Sunday, July 18, 2010

Controversial Figures from National Archives Regarding Mintages?

Brad Higgins visited the National Archives and examined some items of interest.  In another post, you can see a document concerning the employment of John Reich.  In this post, the focus is on information Brad found in a ledger.  Two images from the ledger are posted below.  The identifying information concerning the ledger:  NARA's catalog number:  RG104 G-04-06-3; Title is "Coinage and Expenses 1795-1835."  Interestingly, there were only two pages in the ledger that had any writing on them...and those are the two pages imaged below.

Also included is an image of a warrant that Brad found in "Bullion Waste Book B" which has data from 18 July 1794 to 31 December 1806.

The data are cumulative coinage totals of all denominations through December 1795.  Readers of this blog may wish to compare the mintages reported in this ledger to those reported by various numismatic researchers.

You can click on these images to enlarge the image.


  1. My interpretation of the phrase at the bottom of the ledger that spans both pages is "numbers of pieces not exactly known." Anyone else read it differently?

  2. The first interesting portion of this journal entry is the suggestion that 1792 half dimes were restruck into 1794. It is not known who made these entries, although my guess would be Adam Eckfeldt. He certainly appears to have had an institutional memory. However, this 4k mintage figure is rolled into the total for 1795 and this seems implausible. The lower image is from Bullion Waste Journal B, which covers the dates from 18 July 1794 to 31 December 1806. It shows the entry for 30 March 1795, and there is no mention of previously struck half dimes.

    Other researchers have certainly seen this journal. I'd like to hear their opinions.

    The second part is the entry for 1794 half dollars. The Red Book and other publications quote the mintage of '94 half dollars as 23,464, and this figure is arrived at by rolling in the first delivery of halves in 1795; the fact is that no one knows how many dated 1794 were coined. All of the second delivery may have been dated 1794 or some or none were. There may also have been some dated 1794 in subsequent deliveries. It is my opinion that the entry for mintage of 1794 half dollars should read 5300 with a note that some numismatists believe that more were struck in 1795. This would more accurately reflect reality.

    Brad Higgins