Frank Gasparro was the tenth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, holding this position from February 23,1965 to January 16,1981. Before that, he was Assistant Engraver and he designed both sides of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, both sides of the Eisenhower Dollar, the Lincoln Memorial reverse of the cent, and the reverse of the Kennedy half dollar, Gasparro was born in Philadelphia on August 26,1909. His musician father wanted his son to continue in the family profession and his father ultimately relented and had Gasparro apprentice under sculptor Giuseppe Donato, who had earlier worked for Auguste Rodin. Frank graduated from South Philadelphia High School in 1927 and has been inducted into the SPHS Alumni Cultural Hall of Fame and he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and traveled to Europe with the aid of scholarships that allowed him to refine his craft. He was hired by the United States Mint in December 1942 under Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock, Gasparros design was selected from a group of 23 designs prepared by the Mints engraving staff to replace the Wheat cent produced by the Mint from 1909 to 1958.
His original design included the words Lincoln Memorial and 13 stars around the rim of the coin, Gasparro would often tell cashiers that he had designed the back of the penny and when asked what he had designed as a sculptor would reply its in your pocket. By the time of his death, Gasparros design had appeared on the more than 100 billion pennies produced by the Mint, asked to produce a design for the Susan B. Anthony dollar, Gasparro was able to find two photos of womens suffrage leader, one at age 28 and the other when she was 84 and he initially chose the portrait of the younger Anthony, but widespread consensus was that the design made her look too pretty. His design using the photo was accepted. While Gasparro felt that the Anthony dollar was his top achievement, the coin was largely rejected by the public, one of his best known works was the obverse of the Congressional gold medal for John Wayne, widely bought by the public in bronze. After his retirement from the mint he continued to design medals for private and public groups.
He taught art at Philadelphias Samuel S. Fleisher Art Memorial until shortly before his death, Gasparro died at age 92 on September 29,2001, in Havertown, Pennsylvania. He was survived by his wife, and a daughter
James B. Longacre
James Barton Longacre was an American portraitist and engraver, and from 1844 until his death the fourth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. Longacre is best known for designing the Indian Head cent, which entered commerce in 1859, Longacre was born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania in 1794. He ran away to Philadelphia at age 12, becoming an apprentice in a bookstore and his artistic talent developed and he was released to apprentice in an engraving firm. He struck out on his own in 1819, making a name providing illustrations for popular biographical books and he portrayed the leading men of his day, support from some of them, such as South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, led to his appointment as chief engraver after the death of Christian Gobrecht in 1844, in Longacres first years as a chief engraver, the Philadelphia Mint was dominated by Mint Director Robert M. Patterson and Chief Coiner Franklin Peale. Conflict between Longacre and the two men developed after Congress ordered a new gold dollar and double eagle, with both to be designed by Longacre.
Peale and Patterson nearly had Longacre fired, but the engraver was able to convince Treasury Secretary William M. Meredith that he should be retained. Both Patterson and Peale left the Mint in the early 1850s, in 1856, Longacre designed the Flying Eagle cent. When that design proved difficult to strike, Longacre was responsible for the replacement, other coins designed by Longacre include the silver and nickel three-cent pieces, the Shield nickel, and the two-cent piece. In 1866–1867, he redesigned the coins of Chile, Longacre died suddenly on New Years Day 1869, he was succeeded by William Barber. Longacres coins are generally well-regarded today, although they have criticized for lack of artistic advancement. James Barton Longacre was born on a farm in Delaware County and his mother Sarah Longacre died early in his life, his father, Peter Longacre, was the descendent of early Swedish settlers of North America. When Peter Longacre remarried, his son found the home life intolerable and he apprenticed himself at a bookstore, the owner, John E.
Watson, took the boy into his family. Over the following years, Longacre worked in the bookstore, Watson granted Longacre a release from his apprenticeship in 1813 so that he could follow an artistic muse, but the two remained close, and Watson would often sell Longacres works. Longacre became apprenticed to George Murray, principal in the engraving firm Murray and this business derived from the firm established by the Philadelphia Mints first chief engraver, Robert Scot. Also employed at the Murray firm from 1816 was the man who would be Longacres predecessor as chief engraver, Longacres first important commission were plates for S. F. Bradfords Encyclopedia in 1820, an engraving of General Andrew Jackson by Longacre based on a portrait by Thomas Sully achieved wide sales. Longacre agreed to engrave illustrations for Joseph and John Sandersons Biographies of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, although the venture was marked by criticism of the writing, sales were good enough that the project was completed
Charles E. Barber
Charles Edward Barber was the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917. Although Barbers coins were met with mixed reviews, he had a long and fruitful career in coinage, Barber did full coin designs and reverse designs. Barber was born in London in 1840, the son of William Barber, in 1869, he was an assistant engraver at the United States Mint. In 1879, he succeeded his father, in the position as chief engraver, Barbers best-known designs are the eponymous Barber Barber dime, Barber quarter, and Barber half dollar, as well as the so-called V Liberty Head nickel. Some lesser known pattern coin designs by Barber include the trial copper-nickel cent, trial three-cent piece, and the $4 Stella Flowing Hair pieces. Citing the impracticality of the design, he was critical of Augustus St. Gaudens proposed high relief pattern for a new double eagle in 1908. Barber was succeeded as Chief Engraver by George T. Morgan
Christian Gobrecht was the third Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1840 until his death in 1844. He was responsible for designing the famous Seated Liberty designs, which were in turn the inspiration for the design of the Trade Dollar. He designed the Gobrecht Dollar, which was struck in small quantities from 1836 to 1838, Gobrecht was born on December 23,1785, in Hanover, Pennsylvania, to Reverend John C. Gobrecht, who came to America from Germany in 1755, and Elizabeth Sands and he invented a medal ruling machine in 1810, which he improved upon in 1817. In 1823, Mint Director Robert Patterson sought to engage Gobrecht as assistant director, instead, in December, Gobrecht sought the position of chief engraver of the Mint, writing to President James Monroe. Instead, the position went to William Kneass, there is extant documentation showing that Gobrecht worked for the Mint as early as 1823 immediately upon the death of the first chief engraver Robert Scot. This was only an appointment until a new chief engraver William Kneass was hired in January 1824.
He engraved and sold letter and numeral punches to the Mint from this point forward and he became not an assistant but a Second engraver in September 1835 after Kneass suffered a debilitating stroke on August 27 of that year. After Kneass stroke, most all pattern and die work was done by Gobrecht from on, including the Gobrecht Dollars, shortly after Kneass death in 1840, Gobrecht was appointed Chief Engraver of the U. S. Mint on December 21,1840. During his tenure of Chief Engraver of the Mint, Gobrecht produced perhaps what he is known for, the Seated Liberty dollar, based on sketches by Thomas Sully. That design remained on U. S. coinage as late as 1891 Gobrecht died in July 1844, additionally to engraving for the Mint, he produced embossing plaque for bookbinding. New York, N. Y. Sanford J. Durst Numismatic Publications
A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced for the purpose of evaluating a proposed coin design. They are often off-metal strike, to standard or piedforts. They are collected or studied by many coin collectors because of their sometimes highly elaborate designs, the first English coin that can be identified with certainty is a groat, originally worth fourpence. This piece, an example of which was illustrated and sold in the Dodsley Cuff sale of the century, had crowns in place of the usual three pellets in each quarter of the reverse. Patterns are particularly identifiable and exist in larger numbers from the reign of Elizabeth I onwards, the experimental base metal issues of all coinage prior to the mid-18th century have been well preserved. Boultons mint in Soho produced prodigious quantities of patterns, which were supplemented by Taylor some fifty or so years from the same dies. After the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4,1776, during the next 16 years, a variety of different coin designs from over the world were common.
In this period, a large amount of different pattern coins were created, proposed for use in the newly found states. However, none of these designs were used by the general public, in 1792 the United States Mint opened in Philadelphia. In that year several more patterns were created, including the half dime and it is believed that ca.1,500 pieces were struck as patterns, and that these patterns themselves entered circulation during the next decade. Over the next 40 years, more patterns were created but there is little currently known about these pieces. Technically, these coins were not patterns but rather off-metal strikes, an example is an 1807 Half Eagle, or five dollar gold piece struck in copper. Starting in 1836, more patterns were created by the United States Mint in Philadelphia. S, dollars that was minted in 1877 and weighed 2.5 ounces. The U. S. Mint deemed the idea of a 2.5 ounce gold coin infeasable, transitional pieces are patterns dated before coins with the new design officially went into circulation.
These were often produced during final stage of the pattern process, one famous example is the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, although that coin has been commonly and incorrectly believed to be regular issue due to its high mintage for collectors. Fantasy pieces include many struck in the 1860s and 1870s as patterns and this practice ended in the 1880s, when the U. S. Mint enforced regulations to prevent the sale of pattern coins. From time to time the U. S. Mint experiments with new coinage, at that time the practice of using dies with Martha Washington for trial strikings began, since they would not be confused with real circulating money. Because they do not resemble money, no restrictions exist on the sale of Martha Washington pieces, mint-produced modern patterns are very rare, with only a few pieces existing in private collections
John M. Mercanti is an American sculptor and engraver. He was the twelfth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint until his retirement in late 2010, there, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia College of Art and the Fleisher Art Memorial School. He served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for six years, in 1974, Mercanti joined the United States Mint as a sculptor-engraver after working as an illustrator. On May 19,2006, he was appointed Chief Engraver of the U. S. Mint, the position had been officially vacant for 15 years following the retirement of Elizabeth Jones, the Mints eleventh Chief Engraver, in 1991. In June 2011, Mercanti became a spokesperson for Goldline International. Mercanti has produced more coin and medal designs than any employee in United States Mint history
It is a term still used to refer to the island today. In AD43 the Roman Empire began its conquest of the island, establishing a province they called Britannia, in the 2nd century, Roman Britannia came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet. After centuries of declining use, the Latin form was revived during the English Renaissance as an evocation of a British national identity. A British cultural icon, she was featured on all modern British coinage series until the redesign in 2008, in 2015 a new definitive £2 coin was issued, with a new image of Britannia. She is depicted in the Brit Awards statuette, the British Phonographic Industrys annual music awards, the first writer to use a form of the name was the Greek explorer and geographer Pytheas in the 4th century BC. Pytheas referred to Prettanike or Brettaniai, a group of islands off the coast of North-Western Europe, in the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus referred to Pretannia, a rendering of the indigenous name for the Pretani people whom the Greeks believed to inhabit the British Isles.
Following the Greek usage, the Romans referred to the Insulae Britannicae in the plural, consisting of Albion, Thule, over time, Albion specifically came to be known as Britannia, and the name for the group was subsequently dropped. The Roman conquest of the began in AD43, leading to the establishment of the Roman province known in Latin as Britannia. A southern part of what is now Scotland was occupied by the Romans for about 20 years in the mid-2nd century AD, people living in the Roman province of Britannia were called Britanni, or Britons. Ireland, inhabited by the Scoti, was never invaded and was called Hibernia, Thule, an island six days sail north of Britain, and near the frozen sea, possibly Iceland, was never invaded by the Romans. She appeared on coins issued under Hadrian, as a more regal-looking female figure, Britannia was soon personified as a goddess, looking fairly similar to the goddess Minerva. Early portraits of the goddess depict Britannia as a young woman, wearing the helmet of a centurion.
She is usually seated on a rock, holding a spear. Sometimes she holds a standard and leans on the shield, on another range of coinage, she is seated on a globe above waves, Britain at the edge of the world. Similar coin types were issued under Antoninus Pius. After the Roman withdrawal, the term Britannia remained in use in Britain, Latin was ubiquitous amongst native Brythonic writers and the term continued in the Welsh tradition that developed from it. Following the migration of Brythonic Celts, The term Britannia came to refer to the Armorican peninsula. )The modern English, French and Gallo names for the area, all derive from a literal use of Britannia meaning land of the Britons. The two Britannias gave rise to the term Grande Bretagne to distinguish the island of Britain from the continental peninsula
Twenty-cent piece (United States coin)
The American twenty-cent piece is a coin struck from 1875 to 1878, 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, in 1874, the newly elected Jones began pressing for a twenty-cent piece, which he stated would alleviate the shortage of small change in the far West. The bill passed Congress, and mint director Henry Linderman ordered pattern coins struck, Linderman eventually decided on an obverse and reverse similar to that of other silver coins. Although the coins have an edge, rather than reeded as with other silver coins, the new piece was close to the size of, and immediately confused with. Adding to the bewilderment, the obverse, or heads, sides of coins were almost identical. After the first year, in which over a million were minted, there was demand. At least a third of the mintage was 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 1791, and again in 1806, but had been rejected.
The 1806 bill, introduced by Connecticut Senator Uriah Tracy, sought both a two-cent piece and a double dime, the bill passed the Senate twice, in 1806 and 1807, but did not pass the House of Representatives. Several factors converged to make possible a twenty-cent piece in the 1870s, the first was a shortage of small change in the far West, where base-metal coins did not circulate. Prices in the West were sometimes in bits, adding to the change problem, a second factor was the anxiety of Congress to see more silver made into coin. This was due to pressure from mining and other interests, the Coinage Act of 1873 ended the practice of allowing silver producers to have their bullion struck into silver dollars and returned to them. He quietly urged Congress to end the practice, which it did, within a year, silver prices had dropped, and producers tried vainly to deposit bullion at the mints for conversion into legal tender. Mining interests sought other means of selling silver to the government, the third was American interest in aligning its currency with the Latin Monetary Union and to bring its weights for coinage into the metric system.
Another purpose for an issue of silver coins, regardless of denomination, was to retire the fractional currency—low-value paper money or shinplasters. Congress passed legislation in 1875 and 1876 for large quantities of coins for this purpose. The father of the twenty-cent piece was Nevada Senator John P. Jones. Part-owner of the Crown Point Mine, he had elected to the Senate in 1873, on February 10,1874, he introduced a bill to authorize a twenty-cent piece
Trade dollar (United States coin)
The United States trade dollar was a dollar coin minted by the United States Mint to compete with other large silver trade coins that were already popular in East Asia. The idea first came about in the 1860s, when the price of silver began to due to increased mining efforts in the western United States. A bill providing in part for the issuance of the dollar was eventually put before Congress. The act made trade dollars legal tender up to five dollars, a number of designs were considered for the trade dollar, and an obverse and reverse created by William Barber were selected. The coins were first struck in 1873, and most of the production was sent to China, bullion producers began converting large amounts of silver into trade dollars, causing the coins to make their way into American commercial channels. This caused frustration among those to whom they were given in payment, in response to their wide distribution in American commerce, the coins were officially demonetized in 1876, but continued to circulate.
Production of business strikes ended in 1878, though the mintage of proof coins officially continued until 1883, the trade dollar was re-monetized when the Coinage Act of 1965 was signed into law. This resulted in a decrease in the value of gold and an increase in the value of silver. As a result, silver coins disappeared from circulation due either to hoarding or melting. In response, Congress authorized the Mint to reduce the quantity of silver in all denominations except the three-cent piece, beginning in the 1860s, silver production rose and the price decreased. During this time, silver coins disappeared from circulation and were replaced by paper and copper currency. In China, the Mexican peso was greatly valued in commerce, the Chinese were sensitive to any changes in the coins design, and were reluctant to accept newer coins due to a minor design change. Beginning in 1866, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian, the design was changed to show the Emperors portrait, this caused widespread nonacceptance of the coins in China.
Garnett recommended that the United States mint a commercial dollar that would be exported to the Orient to compete with large silver trade coins that were already popular in that region. Garnetts rationale was that the coins would be hoarded or melted in Asia and would never be presented for redemption, allowing the government to make a profit from the seigniorage. During his time in San Francisco, Knox discussed the proposed commercial dollar with Henry Linderman, in 1870, Knox wrote a report to the Treasury and wrote the draft for a bill on coinage. Knoxs bill was approved by George Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury, after modification and review from current and former government officials, the bill was put before Congress. On November 19,1872, while the bill was still before Congress
George T. Morgan
George T. Morgan was an English United States Mint engraver, who is famous for designing many popular coins, such as the Morgan dollar, and the Columbian half dollar. Born in Birmingham, Morgan studied in England, Morgan came to the United States from England in 1876 and was hired as an assistant engraver at the Mint in October of that year under William Barber. He figured very prominently in the production of coins from 1877 onward. Morgan designed several varieties of 1877 half dollars, the 1879 Schoolgirl dollar, Morgan took the role of seventh Chief Engraver following the death of Charles E. Barber in February 1917. Morgan is most famous for designing the Morgan dollar, one of many namesakes, William T. Morgans half dollars. Coin World, 4–5,14,20,22,24,28,32,36,40, the Private Sketchbook of George T. Morgan
Trade dollars are silver coins minted as trade coins by various countries to facilitate trade with China and the Orient. They all approximated in weight and fineness to the Spanish dollar, the existence of trade dollars came about because of the popularity of the silver Spanish dollar in China and East Asia. This so-called Manila Galleons trade route, led from the 16th Century onwards to the circulation of pieces of eight in East Asia. The high regard in which these coins came to be held, led to the minting of the silver Chinese yuan and these Chinese dragon dollars not only circulated in China, but together with original coins of Spanish-Mexican origin became the preferred currency of trade between China and its neighbours. These so-called trade dollars would approximate in specification, weight 7 mace and 2 candareens and fineness.900, the piastre was initially equivalent to the Mexican peso. The piastre was therefore a direct descendent of the Spanish pieces of eight that had been brought to the Orient from Mexico on the Manila Galleons.
It was initially on a standard of 1 piastre =24.4935 grams pure silver. This was reduced to 24.3 grams in 1895, the Japanese Trade Dollar was a dollar coin, issued from 1875 to 1877. It was minted of 27.22 g of silver with a fineness of.900, the Yen coin had 26.96 g of silver at that time, and otherwise nearly identical in design to the trade dollar. 2,736,000 coins of this type were minted, when Japan introduced the gold standard in 1897, the silver 1 yen coins, including the trade dollars, were demonetized. The majority of the dollars were counterstamped with the character gin. The Osaka mint placed the mark on the side of the reverse. The coins were released for use in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, Korea. China trade silver dollars were a result of the First and Second Opium War. The loser, had to open up a number of ports to British trade and residence, in the decades that followed and adventurers flocked to these areas, and international trade flourished. Foreign banks were established and large silver coins from all over the world began arriving to pay for tea and these.900 fine silver trade dollars were circulated throughout China, where they were readily accepted as a medium of exchange.
On the reverse is a design with the Chinese symbol for longevity in the center. The British Trade Dollar was designed by George William De Saulles and minted from 1895 for Hong Kong, but after the Straits dollar was introduced to the Straits Settlements in 1903, it became exclusively a Hong Kong coin produced until 1935