The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

  • Currency of Hawaii

    The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the United States dollar and was divided into 100 cents or keneta. Only sporadic issues were…

  • Charles Ransom Chickering

    Charles Ransom Chickering was a freelance artist who designed some 77 postage stamps for the U.S. Post Office while working at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington,…

  • The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

    Federal Reserve Notes are a prime example of paper currency designed and produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). The BEP is a government agency within the United…

  • Beat Around the Bush

    When someone beats around the bush they are often avoiding talking about something directly. The idiom  is used when one person wants to tell another to stop avoiding the true…

  • The Nova Constellatio

    The 1783 Nova Constellatio pattern coins represent a brilliant solution to the foremost economic problem facing the American States during the Revolutionary period – how to…

  • Little Golden Books

    Little Golden Books is a popular series of children’s books. You might recognize them from your childhood or maybe you read them to your kids – they have the iconic…

  • Exploring Cities with Postcards: Los Angeles

    Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the largest and most populous city in the Western United States. With an estimated…

  • The Controversial Works of G.A. Henty

    George Alfred Henty, best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century, was a prolific English novelist and war correspondent. G.A. Henty…

  • Masonic Tokens

    As a coin collector it is not uncommon to come across odd tokens, medals, and exonumia. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what you’ve got and there are hundreds of historical tokens…

  • Origins of the Secret Service

    Everyone knows that the Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security, charged with conducting criminal investigations…

  • A History of Black Friday

    Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. And while you might be planning on staying in and avoiding the…

  • Victorian Betrothal Rings

    While engagement rings now are just an accepted part of the marriage tradition, that wasn’t always the case. Victorian betrothal rings or engagement rings are those which were…

  • The Pilgrim Half Dollar

    The Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar or Pilgrim half dollar was a commemorative fifty-cent coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1920 and 1921 to mark the 300th…

  • Wizarding World Currency

    The second movie in the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres in the U.S. tomorrow! With this new release fans are learning more about…

  • Introducing Kids to Coin Collecting

    Whether it’s your kids, grand kids, nieces/nephews, cousins, or the neighbors kids; it is the duty of seasoned collectors to teach and encourage the next generation about…

  • Coins in the Bible

    Whether you take the Bible as word from God or as an incredible piece of writing; it’s undeniable that it is a fantastic reference point fir history and gives us an unparalleled…

  • Restaurants with Cash Pinned to the Walls

    Planning a trip or looking for a local restaurant that will also fulfill your love of coins and currency? There is a tradition to stapling dollar bills on the ceiling of bars.…

  • Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico

    September 17, 1859, San Francisco Bulletin newspaper: “At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens…I, Joshua Norton…declare and proclaim…

  • Encased Pennies

    An encased penny is a penny, that has been forcibly inserted into a prepared ring of metal. The metal encasement will typically have been stamped with an advertising or souvenir…

  • A Brief History of Halloween

    Halloween is an all-American holiday celebrated yearly on October 31st. Kids look forward to dressing up and receiving free candy and many adults use it as an excuse to party and…

  • Superstitions Around the World

    We have rounded up 13 superstitions as we continue on our 13 days of Halloween! Don’t Stick Chopsticks Straight Up In Japan, never rest them by sticking them straight up in your…

  • Ancient Egyptian Alien Coins

    As our thirteen days of Halloween continues we explore the theory that a set of ancient Egyptian coins could be proof that an alien race visited Earth thousands of years ago. A…

  • Coins Connecting You to the Spirit World

    Save your coins! This is five creepy ways, your coins could connect you to the spirit realm. Take Your Coins to the Ghost Boy Bridge The Ghost Boy Bridge is located on Clinton…

  • Kidnapped

    Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, written as a boys’ novel and first published in the magazine Young Folks from…

  • Coins: Haunted Canada, The Day of the Dead, Zombies

    What’s a better way to get into the Halloween spirit than to add some ‘frightening’ coins to your collection? Here is just a sample of some coin series’ that have come out…

  • Saved by the Bell

    There are certain sayings that have become common use in everyday life that we just don’t realize the origins of. Some of them are way darker than the light or even happy…

  • Divination Games

    Traditionally Halloween was a time celebrated because of harvest and was said to be the day of the year where our world and the ghostly world were most closely aligned. Because of…

  • Post-Mortem Photography

    Historically you can find numerous cultural traditions that we might find odd today, such as taxidermy animal hats, professional mourners, and cheese rolling festivals (yes those…

  • Charon and the Journey to Hades

    As a coin collector you may think coins are a very important part of your life but according to Greek mythology they could be even more important in the afterlife. Ancient Greeks…

  • Washington Ghost Stories

    As a Washington based company we are always curious about local stories and history. This time, we take a look at some of Washington’s most legendary ghost stories! Lola in…

  • Henry Rathbone

    The Lincoln assassination is a scary and tragic part of history. But one part that tends to get left out of the story is the life of Major Henry Rathbone, one of the individuals…

  • Out-of-Place Artifacts

    Many collectors, history enthusiasts, and metal detectorists dream of finding legendary antiques or artifacts that tell the stories of history. Out-of-place artifacts is a term…

  • Cut Out Coins

    If you’re a coin collector you have likely ran across a few cut out coins at one point or another. Depending on your views, it can either be frustrating that the coin got…

  • 10 Rare Quarters to Look for in Your Coin Jar

    Ever wonder if that coin jar laying around your house has any value? Or are you new to coin collecting? Here is a list of ten rare quarters you want to be on the lookout for that…

  • Coin and Currency Sites to Visit on Your Vacation: Canada Edition

    If you are heading out on vacation or planning one in the near future; there’s no reason not to celebrate your hobby on the road! Here’s a list of coin- and currency-related…

  • Great Movies with Coin Scenes

    You may feel as if you just don’t get enough coin related enjoyment in your life. After spending hours organizing your collection or scouring the internet finding the perfect…

  • Two Bits, Four Bits, Six Bits, a Dollar!

    One of your favorite cheers for school you might remember as “Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar, all for our team stand up and holler.” A lot of people aren’t sure why…

  • Hammered Coinage

    Hammered coinage is the most common form of coins produced since the invention of coins in the first millennium BC until the early modern period of the 15th–17th centuries,…

  • John Sinnock

    Most famously known for serving as the eighth Chief Engraver at the US Mint, John Ray Sinnock, was born on July 8, 1888 in the city of Raton, New Mexico. Sinnock had always has an…

  • Kissi Pennies

    In another example of strange currencies; the kissi penny also seen transcribed as kissy or kisi penny was an iron currency made in Sierra Leone that circulated widely in the…

  • The Creation of the Peace Dollar

    From 1921 to 1928 and again in 1934 and 1935 the United States Peace dollar was minted. Designed by Anthony de Francisci, the dollar coin was the result of a competition to find…

  • Mills Currency

    Pennies will buy you so little today that dividing them into even smaller change seems pointless. But back in 1786, the U.S. Continental Congress approved the mill; the…

  • Why do Copper Coins Change Colors?

    If you’re a coin collector or just happen to handle change a lot, you’ve probably seen old copper coins in various colors. From white to green to blue! Why do these coins take…

  • 10 Rare Pennies to Look for in Your Coin Jar

    Ever wonder if that coin jar laying around your house has any value? Or are you new to coin collecting? Here is a list of ten rare pennies you want to be on the lookout for that…

  • Brand Spanking New

    You’ve heard the phrase before… brand spanking new. This idiom is often used simply to describe things that are new. Such as “The film is 15 years old but looks…

  • The Aero Club of America

    The Aero Club of America (ACA) was a social club formed in 1905 by Charles Jasper Glidden and Augustus Post to promote aviation in America. It was the parent organization of…

  • Economies Before Coins: The Barter Economy

    Bartering is an exchange system where participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium, such as money.…

  • Manilla: The Former Currency of West Africa

    Used in West Africa, Manillas were a form of money, usually made of bronze or copper. They were produced in large numbers in a wide range of designs, sizes, and weights.…

  • Edmund Dulac

    Edmund Dulac was a French-British magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer. Born in Toulouse he studied law but later turned to the study of art at the École des…

  • Ancient Forms of Money

    Before coins and paper notes many objects were tested out for the use of money. Some because of their rarity and others because they had a common use other than just as a piece of…

  • The Brasher Doubloon

    The Brasher Doubloon is one of the most enigmatic coins in American numismatic history. We know when it was minted, who minted it, and approximately how many pieces were minted.…

  • John Ruskin

    John Ruskin was a leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. His…

  • Currency in Leper Colonies

    Leper colonies or houses became widespread in the Middle Ages, particularly in Europe and India, and often run by monastic orders. Historically, leprosy has been greatly feared…

  • United States High Denomination Bills

    Large denominations of United States currency greater than $100 were circulated by the United States Treasury until 1969. Since then, U.S. dollar banknotes have only been issued…

  • James Longacre

    One of the most well known engravers of the US mint during the 19th century was James Barton Longacre. After previous engraver, Christian Gobrecht passed away, Longacre would…

  • The Precursor to Paper Money: Promissory Notes

    A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument, in which one party (the maker or issuer) promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money…

  • Swedish Daler Plate Money

    When we think of coins we typically think of fairly small circular slabs of various types of medal. Some are slightly larger than others, have ridges on the edges, or even have a…

  • Economies Before Coins: The Gift Economy

    A gift economy, gift culture, or gift exchange is a mode of exchange where valuables are not traded or sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future…

  • Blacksmith Tokens

    Blacksmith tokens are a form of evasion currency that was in circulation primarily in Lower Canada and Upper Canada along with neighboring areas, such as the northern parts of New…

  • Seattle’s Architectural Icon

    The Stamp & Coin Place finds its home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is often known for its rain, coffee, trees, and Seattle! We thought it would be…

  • Joseph Wright

    Credited as the first designer of US coin, Joseph Wright, was born July 16, 1756 in Bordentown, New Jersey and lived until September 13, 1793. His career for most of his life was…

  • The Mythical Lebbo Coin

    You may have heard of the myth of the Lebbo Coin and it’s almost magical capabilities. Also referred to as a Copper Iridium Coin, a “Rice Pulling” Coin, or Navagraha Lebbos,…

  • Las Arras

    Las arras, or Las arras matrimoniales (wedding tokens or unity coins) are wedding paraphernalia used in Christian and Catholic wedding ceremonies in Spain, Latin American…

  • Replacement Banknotes

    All modern United States currency contains either a 10- or 11-digit serial number in order to make each bill unique. Ten-digit serial numbers were on all bills until the…

  • The United States Treasury Seal

    A seal is a device for making an impression in wax, clay, paper, or some other medium, including an embossment on paper. The original purpose was to authenticate a document, a…

  • The Trial of the Pyx

    The Trial of the Pyx (pronounced pIks) is a procedure in the United Kingdom for ensuring that newly minted coins conform to the required standards. These trials have been held…

  • Phrygian Caps

    The Phrygian cap is a soft cap with the top pulled forward often depicted as being red in color. It is historically associated with Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia,…

  • Silver Cobs

    In the mid-1500’s, additional silver deposits were discovered in the colonial territories and there was a pressing demand to export it to Spain. Starting in the reign of Philip…

  • The Silver Age of Arcade Games

    If you’ve never been inside a traditional arcade, it could be hard to distinguish one from a Dave & Buster’s. Authenticity is a hard nut to crack, but there are a few…

  • The Star-Spangled Banner

    This 4th of July we have decided to take a closer look at “The Star-Spangled Banner”- an anthem of freedom, American beliefs, and reverence for those who have fought…

  • Celebrity Coin Collectors

    Recently we wrote a post on some of the famous historical figures that were numismatists and that left us here at The Stamp and Coin Place discussing what contemporary celebrities…

  • Carrying Around Cash in A Wheelbarrow

    World War One officially ended when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919.  Fighting had essentially ended with the Armistice of November 11th, 1918. One of…

  • An Engravers Story… Feat. Jerry Morales

    Jerry Morales, a man of music and creativity; a talented  engraver and family man. His career in engraving all began while teaching guitar in a music store and working part…

  • The Kings and Queens of Numismatics

    Coin collecting has a long history of being the hobby of Kings and Queens. We all know royalty and the privileged classes collected but who actually was a collector? Check out our…

  • The Government Services Administration Hoard

    GSA Morgan Dollars have been a prized part of numismatists’ collections for several years now. Often known as the ‘GSA Hoard’ named after the Government Services…

  • The Father’s Day Tradition

    For those of you that don’t know, The Stamp and Coin Place is located in Washington state; the beautiful Pacific Northwest is home to many traditions and has some great history.…

  • Carving Out Time To Master An Art

    Coin engraving is an expertise that takes incredible patience and precision. It also, like any other art form, has  many different styles and levels of experience. Steve…

  • The Story of Tim Rathjen

    Born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, Tim Rathjen aspired to do greater things for his small town despite his dark childhood. Entrepreneurship was in his heart from a very…

  • Fractional Currency

    First issued in August 21st 1862, Fractional Currency, was ‘paper coins’ that served as a stand in for the shortage of silver and gold coins of the time. The causes of this…

  • The Grover Cleveland Peace Medal: a Symbol of Reconciliation

    As we go through our grade school education, we learn about U.S. History, and then we get more US history in middle school, and high school, and then, if you were a history major…

  • Navia Aut Caput: The Tradition of Heads or Tails

    We’ve all done it at one point or another, flipped a coin. Whether its to see who gets the last slice of  pizza or decide what you’re going to do on a Friday night. During a…

  • Civil War Tokens

    The year of 1862 for the United States was one of tensions and disparity as the relationship between the North and South became more and more strained. The economy was shaky as…

  • A History of Pressed Pennies

    Since I was young I got excited anytime I’d see a penny pincher machine. Whether it was at the local zoo or while away on vacation, I’d be begging my parents for some extra…

  • Seafarers Silver Trays

    Anyone that has been to our warehouse knows that we have coins everywhere.  But Tim has also accumulated years and years worth of other collectibles, antiques, and goods.  And…

  • Love and Lead: A Story of Love Tokens

    Alfred Lord Tennyson said it best,“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”  Love is an experience that transcends time and space. Love is also…

  • A Whole Lot in Liberty’s Pot- a History of the Potty Dollar

    The United States has been embroiled in war for the past several decades, and yet most Americans live without knowing it experientially.  We hear about it on the news, but we…

  • Hobo Nickels and “Big Nose” George Parrot

    Take no offense at the title.  The term ‘Hobo Nickel’ is one of endearment, and it refers to a rich artistic and cultural phenomenon popularized in the US.  The art form hit…

  • How Mexico’s Remarkable Peso Revolutionized the World

    Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the holiday, let’s take a moment to learn about and celebrate Mexican coins. Both pesos and dollars originated in the Spanish dollar of the…

  • Did you know that the Buffalo on the “Buffalo Nickel” is not a Buffalo at All?

    While the official name is the Five Cent Indian head, this coin has come to be known in the hobby as a “Buffalo Nickel”. Peculiarly, the sturdy animal featured on the coin is…

  • Commemorating the Great War: Next-of-Kin Plaques

    One of the most interesting exonumismatic items of the modern era comes from the first World War. In 1917, while World War I raged, the British government set up a committee to…

  • The Teacher on the Morgan Dollar

    The face of Liberty on one of America’s most popular coins is that of a devoted teacher and education advocate. When Congress passed the Bland-Allison act in 1878, the…

  • The Liberty on the Draped Bust: Ann Willing Bingham

    The Draped Bust coin obverse design, in use from 1795 to 1807, was designed by Mint engraver Robert Scot to replace the Flowing Hair design, which was almost unanimously…

  • Classic Flower Stamps Have a Special Story

    The art featured on US stamps can come from anywhere, but it’s always special when the artist comes from your area. While listing sets of stamps for our eBay store, we came…

  • Teresa de Francisci: Face of Peace

    The Peace Dollar is one of the most striking coins the US Mint ever produced. The Liberty on the obverse of the coin is more art nouveau, as opposed to the very classical…

  • Stickered Pennies from around the United States

    Have you seen a Penny with a sticker on one side?  In 1935, R. Stanton Avery invented self adhesive labels and sticker advertising began. A couple of decades later, affixing…

  • Smithson’s Coins and What They Bought

    The greatest museum in the United States owes its existence to an eccentric British benefactor and a staggering number of gold coins. The story starts with an Englishman named…

  • Farewell, Cassini

    This week, one of humanity’s most successful space missions came to an end as the Cassini spacecraft dives into the atmosphere of the planet Saturn. Cassini is the 4th…

  • The Short Sweet History of Newspaper and Periodical Stamps

    In the early years of the United States Postal Service, the mail system was used for more than just letters and packages. Newspapers and other periodicals have been part of…

  • A Look at Labor Day

    Today we celebrate and honor all workers, especially those in manual labor. In the late 19th century, support began to rise for a holiday to celebrate labor, and provide a…

  • The Strange Sixpence of St. Inigoes

      In 1984, an archaeological collection at St. Inigoes, a long-standing Jesuit site in Maryland, uncovered an unusual coin: a 1596 Elizabeth I sixpence that had clearly been…

  • Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

    This Saturday is Women’s Equality Day, and we wanted to celebrate by telling the stories of a few women you may not have heard about. These women were actresses in the late…

  • Trade Tokens and Forgotten History

    Have you ever looked at historical photos of your town and wondered what life was like back then? Photos are only part of the story of any town: trade tokens are an often…

  • Aviation and Early Air Mail Stamps

    It’s difficult to overstate just how much the rise of aviation changed twentieth-century life. The first air mail flight departed Washington, D.C. on May 15th, 1918: only 15…

  • New Study Reveals How Spanish Silver Funded Rome

        The Roman Republic was known for its wealth even before it became an Empire. The Punic Wars, though costly, gave Rome a new source of riches: Spanish silver mines.     The…

  • The Sun and Its Coins

    The sun has formed human mythology and symbolism since the beginning of history. It’s no surprise that sun symbols and imagery have appeared on our coins for thousands of…

  • Glasshouse Money and Company Scrip

    Today, money is issued by the federal government, and companies pay their employees by check or cash. But it wasn’t always like that. Until fairly recently, many companies…

  • Summer Reading for Coin Lovers

    We spend most of the year reading things that are “serious,” that are needed for professional development or personal growth. But summer reading is about fun and escapism,…

  • When Ben Franklin Hacked Nature to Fight Counterfeiters

    The American colonies had a serious problem. Most did not have large reserves of precious metal with which to make legal tender coins, but not enough coins were coming in from…

  • Game of Thrones and the Coin Technology of Westeros

    Game of Thrones, like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, has a world so dense with detail that it feels real. The world of Westeros even has its own coinage, and those coins…

  • Seven Great Movies with Coin Scenes

    Summertime is the perfect time to relax with a cold drink and a good movie. It’s not unusual to see a coin used as a significant prop in the film: here are seven of our…

  • The Labyrinth Coins of Knossos

    Labyrinths are a familiar icon in the western world. We know the story of the great Labyrinth of Minos, home of the minotaur. The labyrinth set into the floor of the cathedral…

  • The Flip of a Coin

    Tabletop game designer David Schirduan is about to release a new role-playing game that does something unusual: it relies on coins to move the story forward. We talked to…

  • An Unusual Tradition Continues at This Grave

    John Wilkes Booth is undoubtedly one of the most notorious names in American history. If you visit his grave, you’ll have to find it first. After shooting Lincoln and escaping…

  • Stars and Stamps

    One of 2016’s most popular Forever stamp sets was the National Parks set, with the stunning view of star paths over Mount Rainier being the stand-out image; this…

  • The Rhino on the Roman Coins

    For as long as coins have been in use, humans have stamped them with images of things they found important or impressive: kings and rulers, symbols of nations and gods, and…

  • New Anti-Counterfeiting Technology: Dogs

    Dogs have been trained to help humans for thousands of years; some experts believe dogs were domesticated nearly 15,000 years ago, possibly even earlier. Dogs have helped humans…

  • The Face on the Bill

    Have you ever wondered why the United States has that law prohibiting the use of a living person’s face on currency or stamps? Well, mostly it happened because of one man who…

  • The Appeal of Coin Trees

    One of the most fascinating folklore traditions may also one of the newest: the coin tree. Contrary to popular assumptions, coin trees seem to be a relatively new tradition,…

  • Space-Flown Coins

    Sometimes a coin is more valuable because of where it’s been than what’s in it or how old it is. A small niche area of coin collecting is dedicated to space-flown coins…

  • Coin and Currency Sites to Visit on Your Vacation

    It’s summer, and many people are heading out on vacation. But there’s no reason not to celebrate your hobby on the road! Here’s a list of coin- and currency-related…

  • How to Prevent Coin Loss

    Fred Howard, a Virginia collector, left part of his valuable Byzantine coin collection on the viewing table in his bank’s safety deposit area. Fortunately for him, a bank…

  • WWII Impact on Fashion

    From Victory Gardens to gasoline rationing, a lot of sacrifices were made on America’s “home front” during World War II. It may surprise you to know that…

  • Megalodon Teeth

    Megalodons once ruled the oceans!  In fact, they are thought to be the largest and most domineering predators in vertebrae history.  Their given name “Megalodon”…

  • Origins of the U.S. Postal Service

    Thinking about taking a trip down to the Post Office conjures up images of long lines and regulated service in an age of instantaneous communication through text messaging and the…

  • Straight From the Horse’s Mouth

    The English language can be confusing.  Certainly, many of our idioms have fallen behind the times.  Hold the phones – What phones?  Don’t have a cow! –…

  • The World’s Fair | A History

    The World’s Fair is a large public exhibition embedded in rich cultural tradition.  Originating in Paris with the industrial revolution, these grand expositions soon spread…

  • Fill Your Flask

    An item in most liquor cabinets, the flask is one collectible which is appreciated by many people beyond those who collect them.  With strong American imagery and a history of…

  • Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery | Forged Art

    To even the most trained eye, it is not a simple task to identify authentic art from its counterfeit counterparts.  Since before the Classical period, Copy art is world-wide a…

  • The Power Suit

    The modern American woman is at a pinnacle of equality and freedom of expression more so than ever before.  Claiming ownership of intellectual and physical expression, women…

  • Native American Arrowheads

    Given the wide variety of Native American tribes, practices and rituals, this article alone gives not nearly enough information to include all the intricately varying artifacts…

  • April Fools!

    April 1st is right around the corner and that means practical jokes and plenty of laughs.  While you’re busy concocting hoaxes unforeseen by family and friends, you may…

  • The Luck of the Irish

    From the Irish potato famine to years of invasion, colonization, exploitation and violent religious conflict, it would seem that the Irish have anything but good luck.  Where…

  • The Awe of Old-Time Traveling Medicine Shows

    Some old-fashioned remedies really work – but many old timey medicines are horrifying to modern sensibilities. In particular, medicine shows rolling through town in the 18th and…

  • Gems of the Ocean: Collecting Glass Fishing Floats

    Lovers of the sea or fishing will enjoy these items. The stunning glass balls come in shades of sea green and blue and make excellent collectors’ items, whether…

  • Girls playing basketball in a tropical setting in 1909 vintage black & white postcard.

    Bet You Didn’t Know The Origin of Basketball

    On one fateful day in 1891, Dr. James Naismith needed a way to keep his students busy indoors during the cold winters. He came up with the rules for an indoor game played with a…

  • Old Fashioned Remedies: Do-It-Yourself Lavender Oil

    Is there any herb more well-loved than lavender? Its healing and calming properties make lavender the perfect herb to keep in your cupboard. For thousands of years, people have…

  • The Symbolism and Myth Behind the Koi Fish

    The koi fish is renowned for its good luck and beauty. But what is less commonly known about this graceful fish? We’ve covered symbolism before – flowers and jewelry,…

  • Antiques in a store window. (Via G0SUB on Flickr, CC License 2.0)

    The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Evaluating Antiques

    It takes years to become an adept antiques evaluator, especially with the ability to evaluate more than one kind of antique. If you have an item sitting around that you want to…

  • "Sincerely thine" Victorian calling card.

    Why Victorian Calling Cards Are Like Facebook

    Ah, the Victorians; so obsessed with politeness that almost every action had its own symbolic meaning. To achieve this almost unworldly level and layer of meaning, Victorians…

  • You’ll Never Look at Books the Same Way Again

    There’s an art to books that even most book-lovers don’t know about. Do you know those gold gilded edges found on many old books? In some cases these exist to hide…

  • There’s More to Thimbles Than You Think

    The history of thimbles goes way back – farther than you might expect. It is theorized that ten thousand years ago, people used press stones for sewing. The practice marked the…

  • The History of Royal Doulton Figurines

    Royal Doulton figurines are hand painted figures from a company with a long history. These figurines are just a portion of the Doulton pottery legacy, but they have made a…

  • Sustainable Living: Kitchen Tips from the Great Depression

    It just so happens that sustainable living practices coincide with times of recession. It makes sense, when you think about it. During economic recession, saving money means using…

  • “The Devil’s Hair” Canadian Banknote Controversy

    Official currency printed by the government can be prone to mistakes – or, in the case of the 1954 ‘Devil’s Hair’ Canadian bank note, prone to accidental…

  • Traveling with Art: Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

    We take a trip once again to Paris, where history and modernity intermingle in a perfect balance of past and present. The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France is a piece of rich…

  • What You Should Know About Women on Currency

    How many women have appeared on American banknotes? While Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony, and Sacajawea all have had their moments on coinage, paper money is unsurprisingly full…

    Currency of Hawaii

    The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the United States dollar and was divided into 100…

    Charles Ransom Chickering

    Charles Ransom Chickering was a freelance artist who designed some 77 postage stamps for the U.S. Post Office while working at the Bureau of Engraving and…

    Beat Around the Bush

    When someone beats around the bush they are often avoiding talking about something directly. The idiom  is used when one person wants to tell another to…

    The Nova Constellatio

    The 1783 Nova Constellatio pattern coins represent a brilliant solution to the foremost economic problem facing the American States during the Revolutionary period – how to…

    Little Golden Books

    Little Golden Books is a popular series of children’s books. You might recognize them from your childhood or maybe you read them to your kids –…

    Masonic Tokens

    As a coin collector it is not uncommon to come across odd tokens, medals, and exonumia. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what you’ve got and there…

    Origins of the Secret Service

    Everyone knows that the Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security, charged with conducting criminal investigations and…

    A History of Black Friday

    Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. And while you might be planning on staying…

    Victorian Betrothal Rings

    While engagement rings now are just an accepted part of the marriage tradition, that wasn’t always the case. Victorian betrothal rings or engagement rings are those…

    The Pilgrim Half Dollar

    The Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar or Pilgrim half dollar was a commemorative fifty-cent coin struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1920 and…

    Wizarding World Currency

    The second movie in the Harry Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres in the U.S. tomorrow! With this new release fans are…

    Coins in the Bible

    Whether you take the Bible as word from God or as an incredible piece of writing; it’s undeniable that it is a fantastic reference point fir…

    Encased Pennies

    An encased penny is a penny, that has been forcibly inserted into a prepared ring of metal. The metal encasement will typically have been stamped with…

    Kidnapped

    Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, written as a boys’ novel and first published in the magazine Young Folks…

    Saved by the Bell

    There are certain sayings that have become common use in everyday life that we just don’t realize the origins of. Some of them are way darker…

    Divination Games

    Traditionally Halloween was a time celebrated because of harvest and was said to be the day of the year where our world and the ghostly world…

    Post-Mortem Photography

    Historically you can find numerous cultural traditions that we might find odd today, such as taxidermy animal hats, professional mourners, and cheese rolling festivals (yes those…

    Washington Ghost Stories

    As a Washington based company we are always curious about local stories and history. This time, we take a look at some of Washington’s most legendary…

    Henry Rathbone

    The Lincoln assassination is a scary and tragic part of history. But one part that tends to get left out of the story is the life…

    Out-of-Place Artifacts

    Many collectors, history enthusiasts, and metal detectorists dream of finding legendary antiques or artifacts that tell the stories of history. Out-of-place artifacts is a term for…

    Cut Out Coins

    If you’re a coin collector you have likely ran across a few cut out coins at one point or another. Depending on your views, it can…

    Hammered Coinage

    Hammered coinage is the most common form of coins produced since the invention of coins in the first millennium BC until the early modern period of…

    John Sinnock

    Most famously known for serving as the eighth Chief Engraver at the US Mint, John Ray Sinnock, was born on July 8, 1888 in the city…

    Kissi Pennies

    In another example of strange currencies; the kissi penny also seen transcribed as kissy or kisi penny was an iron currency made in Sierra Leone that…

    Mills Currency

    Pennies will buy you so little today that dividing them into even smaller change seems pointless. But back in 1786, the U.S. Continental Congress approved the…

    Brand Spanking New

    You’ve heard the phrase before… brand spanking new. This idiom is often used simply to describe things that are new. Such as “The film is 15…

    The Aero Club of America

    The Aero Club of America (ACA) was a social club formed in 1905 by Charles Jasper Glidden and Augustus Post to promote aviation in America. It…

    Edmund Dulac

    Edmund Dulac was a French-British magazine illustrator, book illustrator and stamp designer. Born in Toulouse he studied law but later turned to the study of art…

    Ancient Forms of Money

    Before coins and paper notes many objects were tested out for the use of money. Some because of their rarity and others because they had a…

    The Brasher Doubloon

    The Brasher Doubloon is one of the most enigmatic coins in American numismatic history. We know when it was minted, who minted it, and approximately how…

    John Ruskin

    John Ruskin was a leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.…

    Currency in Leper Colonies

    Leper colonies or houses became widespread in the Middle Ages, particularly in Europe and India, and often run by monastic orders. Historically, leprosy has been greatly…

    James Longacre

    One of the most well known engravers of the US mint during the 19th century was James Barton Longacre. After previous engraver, Christian Gobrecht passed away,…

    Swedish Daler Plate Money

    When we think of coins we typically think of fairly small circular slabs of various types of medal. Some are slightly larger than others, have ridges…

    Blacksmith Tokens

    Blacksmith tokens are a form of evasion currency that was in circulation primarily in Lower Canada and Upper Canada along with neighboring areas, such as the…

    Joseph Wright

    Credited as the first designer of US coin, Joseph Wright, was born July 16, 1756 in Bordentown, New Jersey and lived until September 13, 1793. His…

    The Mythical Lebbo Coin

    You may have heard of the myth of the Lebbo Coin and it’s almost magical capabilities. Also referred to as a Copper Iridium Coin, a “Rice…

    Las Arras

    Las arras, or Las arras matrimoniales (wedding tokens or unity coins) are wedding paraphernalia used in Christian and Catholic wedding ceremonies in Spain, Latin American countries,…

    Replacement Banknotes

    All modern United States currency contains either a 10- or 11-digit serial number in order to make each bill unique. Ten-digit serial numbers were on all…

    The Trial of the Pyx

    The Trial of the Pyx (pronounced pIks) is a procedure in the United Kingdom for ensuring that newly minted coins conform to the required standards. These…

    Phrygian Caps

    The Phrygian cap is a soft cap with the top pulled forward often depicted as being red in color. It is historically associated with Eastern Europe…

    Silver Cobs

    In the mid-1500’s, additional silver deposits were discovered in the colonial territories and there was a pressing demand to export it to Spain. Starting in the…

    The Star-Spangled Banner

    This 4th of July we have decided to take a closer look at “The Star-Spangled Banner”- an anthem of freedom, American beliefs, and reverence for those…

    The Story of Tim Rathjen

    Born and raised in Bellingham, Washington, Tim Rathjen aspired to do greater things for his small town despite his dark childhood. Entrepreneurship was in his heart…

    Fractional Currency

    First issued in August 21st 1862, Fractional Currency, was ‘paper coins’ that served as a stand in for the shortage of silver and gold coins of…

    Civil War Tokens

    The year of 1862 for the United States was one of tensions and disparity as the relationship between the North and South became more and more…

    Seafarers Silver Trays

    Anyone that has been to our warehouse knows that we have coins everywhere.  But Tim has also accumulated years and years worth of other collectibles, antiques,…

    Farewell, Cassini

          This week, one of humanity’s most successful space missions came to an end as the Cassini spacecraft dives into the atmosphere of the…

    A Look at Labor Day

        Today we celebrate and honor all workers, especially those in manual labor.     In the late 19th century, support began to rise for…

    The Sun and Its Coins

        The sun has formed human mythology and symbolism since the beginning of history. It’s no surprise that sun symbols and imagery have appeared on…

    The Flip of a Coin

        Tabletop game designer David Schirduan is about to release a new role-playing game that does something unusual: it relies on coins to move the…

    Stars and Stamps

        One of 2016’s most popular Forever stamp sets was the National Parks set, with the stunning view of star paths over Mount Rainier being…

    The Face on the Bill

      Have you ever wondered why the United States has that law prohibiting the use of a living person’s face on currency or stamps? Well, mostly…

    The Appeal of Coin Trees

        One of the most fascinating folklore traditions may also one of the newest: the coin tree. Contrary to popular assumptions, coin trees seem to…

    Space-Flown Coins

        Sometimes a coin is more valuable because of where it’s been than what’s in it or how old it is. A small niche area…

    How to Prevent Coin Loss

    Fred Howard, a Virginia collector, left part of his valuable Byzantine coin collection on the viewing table in his bank’s safety deposit area. Fortunately for him,…

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