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Numismatic Geneaology!

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Specials coins get the special treatment...


Today I sent in some very special coins to be conserved and graded. These will not be very high grades, in fact, I hope they will grade in the fine to very fine range. They are special for another reason. First, here are some of the coins I sent in:


1899 Indian Head Cent

1852 Braided Hair Large Cent

1854 Braided Hair Large Cent


These are part of a very special custom set I am going to put together... what I will call my Numismatic Geneaology Set.


The 1899 coin is the actual coin that my Great Grandparents saved on the day my grandfather was born. It was passed on to me by my maternal grandmother, and now I am going to have it conserved, graded and encapsulated for posterity.


The 1852 and 1854 cents were from my Great-Great Grandparents who were merchants that immigrated to the US and opened a shop in NYC. I got these from my paternal Grand Mother, who did not collect coins but had these stored away. I got them along with many other genealogical treasures after she passed.


I also have the pocket change that my maternal great gandparents had in their pockets when they arrived in this country in 1895. They are not US coins, but I will have them conserved and encapsulated on the next round of submissions. Also, I have the coins and notes my Great Uncle brought home from Nazi Germany after he competed in the Berlin Olympics in 1936 (he kept them in a Bell Bank that he bought there... the bell was the symbol of that Olympics)


I want to add photos of my ancestors along with the newly graded coins when they return home, as well as the story of the coin itself. I finally thought of a way to combine two loves into one presentation!


See more journals by SPHansen

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SP Hansen emailed me that he also has two 1944 USA/Philippines Five Centavos that his uncle brought back with him from the service.


My father also served in the Philippines during WWll and brought back with him examples of USA/Philippine coins and Victory Notes. That is how I first got interested in this area of numismatics. Although those coins are not pristine examples they are more valuable to me than my most spectacular Superb GEM.


There is a lot of history behind the 1944 and 1945 USA/Philippine Victory Coins. The 1944 Five Centavos use the same obverse and reverse designs as my 1937-M Five Centavos but have a different War Time composition.


The pre-war Five Centavos had a composition of Copper (75%) and Nickel (25%). Both Copper and Nickel are important strategic materials during war time. Copper is needed for the production of shell casings and Nickel is an essential ingrediant in the manifacture of armor plating for ships, tanks, etc. In order to conserve Copper and Nickel the war-time alloy of the Five Centavos was changed to Copper (65%), Zink (23%), and Nickel (12%).


During the 1942 through 1944 Japanese occupation of the Philippines nearly all coins disappeared from circulation. In the occupied areas the Japanese collected all of the coins melted them down and shipped them back to Japan. The few pre-war coins that escaped the melting pots were horded and hid away until after the war. Most daily commerce was conducted with low denomination paper currency (Emergency or Guerilla Currency) printed by Guerrilla military units, local municipalities, or Military and Civilian Currency Boards authorized by General MacArthur or the Commonwealth government-in-exile under President Quezon.


During the Japanese occupation there was a very active resistance movement in the Philippines and allied inteligence was very much aware, of the economic situation in the islands, and the need to bring new coins and currency with them when they liberated the Philippines.


In preparation for General MacArthurs return to the Philippines the Treasury Department ordered the Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Denver Mints to strike millions of USA/Philippine coins in 1944 and 1945. The Philadelphia Mint struck 21,198,000 Five Centavos dated 1944. There is no Mint Mark on the coins struck at Philadelphia. The San Francisco Mint Struck 14,040,000 Five Centavos dated 1944 and 72,796,000 dated 1945. Coins struck at San Francisco have a S Mint Mark.


When American forces liberated the Philippines in 1944 - 1945 they brought with them the Victory Coins produced in the continental United States.

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You are a man after my own heart. Linking these two interests is not only fun, but it is something that the whole family finds interesting. After all, who wants to look at a State Quarter set when they can see coins linked to 5 generations (soon to be six) of our bloodline? The answer is no one.


I totally agree that the grade of the coins is secondary----more important to me is having a complete birth set. The true value of these coins is in watching the reaction of my grandsons when they see the birth set of great great grandpa Harry. One grandson (age 11) has already asked to see the coins from his birth year---another coin collector is born.


Best wishes on your set.



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Just a heads up... after reading that there could be a mint mark on the Centavos, I checked, and 1 is without, and the other does, indeed, have an S mint mark on the reverse!

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