"In God We Trust"
submitted by Dennis Brann
How Arthur and Debby Solved the Puzzle
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Quiz #348 Results
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1.  It was auctioned for $1.15M.

2.  The mottos "E Pluribum Unum" and "In God We Trust"

3.  Copper with a silver plug in the center to control the weight.
Answers to Quiz #348
April 22, 2012
1. Why has this coin been in the news lately?
2.  What is missing from the coin that is usually present on today's versions?
3.  What is it made of?
Happy 7th Birthday Forensic Genealogy!
Our first quiz was posted April 25, 2005!

In honor of our seventh birthday, we are posting the links to
our first seven quizzes for our fans to enjoy.  See below!
Congratulations to Our Winners

Robert Austin                Debby Was
Gary Sterne                Jim Kiser
Janice Kent-Mackenzie                Kitty Huddleston
Margaret Waterman                Grace Hertz
George Wright                Janice M. Sellers
Shirley Hamblin                Joshua Kreitzer
Sharon Martin                Joyce Veness
Arthur Hartwell                Mike Dalton
Jean                Alex Sissoev
Joshua Kreitzer                Charlie Wayne
Dennis Brann                Donna Jolley
Don Draper                Moshe Schaeffer
Evan Hindman                Judy Pfaff
Janice Kent-Mackenzie                Diane Burkett
Charles Grabs                Margaret Waterman
Richard Wakeham                Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
Claudio Trapote                Fiona Brooker
Marilyn Hamill
Comments from Our Readers
Googled 'one cent penny' got nothing. '1 of 100 penny' also nothing.
'Penny in the news' brought up the auction and information on the
penny. Both pennies in my pocket have the Lincoln Memorial. I don't
believe I have seen a 2009 or later penny. I have to start taking a
better loook at my pennies. A high price for such a small item. Ten
years ago it sold for 105 thousand. Now it will probably be locked
away for fear it will be stolen.

Arthur Hartwell

So as usual I started by searching Google & Wikipedea using the
terms "American penny" or "Old American Pennies" but couldn't find
anything that looked like "your" penny. Although I did learn a bit
about the history of the coin and realized that the coin had to be really
old because the reverse of the penny did not match any of the Lincoln
coins that were pictured.

So I Googled images of "American penny" and selected the first
suggestion "American penny coin" and scrolled through the images.
And there it was on page five second from the left - a 1792 American
penny. This took me to a site called for The
Malay Mail showing an article dated Saturday, April 21, 2012 by AFP
announcing: "US penny sells for US$1.15 million".

Debby Was
The Quiz auction happened Thursday evening. We saw nothing in the Sacramento Bee
about it. I am impressed with your ability to create a quiz on such short notice.
Arthur Hartwell

N.B.  Actually it was other way around.  I asked the Central States Numismatic
Society to hold off the auction until I got back in town so that I could post the quiz in
a timely manner.  They were really nice about it, considering all the publicity the
quiz would get them.  - Q. Gen.

I mixed it up with another 1793 penny that was auctioned recently.        
Janice Sellers

It is amazing what people will pay for some things. I was watching Pawn Stars today.
There was just a head of a broken toy from the 1970's that was valued at $4000-$5000.
It sold for less that $10 new.                                                                 
Gary Sterne

The metal composition of the US Penny has changed 9 times, since 1792. A copper
penny minted in 1979 would weigh slighly more than a zinc penny minted in 1984. The
1792 penny was the heaviest of all with its interior silver plug.                
Mike Dalton

This turned out to be tougher than I thought. I lost track looking for the draped bust
coins. I only found clues after I searched for the modern day coin (because I forgot
what it looked like...).                                                                          
Alex Sissoev

A portrait of Abraham Lincoln (not surprising -- Lincoln wasn't born when the coin
was minted).                                                                               
  Joshua Kreitzer

Being a low-level nusmismatist, I love this quiz. Thanks!

As for what is USUALLY found on current coins that is missing from this one...I
don't know. I could say either "E Pluribus Unum" or "In God We Trust" but both are
ALWAYS found on coins today. I could say a mint mark but mint marks are usually
found on coins other than pennies. All pennies minted in Philadelphia have no mint
mark. Another thing missing is the designer's initials. These are on all coins minted
today as well, not just most.                                                             
Charlie Wayne

I remembered seeing headlines about a penny that sold for a large amount of money.  
This led me to the penny in the quiz.                                                      
Donna Jolley

Information about this week's quiz was found by doing a Google image search for old
pennies.This penny made the news when it was sold by auction in Shaumburg IL. It
was interesting to read that the penny was purchased on behalf of a group of unnamed
investors by coin dealer, Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, California. A person lacking
experience in numismatics but feel they must have more money than sense or cents.It
was interesting to read that sales during the Numismatic Society convention amounted
to over $22 million dollars, much of it done via the internet. It appears that with a 15
per cent commission, being in the coin auction business is extremely lucrative. This
might motivate many of us to take a closer look at our coins, including the one cent
piece that soon will be extinct.                                                                
Don Draper

I happened to read a news article about the penny the day after the auction. The only
thing I find shocking is that it�s valued has appreciated so much since it was last sold
in 1974 for $105,000.                                                                              
Jim Baker

N.B.  The shock is not so much how much its value has appreciated since it was last
sold in 1974 for $105k - the shock is how much its value has appreciate since it was
minted in 1795 for 1 c. - Q. Gen.

Hey Quiz mistress:  Way too easy. One google and there it was. I did not even need
good 'sense' to find the 'scent' of this 'cent'. (Couldn't help myself, sorry).     
Jim Kiser

Canada is the latest country to announce it is ceasing penny production and removing
them from circulation.  Each Canadian penny costs 1.6 cents to manufacture.  I
wonder how much a silver plug penny would cost to produce?  Yikes!
Shirley Hamblin

In other words, as the English would say (and we Australians also did before we
converted to decimal currency in 1966) "Look after the pennies and the pounds will
look after themselves." As I have had no such coins to check since returning from the
USA in 2006, I don't have a clue - but I provided some light entertainment instead of
erudition this week.

Surely the coin, being decimal, is properly named a cent not a penny!   
Richard Wakeham
The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins
largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during
the Civil War.

Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals
from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United
States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury
Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a
letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by
Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville,
Pennsylvania, and read:

"Dear Sir: You are about to submit your annual report to the Congress
respecting the affairs of the national finances. One fact touching our
currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the
recognition of the Almighty God in some form on our coins.

You are probably a Christian. What if our Republic were not shattered
beyond reconstruction? Would not the antiquaries of succeeding
centuries rightly reason from our past that we were a heathen nation?
What I propose is that instead of the goddess of liberty we shall have
next inside the 13 stars a ring inscribed with the words PERPETUAL
UNION; within the ring the all seeing eye, crowned with a halo;
beneath this eye the American flag, bearing in its field stars equal to
the number of the States united; in the folds of the bars the words

This would make a beautiful coin, to which no possible citizen could
object. This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism. This
would place us openly under the Divine protection we have personally
claimed. From my hearth I have felt our national shame in disowning
God as not the least of our present national disasters.

To you first I address a subject that must be agitated"

As a result, Secretary Chase instructed James Pollock, Director of
the Mint at Philadelphia, to prepare a motto, in a letter dated
November 20, 1861:

"Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or
safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be
declared on our national coins.

You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay
with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this
national recognition."

It was found that the Act of Congress dated January 18, 1837,
prescribed the mottoes and devices that should be placed upon the
coins of the United States. This meant that the mint could make no
changes without the enactment of additional legislation by the
Congress. In December 1863, the Director of the Mint submitted
designs for new one-cent coin, two-cent coin, and three-cent coin to
Secretary Chase for approval. He proposed that upon the designs
appear as a motto on the coins. In a letter to the Mint Director on
December 9, 1863, Secretary Chase stated:

"I approve your mottoes, only suggesting that on that with the
Washington obverse the motto should begin with the word OUR, so
as to read OUR GOD AND OUR COUNTRY. And on that with the
shield, it should be changed so as to read: IN GOD WE TRUST."

The Congress passed the Act of April 22, 1864. This legislation
changed the composition of the one-cent coin and authorized the
minting of the two-cent coin. The Mint Director was directed to
develop the designs for these coins for final approval of the
Secretary. IN GOD WE TRUST first appeared on the 1864 two-cent

The use of IN GOD WE TRUST has not been uninterrupted. The
motto disappeared from the five-cent coin in 1883, and did not
reappear until production of the Jefferson nickel began in 1938. Since
1938, all United States coins bear the inscription. Later, the motto
was found missing from the new design of the double-eagle gold coin
and the eagle gold coin shortly after they appeared in 1907. In
response to a general demand, Congress ordered it restored, and the
Act of May 18, 1908, made it mandatory on all coins upon which it
had previously appeared. IN GOD WE TRUST was not mandatory
on the one-cent coin and five-cent coin. It could be placed on them
by the Secretary or the Mint Director with the Secretary's approval.

The motto has been in continuous use on the one-cent coin since
1909, and on the ten-cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all
gold coins and silver dollar coins, half-dollar coins, and quarter-dollar
coins struck since July 1, 1908.

A law passed by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by
the President on July 30, 1956, the President approved a Joint
Resolution of the 84th Congress, declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the
national motto of the United States. IN GOD WE TRUST was first
used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar
silver certificate. The first paper currency baring the motto entered
circulation on October 1, 1957."
An example of one of the first coins
struck inside the Philadelphia Mint, a
1792 Silver Center cent pattern,
brought $1.15 million with the 15
percent buyer’s fee during Heritage
Auctions’ April 18 to 20 sale. The
auction was held in conjunction with
the Central States Numismatic
Society’s spring convention at the
1792 cent realizes $1.15 million in CSNS sale
Silver Center cent pattern sells in April Heritage auction
Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.

The Heritage offering of the pattern, one of fewer than 20 examples known, is the 54th
auction appearance of any Silver Center cent since the first known offering 150 years
ago, in November 1862.

The pattern is cataloged as Judd 1 in United States Pattern Coins, Experimental & Trial
Pieces by J. Hewitt Judd, edited by Q. David Bowers.

The piece in the Heritage auction is graded Mint State 61 brown by Professional Coin
Grading Service. The coin was purchased by Beverly Hills, Calif., dealer Kevin Lipton
on behalf of a group of unnamed investors. The winning bid of $1 million was placed
via the Internet.

The pattern cent was one of 4,185 lots of United States coins offered by Heritage in
five floor sessions.

The third session, Platinum Night, at 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time April 19, comprised
429 of the top lots from the entire auction.

A 15 percent buyer’s fee was added to the final hammer price of each lot won.

Prices realized for the auction, including the buyer’s fee, totaled $22,867,108.75, with
95.3 percent of the lots offered reported sold.

For more details about the auction, visit Heritage Numismatic Auctions online at www.; write the firm at 3500 Maple Ave., 17th Floor, Dallas, TX 75219-3941; or
telephone Heritage either at 800-872-6467 or 214-528-3500      .
Interesting Penny Facts
submitted by Charlie Wayne
- Probably the most valuable Lincoln Cent is the 1909 S VDB. 1909, of course, was the
first year the Lincoln Cent was minted. The “S” means it came from the San Francisco
mint. The “VDB” is the designers initials. The people in charge of the mint (I believe)
didn’t like how prominent the initials were on the coin and wanted them removed, or at
least shrunk. The original VDB was between the wheat stems on the reverse of the coin
at the bottom. The initials remained on the coin but were moved to Lincoln’s shoulder
(I think) at the bottom.

- Coins minted in Philadelphia traditionally do not have mint marks but in recent years,
maybe since the 1980s, the coins that aren’t pennies do have a P on them.  

- Coins minted during WW II are unique too, at least pennies and nickels are. In 1943
we needed copper for the war effort and made pennies out of zinc or steel. (I used to
know all these details inside out but haven’t talked about them in years. Consequently I
forget a lot.) These are “silver” pennies. In 1942-1945 nickels were made out of silver.
These have a large mint mark on the reverse of the coin. In one of those years, ’42 or ’
45, both types of nickels were minted.

- In certain years there are different size dates on pennies. In 1960 there were large date
and small date pennies. The same is true for I think 1980 and for 1982. In 1982 we
switched from copper cents to zinc cents. Both types were made in 1982. The only
way to tell the difference is to weight them.

Counterfeit Detection:  1911-D Quarter Eagle

London Elephant token, thick planchet, PCGS
MS-63 brown.
Continental dollar, CURENCY spelling, in pewter,
Newman 1-C (1776 Continental Currency
Coinage and Varieties of the Fugio Cent by Eric
P. Newman), PCGS Extremely Fine 45.
Flowing Hair, Wreath Cent, Vine and Bars Edge
cent, Sprung Die, Sheldon 6 (Penny Whimsy by
William H. Sheldon), ANACS EF-40.
Flying Eagle, Low Leaves cent, Snow 4a (A
Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head
Cents by Richard Snow), PCGS Secure Proof 64.
Indian Head cent, PCGS AU-53
Flowing Hair half dime, Logan-McCloskey 1
(Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837 by Russell Logan
and John McCloskey), Numismatic Guaranty
Corp. Very Fine 30.
Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dime, LM-2, PCGS
Secure MS-62+
Draped Bust quarter dollar, Browning 4 (Early
Quarter Dollars of the United States 1796-1838
by A.W. Browning), NGC MS-66
Flowing Hair, Two Leaves half dollar, Overton
109 (Early Half Dollar Varieties: 1794-1836 by Al
C. Overton and Donald Parsley), PCGS Secure
Draped Bust, Small Eagle, 10 by 6 Stars, Large
Letters dollar, BB-71 (Silver Dollars & Trade
Dollars of the United States, A Complete
Encyclopedia by Q. David Bowers, with Mark
Borckardt), NGC MS-61.
Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle, 7 by 6 Stars dollar,
BB-168, PCGS Fine 12.
Morgan, Doubled Die Reverse dollar, “Shifted
Eagle” variety, VAM-3 (Comprehensive Catalogue
and Encyclopedia of U.S. Morgan and Peace
Silver Dollars by Leroy Van Allen and A. George
Mallis), NGC MS-61.
Capped Bust, With Stars, 8 by 5 Stars gold $2.50
quarter eagle, Bass-Dannreuther 1 (Early U.S.
Gold Coin Varieties: A Study of Die States,
1795-1834 by Harry W. Bass Jr. and John W.
Dannreuther), PCGS AU-55.
Some Highlights of the Auction
for more, see
N.B.  The coins shown in the thumbnails are only representative models of the coins
that were sold at the auction.  In many cases, I could find an image of a type of coin,
but not a coin in its exact category of that type. The images of the coins sold at the
auction are not available except for the penny that is the subject of this quiz.