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Blanchard: Over 270 Million of These Coins Were Melted

Scorpio

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#1
Blanchard: Over 270 Million of These Coins Were Melted
By
Blanchard and Company
-
October 30, 2019
9534



By Blanchard and Company, Inc …..

Over 270 million Morgan silver dollars met their fate in the melting pot under the provisions of the Pittman Act of 1918.
The U.S. government ordered this dramatic move to save Great Britain from a banking collapse and may have also helped the Allies win the war.
How did this great silver meltdown come to pass?
Back then, international trade was conducted in gold.
Allies were buying steel, food, and supplies to maintain their massive armies and paying in gold bullion. Gold became scarce. Hoarding was popular as the price was rising and exceeded the face value of the coins. Great Britain resorted to silver certificates to pay for goods from India, its colony at the time, which was a major contributor to the war effort.
However, Great Britain had a silver problem. Germany began spreading rumors that Britain did not have enough silver to back the paper certificates it was using to buy war supplies, which many think was actually true!
Fortunately for the war effort, America had a lot of silver dollars. At that time in the United States, of course, silver dollars could be redeemed by any citizen at any time for a silver certificate.
Senator Key Pittman of Nevada proposed legislation – the Pittman Act – and the United States came to the rescue. Passed on April 22, 1918, the Pittman Act authorized the melting of up to 350 million silver dollars – which could be sold to Britain for one dollar per ounce of bullion.
Millions of Morgan silver dollars were melted down in 1918 and shipped to England to avert crisis.
Britain honored its silver certificates and the U.S. silver sale helped prevent a banking collapse, riots in India over non-payment, and helped keep the Allies flush with the money they needed to win the war.
Morgan silver dollars were first minted in 1878. The Morgan silver dollar was last minted in 1921 when it was replaced with the silver Peace dollar.
Collecting Morgans
Over 270 million Morgans are gone forever, lost to the melting pot. The dramatic history and significance of those remaining are what keep collector interest high.
No good records were kept about which mintages were melted down, which has resulted in some surprises over the years.
Some of notable interest are Carson City Morgan silver dollars minted from 1880 through 1885. Why did so many survive? The answer is simple. When Carson City stopped producing coins, the Morgans were shipped back East and ended up in the back of the U.S. Treasury vault. During the great silver meltdown, coins were simply taken from the front and middle of the vault until no more were needed. The Carson City coins escaped the melting pot because they were in the back of the vault!
Just getting started? Collectors often covet both the first and last year Morgan dollars – 1878 and 1921 – as they represent the beginning and end of this highly desirable coin series.
Vist Blanchard and Company on CoinWeek



https://coinweek.com/dealers-compan...-over-270-million-of-these-coins-were-melted/
 

the_shootist

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#2
I purchased a few Morgans because of the cool factor and am happy I did.
 

the_shootist

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#5
When I go to new York and see the works of art made out of Sterling piled up to be melted down, I sometimes feel sad. But as they were once created, they can also be destroyed.
darn it man,

when you put it that way, it is as though there is a message in there
There are works of art being destroyed every day in the name of progression and diversity. It pretty much continues unabated and it makes me sad too
 

Buck

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#7
Billions made, millions melted...it would seem there are still plenty for everyone who wants some

Now, how many have been destroyed and or melted by private smelters, how many have been turned into jewelry...

and i can still buy some of them, Unc, for around $20
 

Ragnarok

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#8
That’s about one Morgan dollar melted for everyone in America.

Get the rest of ’em before the run.

R.
 
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newmisty

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#9
Love me some Morgan's.

Ain't they majestic?
 

JayDubya

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#10
A Swimming Pool of Silver Dollars: The Great Silver Dollar Melt of 1918

Nearly everybody with even a passing interest in silver dollars has come across a reference to the Pittman Act of 1918. But, beyond the dry, historical reference to a bill passed over ninety years ago lurks something huge. Something that forever changed the face of coin collecting. Something that, to this very day, impacts each and every Morgan Silver Dollar that has survived. In 1918, Great Britain had a silver problem on its hands. They were in the midst of World War I and needed silver bullion to back millions of British banknotes, particularly in India, where German forces had incited Indian citizens to cash in their notes for actual silver. Back in Washington, Democratic senator Key Pittman of Nevada stepped forward with a proposal. His bill, called the Pittman Act, was passed on April 22, 1918, and it authorized the melting of up to 350 million silver dollars - which would then be sold to Britain for one dollar per ounce of bullion. A total of 270,232, 722 silver dollars were eventually melted under the Pittman Act - nearly half of the entire Morgan Silver Dollar mintage struck up to that time.

Luckily, another provision of the Act authorized the later minting a replacement dollar for every one melted. This process began in 1921, after the War ended. Because no new silver dollar coin design was approved yet, the Morgan Dollar made one final appearance in 1921, but was replaced by the Peace Dollar in December of that year. While millions of Morgans were struck in 1921 to replace their melted counterparts, the fact remains that over 270 million dates, mintmarks, and varieties from 1878 to 1904 were lost forever to the melting pots in 1918.

It truly boggles the mind to try and comprehend the reality of this literal sea of silver. But, to help visualize what was lost in 1918, allow me to paint a few mental pictures:

A Swimming Pool of Silver Dollars

The Pittman Act melt produced over 67,558 cubic feet of silver bullion. Since an Olympic-sized swimming pool holds 88, 263 cubic feet, the lost silver dollars would fill up over three-quarters of an Olympic swimming pool1!

The 400-Mile Stack
If all 270,232,722 silver dollars could be stacked on top of each other, the stack would tower over 400 miles into the sky2!

A Skyscraper of Silver
The Empire State Building is 1,463 feet tall. The melted silver dollars could be stacked from the street to the very top of the Empire State to form 1,463 individual stacks. Talk about a massive wall of silver!

Gridiron Gems
If silver dollars were laid out to cover a regulation football field, it would take 3,072,000 dollars to make one layer covering the field from end zone to end zone. This means that all the melted Pittman Act silver dollars could completely cover a football field over 87 layers deep3!

Walk from NYC to LA on a Carpet of Silver Dollars
If all the melted silver dollars were laid end-to-end to form a chain, it would stretch from New York City to Los Angles over 2.5 times4.

Protecting our Nation's Border
If the whole cross-country, "Route 66" approach isn't your thing, how about this: That same silver dollar chain, stretching 6,398 miles, could be laid along the borders of the entire USA and would encircle 84% of the entire country5!


The Melting Didn't Stop in 1918
As staggering as these visualizations are, the tragic reality is that many more government and private silver dollar meltings have occurred in the ninety four years since 1918. Millions more were melted during the great run-up in silver prices during the 1980's, and further private meltings continue to this very day. While it is impossible to confirm the exact number of vintage silver that have survived, the renowned coin expert and author, Q. David Bowers has estimated that only 15% or less of all the U.S. silver dollars ever minted have survived to this day6.

1) *1,000,000 silver dollars = 250 cubic feet (based on Fort Knox estimates conducted by the U.S. Treasury.) The Pittman melt converts to 67,558 cubic feet. An Olympic-sized pool hold 88,263 cubic feet in volume.
2) * Each silver dollar is .09449 inches thick, so the total stack would be 2,127,857 feet, or 403 miles high.
3) * Regulation football field is 160' x 300'. 1,280 dollars x 2,400 dollars = 3,072,000 per layer. 87.97 layers total.
4) * Coin diameter = 1.5". 405,349,083 inches = 6,398 miles. NYC to LA = 2448 miles. (2.614 times)
5) * Perimeter of USA: 7,610 miles. (.8407 times)
6) * Q. David Bowers, www.pcgs.com
 

the_shootist

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#11
Billions made, millions melted...it would seem there are still plenty for everyone who wants some

Now, how many have been destroyed and or melted by private smelters, how many have been turned into jewelry...

and i can still buy some of them, Unc, for around $20
Oh there are plenty out there but they're fookin pricey as hell
 

ZZZZZ

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#13
Tons and tons (literally) of "junk" dimes, quarters and halves were melted over the years too. Not much of that left, too.
.
.
 

Buck

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#15
i read this somewhere:
Lowest to Highest, estimated number of US silver coins left for we the peons, to pass around amongst ourselves

Peace Dollars - Least
Morgans
Kennedy 90%
Franklin
Kennedy 40%
Roosevelt Dime
Washington Quarter - Most

seems to be true
 

GOLDBRIX

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#16
Walk from NYC to LA on a Carpet of Silver Dollars
If all the melted silver dollars were laid end-to-end to form a chain, it would stretch from New York City to Los Angles over 2.5 times4.
In the book The Wizard of Oz Dorothy's slippers were made of silver not ruby. The story is actually an allegory / metaphor on the battle of US Money of the day.
"... Biographers report that Baum had been a political activist in the 1890s with a special interest in the money question of gold and silver, and the illustrator William Wallace Denslow was a full-time editorial cartoonist for a major daily newspaper. For the 1901 Broadway production Baum inserted explicit references to prominent political characters such as President Theodore Roosevelt. "...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_interpretations_of_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz

Converting the silver slippers to ruby slippers took the entire metaphor /allegory, translation out.
Another case of the two coasts pull over the Middle America. Been going on since the nation reached shore to shore.
 
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