Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Fullbands, Feb 27, 2021.
Why did New Orleans use an O for a mint mark and not an N?
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Something I never thought about and a good question.
NO would be confusing.
Question: Is there a mintmark?
The U.S. state of Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes in the same manner that Alaska is divided into boroughs, and 48 other states are divided into counties.
One of the Parishes is Orleans, not New Orleans which is the name of the City.
Possibly this is the answer
There's an N in UNITED so they probably had N punches laying around...
We could ask the same about S instead of F, or why CC instead of just C - Charlotte closed 9 years before Carson City opened so they could have reused C. They did reuse D for Denver later although it was many more years after Dahlonega closed. P for West Point would definitely be a problem.
There was a talk opening a mint in New York City at one point, but I'd have to look up the info again. I read a little book about it 30 years ago. I think they got an assay office instead.
@Conder101 has good recall
I read through the 1835 act (pdf - https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjewM2zqY3vAhUlJTQIHahrDKYQFjAKegQIBhAD&url=https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/23rd-congress/Session%202/c23s2ch39.pdf&usg=AOvVaw02VS_f1yncnYfe_apOPK7_ ) that established the branch mints but do not see any language related to the letter chosen as the distinguishuing mark.
None of the Director's reports from the 1830's mention it either as far as I read (http://www.chicagocoinclub.org/lib/us/usmnt/mr.html).
Not a clue. O does stand out. No doubt of what letter it is.
Roger B had this to say in an email this morning: "I've not come across anything that explains why "O" was adopted for the New Orleans Mint in the late 1830s. The not-New York idea is credible since the city long felt it should have a mint of its own. The Assay Office was a compromise."
O mintmarks on Barber coinage were not too uncommon to find in the midwest in the 1960s - the '09-O half in my album was one my dad saved from circulation when he was in college.
They did not use punches to create the legend. It was engraved into the design.
Separate names with a comma.