By CoinWeek …..
The Coin Collecting Merit Badge should be a fun, honor, and educational know for scouts. And it not only teaches them about art, history, and money but besides about how collectors organize, classify, and preserve these small even enormously authoritative objects .
The requirements for earning the Merit Badge are simple and can be completed with little investment for either the scout or the teacher.
therefore to help make this experience even more memorable and enriching, CoinWeek has broken out each of the requirements and provided some expert comment .
1. Understand how coins are made and where the active U.S. Mint facilities
To make a coin, the Mint must first have a design. today ’ randomness coins are made in a collaborative process that often teams up outside artists with the United States Mint’s team of talented artists and engravers. once a design is settled on by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the engravers at the Mint catch to work adapting the two-dimensional design to a three-dimensional model in relief. This exemplary can be created using calculator software or modeled by hand using cadaver. Once the exemplary is finished, a poultice cast of the design is made. At this stage, the engraver finishes the fine detail by hired hand .
future, a high-resolution scan of the plaster cast is made by a sophisticated imaging device and fed into a computer where the datum is sent to a machine that uses lasers to cut the devices into decoration cylinders called hub. Hubs display the coin blueprint in relief that is precisely as you would see the design on the finished coin .
once the hub is finished, it is used to stamp the design into coin dies. A coin die will contain the demand lapp image but in the negative, or incuse. These dies are then used to strike coins .
Coins are struck on planchets. A planchet is a metallic element disk that has been particularly prepare for striking coins. A planchet starts as a bland metallic magnetic disk, called a blank. To turn blanks into planchets, the mint first heats the blanks to soften the metallic element. then the Mint cools the metallic and submerges the phonograph record into a buttery solution. once cleaned, the Mint dries the blanks, which are nowadays very bright. The glazed disk are then fed into what is called an upset mill, which merely adds a raised rim to the disk. Once the blanks have finished this process, they become planchets and are ready to be fed into a mint crush and stamped into coins using the coin dies we discussed earlier .
The unharmed procedure broadly takes place at a enormously high rate of accelerate – so fast that the homo center can not keep up .
All coins are struck at money factories called mints .
presently, the United States operates four mint facilities. The chief batch ( sometimes referred to as the “ Mother Mint ” ) is located in Philadelphia, where it has operated endlessly since 1793. The Mint ’ s other three branches are located in Denver, San Francisco, and West Point, New York. The Philadelphia and Denver Mints mint coins primarily for circulation. The San Francisco and West Point Mints are chiefly used for striking bullion coins and commemorative issues .
2. Explain these collecting terms:
Coin collectors employ a rich vocabulary of terms to describe different features of coins. These are crucial to know and relate to the designs of the coins that we use every day .
Six basic terms that a scout must understand are as follows :
( a ) obverse
The obverse of a coin is the “ heads ” side .
On a U.S. coin, the images and inscriptions depicted on the obverse will vary by serial and denomination .
Congress mandates which designs and inscriptions the Mint must use when making coins .
traditionally, the obverse of our coins has depicted either an allegorical theatrical performance of Liberty or an important political figure .
many designs besides feature the inscription LIBERTY and our national motto, IN GOD WE TRUST, on the obverse along with the date .
On some newer mint designs, like the Native American dollar struck from 2009 to the present, the date has been placed on the edge of the coin .
On other types, such as the 50 State Quarters ( 1999-2008 ) and the America the Beautiful Quarters ( 2010-2021 ), the date was moved to the change by reversal .
When a wonder about which side of the mint is heads is difficult to decide by looking at the coin, one can always look at the authorizing legislation for this information .
( bacillus ) reverse
As the obverse of a coin is “ heads ”, the overrule side is “ tails ”. One might think “ heads and tails ” refers to the fact that coins normally feature a visualize of a person on the obverse and a bird or some other animal on the change by reversal. This may work sometimes, but it is not constantly true .
The reverse of a United States coin will carry designs as outlined by Congress. For the one-cent mint, the stream rearward is a federal harbor that displays the mint ’ second denomination. The reversion of the nickel five-cent coin features Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The revoke designs on U.S. coins are imbued with symbolism and typically relate to the person or composition on the obverse .
( c ) Reeding
A coin has three sides. The obverse and rearward ( heads and tails ) and the side, besides known as the border. U.S. coins are struck with plain edges, reeded edges, and lettered edges. Lettered and plain edges are exchangeable, the key difference being that lettered edges contain text that is stamped on the edge. An model of a letter border coin is the aureate dollar. Plain edges are found on the cent and nickel .
Reeded edges are used on higher-value coins. The mathematician and scientist Sir Isaac Newton introduced the exercise when he was the victor of the English Royal Mint. Newton used reeds to combat counterfeits and mint clippers. As many coins of the period were struck in amber and silver, dishonest people would frequently trim the sides of the coin to keep some of the valuable metallic element. clip and forge coins was a dangerous crime, punishable by death .
today ’ south reeded coins trace back to a time when the United States struck coins in aureate and silver. There is short reason to clip a mod quarter or one-half dollar, so the practice is no longer an publish .
( five hundred ) clad
A dress coin has a effect and an extinct layer each made of different metals. Starting in 1965, the United States Mint began to strike coins using copper-nickel dress alternatively of an alloy of 90 % silver and 10 % copper. The once silver coins in production up until 1965 were the silver dime, quarter, and half dollar. From 1965 to 1970, the one-half dollar was struck in a 40 % silver-clad composition before switching to the lapp 75 % copper and 25 % nickel over a pure copper center constitution used on post-1964 dimes and quarters .
( einsteinium ) type set
A character fructify is popular with collectors who are seeking out just one example of each purpose. type fructify collect is cheaper than collecting a complete set by date or by date and mint sign as it allows collectors to focus on the most low-cost examples of each type. Collectors can build a type set of a especial denomination or try to build a type set of all denominations .
The image to the left shows an example of a accomplished type typeset of the nickel five-cent coin, starting with the Shield nickel ( with Rays ) issued in 1867 and finishing with the current nickel design. A child with the help of a rear or syndicate member can attempt to complete the entire set, or focus on the more low-cost coins, like the many different types of Jefferson nickel .
( fluorine ) Date set
A date set requires more coins than a character fix. Collectors assembling a date set hear to get one exercise of each date. The Lincoln cent, America ’ second longest running coin series, was first issued in 1909 and continues to be produced to this day. A unseasoned collector can attempt to get one from each date starting in 1909, undertake to get one of each date starting in 1959 when the Memorial Reverse was adopted, or attempt to get one exercise of each date since their date of birth .
3. Explain the grading terms Uncirculated, Extremely Fine, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good, and Poor. Show five different grade examples of the same coin type. Explain the term Proof and why it is not a grade. Tell what encapsulated coins are.
Coin scaling is an substantive aspect of numismatics that takes into account the state of conservation of a coin. The design on a coin wears down with habit and older coins tend to be more break than newer ones. As collectors sought ways to accurately describe coins in sales listings, they developed terms such as Uncirculated, highly Fine, Very Fine, Fine, identical dependable, Good, and Poor .
A mint in the condition it was struck in that does not exhibit wear from circulation is considered to be Uncirculated or Mint State. Mint State is actually the more coarse custom. A mint in Extremely Fine condition retains most of the design ’ s original details but shows wear in the highest points of the relief .
When a mint loses approximately one-fourth of the design due to wear, it is downgraded to the condition of Very Fine. In Fine, roughly half of the coin ’ south detail is lost or is only faintly visible. As the mint wears more, its stipulate falls to identical adept. A Lincoln penny in very good condition will entirely have dim detail. The sketch of the design is calm intelligibly visible along with the date. But the features on Lincoln ’ sulfur portrait are worn off and the coin ’ sulfur overrule lacks detail. typically, Lincoln cents in circulation that are of this low grade were struck with the Wheat Reverse of 1909-1958.
Read more: About Witter Coin
In Poor, the blueprint can only be made out by the outline of the design or the type of mint. Coin collectors only bother with Poor coins if they are exceptionally rare. The typical coin that a collector will find in change will fall between the grades of Extra Fine and Uncirculated. Older coins may grade lower .
The term Proof is used to describe a extra strike of a mint. Proof is not a grade. A Proof mint is struck using a special process where coins are struck at a low speed, with multiple impressions from the specially-prepared dies on highly polished planchets .
4. Know three different ways to store a collection, and describe the benefits,
drawbacks, and expense of each method. Pick one to use when
Coins can be safely stored using a number of methods. The most popular are storing coins in coin boards or albums ; storing coins in small fabric, paper, or formative flips ; or storing coins in sonically-sealed holders .
Coin boards and albums are perfect for low-value coins as they allow the collector easy access to the collection, provide a good organizational basis to the solicitation, and keep the coins relatively dependable. The downside is that some coins are struck using metals that are reactive to chemicals and environmental factors. Flips, whether paper, credit card, or fabric, provide a safe memory medium for coins. Collectors at all skill levels use these products. It is important to consider the life anticipation of these products .
Plastic holders serve as a short-run memory solution, while mylar holders are inert. Paper holders and fabric holders have long been popular storage media. Be sure that the paper and fabric holders that you use are archival quality if you intend to store valuable coins for a long period of time .
Sonically sealed hard formative coin holders, like those used by professional grading companies, are the best long-run storage solution for coin collectors. typically, these holders feature gaskets that secure the mint in a specify position. The scaling services besides provide accurate information concerning the coin ’ south date of manufacture, area of origin, and mark of the coin .
No topic how you store your coins, it is authoritative to know that coins should be handled only by touching the rim, that they should not be cleaned with chemicals or any other creature that moves or damages the alloy, and should be stored in a dry localization, preferably at room temperature .
5. Do ONE of the following:
(a) Demonstrate to your counselor that you know how to use two U.S. or
world coin reference catalogs.
The most democratic citation catalogue for U.S. coins is the Official Guide Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman, besides known as the Red Book. This book contains pricing data, scaling standards, and background information for every coin struck in the United States and the american colonies .
There are many world mint address catalogs, but the most use one is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, which is published in multiple volumes and covers hundreds of years of coin production by the U.S. and World Mints .
(b) Read a numismatic magazine, newspaper, or website and tell your counselor
about what you learned.
There are a count of great resources for mint collectors. CoinWeek, the site you are visiting right nowadays, contains about 20,000 articles about coin gather. There are besides a numeral of great magazines that you can buy to learn about coins. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a national administration devoted to furthering the populace ’ mho understand and enjoyment of coins and the coin collecting hobby. It publishes a monthly cartridge holder titled The Numismatist. Learn more about the ANA by visiting their web site www.money.org .
6. Describe the 1999–2008 50 State Quarters program or the America the
Beautiful Quarters® program. Collect and show your counselor five different
quarters from circulation you have acquired from one of these programs.
The 50 State Quarters program celebrated the 50 states of the United States, starting with Delaware, the beginning department of state, and continuing with a stern for each submit, released in the holy order of entree into the Union .
The Denver Mint and the Philadelphia Mint struck hundreds of millions of examples of each design, which were released into circulation to great ostentation. It is possible to assemble a complete rig of circulation strike 50 State Quarters from coins found in change .
The same can be said about the America the Beautiful Quarters plan. The America the Beautiful Quarters program followed the 50 State Quarters broadcast in 2010 and comprised of 56 quarter designs honoring America ’ s national parks and national historic sites. Highlights of the series include the Wyoming Yellowstone National Park quarter released in 2010, the Pennsylvania Gettysburg National Military Park quarter released in 2011, the Florida Everglades National Park quarter released in 2014, and the Iowa Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter released in 2017. Like the 50 State Quarters program, each oft the America the Beautiful quarters can besides be found in change .
7. Collect from circulation a set of current U.S. coins. Include one coin of each
denomination (cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, dollar). For each coin,
locate the mint marks, if any, and the designer’s initials, if any.
8. Do the following:
(a) Identify the people depicted on the following denominations of current
U.S. paper money: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100.
(b) Explain “legal tender.”
The term legal tender is used to describe a shape of requital that is satisfactory to use to pay a public or individual debt. public debt is a debt that an individual owe to the government. private debt is a debt that an individual owe to a person or a business. Paying for groceries, buying a car or a house, or simply paying back a loan from a supporter of family extremity is a private debt. A tax assessment is a public debt .
In the United States, merely U.S. coins and currency are considered legal tender. This does not mean that a business has to accept a truck load of one-cent coins to pay off a large debt, however. Individuals have the right to refuse requital if the method of requital is inconvenient .
(c) Describe the role the Federal Reserve System plays in the distribution
The Federal Reserve issues Federal Reserve notes ( wallpaper currency ) and U.S. coins to more than 8,400 banks across the country. The Federal Reserve Board determines the count of new Federal Reserve notes that are needed to supply the economy. Notes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The United States Mint decides on the numeral of coins needed to satisfy commercial necessitate. Once struck and packaged, the Mint ships its coins to the Federal Reserve Banks ’ mint distribution facilities .
9. Do ONE of the following:
(a) Collect and identify 50 foreign coins from at least 10 different countries.
(b) Collect and identify 20 bank notes from at least five different countries.
(c) Collect and identify 15 different tokens or medals.
(d) For each year since the year of your birth, collect a date set of a single type
10. Do ONE of the following:
(a) Tour a U.S. Mint facility, a Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility, a
Federal Reserve bank, or a numismatic museum or exhibit, and describe
what you learned to your counselor.
The United States Mint offers tours at its Philadelphia and Denver Mint locations. The tours attract thousands of visitors each class and are surely worth making a trip if you are concern in learning how coins are made. If you can ’ t make the trip, there are a total of video online that show the production floor. here is an exercise produced by the United States Mint that shows 2012 cents being struck .
(b) With your parent’s permission, attend a coin show or coin club meeting,
or view the website of the U.S. Mint or a coin dealer, and report what
(c) Give a talk about coin collecting to a group such as your troop, a Cub
Scout pack, or your class at school.
Giving a lecture about coin collect is not a daunting as it might seem at first. To accomplish this tax, choose a topic to discuss. Remember, you do not need to include every fact or detail relate to the subject. It might even be better to choose a humble topic with a circumscribed oscilloscope .
For example, rather of doing a presentation on every denomination of coin produced by the United States Mint, select one appellation and design and discourse when the blueprint was produced, who designed the mint, and describe the elements of the invention. You could besides select a year, possibly a parturition year, and describe the different coins that were struck that year and focus on one or two interest facts about each. Be sure to use trustworthy research materials and cite your sources .
(d) Do drawings of five Colonial-era U.S. coins.
These five colonials represent a taste of the diversity of coins that were struck for circulation in the english-speaking american colonies. Some of these are low-cost, while others are quite rare .
The foremost coin is the finest know of the “ Scholar’s Head ” variety show. It features a right-facing mailed raid portrait and carries an inscription that reads : AUCTORI CONNEC ( “ Authority of Connecticut ” ) .
The second mint is a Mint State exercise of the 1773 Virginia halfpenny. This coin was struck in London under the authority of the Virginia Assembly and circulated throughout the colony. The obverse features a right-facing portrayal of King George III. The inscription denotes the identity of the king in Latin. A large hoard of these coins was dispersed to collectors in the deep nineteenth hundred .
Coin number three is the celebrated Pine Tree Shilling. The tree is the centerpiece of the design and is encircled by beads. The inscription reads : IN MASATHVSETS. This celebrated coin is prized by collectors of early american neologism.
The fourthly coin is an highly rare colonial New England shilling. only four are known of this variety. Although this coin features a blunt and simple blueprint, numismatists continue to be fascinated by it and have written extensively about the way this mint and exchangeable coins of its write out were struck and the extent to which these coins circulated. Note the 1652 date is significant as it pertains to the British Civil War .
Coin act 5 is a 1786 New Jersey copper. Struck after the Revolutionary War’s decision, this beautiful man features a horse fountainhead and a plow. The inscription reads : NOVA CAESAREA ( “ Nova Caesarea ” is New Jersey ’ s Latin name ) .
Coin designs of this period vary greatly and are defined by the skill of the engraver. a authoritative as the figures on the coin are, collectors are besides inspired by the inscriptions. In your exemplification of the coins think about the intend behind the words and how they are relevant today.