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Something for new collectors - if it looks odd it's likely damaged

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The following short letter is typical of inquiries made to the Philadelphia Mint about the authenticity of odd or unusual looking coins. Many of the items posted by new collectors fall into the same category as this little one-cent piece. The take-away is that collectors should not be disappointment with quick determinations that a coin is damaged...it take time to learn. (That the cent came from the Assistant Treasurer in New York is very unusual - clerks would be expected to easily identify mutilated coins.)

Office of Assistant Treasurer U.S.

New York City

 January 13, 1880

 To the Hon. Director of the U.S. Mint

Philadelphia, Pa

 Dear Sir:

            The genuineness of the enclosed one cent piece being doubted, it is sent you for the purpose of having your expert in such matters pass an opinion upon it.

            Very Respectfully,

            R. S. Hoff,

            Assistant Recovery Clerk

 [Note next sheet]

 This cent is doubtless genuine, having been mashed and put out of shape probably by a wheel of a carriage passing over it. It is 3-1/2 grains light.

[EG104 E-1 Box 120]

Edited by RWB
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