NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
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Past Times Newsletter - January 2002
The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane Antiques, Collectibles,
Fine Art, and Arts & Crafts
Welcome to Past Times!
IN THIS ISSUE:
o HAPPY NEW YEAR from Ruby Lane!
o COIN TRIVIA IS FUN! by James C. Johnston, Jr. of The
Journal of Antiques & Collectibles
Happy New Year from all of us at Ruby Lane. Here's hoping 2002
is a peaceful and prosperous one for all.
THE JOURNAL OF ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES
Hey Mister, Do You Have Change for a Guinea?
Many collectors of United States coins have no idea of what they
are missing by not collecting the coins that circulated here in
the United States before 1857.
Among collectors, large cents are very popular, as are
half-cents and Bust Half-Dollars. But I am talking about not
only these colonial minted coins, but the coins of other
countries, as well. These coins circulated throughout the
colonies and early republic until 1857, when Congress passed a
law prohibiting the use of foreign coins in the United States
for paying of public and private debts.
Prior to the passing of this law, shopkeepers in the United
States would have to be able to convert the world's coinage,
including the English, into good old American dollars and cents,
because silver and gold coins of the world were considered legal
tender in the United States. This included German Thalers,
Spanish and Spanish-American pieces-of-eight, French five franc
pieces, ecus, and many other types of coinage which began
floating through United States commerce at an ever-quickening
In 1857, all of this stopped when the United States government
only recognized coins minted at Philadelphia, New Orleans,
Dahlonega, San Francisco, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Of
these mints, only San Francisco and Philadelphia are still in
operation today. In fact, one of the most popular and useful
features of almanacs of the early era was a regular list of "Bad
Banks" whose paper money had no value at all.
You might also be surprised to learn that the United States
minted two-cent bronze pieces from 1864 to 1873. The U.S. also
minted three-cent nickels from 1865 to 1889. The first five-cent
nickel was minted in 1866. Twenty-cent pieces were minted from
1875 to 1878 at Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Carson City.
For more on coins visit The Journal of Antiques & Collectibles
at The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles.
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For previous newsletters, view the Past Times Archives.
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