United States Bicentennial coinage – Wikipedia

Three US coins minted in 1975–1976
The Eisenhower dollar, with the double date 1776–1976 Quarter Bicentennial reverse Half dollar Bicentennial rearward

dollar Bicentennial rearward ( Type I ) dollar Bicentennial reverse ( Type II ) The United States Bicentennial coinage is a dress of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, one-half dollar and dollar mint by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976. Regardless of when fall upon, each coin bears the double date 1776–1976 on the normal obverses for the Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar and Eisenhower dollar. No coins dated 1975 of any of the three denominations were minted. Given past abuses in the system, the Mint advocated against the issue of commemorative coins starting in the 1950s. Beginning in 1971, members of Congress introduced bills to authorize coins to honor the United States Bicentennial, which would occur in 1976. The mint, through its film director, Mary Brooks, initially opposed such proposals, but late supported them, and Congress passed legislation requiring the temp redesign of the overrule of the quarter, half dollar and dollar. A nationally rival resulted in designs of a Colonial drummer for the stern, Independence Hall for the half dollar and the Liberty Bell superimposed against the Moon for the dollar. All three coins remain common nowadays ascribable to the measure hit. circulation pieces were in bull nickel ; Congress besides mandated 45,000,000 part-silver pieces be struck for collectors. The Mint sold over one-half of the part-silver coins before melting the remainder after withdrawing them from sale in 1986 .

background [edit ]

commemorative coins had been struck for a numeral of events and anniversaries by the United States Mint since 1892. Organizations would get Congress to authorize a mint and would be allowed to buy up the topic, selling it to the public at a agio. The final issue among these commemoratives, one-half dollars honoring Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver were struck over a number of years, and were discontinued in 1954. primitively priced at $ 3.50, they were repeatedly discounted ; many could not be sold at a premium and enroll circulation. The promoter of these issues, S.J. Phillips, mishandled the distribution and lost $ 140,000. The negative publicity caused the Department of the Treasury, of which the Mint is a separate, to oppose subsequent commemorative coin proposals, and until the 1970s, Congress passed none. In 1966, Congress established the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission ( ARBC ) to plan and coordinate activities connected with the 1976 bicentennial of american Independence ( “ the Bicentennial ” ). In February 1970, the ARBC established a Coins and Medals Advisory Committee. The committee ‘s initial report, in July 1970, called for the output of a commemorative half dollar for the Bicentennial. In December 1970, the committee called for special designs for all denominations of US neologism for the Bicentennial ; the ARBC endorsed this position the take after month. The Treasury, however, opposed the variety, following its longstanding position against commemorative coins. several proposals for bicentennial coins were introduced in Congress in 1971 and 1972, but did not run. Mint Director Mary Brooks had attended the Advisory Committee meetings. At one meet, she supported having a 1776–1976 double date on circulating coins to mark the anniversary in 1976, although accommodating two dates on the obverse would involve production difficulties. however, in a newspaper consultation she termed the theme of changing the six circulate coins ( cent through dollar ) “ a calamity ”. She felt if any Bicentennial coin was issued, it should be non-circulating, possibly a half cent or a gold piece. Brooks believed that such a coin would not disrupt the Mint in the production of coins for circulation. During 1972, however, she retreated from that position, and by the end of the year had persuaded Treasury Secretary George Shultz to support a Bicentennial mint bill .

authority [edit ]

In January 1973, Texas Representative Richard C. White introduced legislation for commemorative dollars and half dollars. Oregon Senator Mark Hatfield besides put forward a bill, calling for a $ 25 gold while. On March 2, 1973, the Treasury announced its support for Bicentennial mint legislation for plan changes to the reverses of the circulate dollars and half dollars, and sent proposed legislation to Congress three days late. Hearings before a subcommittee in the House of Representatives were held on May 2, 1973. Brooks testified, supporting the express redesign in the charge, but opposing a more across-the-board coin redesign. individually from the Bicentennial matter, she asked for authority to strike US coins at the West Point Bullion Depository, where space was available to install older neologism presses. Brooks deprecated the Hatfield proposal, stating that the mint would have to be .667 pure or less to avoid roll up. As a result of the hearings, several extra bills were introduced, and extra hearings were held before a Senate subcommittee on June 6. Brooks testified again, and responding to criticism that merely the two least popular denominations were to be changed, indicated her support for a bicentennial quarter equally good. On June 13, a bill, S. 1141 which provided for a mobilize bicentennial quarter, half dollar and dollar, gave license for coins to be struck at West Point and allowed for 40 % eloquent invest versions of the new coins for collectors was reported favorably by the Senate Banking Committee. It passed the Senate on July 13. however, amendments authorizing US citizens to own gold, and to implement the Hatfield proposal were attached to the bill. A similar bill passed the House of Representatives on September 12, differing from the Senate bill in lacking any provision relate to amber, and in not authorizing flatware versions of the modern coins. [ a ] Members of the two houses met in a conference committee on September 19 in a session described by onlookers as “ reasonably hot and heavy ”. The result bill had no aureate provisions, but authorized changes to the reverses of the stern, half dollar and dollar for the Bicentennial. The obverses of the three coins would not change, but would bear the double date 1776–1976. By the terms of the legislative act, all coins minted to be issued after July 4, 1975 and before January 1, 1977 would bear the Bicentennial dates and designs. Congress directed the Mint to strike 45,000,000 silver medal dress coins ( that is, 15,000,000 sets ), and the Mint received the requested authority to strike coins at West Point. Circulation quarters, half dollars and dollars would continue to be of copper nickel bonded to an home layer of bull, that is, copper nickel clad. The modify circular passed both houses of Congress on October 4, 1973, and the circular was signed into police by President Richard Nixon on October 18. Hatfield ‘s standard, along with similar legislation from other senators, was reintroduced in 1975, but died in committee, as did legislation seeking a bicentennial two-cent patch and a bill seeking a mint honoring Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony. The extra production at West Point was key to overcoming a dearth of cents in 1974, and permitted the Mint greater flexibility as it geared up to strike the Bicentennial pieces .

competition [edit ]

On October 23, 1973, the Department of the Treasury announced a competition for the three reversion designs. Any US citizen could submit one draw, or photograph of a plaster exemplary 10 inches ( 250 millimeter ) in diameter. As required by law, submissions were to include the legends connect states of united states, e pluribus unum and the respective denomination quarter dollar, one-half dollar and one dollar. Treasury Secretary Shultz, advised by a panel of judges, would decide which design would be used for each denomination. At Director Brooks ‘ request, the National Sculpture Society selected the five judges for the contest. The judges were society President Robert Weinman ( son of Adolph Weinman, who had designed the Mercury dime and Walking Liberty half dollar ), Connecticut sculptor Adlai S. Hardin, former Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts, Julius Lauth of the Medallic Art Company, and Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, curator in the Division of Numismatics, Smithsonian Institution. The deadline was primitively December 14, 1973, but was extended to January 9, 1974 because of the energy crisis and Christmas mail delays. Brooks traveled more than 7,000 miles ( 11,000 kilometer ) to publicize the competition. By the deadline, the Mint had received 15,000 inquiries and 884 entries. Members of the panel and any person employed by the uracil government as a sculptor were ineligible to enter. The respect for each of the three winners was $ 5,000. The judge was primitively supposed to take target at West Point ; with the check, it took topographic point rather at the Philadelphia Mint. From the entries, the judges selected twelve semifinalist designs ; the sculptor submitting each received a loot of $ 750. The competitors were to place their work on poultice models, if that had not already been done, and were offered aid in making the models .

cooking [edit ]

The twelve remaining designs were released by the Treasury for public comment in early 1974. Two of the proposed coins featured sailing ships, two featured Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and three depicted the lunar month or lunar spacecraft. Another depicted the Liberty Bell superimposed on an nuclear symbol. According to numismatist Michael Marotta in his 2001 article on the Bicentennial coins, “ the numismatic residential district ‘s reaction to the entries was predictable : everyone complained by writing letters to the editor ”. From the twelve, the judges selected six finalists for review by the National Bicentennial Coin Design Competition Committee, consisting of Brooks, Representative Wright Patman, Senator John Sparkman, Commission of Fine Arts Secretary Charles H. Atherton and Eric P. Newman, chair of the ARBC ‘s coins and medals advisory committee. After receiving the committee ‘s recommendations, Secretary Shultz selected the winners and on March 6, 1974, Brooks went on the Today show to announce them. Jack L. Ahr ‘s design featuring a colonial drummer, with a flashlight of victory surrounded by thirteen stars ( representing the master states ) was selected for the quarter. Seth Huntington ‘s image of Independence Hall was selected for the half dollar while Dennis R. Williams ‘ superimposition of the Liberty Bell against the Moon was successful for the dollar. Ahr owned a commercial art firm and Huntington was capitulum artist for Brown and Bigelow, a Minneapolis publish firm. Williams, at age 21 [ 17 ] the youngest person to design a US coin, was an art scholar who had originally created his blueprint for a class assignment. No change would be made to the obverses of the coins, except for the double date .
This 1973 Bicentennial cast, like the quarter, depicts a colonial drummer. Ahr was accused of copying his drummer from a 1973 tender by the stamp ‘s architect, William A. Smith ; he denied it. According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, “ both obviously derive from Archibald Willard ‘s 1876 paint Spirit of ’76, ” a painting which numismatic writer David L. Ganz suggests that both undoubtedly meet erstwhile in their lives. Ahr, however, stated that his son had been the mannequin for the drummer. Brooks, in a letter to Smith, stated that the design for the quarter was “ sufficiently original ” to impress the National Sculpture Society. Weinman late deprecated the winning designs :

I in truth do n’t think what we got was a great bargain. nothing we selected was a real winner that I ‘d fight to the death for. In terms of what we had to work with, though, I think we did the best we could .

On April 24, 1974, the three winning designers were brought to Washington, D.C. After a tour of the White House and meetings with the congressional committees which considered the coin bills, they went to the Treasury Building and received their $ 5,000 checks from the new Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon, who jokingly asked them if they wanted to invest their awards in save bonds. Mint Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro made minor changes to all three inverse designs. Gasparro simplified the quarter design, altered the barrel for the sake of authenticity, changed the letter and modified the expression on the drummer ‘s face. He made slender changes to Independence Hall on the half dollar and altered the letter on the dollar to facilitate the metallic element menstruate during stamping and asked the couturier to straighten the bottomland edge of the Liberty Bell. [ 23 ] Ahr late stated that he would have liked more time to finalize his design, wishing to clarify the features of the drummer ‘s expression. The initials of the architect were added to the design by the Mint. All three agreed that Gasparro ‘s changes improved their designs.

output [edit ]

Type II Eisenhower dollar (1976).
40% silver version.

On August 12, 1974, the three designers were at the Philadelphia Mint, where they ceremoniously operated the presses to strike the first coins bearing their designs. These prototypes were exhibited under armed guard at the American Numismatic Association convention in Florida the adjacent day. They differ from all other Bicentennial coins in that they were struck in silver proofread without mint target ; other silver proof coins bear an “ S ” mint score as strike at the San Francisco Assay Office ( as the San Francisco Mint was then known ). Coins struck at Denver bear a “ D ” on the obverse ; pieces lacking a mint marker were struck at Philadelphia. Sets of these prototypes were presented to President Gerald Ford, Counselor to the President Anne Armstrong and Director John Warner of the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Administration ( the successor to the ARBC ). All early first base strikes were melted, with copies not evening kept for the National Numismatic Collection. The Mint believed that if it was required to strike 1975 quarters, half dollars and dollars, not enough could be struck before it had to begin the Bicentennial issues to prevent the 1975 pieces from becoming collector ‘s items. This risked coin shortages at a time when the Mint was seeking to build a excess of quarters. Mint officials returned to Congress to seek amending legislation. President Ford signed a bill on December 26, 1974 that made several uncontroversial changes to jurisprudence, including provisions to allow the Mint to keep striking 1974-dated pieces until it began striking the Bicentennial coins. By terms of the amending legislation, the commemorative coins could not be issued until after July 4, 1975. On November 15, 1974, the Mint began taking orders for the silver clothe pieces, at a monetary value of $ 15 for proof sets and $ 9 for uncirculated, with a deadline for orders of January 31, 1975. Uncirculated coins are like those newly released into circulation ; proof coins have a mirror finish. Buyers were initially limited to five sets per person. On January 19, 1975, Brooks announced that the silver validation set price was cut to $ 12, and the orderliness terminus ad quem was waived. Buyers who had paid the higher price were sent refunds by crack. Brooks stated that the price reduction was because of product efficiencies, the benefit of which she wished to pass along to the public. Numismatic columnist Ed Reiter noted, though, that the reduction came amidst protests from the numismatic community that the price was besides high. Coin principal Herby Skelton suggested in 1977 that the initial senior high school price for the sets followed by the decrease, together with the large coinage of silver sets made the public leery and contributed to lagging sales. On August 20, 1975, the price for the uncirculated silver sets was reduced to $ 7 when majority purchases of 50 or more were made. A deposit in Taiwan ordered 250,000 sets at this price. The first Bicentennial coins to be produced that were intended for the public were dollars, struck during February 1975. The first for collectors were struck at San Francisco on April 23, 1975. The San Francisco Assay Office struck the 45,000,000 silver coins first base, producing eleven million sets in uncirculated and four million in proof, then began the base metallic element pieces. once hit began, the Mint found that the bull nickel dollar was striking dimly, a trouble not seen with the silver pieces. The Mint modified the dies ; the most noticeable change is that the revised issue, or Type II as it came to be known, have narrower, sharper lettering on the turn back. All silver medal pieces ( struck only at San Francisco ) are Type I ; all three mints struck both Type I and Type II copper nickel pieces. All dollars included in 1975 proof sets are Type I ; all those included in 1976 proof sets are Type II. Bicentennial coins for collectors were not delivered until after July 4, 1975. The Bicentennial pieces, in foundation metallic element, were included in 1975 proof sets and mint sets together with 1975-dated cents, nickels and dimes. The new coins first gear entered circulation on July 7, 1975, when the half dollar was released in concurrence with ceremonies in Minneapolis, Huntington ‘s hometown. The quarter followed in September and the dollar in October, each besides with ceremonies to mark the issue. The pieces were struck in numbers exceeding those needed for circulation ; a Mint spokesman stated, “ The hypothesis in striking them was to have adequate available therefore as many Americans as possible would have an opportunity to have a neologism commemoration of the Bicentennial year. They ‘re mementos. ” In 1977, the Mint returned to the old turn back designs for the quarter, half dollar and dollar. Sales by mid-1977 had dropped off well, to possibly 300 sets a week, with one Mint official describing the sales against the massive unsold quantities as “ a drop in the bucket ”. By 1979, the Mint anticipated an eventual sellout for the silver proof set, but admitted that with massive quantities unsold, there was no realistic possibility of selling all uncirculated silver sets. On September 17, 1979, faced with a ear in silver medal prices, Mint Director Stella B. Hackel announced that the sets were being removed from sale. They were returned to sale in August 1980, at increased prices of $ 20 in proof and $ 15 in uncirculated. In September 1981, the Mint, citing a worsen in the price of silver, reduced the monetary value of the sets to $ 15 in proof and $ 12 in uncirculated. A limit of 100 sets per person was set on proof sales, with none on uncirculated. A bombastic total of sets were melted by the government in 1982. Reagan government Mint Director Donna Pope late stated, ” Sales of 1776–1976 regular-issue Bicentennial coins went on and on, apparently constantly. ” On December 31, 1986, the remaining Bicentennial uncirculated silver sets were removed from sale. At the time, it was announced that proof sets had already sold out when coins went off sale. however, Marotta, writing in 2001, stated that when sales ceased, 400,000 proof sets and 200,000 uncirculated sets remained in armory. due to the boastfully quantities struck, Bicentennial coins remain cheap. A arrange of three silver coins contains .5381 troy ounces ( 16.74 guanine ) of the cherished metallic. In a 1996 statistical sketch, T.V. Buttrey found that about 750,000,000 of the circulation quarters, more than a third, had been hoarded and did not circulate. Coin principal Marcel Sassola suggested in 1977 of the eloquent sets, “ There were just excessively many sold, and I think it will take a long time before they have any real respect. possibly by the Tricentennial. ”

The sum neologism by striking mint is shown below :

Circulation coins Philadelphia Denver
Quarters 809,784,016 860,118,839
Half dollars 234,308,000 287,565,248
Dollars (Type I) 4,019,000 21,048,710
Dollars (Type II) 113,318,000 82,179,164
San Francisco (sets) Copper nickel Silver clad
In 1975 proof sets (six coins, cent through dollar) 2,845,450 0
In 1976 proof sets (six coins, as above) 4,149,730 0
Actual number of silver uncirculated sets issued 0 4,908,319
Actual number of silver proof sets issued 0 3,998,621

References [edit ]

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ It was made legal for US citizens to own gold by legislation enacted August 14, 1974, effective December 31, 1974. Coin World Almanac 1977, pp. 55, 127–128 .

Citations
Bibliography
Other sources

  • Bardes, Herbert C. (February 3, 1974). “From these will come our ’76 coins”. The New York Times. p. AL34. ( subscription required )

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