Measurements: 5.5" x 3.5"
Distributed by American Collectors Mint, LLC.
The United States' first mint was opened in Philadelphia in 1793. Cents and half-cents were its first coins struck for circulation. Dies were cut by hand and each cutter added their own touch to the coin. Horses and strong men were the "machines" that operated the presses that made the coins. Mints were located in Philadelphia (PA), Denver (CO), West Point (NY), San Francisco (CA), Carson City (NV), New Orleans (LA), Charlotte (NC) and Dahlonega (GA). Only four of these mints currently exist: Philadelphia, Denver, West Point and San Francisco. The other four were closed soon after the Civil War.
A mint mark is a small letter struck on an open area of a coin to represent the mint location where it was made. While mint marks began in ancient Greece and Rome, the first mint marks to appear on coins in the United States were in 1838. Mint marks were usually struck on the reverse side of the coins. In 1968, however, mint director Eva Adams changed the striking to the obverse of the coin in order to gain uniformity.
Mint marks are quite important to collectors because they help to determine a coin's value. A coin may have been struck in mass quantities at one mint, yet struck in smaller quantities at another. The coin struck in smaller quantities may be worth more than the one produced at a larger count. Mint marks are also important to collectors who gather the same coin from every mint it was struck.
The Philadelphia Mint has always been the main U.S. Mint location, yet the majority of coins struck there did not have mint marks until 1980. It carried the title of the world's largest mint until 2009. All coins from Philadelphia carry the letter "P". Pennies, however, are the exception, as they do not carry mint marks.
The Denver Mint opened in 1906 due to the gold and silver discoveries in Colorado. Coins produced there are marked with the letter "C". The West Point Mint opened in 1988 and coins produced there are marked with the letter "W". The San Francisco Mint opened in 1854, thanks to the gold rush in California. Coins produced there are marked with an "S".
The grade of a coin is an essential element of information when it comes to coin collecting. The grade explains what physical condition the coin is in, therefore is important in determining a particular coin's value. Below explains the different coin grades given by most certification companies, from flawless to poor condition.
Coin Certification Companies
Die: An engraved piece of metal used to stamp a design on a coin.
Die crack: A small, raised imperfection on a coin resulting from a crack in the stamping die.
Early release: The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) uses this designation for U.S. Bullion Coins during the first month of release from the U.S. Mint. To qualify for Early Release designation, NGC must receive the coins within 30 days of their release by the US Mint or properly documented as being received by an NGC approved entity within the same 30-day release period.
Encapsulated coin: A coin graded and authenticated by a professional coin service, then sealed in plastic.
Field: The typically flat area surrounding the relief and not used for legend or inscription.
Legal tender: Official money issued by the government.
Legend: The coin's primary lettering.
Lettered edge: An inscription added to the edge of a coin.
Luster: The quality of the surface brilliance on a Mint State or Uncirculated coin.
Mercury dime: Issued from 1916 to 1945, this U.S. dime featured a representation of Liberty in a winged hat that was commonly mistaken for the ancient god, Mercury.
Mint: A government controlled coin production facility.
Mint mark: A small letter stamped on a coin that indicates its mint origin, ex. "D" for Denver.
Mint Set: One coin from each of the available denominations in a particular year, produced by a single mint and made for circulation.
Mint State (Uncirculated): A regular production coin never used in trade and existing in its original condition.
Mintage: The number of coins produced.
NGC: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
Numismatics: The collection and study of monetary objects such as coins and paper bills.
Obverse: Heads, or a coin's front side.
Patina: Surface discoloration, typically green or brown, caused by oxidation over time.
PCGS: Professional Coin Grading Service.
Planchet: A blank metal piece used to produce a coin.
Proof: Expertly polished planchets and dies produce these coins which feature an extremely high quality strike, resulting in unmatched detail and brilliant surface finish.
Reeded edge: A coin edge finish featuring parallel vertical grooves all the way around.
Relief: The raised portion of a stamped design that sits above the coin's field.
Reverse: Tails, or coin's back side.
Rim: The raised ring around the perimeter of a coin designed to reduce wear on the relief.
Strike: The act of stamping a coin.
Truncation: The bottom edge of a portrait or bust.
Wheat penny: Lincoln cents issued from 1909 to 1958 bearing the wheat ear design on the reverse.