The Silver Dollar or unit was first authorized in 1792, but the first issues did not appear until 1794. From then until 1804, all Silver Dollars had the edge lettering ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT. Early Silver Dollar coins had several designs including the Flowing Hair Silver Dollar, issued from 1794 to 1795, the Draped Bust Silver Dollars, from 1795 to 1804, the Gobrecht Silver Dollars, from 1836 to 1839, the Liberty Seated Silver Dollars, from 1840 to 1873, and the Trade Silver Dollars, from 1873 to 1885. Following these Early Silver Dollar Coins, the popular Morgan Silver Dollars were produced. The Morgan Silver Dollar was made from 1878 to 1921. It is the most popular Collectible Silver Dollar from among these groups. For the average collector, the Early Silver Dollars are too scarce to collect; however, up until the mid twentieth century, Morgan Silver Dollars were available from banks at face value. Obviously Early Silver Dollar coins were not, but many are available today for type collectors, specialists, and investors. While many Early Silver Dollars are rare, many Morgan Silver Dollars are not. There are a few rare dates in the Morgan Silver Dollar series, but most are attainable. Even most key dates are available in circulated condition.
Specifications: 1794-1804 (Early Silver Dollar)
Edge: Lettered – HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT with decorations
Weight: 26.96 grams
Diameter: 39-40 millimeters
Composition: 89.24% silver, 10.76% copper
Silver Content: 24.06 grams
Specifications: 1837-1921(Gobrecht, Liberty Seated and Morgan Dollar)
Edge: reeded (The Gobrecht Silver Dollar had both plain and reeded edge.)
Weight: 26.73 grams
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Silver content: 24.06 grams
Specifications: Trade Dollars (1873-1885)
Weight: 27.22 grams
Diameter: 38.1 millimeters
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Silver content: 24.50 grams
The three-dollar gold piece was authorized by the Act of February 21, 1853. First struck in 1854, the coin was never popular with the general public and saw very little circulation. Today, some numismatists theorize that the $3 denomination would have been useful for purchasing postage stamps of the day (with their face value of 3c) or for acquiring 100 silver three-cent pieces ("trimes"), which were also in circulation at the time.
These gold coins changed hands in the East and Midwest until 1861, after which they disappeared from circulation; through the 1860s, fewer than 10,000 were struck annually. In 1874 and 1878, mintages were increased significantly in anticipation of the coins going into broader circulation. On the West Coast, the three-dollar gold piece did see circulation throughout the series' minting, though they probably weren't seen in change very often after the 1860s.
The head on the obverse represents an Indian princess with hair tightly curling over the neck, her head crowned with a circle of feathers (the band of which is inscribed LIBERTY). A wreath of tobacco, wheat, corn, and cotton occupies the field of the reverse, with the denomination and date within it. The coin weighs 77.4 grains, and was struck in .900 fine gold.
In the year 1854 only, the word DOLLARS is in much smaller letters than in later years. The 1856 Proof has DOLLARS in large letters cut over the same word in small letters. Restrikes of some years were made, particularly Proofs of 1865 and 1873.
Although these coins did not see extensive day-to-day circulation, collector interest was high, and many three-dollar gold pieces were saved by speculators beginning about 1879. As a result, Mint State examples are fairly numerous today. The 1870-S coin is unique, currently residing in the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection on loan to the American Numismatic Association.
Designer James B. Longacre; weight 5.015 grams; composition .900 gold, .100 copper (net weight .14512 oz. pure gold); diameter 20.5 mm; reeded edge; mints; Philadelphia, Dahlonega, New Orleans, San Francisco.
One Dollar Gold Coins
Coinage of the gold dollar was authorized by the Act of March 3, 1849. The weight was 25.8 grains, .900 fineness. The first type, struck until 1854, is known as the Liberty Head or small sized type (Type 1).
In 1854, the dollar coins were made larger in diameter and thinner. The design was changed to a feather headdress on a female, generally referred to as the Indian Princess Head or larger-sized type (Type 2). In 1856, the type was changed slightly by enlarging the size of the head (Type 3).
Designer James B. Longacre; weight 1.672 grams; composition .900 gold, .100 copper (net weight .04837 oz. pure gold); diameter 13mm; reeded edge; mints: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans, San Francisco.
Quarter Eagle Gold Coins
Authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, quarter eagle weighed 67.5 grains, .9167 fineness until the weight was changed to 64.5 grains, .8992 fineness, by the act of June 28, 1834. The Act of January 18, 1837, established fineness at .900. Most dates before 1834 are rare. The first issue was struck in 1796; most of these had no stars on the obverse. Proofs of some dates prior to 1855 are known to exist, and all are rare.
Capped Bust to Right (1796 - 1807): Designer Robert Scot; weight 4.37 grams; composition .9167 gold, .0833 silver and copper; approx. diameter 20mm; reeded edge.
Classic Head, No Motto on Reverse (1834 - 1839): Designer William Kneass; weight 4.18 grams; composition .8992 gold, .1008 silver and copper (changed to .900 gold in 1837); diameter 18.2mm; reeded edge; mints: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Dahlonega, New Orleans.
The Early Half Dollar: The half dollar has been in existence since the 1790’s and are still being made today, although they see little use and are mostly made for collectors. Historically half dollars were made in fairly large quantities and were used in banking and commerce; consequently, many are available to collectors.
First authorized in 1792, the half dollar was not minted until 1794. Chief Coiner Henry Voigt and Assayer Albion Cox could not raise the $10,000 bond required to take office. For this reason, only copper coins were made in 1793. To ameliorate this situation, Thomas Jefferson wrote to President Washington asking him to request that Congress lower the bond requirement. He ultimately prevailed, and Robert Scot, the new Engraver made the dies for the half dollar.
The first half dollar was issued from 1794 to 1795. The Flowing Hair type showed Liberty facing right surrounded with 8 stars on the left of LIBERTY and 7 on the right with the date blow. The Small Eagle reverse showed a thin eagle looking right with outstretched wings. It is perched on a cloud and surrounded by a wreath tied in a bow at the bottom. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the design with dentils on both sides. The denomination is on the edge of the coin as FIFTY CENTS OR A HALF DOLLAR. Decorations are between the words. The design next type was the Draped Bust half dollar of 1796 to 1807. It showed a new portrait of a buxom Liberty with some of her hair tied back. There are both 15 and 16 star versions of this type, which was in use until 1797. In 1801 the Heraldic Eagle Reverse was used until 1807. It showed the eagle facing left holding arrows and olive branch in the wrong talons. The eagle’s right talon should be holding the olive branch. Instead it holds the arrows. The eagle’s wings are outstretched, and above its head are 13 stars and clouds.
The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is on a banner in front of the eagle’s right wing and behind the left. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA surrounds the design. The next type of half dollar was the Capped Bust, Lettered Edge. It was minted from 1807 to 1836. It showed a portrait of Liberty wearing a LIBERTY inscribed Phrygian cap facing left. There are 7 stars on the left and 6 on the right with the date below. The reverse motif shows a heraldic eagle with wings lowered facing left. A scroll above has the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and the denomination, 50 C. is below. The edge is inscribed the same as the previous type. This design remained in use until 1836 when a reeded edge Reverse 50 Cents was minted. In 1838 the reverse was changed to HALF DOL. The Liberty Seated Half Dollar followed and was in use from 1839 to 1891. It showed a seated figure of Liberty facing left holding a staff and Phrygian cap in one hand and the Union shield inscribed LIBERTY in the other with the date below. The reverse shows a reverse similar to the previous type. At various times several combinations of arrows at the date and rays above the eagle were used. A banner with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added in 1866.
Charles Barber designed the next half which remained in use until 1915. It was followed by Weinman’s Walking Liberty Half that was used until 1947. In 1948 the Franklin Half was minted, but because of the assassination of President Kennedy, the Kennedy Half Dollar was minted in 1964 and is still being made today, with modifications in metallic content, mainly for collectors. In 1975 to 1976 the Bicentennial design replaced the regular Kennedy half, but it resumed in 1977.
Edge: Lettered – FIFTY CENTS OR A HALF DOLLAR with decorations (1807-1814 FIFTY CENTS OR HALF DOLLAR. 1814-1831 Star added between DOLLAR and FIFTY, 1832-1836 Vertical lines between words.
Weight: 13.48 grams
Diameter: 32.5 millimeters
Composition: 89.24% silver, 10.76% copper
Weight: 13.36 grams
Diameter: 30 millimeters, (1839-present 30.6 millimeters)
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 12.44 grams (12.50 grams 1873-1964)
Diameter: 30.6 millimeters
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Half Cents - The Half Cent is the lowest face value coin struck by the United States. The early Mint in Philadelphia had many challenges. Conditions were poor even at times chaotic. Each of the specialists, the designers, engravers, and press operators were men who had previously worked in other fields. Coin manufacturing was a new trade for them. Production was sporadic. For the new Mint to coin each of the mandated denominations, it took four years. This delay was partly because of inexperience and governmental obstacles. Bonds that were unrealistically high were impediments to engravers working with precious metals. Congress was not united on the need for a government mint since private and foreign coinage seemed to work. Because of the non-existent or low production numbers in the early years of the Mint, foreign copper, silver and gold circulated along with American made coins for many years until they were later demonetized.
Record keeping in the Mint’s early years was fairly inaccurate. At the end of the eighteenth century Philadelphia had recovered from the British occupation and Revolutionary War. It was the second largest city in the English-speaking world, but it could do nothing to protect its citizens from the mosquito-borne epidemic of yellow fever. Its wealthy citizens went to the countryside to escape, and the poor grimly waited their fate. Of course these annual epidemics caused havoc with all manufacturing that required continuity, such as a coinage sequence. The Mint shut operations during the late summer and early fall every year. In addition to yellow fever, disorder at the Mint was also caused by chronic bullion shortages and coin dies that would wear out and had to be re-engraved because they were not taken out of production until they failed completely. Often dies were locked up and later taken out of storage without great attention and care. There was also a jealous Chief Engraver, Robert Scot, who was in his seventies and had failing eyesight.
Liberty Cap Half Cent - Head Left (1793 only)
Liberty Cap Half Cent - Head Right (1794-1797)
Draped Bust Half Cent (1800-1808)
Capped Bust Half Cent (1809-1836)
1837 Half Cent Token
Braided Hair Half Cent (1840-1857)
By Brian Weepie, analyst, Stansberry Resource.
It's time to start thinking about buying platinum.
Since its peak in 2011, the metal has fallen around 40%. It recently hit a five-and-a-half-year low. That has us interested. You see, the best time to buy an asset is when it has been "blown out and left for dead." I'm not saying we're there yet. But we're getting close. Let me explain…
As regular Growth Stock Wire readers know, commodities like platinum are tremendously cyclical. That means their prices go through big cycles of boom and bust. That's because the prices of commodities are based largely on supply and demand. If demand is rising faster than supply, prices will rise. But if supply is rising faster than demand, prices will fall.
That's what we've seen over the past few years with platinum.
Platinum is a precious metal that is incredibly useful in industrial applications. It's used in electronics, automobiles, dentistry, and jewelry. As a result, there's enormous demand for it.
To try to keep up with demand, the supply chain had to become more efficient. One way to do that has been recycling platinum. Today, recycling is a larger contributor to platinum supply than ever.
Johnson Matthey, a company that focuses on the use and recycling of precious metals, estimates recycling now makes up 31% of annual platinum supply. For comparison, recycling made up just 16% of platinum supply in 2005.
The growth in supply from recycling has helped push platinum prices down. The entire precious metals sector entering "bust" mode in 2011 also helped drive platinum prices lower.
Recently, the strength in the U.S. dollar (it's up around 24% against other currencies since July) has caused most commodities – including platinum – to fall. Platinum prices are down around 25% since July. As I said, prices are now at a five-and-a-half-year low.
But the weakness in platinum prices is likely almost over.
You see, while recycled platinum supply has been increasing, platinum production has been dropping.
The primary culprit of falling production has been South Africa. In 2013, about 72% of the world's mined platinum came from South Africa. The country holds nearly 90% of the world's platinum reserves.
But last year, 70,000 employees went on strike for several months at three major South African platinum mines. The strike led to an 18% drop in world platinum production.
The low price of platinum has also been making production less economic worldwide. It's more difficult to mine platinum for a profit. So, many producers are cutting back production.
This has caused platinum supply to fall by 6% over the past four years – despite the increase in recycled platinum.
Meanwhile, platinum demand continues to increase.
As I said, platinum has industrial applications in electronics, automobiles, dentistry and jewelry.
For example, platinum is a main component in catalytic converters, which cut down on air pollution from vehicles.
Thanks to an increase in demand for catalytic converters from places like China, Johnson Matthey says platinum used in automobiles is up by more than 300,000 ounces over the past four years (and by 1.2 million ounces since 2009).
And platinum used in cars will continue to increase.
As I told you last year, to combat their growing pollution problems,countries like China are instituting vehicle-emission standards that require a catalytic converter in every new car and truck in the country.
And the number of new cars sold in China is increasing sharply.
Last year, automakers sold nearly 20 million passenger vehicles in China. Recently, they sold more than two million cars in China in a single month for the first time. More new cars in China means there'll be more demand for platinum.
Demand for platinum jewelry is also increasing. Since 2010, the amount of platinum used in jewelry has increased by 23%.
The increase in demand – coupled with last year's big production drop – has caused us to use 1.8 million more ounces of platinum than we produced and recycled over the past four years.
This deficit can't go on forever. Eventually, the supply/demand imbalance WILL force platinum prices much higher.
When that happens, investors holding platinum bullion or an exchange-traded fund that responds to the price movements of platinum, like the ETFS Physical Platinum Fund (PPLT), will profit.
The platinum price is still moving lower. So I don't recommend investing in the sector right now. But soon, prices should break out. Once the uptrend starts, it'll be time to buy.
How can a nickel rise in value at the same time that a dollar falls? The question may sound like a bad riddle from a Christmas cracker, but it has become a serious issue for the US Mint.
As a consequence of the soaring price of metals in recent years the metal in US nickel and cent coins is now worth more than the face value of the coins. One cent (which is almost entirely zinc) has scrap value of around 1.12 cents, while a nickel (which despite the name is 75% copper and 25% nickel) is worth 6.99 cents.
The mint realized that this discrepancy could turn into a major problem when it began getting a number of queries about the legality of melting down coins. Fearing that some smart arbitrageurs might be about to denude the country of nickels, the US government did what governments always do in these circumstances.
It changed the rules…
Until this month, melting down coins hasn't been illegal in the US. But from now on, dumping your change in the furnace and turning it into an ingot could get you up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If you’re considering shipping coins out of the country for melting, that dodge has been kaboshed as well; henceforth, travelers can only carry $5 in nickels and cents out of the country. In the past people would send there copper pennies down to Mexico and they would return to the US with copper bars.
This story appeals to us on two levels. The first is that it’s an elegant illustration of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach that governments are wont to take whenever they can get away with it. As a handful of commentators more versed in numismatic history than us have pointed out, melting down coins to make a quick buck is something that the US government has a history of doing.
Back in 1834, the gold content of coins was reduced, leaving older coins worth more than their face value. Consequentially, almost all 1795-1834 gold coins were melted down and the gold reused to make more coins with that same notional value.
More infamous was what gold bugs term ‘The Great Confiscation’ of 1933, when the Roosevelt government declared that it was no longer legal for private citizens to “hoard” gold coins and bullion. Any large holdings of gold were confiscated at a price of $20.67 an ounce and melted down into bars for the Treasury. Of course, shortly afterwards the price of gold for international transactions was raised to $35 an ounce, netting the state a decent profit.
But the second aspect is that you simply couldn't ask for a pithier encapsulation of how the dollar’s value is being eroded. When the world’s reserve currency is worth more in the vat than the till, there’s a problem somewhere.
Despite the somewhat draconian nature of the new laws, you can see why the US Mint has done it. The margins involved on the nickel look as if they may be large enough to make melting worthwhile and a shortage of small change makes life very inconvenient. But regulations such as these don’t the solution to the real problem – the debasement of the dollar.
For now, there’s no guarantee that metal prices will get stay at these levels, particularly if the global economy weakens. But should the US continue to pursue its loose money policies, the dollar will continue to lose value against commodities (and probably against other currencies as well). If melting down your change is not to be a temptation for many years to come, the Fed needs to adopt tougher, tighter monetary policies for the long run and put the dollar back on a sound base. We’re not holding our breath for that.
Science of Gold
The U.S. Mint earlier this week unveiled designs for the one-half ounce 24-karat 2015 First Spouse Gold Coins commemorating Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson.
Four obverse and four reverse designs prevailed among a combined fifty-two candidates for the spouses of the 33rd to 36th Presidents of the United States
By Brian Weepie, analyst, Stansberry Resource Report Friday, March 13, 2015
It was one of the darlings of the gold sector…
After bottoming in 2008, Nevada-based gold producer Allied Nevada soared 2,600% over the next three years.
But since 2013, Allied Nevada has been one of the worst-performing gold miners. The stock fell 98% from its 2011 peak to its 2014 low. And on Tuesday, the company filed for bankruptcy. Shares are now worth virtually nothing.
The company didn't fall because of a giant fraud or major disaster. The main problem that took Allied Nevada down was debt.
And it's a problem many gold producers are facing today…
Stock Wire readers know, since peaking in 2011, the price of gold has fallen 38%.
The decline has caused many gold miners to struggle. The benchmark Market Vectors Gold Miners Fund (GDX) is down around 69% since gold's peak in 2011.
You see, low gold prices are crushing the profit margins of gold miners and are causing many to be strapped for cash. And when a company has a lot of debt it has to make payments on, this can become a huge problem.
Take Allied Nevada, for example.
Allied Nevada operates the Hycroft mine in Nevada – one of the largest gold and silver deposits in the state. Allied produced more than 200,000 ounces of gold and 1.8 ounces of silver there last year. The mine generated more than $300 million in revenue during the 12 months that ended in September 2014.
But to bring Hycroft to production, Allied Nevada had to borrow a lot of money. The company's debt increased every year from 2009 to 2013. It went from $6 million at the end of 2008 to nearly $600 million in 2013.
By the end of last year, Allied Nevada's debt was equal to 95% of its enterprise value (EV). EV is simply a company's market cap plus debt minus cash. In short, it's a measure of a company's total value.
A debt-to-EV ratio of 95% is extremely high. For comparison, the debt-to-EV ratio for the small-cap Russell 2000 Index (which Allied Nevada was part of as of Russell's list in June 2014) is just 35%.
Meanwhile, in 2013, Allied Nevada's debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) ratio was nearly 12.6.
EBITDA is basically a company's cash flow. So the debt-to-EBITDA ratio shows a company's debt compared to the cash coming in. The lower the ratio, the better. For example, the Russell 2000 Index has a debt-to-EBITDA ratio of about 4.
A debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 12.6 is extremely high. It's like having a take-home income of $47,000, yet having a $600,000 mortgage.
In May 2012, Allied raised debt in Canadian dollars through a "currency swap." In short, the swap protected it if the Canadian currency appreciated against the U.S. dollar.
But as you know, that didn't happen. The Canadian dollar weakened against the U.S. dollar. The swap lost money, and Allied Nevada was left on the hook for the difference. (Think of it like a margin call from your broker when trading options.)
The payments for the swap and other debt obligations coupled with low gold prices were too much for Allied Nevada to handle. The cash crunch forced the company into bankruptcy.
And Allied Nevada isn't alone. The table below shows five gold producers with high levels of debt today.
CompanyDebt(billions)Debt-to-EVReturn Since 2011 Gold PeakChina Gold
Intl Resources$1.2108%-63%Endeavour Mining$0.376%-78%Coeur Mining$0.570%-83%Kinross Gold$2.154%-86%Barrick Gold$13.151%-78%Source: Bloomberg
Barrick is the largest company in the table… and it has the most debt. The company acquired several high-priced assets when the gold price was peaking. So while its debt is large, the majority of it isn't due until after 2020. And Barrick has been working to improve its ratios by selling non-core assets over the past few years.
Meanwhile, Coeur Mining is the only name on this list that has seen its EBITDA fall for the past three years. And its debt-to-EBITDA ratio for the past two years has been negative. You can see the company's high relative debt and low earnings reflected in the decline of its stock price.
In February, the company purchased the Wharf gold mine in South Dakota from Goldcorp. Couer is counting on the mine to do well to bring up its cash flow and bring investors back.
I'm not saying Couer and the other names above are in danger of going bankrupt. Each company has enough cash to service its short-term debt, based on their most recent quarterly filings.
But weak gold prices are affecting all gold producers' bottom lines. And companies with high levels of debt are more vulnerable. They'll likely be the stocks investors punish the most if gold prices continue to be weak in the months ahead.
Last month was a busy one for the United States Mint, a second straight. The agency’s coin production facilities stamped over 1.2 billion coins in February after striking more than 1.5 billion in January.
New production figures, published Monday by the agency, also show mintages for the Homestead National Monument Quarter and the two Presidential $1 Coins commemorating Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
U.S. coining presses kicked out 1,277,960,000 in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. January is typically a top coin production month with February sharply weaker, but this year the pace between the two slowed 17% compared to the 35.2% retreat through the same month-over-month period last year.
February ranks fourth busiest for the U.S. Mint through the last 12 months. The following table shows recent monthly coin production totals and how they compare to each other:
2014 – 2015 February Coin Production Figures
From Treasury Department records it appears that the first suggestion that God be recognized on U.S. coinage can be traced to a letter addressed to the Secretary of Treasury from a minister in 1861. An Act of Congress, approved onApril 11, 1864, authorized the coinage of two-cent coins upon which the motto first appeared.
The motto was omitted from the new gold coins issued in 1907, causing a storm of public criticism. As a result, legislation passed in May 1908 made "In God We Trust" mandatory on all coins on which it had previously appeared.
Legislation approved July 11, 1955, made the appearance of "In God We Trust" mandatory on all coins and paper currency of the United States. By Act of July 30, 1956, "In God We Trust" became the national motto of the United States.
Several years ago, the appearance of "In God We Trust" on our money was challenged in the federal courts. The challenge was rejected by the lower federal courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review the case.
Blanks are punched from coiled strips of metal about 13 inches by 1,500 feet in a blanking press. The leftover webbing is chopped up and recycled. The cent is the only coin stamped onto pre-made blanks.
2. Annealing, Washing and Drying
The blanks are heated in an annealing furnace to soften them. Then they are run through a washer and dryer.
Next, the good blanks go through an upsetting mill. This raises a rim around their edges.
Finally, the blanks go to the coining press. Here, they are stamped with the designs and inscriptions which make them genuine United States coins.
Press operators using magnifying glasses spot-check each batch of newly struck coins.
6. Counting and Bagging
An automatic counting machine counts the coins and drops them into large bags. Fork lifts move the pallets of sealed bags to vaults for storage. Trucks take new coins to Federal Reserve Banks, then to local banks.
Established in 1792, the United States Mint Police is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the nation. Responsible for establishing the standard "As secure as Fort Knox," our officers continue to meet that standard everyday. The U.S. Mint Police are responsible for protecting over $100 billion in Treasury and other Government assets stored in facilities located at Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; West Point, NY; Denver, CO; Fort Knox, KY; and our headquarters in Washington, DC.
Today, U.S. Mint Police Officers have the primary responsibility for protecting life and property, preventing, detecting, and investigating criminal acts, collecting and preserving evidence, making arrests, and enforcing Federal and local laws.
24 hours-a-day the Mint Police safeguard over 2,800 U.S. Mint employees, thousands of visitors and $100 billion in gold, silver and coinage
Following is a brief chronology of the metal composition of the cent coin (penny):
Why, when you flip a coin over after looking at the heads side, is the picture on the tails side upside down?
All U.S. coinage is produced with what is commonly called a "coin turn." That means that the reverse side (tails) of the coins is upside down to the obverse side (heads). While we have researched the history of this practice, we have been unable to determine the exact reason for this custom. The Mint still produces U.S. coinage in this manner for traditional reasons and not due to any legal requirement.