Poor Lady Liberty!

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Robert Ransom, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    The engraving of Lady Liberty on the Morgan Dollar, in my opinion, is the quintessential representation of American Freedom. Unfortunately, the said engraving provides a large open surface where minor contact marks cause disfigurement to her face while the reverse remains relatively free of marks. I often wonder if the engraver could have slightly modified the design to provide more protection for the face, but I cannot provide any ideas how this could be accomplished without sacrificing the integrity of the design.
    Any thoughts on this thread?
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  3. Publius2

    Publius2 Well-Known Member

    1) Make it incuse.
    2) Reduce the relief, making Liberty more shallow.
    3) Dish the obverse while keeping Liberty's relief the same, thereby making Liberty stand less proudly in relation to the rim.
    4) Substitute an incuse lettered or other device edge for the reeded edge. Would have made production more expensive requiring the use of a Castaigne-like machine.
    5) To avoid a Castaigne machine and keep the closed collar production rate while using an incuse edge design, make the closed collar in two pieces that would mechanically be opened to eject the struck coin and then automatically closed before insertion of the new blank.
    5) Make them out of nickel with a gold plug. (Ha, I can see all of the drilled dollars now!) Would have required significantly more powerful presses and the dies probably wouldn't last very long.
    6) Quit throwing them willy-nilly into bags.
    7) Never have made them in the first place since nobody wanted them and it was only a favor to the silver mining interests and states that they were minted at all.

    I could go on but I'm just getting more silly.
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  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I doubt that was even a remote consideration in the mind of the 19th century mint engravers. Their only interest was putting something attractive, patriotic and practical for use in commerce. They would probably laugh their fool heads off if they knew how closely we scrutinized their work now.
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  5. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    And scrutinize it we dooooooooo. It seems to me, the most GTG coin is the Morgan.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  6. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Interestingly, most Morgan dollars did not circulate well except in a few western regions. More than 300,000,000 of the old cartwheels ended up being melted down in the first half of the 20th century. ~ Chris
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  7. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    About 260 million.
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  8. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I thought about 280 million were melted under the Pittman Act, and more were melted in the 30's.
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  9. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Compare it to today's Lady Liberty coin designs. I'll take the Morgan design.
  10. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    I double checked it was 270 million (they were authorized to melt up to 350 million). I'm not aware of any mandated meltings in the 30's. There were always some melting of damage and mutilated pieces that were redeemed but I don't recall anything that specifically targeted silver dollars.
  11. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Yeah, I've been looking for more info, too, but unable to find any. I just can't remember where I heard that. If I had ever thought that it would, one day, become a topic for discussion, I would have made note of it. Thanks, anyway! ~ Chris
  12. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

  13. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    Found it! But, I was off by about a decade. @Robert Ransom - FYI

    According to the Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars, page 32, paragraph 3, approximately 50 million silver dollars were melted under the World War II Silver Act of December 18, 1942.
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  14. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    is this in addit5ion to the 270 million melted?
  15. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity Supporter

    Yes. 270,232,722 were converted to bullion and subsidiary coinage for sale to Britain under the authority of the Pittman Act of 1918.

    @cpm9ball ...the additional 50 million were melted in 1942, bringing the total to more than 320 million. This total also abided by the Pittman Act which mandated a ceiling of 350 million...Spark
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  16. Robert Ransom

    Robert Ransom Well-Known Member

    I'm happy this issue is cleared up. ;):D:)
  17. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

  18. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    Thanks capthank I'm a Morgan man and that is what I was lead to understand also 320 million as of the '42 meltdown.
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