Dave Lange writes:
I want to respond to Bruce W. Smith's question of how the U. S. Mint was able to get aluminum
for its pattern coins dated in the 1850s-60s. My suspicion is that these aluminum impressions may have been made later than the dates they carry, a
common enough occurrence during the terms of Director Henry R. Linderman (1867-69 and 1873-78).
To the best of my knowledge, the complete aluminum proof sets of 1868 are the earliest aluminum pieces confirmed as being contemporary with the
date they carry, and all earlier-dated pieces are subject to being restrikes or novodels. Linderman was a known collector of such rarities.
Saul Teichman writes:
With regard to the Judd 175, Bruce notes it as having a plain edge when it clearly has a reeded edge as the image I got from Princeton University
clearly shows. As to when it was struck, that is a good question.
As for mention of the 1890 cent, I have never been able to locate one. Regrettably, I do not know where the Mint got its aluminum.
For more information on the Judd 175 pattern, see:
John Dannreuther writes:
The earliest record I have for the purchase of Aluminum by the Mint is attached. (This page is courtesy Fred Weinberg, who owns these Mint
documents.) Of course, they may have purchased some earlier. From Victor Bishop of New York on Jan. 16, they bought 14 ounces at $2.67 per ounce! I
have later purchases, included 50 ounces later for the "bargain" price of $100. Aluminum was more expensive than silver for quite some
So from this discussion it seems that the Mint purchased aluminum in 1867 and likely used it to strike the 1868-dated aluminum
pattern sets. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: WHERE DID THE U.S. MINT GET ALUMINUM?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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