in the new 50p dimensions!

The reverse of the coin was designed by John Mills and represents the D-Day Landings with the Allied invasion force heading for Normandy filling the sea and sky.

We are very excited to see these coins being re-issued as a complete set for the first time – especially the 1994 D-Day 50p in the new specifications!

Following the popularity of the re-issued British Culture 50p set earlier in the year, we expect this set to be equally as sought-after.

What coin are you most looking forward to seeing?


Secure your 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military CERTIFIED BU Set

The five 50p coins RE-ISSUED to celebrate British Military History

Own the BRAND NEW 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military Set for JUST £22.50 (+ p&p).

Click here to secure your set now.