Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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Gallery Mint Museum Box706 EurekaSprings AR 72632 
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I absolutely LOVE your idea of creating this scrapbook.
This is a great way of answering questions that come up a lot.
Ron Landis...Sun, 30 Jul 2000 11:59:06

ScrapBook Subjects
Link: 1795 Half Eagle GMM's First Gold Piece
Link: Time Sure Is Fun When You Are Having Flies!
Link: The Second Attempt Actually Yielded A Working Die
Link: 1793 Cents...Large versus Small Head
Link: 1796 Dime Struck Over Half Dime
Link: Chris Victor-McCawley Storecards In Copper
Link: Nothing But The Facts Maam!
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 

  • 1795 Half Eagle GMM's First Gold Piece
       In the December 1995 Gallery Mint Report, on page 4, in Gallery Mint Museum strikes gold! it says;
    Introducing the 1795 Gold Half Eagle reproduction
       In 1795, the Half Eagle was the first regular issue, U.S. gold coin. The coins weighed 8.75 grams, and were produced from an alloy of .9167 fine gold (11/12ths pure or 22K), the remainder in copper. This is the same alloy used in all early U.S. gold coins. Later, by the Act of January 18, 1837 the alloy of gold coins was changed to .900 fine.
       Designed by Robert Scot, the 1795 Half Eagle depicts a Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap and facing right. The reverse is the small eagle design.
       Reproduced in the same weight and alloy as the original coin, Gallery Mint is now offering a limited edition of 200 proof strikes for $215. The uncirculated variety will be available for some time at $150 (barring any unforseen drastic gold price changes), plus $4 insured shipping and handling per order.
       The medals feature a reeded edge, struck collarless on a hand operated screw press. To comply with the Hobby Protection act, each piece must be counter-stamped "COPY." When ordering, state on which side you prefer the stamp. Unless otherwise specified, "COPY" will appear on the reverse below the branch on which the eagle is perched.
       The gold planchets will be supplied by Stearn-Leach, suppliers to the U.S. Mint. Since planchets have to be ordered in minimum lots of 100 pieces, we expect a longer turn around time than usual, possibly up to two months.

       Proof production finished April 3, 1996 and uncirculated production began April 5, 1996. In the May 1996 Gallery Mint Report, on page 7, in an untitled correction note below a 1795 Half Eagle photograph it says;
       The proof gold pictured in the last newsletter was not correct. It was missing one star. Shown above is an example of the proofs struck from the new, corrected, fifteen-star dies. Also, we decided to place the copy stamp in the center of the eagle's breast to avoid marring the field opposite this stamp. Two hundred were produced and shipped.

       Then following that in the December 1996 Gallery Mint Report, on page 8, in the Errors Column it says;
    Repro Half Eagle Doubled Die Reverse
       This is an error that occurred here while trying to clone a new die from a previously used coining die. Toward the end of the run of our 1795 half eagle reproductions, our reverse die was collapsing and needed to be replaced. We used the retired proof die to make a positive hub which was in turn used to create a new working die complete with lettering, dentils, and all. On our first attempt, we accidentally doubled a working die, and sat it on Joe's workbench, where it was discovered by Mike Ellis, a visiting error and variety specialist and current president of CONECA.
       Mike talked us into hardening the die and striking one for him. While we were at it, we went ahead and made two more for giggles and then canceled the die after these three were struck.
       By the way, we do not intend to hub total dies like this in the future so as to stay closer to the techniques actually used to create the originals. Since we are not really set up to do this properly, it really didn't save any time, and required extensive repunching and hand work to sharpen the details. Mintage of the uncirculated 1795 half eagle reproductions totals 564 (including the 3 doubled die reverses.)

       There were 200 proof and 562 uncirculated specimens noted as minted in the Mintage Update of September 25, 1998. As I ramble on here the uncirculated version of this fantastic gold piece is being offered on eBay. When it sells I will add that information here. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       In December 1995 this piece was listed at $150+$4sh. Then in May 1996 GMM had increased it to $170+$4sh. If I had stayed out of the bidding it would have sold for $203.19+sh but I had to put my oar in the water so it sold for $224.73+sh on August 21, 2000 at 18:04:27. Sorry but what is an additional 10% between friends? Oh yes, a little over $20. :-( EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

  • Time Sure Is Fun When You Are Having Flies!
       I think I once heard a frog being quoted as having said that. Speaking of time... what we really need is a "timeline" of all the GMM creations. The sort of detail that rapidly blurs over time and becomes hearsay. Perhaps someone has already published this information but I find only a few bits and pieces in GMM publications. I envision a format that would allow medals, convention tokens, absolutely anything created by GMM to be included along with their standard coinage strikes. Mr. Landis' identified pre-GMM pieces should also be included even if the production dates are only in general terms such as "Spring 1991" or "1990-91".
       For instance, in the December 1995 Gallery Mint Report, on page 6, from the Gallery Journal I glean the following:
       1793 ChainCent 500 Proof ______, 1995 - ______, 1995
       1793 ChainCent 4,000 Uncirculated ______, 1995 - Oct 16, 1995
       1793 WreathCent 500 Proof Oct 17, 1995 - Nov 16, 1995
       1793 WreathCent 6,000 Uncirculated Oct 20, 1995 - ______, 199_
       1793 Strawberry Leaf WreathCent 4 Uncirculated Nov 3, 1995
       Is there any chance of building on this feeble start of a GMM Creations Timeline? Again it seems we must call on someone at GMM to take the time (there is that word again) to provide them to you to place on this website for all of us to share in our research efforts. Kenny Davidson...Thu Aug 17 2000 17:27:28

       Actually I would be pleased to place this information on a separate webpage specifically for that purpose to keep it out of the mix of other subjects quickly building on this site. In fact, the specifications you asked after earlier would fit right into that same table. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen


  • The Second Attempt Actually Yielded A Working Die
   This piece is an early attempt to recreate the 1796 half cent with the obverse cracked die. I talked to the folks at GMM today, and they said the mintage for this die was a mere 100 or so. Another cracked die was created and offered to the public, the piece you have photo'd in your website. EMail:Cliff Bolling...Wed, 16 Aug 2000 18:05:46
Regular Production Run Specimen
   The earlier ScrapBook Subject on the more successful production of 1796 half cents with no pole is on webpage Page2 under subject 1796 "No Pole" HalfCent Complete With Die Crack. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen


  • 1793 Cents...Large versus Small Head
   Shown above left is an Uncirculated Large Head specimen, in the center is a Proof Large Head specimen and above right is an Uncirculated Small Head specimen. I have captured an explanation of why this difference exists directly from EMail:Mitch Hight's wonderful GMM webpage (link to which is at the top of every GMM page on this website) and is presented here for your edification:
   We are proud to announce that we are now offering a new variety of 1793 Liberty Cap cent that is a bit smaller in size, and with all-around better eye appeal than our first effort. Our first "large head" variety was not as well received as our earlier cent repros. After comparing our reproduction next to the one in the Smithsonian, our engraver was also a bit disappointed with his first attempt.
   Ron explains, "After comparing ours next to the original, I could tell right away that our reproduction was a bit too big, but we decided to let it go as is. At the time we were under some heavy fire from the critics who oppose our work and complained that the accuracy of our repros would cause future problems in the hobby. We've since been convinced that the Hobby Protection Act (copy stamp) works well without "dumbing them down" as one collector so aptly put it. I also feel that I am a better engraver than I was a year ago, and really wanted a second shot at this before we close mintage. Our new reverse is also much closer to the original and really fits much better with the rest of the 1793 set we've reproduced."
   The mintage of Liberty Cap Cent replicas will match the original total mintage of 11,056 Liberty Cap Cents that were struck in 1793. The GMM replicas come in three major varieties, the small head (available only in uncirculated format) and the large head (available in proof and uncirculated). Struck prior to the small head, the large head is an interesting GMM collectible in its own right.

   The difference between the original and newer dies is not easy to describe in words. To the uninitiated looking at a single specimen it is not all that obvious which dies were used. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

Light from ABOVE   Click on image for enlargement

  • 1796 Dime Struck Over Half Dime
       I'm here to tell you that determining whether a specimen is struck on a half dime or a dime planchet can be difficult. Particularly when the poor thing has been whacked over the head more than once. There is only about a 15% difference between their sizes when they are struck normally and haven't been subjected to unusual stresses. I'm sure the weight of the specimen would be the more definitive test if one had accurate scales at hand...which I don't.
       For your and in the future...I will display half dimes and dimes at the same precise scale. This will leave some background space around the half dime specimens...but...otherwise, we couldn't tell one from the other on this website.
       This would be a good time to demonstrate the considerable impact the direction of the lighting has on how the graphic you are looking at appears. The image above had lighting from the top and the image below had lighting from the bottom. We could also light the specimen from the left or the right to further confuse matters but I think I'll skip that complication. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Light from BELOW   Click on image for enlargement


  • Chris Victor-McCawley Storecards In Copper
       These two pieces, dollar sized 39mm medals, have nothing to do with GMM directly. I got them from a fellow who got them from somebody at GMM. How they got them I have no clue unless Chris left them there while visiting our favorite museum.
       I contacted Chris at Box2967 Edmond OK 73083 (405)341-2213. He sent me a May/June 1999 advertisement showing two medals struck in 1993 and one medal each year 1994-97. It also shows a 1999 medal available in Brilliant Copper (900 issued) at $5, Golden Bronze (100 issued) at $10, Silver Proof (100 issued) at $15 and the set of three at $25.
       These two medals are one of the two 1993 Copper issues, below on the left, and the 1995 Copper issue, below on the right, obverses only. They aren't anywhere near the quality of the GMM creations but they are nicely done none-the-less. These sure are a neat side adjunct to my GMM collection... especially considering that they came to me via GMM. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Click on image for enlargement


  • Nothing But The Facts Maam!
       I just read about your dilemma identifying the size of your silver cutout. I assume that the diameter, thickness, weight, etcetera specifications of all GMM strikes are known. There must be before struck dimensions, and after struck dimensions also, available someplace. I personally wonder what the gauge of the beginning stock is when the planchets are created. The Yeoman "Red Book" gives weight, composition and approximate diameter, but no thicknesses, of the regular issue coinage. Can somebody please direct us to a source for the specifications GMM is using to create their interesting coinage strikes? Perhaps someone at GMM would take the time to provide them to you to place on this website for all of us to share in our research and identification efforts. Kenny Davidson...Fri Aug 11 2000 17:23:21
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