Experienced coin collectors know that a depression, panic, or recession often has an effect on mintage figures. When I was a boy, I didn’t always make the connection that coins of the early 1930′s were hard to find, or priced higher in a dealer’s showcase because of the Great Depression. I mean: I knew about the GD because my parents told stories about it. (Will the young miss share her stories about GD2 with the generations to come? Who knows?) I just never connected the dots. Those rarities were beyond the budget of a boy who slightly preferred to spend his allowance on books.
I was on the road for a good bit earlier today. I listened to NPR’s afternoon talk for awhile. First time in a long time. Bankrupt cities: you don’t read much about that in the blogosphere. I wondered what would happen if everybody defaulted on all debts. There would be no borrowing in the aftermath–that’s for sure. Everybody would be financing their lives and businesses and governments based on income. Not what they could borrow at favorable rates semi-arbitrarily imposed by often-shady economic groups.
Anyway, I traded in some silver coins for a Depression-era scarcity.
My find today is similar to the one above. I couldn’t get a good image on my cell camera. Mine is a bit darker, but still a healthy brown. No spots. For west coast cents, only the 1909 had a lower production. The San Francisco mint produced less than a million of these in 1931.
I remember reading that one collector amassed 200,000 of these through banking channels in 1932. That hoard, if kept intact, today would be worth in excess of $25,000,000.