By CoinWeek …..
One might think that as March takes its turn in the calendar’s monthly procession that the business of the United States Mint might be settling into a familiar groove. But the following notable moments tell a different story. Far from being a month offering more of the same, March has historically been a time of important beginnings and endings. New mints, new denominations, new commemoratives, and new hires fill out one side of the ledger. The passing of presidents, the resignation of key Mint officials, and the end of an economic monetary standard fill out the other.
For your reading pleasure, we present this day-by-day readout of some of the most interesting U.S. Mint-related March events. Enjoy!
March 1, 1793: Coinage begins at the United States Mint. On this day, 11,178 Chain cents are delivered. Sheldon-1 variety thought to be approximately 7,000 coins from this delivery.
March 3, 1794: U.S. Congress lowers the bond requirements for U.S. Mint workers, originally set at $10,000 per person. This had been impeding the Mint’s ability to strike coins and hire personnel. New bond levels: assayer: $1,000; chief coiner: $5,000. Henry Voigt and Assayer Albion Cox begin working with precious metals.
March 3, 1835: Congress establishes branch mints at New Orleans, Dahlonega, and Charlotte.
March 3, 1849: Legislation passed to authorize the production of gold dollars and double eagles.
March 3, 1851: Congress authorizes the production of three-cent silver coins. The tiny silver denomination was devised to support the reduced-rate 3¢ postage stamp.
March 3, 1863: Congress establishes the Carson City Mint.
March 3, 1865: Congress passes legislation to authorize the use of IN GOD WE TRUST on all silver and gold coins.
March 3, 1879: Philadelphia Mint Superintendent James Pollock resigns. A. Loudon Snowden replaces him.
March 4, 1861: President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated the first time and boy did he have a mess on his hands.
March 5, 1880: Snowden, trying to relieve the Mint from having to experiment with the cockamamie goloid alloy coinage promoted by Dr. William Wheeler Hubbell, writes Congress to request that it ask Hubbell to present his ideas to the National Academy of Sciences. Snowden is rebuffed by the Mint Bureau and told to follow orders.
March 5, 1933: Philadelphia Mint assembles its last shipment of gold coins, comprising 19 tons of half eagles, eagles, and double eagles (no double eagles dated 1933 are included as they have not yet been struck).
March 6, 1873: A. Holmes & Co. makes the last deposit for Seated Liberty silver dollars at the San Francisco Mint.
March 6, 1933: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs Proclamation 2039, which declares a banking holiday and prohibits payment in gold, hoarding of gold, or exporting gold.
March 7, 1861: Salmon P. Chase replaces John Dix as Treasury Secretary. Dix would serve as a Union general during the Civil War.
March 8, 1838: The New Orleans Mint receives its first silver deposit.
March 8, 1863: Penny panic. Americans in the Northern states, fearful that even lowly one-cent coins might become scarce as the war drags on, begin to hoard pennies. As a result, enterprising merchants try to fill the void by striking private tokens.
March 8, 1885: James Crawford, superintendent of the Carson City Mint, dies. Theodore R. Hofer serves as acting director until Major William Garrard is named to the position on March 18.
March 9, 2017: Launch ceremony held at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel to mark the release of the Boys Town Commemorative Coin Program.
March 11, 1878: Morgan dollar dies installed into the press and the first coin deemed “perfect” is struck at 3:17 pm and then delivered to President Hayes. The eagle on this coin features eight tailfeathers on the reverse.
March 12, 1883: Charles Barber finishes revisions to the Liberty “V” nickel design, adding CENTS and moving the motto to a position above the wreath.
March 12, 1964: United States Mint limits household order limit of Proof sets from two to one after selling 200,000 sets in two days.
March 13, 1837: President Martin Van Buren appoints John R. Bolton to the position of chief coiner of the Charlotte Mint.
March 13, 2000: The Maryland 50 States Quarter is released. Eighth in the series.
March 14, 1840: 1840-dated quarter eagle dies are dispatched to New Orleans.
March 14, 2019: American Legion commemorative coins released.
March 18, 1878: Mint Director Linderman visits the Mint and discusses technical difficulties with the new dollar design. At this meeting, he mandates that the number of eagle tail feathers be reduced from eight to seven.
March 18, 1936: FDR signs into law legislation authorizing the production of the Columbia Sesquicentennial half dollar (Law 476).
March 20, 1797: The first U.S. Assay Commission meets.
March 22, 1850: $20 gold coins enter production at the Philadelphia Mint.
March 23, 1836: The United States Mint produces its first steam coinage.
March 24, 1964: The Kennedy half dollar enters circulation, with 26 million pieces bagged and shipped.
March 25, 1807: Mint Director Patterson writes to President Jefferson and requests permission to hire an assistant engraver to help the aging Robert Scot. John Reich will be hired to fill the role a week later.
March 26, 1878: March 26: 7 Tailfeather reverse Morgan dollars enter production. The same day, the Mint delivers 200 Morgan dollar Proofs to the Treasurer.
March 27, 1974: The Consumer Affairs subcommittee of the House of Representatives reviews aluminum cents sent by the Mint.
March 27, 2010: Mint Director Edmund Moy is on hand at the ANA National Money Show in Ft. Worth, Texas to oversee the launch of the Boy Scouts of America Centennial silver dollar.
March 28, 1969: Former president Dwight D. Eisenhower dies. To honor him, legislation is drafted in Congress to authorize the production of a new dollar coin featuring his likeness.
March 29, 2004: The Florida 50 States Quarter is released. Twenty-seventh in the series.
March 31, 1817: John Reich resigns from the Mint, probably due to health concerns.
March 31, 1835: Secretary of State John Forsyth orders two additional Proof sets for Roberts’ diplomatic mission. These sets likely contained “1804” dollars.
March 31, 1936: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law legislation authorizing the production of the Cincinnati half dollar (Law 485).
March 31, 1988: The San Francisco Assay Office is redesignated the San Francisco Mint.
Also in March
Late March, 1838: The New Orleans Mint strikes 20 1838-O half dollars (the only ones of the date and mintmark struck) to test the facility’s large coin press.