Scrip or Script is a medium of exchange that is produced in place of federal currency. It can be made by a municipality, a bank, a business or individual. In the late 1920’s and mid 1930’s the use of scrip spread to many areas of the country as cash was scarce and banks were closing down. Below are photos of some Scrip from the City of Detroit dated June 10, 1933.
The notes were printed by the Columbian Printing Company. They have the look of currency, but are printed on a plain paper, unlike the fiber paper the US uses. These notes also had water marks that run vertically near the ends of the notes. US notes of that era do not have water marks.
Detroit Depression Scrip 1933
The front of the notes have a serial number and have a seal on them referring to them as “Series A”. It is roughly the same size as a current Federal Reserve Note (you know, the currency we use now).
1933 Detroit Depression Scrip
The motto of Detroit is printed on the note. The Latin phrases read “SPERAMUS MELIORA” | “RESURGET CINERIBUS”. This translates to “We hope for better things. It will arise from the ashes”. I’ve never seen a more prophetic motto! This motto was given to Detroit in 1805 after a fire destroyed much of the city.
The US Mint is giving you a chance to design a coin! In 2018 they will release a Breast Cancer Awareness coin.
The application process is now through October 17th, 2016. The mint will pick from the ideas presented and then the design portion will begin.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the benefactor of the program. According to the mint website the gold coin will be ”pink”. This will be a first for a US coin.
You can find more information at the US Mint Website address below.
The US Mint came out with a gold version of the Mercury dime earlier this year to mark the 100 anniversary of the coin. The same will be true for both the Standing Liberty Quarter and the Walking Liberty half dollar.
There was a lot of hullabaloo about the way the mint sold the Mercury dime. It had a mintage of 125,000 pieces, but you could order up to 10. This caused a stir because it sold out in less than 45 minutes. Many consumers were frustrated with the process.
According to the Mint Website the new Gold Quarter (set to be issued September 8, 2016) will have a mintage of 100,000 and a household limit of 1! Can you say ”knee-jerk reaction”.
I suppose the mint really wants people to have a shot at getting one…but only one! I think the mint may anger just as many people by having a limit of 1 per household. Many people I know want things in quantities of 2 or 3. Not necessarily 10, but enough to buy one for each kid, or one for them and one for their spouse. You get the idea.
With the dime many people with an entrepreneurial spirit bought 10 so they could sell some off and keep the rest. It will be interesting to see what happens with those people when it comes to the Gold Quarters. Will all those people avoid buying one – “how can I make money if I just get one?”, causing it to not sell out and causing the secondary market to be weak by having demand met at the day of issue? Or will it still sell out quickly (in a matter of hours – depending on how well the US mint website can handle the load). In which case the dealers will quickly start issuing higher buy out prices to get some for customers who were unable to get one?
It will be interesting to see if this 1 per household issue starts a new trend with the mint. If it causes the coin to not sell out then the mint just hurt themselves. That would be the egalitarian way, the American way…or wait…the French way of doing things!
Old Tucson Studios, located just west of the Tucson Mountain range, is known as a mecca for western movie buffs. Many famous movies and TV shows were made there. Columbia pictures actually built Old Tucson Studios. It is reported that it took 40 days to build the sets. The studio was built in 1938 for the filming of the movie “Arizona“. The movie has a 6.9 (out of 10) rating on imdb.com.
After filming was done the studio was open to the public in 1939. Old Tucson Script was issued for the occasion. The script came in four denominations – 25 cents, 50 cents, 1 dollar and 5 dollars. All four had the same format. They were printed on plain white paper that measured 5-3/4″ x 2-1/2″. The front side (the side with the serial number) says “OLD TUCSON” 1860/1940. PROMISE TO PAY BEARER [denomination], with a different animal in the circle to the right of the note. They are signed by ”Mayor Nick C Hall” and “Treasurer Donna Lewis”. All the notes have a different color scheme for each denomination. The reverse side has an image from the movie/Old Tucson, the denomination, and read “THIS SCRIPT ONLY VALID AT OLD TUCSON AND IS REDEEMABLE IN UNITED STATES COIN PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 19, 1940”.
The 25 cent note is in a purple-blue color and has a calf for the animal. The scene on the back appears to be a chapel with a flag in the middle of the scene.
Old Tucson script 25 cent obverse
Old Tucson scrip 25 cent reverse
The 50 cent note has a brown under print on it and has a rooster for the animal. The scene on the reverse is “Phoebes’ Pie Shop”.
The 1 dollar note has a red under print. It has a stallion in the circle. The reverse has the US Post Office Old Tucson on it.
Old Tucson scrip 50 cent & 1 dollar obverses
Old Tucson scrip 50 cent & 1 dollar reverses
The 5 dollar note is printed with yellow and has a lion on the right. The reverse has a street scene. The 5 dollar note has one difference to it versus the other notes. It says “REDEEMABLE ONLY IN GAMBLING CASINO”. This would indicate that one of the attractions on site was a ”casino”. It is unknown whether this was a curiosity shop or if it had any form of gambling inside.
There have been many news reports about 1970 US Quarters that are worth tens of thousands of dollars. The news reports show pictures that need lines drawn on them so you can see what they are trying to show you. Truth be told, they are very hard to tell from a normal quarter.
Here is one quick trick to help you know if your coin is a quarter struck on a US planchet or a Canadian planchet. As you can see in the picture below, the US and Canadian quarters are the same size and measurements. But if you look at the second picture you will find that the EDGE of the coins look very different. That is because the US coin has a ”sandwich” appearance, but the Canadian coin has one color to it.
US quarter and Canadian Quarter.
The bottom is the US quarter. The top the Canadian.
What this means for you is that if your coin has the sandwich copper look, it is NOT the error coin. If it looks like it is all one color then it possibly is on the wrong planchet.
Some companies are getting clever with their anti-counterfieting techniques. The German Company Geiger Edelmetalle is producing bars that have many different techniques that no one else is using. First of all they are putting reeding on the bars instead of smooth edges. They also have high quality finishes to them and a security number on them. But what really stands out is that they are putting a special UV reflective stamp on the bars so under a ”blue” or ”black” UV light you can see it. Leave it to the Germans to produce silver you can enjoy at a rave!
When I came upon this coin I thought, “does numismatics have no boundries?”.
I have my doubts that JK Rowling had any idea that an albus was a unit of money before she came up with Albus Dumbledore. This coin is from Frankfurt, Germany (1656). The Albus was worth 2 Kruezers. They also had a 6 Albus coin which was worth 12 Kruezers.
So it turns out Albus was cash for Frankfurt before Albus was cash for Rowling.
One of the things I love about having collectors come in the store is that they tell stories and they relay history to me. It is a constant learning experience. One of our favorite customers, we will call him Kent, came in recently and asked me if I had ever seen a token with a strawberry on it. This fascinated me and I told him I had not. He told me his family was from Sarcoxie, MO and that he had seen them.
There was a bank in Sarcoxie, it even ended up getting chartered with the Federal Government in July of 1900 (charter number 5515). But currency was apparently not the only thing that was used.
Sarcoxie was known as the strawberry capital of the world. Apparently, if you lived there, you grew, picked, packaged, sold and shipped strawberries. Along side traditional currency the bank also printed aluminum tokens of varying sizes and varying values. These tokens had values of “ONE QUART”, “SIX QUARTS”, “ONE TRAY”, and “ONE CRATE”. The other side of the token had images of strawberries.
I was delighted when I found a set of them for Kent. He was also delighted and brought in a picture of his family from the Sarcoxie farm (circa 1910). Sarcoxie is the oldest town in Jasper county Missouri and as of the 2010 census had just over 1200 people living there. Today it is known for fruit and flowers and is considered the Peonies capital of the world.
Many people have heard of cherry picking – but I suggest trying strawberry pickin’!
Sarcoxie, MO Strawberry Farm circa 1910
The five parks quarters for the year 2016 (or 2106 as I sometimes write) are :
- Shawnee, Illinois
- Cumberland Gap, Kentucky
- Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
- Theodore Roosevelt, N. Dakota
- Fort Moultrie, S. Carolina
The Shawnee Forest in southern Illinois looks like a very nice place to visit. It appears to have rock formations similar to the Chiricahua mountains. As far as the coin goes, it is mediocre. It doesn’t really grab you or make you feel like you have to go there. I give it a rating of ”meh”.
Cumberland Gap looks like a cool place to visit based on the NPS website. But I’m not sure the coin relates to the photos of the park. That being said, this coin clearly gets a nod because it has a flintlock rifle on it. This coin has a nice look to it and makes you feel like you are going back in time.
The Harpers Ferry quarter is one of the nicer coins that have come from this series. The modern etching and striking process for today’s coins has made a lot of designers go overboard with trees and leave and animals and details and trying for details. The problem is that they don’t really consider how it will look when it is done. But on this one the building comes to life. I feel like I’m at John Brown’s fort in 1848. This coin has a winning look and is my favorite for the year.
Theodore Roosevelt National park….let’s just get it over with…is any president since Lincoln more popular than Teddy Roosevelt? Everyone seems to love this guy. The coin itself is okay. It looks good in proof, but I’m not sure it will look very good in the uncirculated version. Extra points for having a horse. This coin get’s a rough riding thumbs up! (BTW- Teddy also has a national park in NY named after him!)
I apologize to South Carolina in advance for the Ft Moultrie quarter. My first impression is “what is that Russian guy waiving a flag for?” Fort Moultrie has both colonial and civil war histories that are fascinating. The design for this coin, however, leaves one guessing. It almost gets some extra points for having a ship on it, but the ship is very small and hardly noticeable in the clouds/smoke. Clearly this coin loses the design contest for the year.
For the Mercury Dime’s 100th anniversary the US Mint produced a 1/10 gold version. It sold out in 45 minutes. We have access to a limited number of these. Please call or stop by for current pricing and availability. 520-881-7200.
The mint will also produce a 100th anniversary gold version of the Standing Liberty quarter and the Walking Liberty half dollar. We believe these will remain popular with collectors, as the 2001 $1 silver buffalo has stayed popular.