The History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage by David W. Lange
Whitman Publishing is likely one of the more well-known houses of numismatic literature available today. They publish the Annual RedBook – A Guidebook of United States Coinage which is found on more numismatist’s shelves than any other book in the hobby of coin collecting.
Covering the stories behind the history, “The History of The United States Mint and Its Coinage” begins in the colonial days prior to the American Revolution with the settling of the North Americas and describes in great detail not simply how, but why some of the decisions that shaped our nations monetary system were made. The reasons why we denominated our coinage decimally rather than based on the English Shilling and Pence system.
The History then takes you through the establishment of our Mint by Congress, showing the past that was taken to the founding of the first US Mint at Philadelphia. Not merely dates and names, but detailing stories of the people and circumstances behind the coins, the shortages, the gaps in Mint production. The whys and wherefores are brought to light in an easy to read and entertaining style.
Histories for all of the branch Mints in Charlotte, Dahlonega, San Francisco, New Orleans, Carson City and Denver are presented in rich detail highlighted by stories you may have never heard before. The story of the US Mint at The Dalles, Oregon is likely one that you’ve never heard if you were even aware of the facility.
The events that shaped our Mint’s history are also related in this fabulous book. From the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, and even the battle of Silver vs. Gold. Many collectors know the facts of, but not the stories behind these decisions. The History of The United States Mint and Its Coinage is less of a timeline and more of a time machine into these periods in our history.
The designers, sculptors and engravers of our coins are highlighted with photographs of the people who created the designs, as well as some photos of the people who modeled for familiar designs. Seeing their faces bring the designs to life in a way never seen before by most collectors.
IMO “History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage” is not a refernce book but an educational journey through the stories of people and events that have shaped our coinage and the places where they have been produced.
I have found hours of pleasure reading through this book and have been inspired by many of the stories contained within to research and share other related stories of our coinage history.
Available on Amazon.com and most other book sellers of note for around $20, this is an affordable and practical gift for the coin lovers on your holiday list.
I would heartily recommend this to numismatists both young and old. In fact, on the cover, Q. David Bowers suggests that even non-numismatists will become inspired by coins after reading this book. I couldn’t agree more, nor could I have said it better.