By CoinWeek …..
Big things are always happening at the United States Mint, but the month of April sees the beginning and end of some very important moments in American monetary and social history. You can’t get any bigger than the passage of the Mint’s founding documents, can you? Similarly significant are the seizures of three Mint facilities by the southern states in rebellion at the start of the Civil War. Major coin designs are introduced in April. Legislation authorizing a number of commemorative issues wound its way through Congress this month. We also see major hires and retirements.
Without any further adieu, here’s a CoinWeek snapshot of a month in American money.
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April 1, 1807: John Reich hired as the assistant engraver and begins work designing a new coinage series. His salary was set at $600 per year.
April 1, 1873: The Coinage Act of 1873 takes effect. On the same day, President Grant appointed Coinage Act author Henry Linderman to the position of Director of the Bureau of the Mint.
April 1, 1881: Carson City Mint ceases coining operations. Temporary closure.
April 1, 1977: U.S. Mint begins to accept orders for 1977 Proof Sets. Price increased to $9. Mint cites escalating costs.
April 2, 1792: Coinage Act authorizing the establishment of the U.S Mint is signed into law.
April 2, 1799: Matthew Boulton writes to Mint Director Elias Boudinot to inform him that he was unable to ship planchets to Philadelphia because the waterways in Wales were frozen over. He also noted a 20% rise in the price of copper due to the French Revolution and increased demand for military use.
April 2, 1807: Patterson informs President Jefferson that Reich is at work to redesign the coinage. He states that no eagles have been struck in 1805-1806.
April 3, 1854: The San Francisco Mint begins to receive deposits for coinage operations.
April 4, 1793: The Wreath cent enters production.
April 4, 1891: Mint Director Leech issues circular to artists of the United States, inviting them to submit designs for a proposed new coinage.
April 4, 1972: Mint releases new White House medal.
April 4, 2017: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site quarter dollar launch ceremony held at the site. Five-ounce silver version released on May 2.
April 4, 2017: U.S. Mint releases the 2017 Congratulations! Set, which included a 2017-S American Silver Eagle Proof. Mintage was limited to 75,000 pieces. With no household order limit, the set sold out in two minutes.
April 5, 1836: Diplomatic Proof Set including 1804 novodel dollar and $10 gold piece delivered to the King of Siam by Ambassador Edmund Roberts.
April 5, 1880: Mint delivers 100 Stella sets. This batch struck on normal coin presses.
April 5, 1933: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 6033, which calls for the surrender of all privately held gold bullion and Gold Certificates to the government. Despite this order, the Philadelphia Mint would go on to strike 200,000 double eagles between April 7 and 27.
April 6, 1839: New Orleans Mint delivers 64,000 half dollars. Its first batch of 1839s.
April 6, 1962: U.S. Mint ships a million silver dollars in two semi-trucks to Seattle for the Seattle World’s Fair exhibit.
April 6, 2017: Mint releases 225th Anniversary Liberty High Relief Gold $100 coin.
April 6-7, 2020: Original dates of planned Weir Farm Coin Launch and Forum cancelled due to COVID pandemic.
April 7, 1799: Assistant Coiner Adam Eckfeldt delivers 8,235 cents and 12,167 half cents. No half cents dated 1799 were produced, so it’s extremely likely that the half cents were dated 1797.
April 8, 1861: Georgia governor Joseph E. Brown orders the seizure of the Dahlonega Mint.
April 8, 1878: Philadelphia Mint ships first Morgan dollar dies to San Francisco and Carson City Mints.
April 9, 1796: 2,750 dimes delivered. Likely of the JR-4 die variety.
April 11, 1930: President Hoover signs legislation discontinuing the production of the quarter eagle.
April 11, 1973: U.S. Mint’s special coins and medals employees and computer employees move to the Old Mint building at Fifth and Mission Street in San Francisco to work in accordance to Public Law 92-362 (August 4, 1972), which called for the adaptive use of surplus historical structures.
April 12, 1797: The Mint signs an agreement with the Bank of the United States to provide for the deposit of gold and silver for coinage. The Bank agreed to supply the Mint with $10,000 in silver and gold and replenish America’s coinage factory for every $3,000 delivered.
April 12, 2021: The Mint announces that Sally Ride and Maya Angelou will be the first two women featured on the new quarter series.
>April 13, 1904: Act authorizing the production of the Lewis and Clark gold dollar signed into law.
April 13, 1936: President Roosevelt signs into law legislation authorizing the production of the Long Island half dollar
April 14, 1792: President George Washington offers David Rittenhouse the position of Director of the Mint.
April 15, 1790: Congress seeks recommendations from Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton concerning the establishment of a Mint and a United States monetary system.
April 15, 1878: Mint Director Linderman reduces the price of the 1878 Silver Proof Set to $4 at the request of Mint Superintendent James Pollock. Can you imagine?
April 15, 1938: Final day for artists to submit designs for Jefferson nickel competition.
April 15, 2020: Coin production at the West Point Mint suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The facility reopened in a limited capacity on April 21.
April 16, 1799: John and Andrew Barbarrouse deposited $474.515 in French plate for coining into silver dollars. Paid out May 23.
April 16, 1936: Bill introduced into the House to authorize the striking of the 1936 Cleveland, Bridgeport (Connecticut), Wisconsin, Gettysburg, Antietam, and Delaware half dollars. Plus a bill introduced to the House to authorize an update to the design of the Arkansas half dollar. Bill introduced to authorize Waiilatpu Mission, Walla Walla, Washington half dollar (revised from half dollar to medal). Bill introduced authorizing the production of a Wilkinsburg half dollar introduced in the House.
April 17, 1878: First strike ceremony for the Morgan dollar held at the San Francisco Mint. Superintendent Henry Dodge and former governor F.F. Low present. Strikings may qualify as Branch Mint Proofs.
April 18, 1838: The New Orleans Mint receives its first gold deposit.
April 18, 1873: The Carson Daily Appeal newspaper reports that Mr. Rosser had placed three 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollars into the cornerstone of the Rosser building. Coins were recovered around 1973.
April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco. The San Francisco Mint facility survives and serves as the staging grounds for rescue efforts.
April 19, 1799: Boulton ships 60 casks (approximately 930,000 pieces) of cent planchets on the ship Amelia. 185,000 arrived damaged at the end of June due to moisture as they were stored in the ship hold.
April 20, 1861: North Carolina governor J.W. Ellis seizes the Charlotte Mint.
April 20, 1876: Silver coins and legal tender notes become exchangeable at par, leading to the release of coins that had been held back since 1862.
April 20, 1938: Judges select Felix Schlag’s Jefferson design to replace the Buffalo design.
April 21, 1838: The Dahlonega Mint strikes its first coinage: 60 gold half eagles.
April 21, 1862: Congress passes Act to authorize the establishment of a branch mint in Denver, Colorado for the coinage of gold.
April 21, 2016: United States Mint offers .9999 fine gold 2016-W Mercury dime for sale.
April 21, 2020: U.S. Mint reveals design of the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Commemorative dollar.
April 22, 1864: The Coinage Act of 1864 is signed into law. Change of composition of the cent and production of a Two Cent coin is authorized. In God We Trust adopted as a motto for the TWO CENT piece. Production of the Two Cent piece begins at the Philadelphia Mint.
April 22, 1896: Government purchased land to be used to construct the Denver Mint.
April 22, 1936: Lynchburg half dollar authorization bill introduced in the Senate.
April 23, 1878: Congress takes up legislation to abolish Twenty Cent Piece.
April 24-28, 1972: Mint Director Mary Brooks leads the U.S. Mint delegation at the Mint Directors’ Conference, held in England.
April 27, 1972: Mint distributes a special order of 40% silver Proof versions of the White House medal to wives and relatives of members of Congress.
April 27-28, 2001: Mint initiates an investigation into employees on suspicion that employees were smuggling mint errors and unreleased coins out of the facility after a Vermont quarter was found in circulation before release. A sweep of employee lockers on April 27-28, turned up overstruck coins and rolls of Sacagawea dollars.
April 28, 1936: Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Wisconsin half dollar authorization bills pass the House.
April 30, 1861: Treasurer of the Confederacy C.G. Memminger orders the seized New Orleans Mint to close.
April 30, 1933: Nellie Tayloe Ross named Mint Director, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
April 30, 1936: Delaware half dollar authorization bill passes the House. Arkansas half dollar redesign bill passes the House.
Also in April
April 1820: Steam engines go into use at the Philadelphia Mint.
April 1833: Franklin Peale leaves for Europe to learn new production methods. Visits Paris, Soho, and London. Peale returns June 1835.
April 1853: Mint adds arrows to silver denominations to denote a change in tenor.
April 1879: Due to a lack of deposits, Washington officials inform Carson City Mint Superintendent Crawford to cease coinage operations and lay off workers.
April 1936: A busy month at the Mint. Total mintage at all branches: 586,400 half dollars (D); 1,924,000 quarters (P), 280,000 quarters (S); 1,700,000 dimes (P), 1,619,000 dimes (D); 4,788,000 nickels (P) 700,000 nickels (S); 16,750,000 cents (P) 5,200,000 cents (S) 1,000,000 cents (D). Oregon Trail 50¢: 5,006 (S).
April 1937: New Rochelle commemorative half dollars struck
April 1938: Denver Mint stops production of the Buffalo nickel.
April 2016: Mint engraver Charles L. Vickers retires.