Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello again from Jake, John's traveling buddy!

Today I took over blogging for John so that he can go have some turkey and watch some football.

I saw that John was poking around and I heard him say that Thanksgiving was officially made a holiday in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.  Man, that must be thousands of dog years ago!

I wish that everyone has very happy Thanksgiving, and I hope that you have a wonderful time with the family!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Little Half-Sister for United States coins

The nickname “Little Half-Sister” in the world of coin collecting is directly tied to the half cent coin produced by the United States mint.

This coin first came about with the Coinage Act Of 1792 (this law established the United States mint and regulated the coinage of the United States).  The coin was produced from 1793 to 1857, and was made of 100 % copper (there were a few years along the way that a half cent was not produced).

There are no mint marks on any of the half cents that were ever produced, this is because that they were made at the Philadelphia mint.

Although half cents were issued for more than 60 years, they remained one America's unwanted coins. They proved to be of little use, they were often kept in storage at the Mint.  Production of this coin (often stopped for a couple of years) was often interrupted by shortages of copper and lack of demand.  After a few years, the mint turned to English based companies to produce the planchet for the coin (the war of 1812 stopped this, and the US went back to producing the planchets for the coins).

This denomination would make a great conversation piece, and would be a great way to help introduce people to coin collecting.

Have you run across one of these “little half-sisters” yet?

File:Half cent rev.jpg
*photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Superman—where did he get his start?

Superman is one of the recognizable comic book characters in the world.  But there is one rather large question—where did Superman get his start?

Sure, you might say that Superman can trace his roots all the way back to Krypton, but the character was created in 1933.  Superman was created that year by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster.  The character was then sold off to Detective Comics, Inc.  If that publishers name fools you, they eventually became DC Comics (they still produce the Superman comics today).

Today’s Superman—also known as the “Man Of Steel”—made his debut in a short story that was titled The Reign Of the Superman.  This short story appeared in the magazine “Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Future Civilization #3.”

The funny thing about this is that Superman didn’t appear in that story the same way that you think of him today.  When he made his debut, he was a bald telepathic villain bent on world domination.  If you ask me, it’s quite a bit different from the Superman of today that can stop a bullet or being able to jump over a tall building in a single leap.

The Superman that we know today made his debut in Action Comics #1, which was released in June of 1938 (Superman can still be found today in comic books today).  He also was in comic strips, which ran from January 1939 until May of 1966.

How many characters like Superman do you know of has been able to last over the years?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator.  He’s most famous for the cover illustrations that he created for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for more than four decades.

*picture courtesy of
Rosie the Riveter, the Four Freedoms series, and covers for some of the Boys Life magazine (which is a magazine that’s published by the Boy Scouts Of America), are just a small amount of the artwork that he’s famous for.
*picture courtesy of
The great thing for anyone who wants to collect things by Norman Rockwell is the fact that there are literally a ton of items on the market for you to purchase.

You can collect original artwork of course—but there’s also posters, mugs, prints, ads, magazines, covers, planters with a Norman Rockwell image, dinnerware (like plates and saucers), the list of items can go on and on.  You could even have a collection that revolves around a certain print.

I happen to love Rosie the Riveter, what is your favorite Norman Rockwell image?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Two Cents worth? Yep

Did you know that there was actually a 2 cent coin that was produced by the United States mint?

File:1865 Two Cent Obverse.png
*picture courtesy of
 The Two Cent piece officially ran from 1864 to 1872, but there was a copy made for collectors in 1873.

The economic turmoil of the American Civil War caused any and all government-issued coins to vanish from circulation (they were hoarded by the public) Even the Indian Head cent—which was made of bronze—was pretty much gone from circulation (The Coinage Act Of 1864 authorized the cent to switch to a bronze composition and the production of the Two Cent coin).

Even though there were other mints actively producing coins at the time, this coin was only produced at the mint based in Philadelphia.  What this means is that there will not be a mint mark anywhere (which is the way this mint was marking the coins until 1980).

Two of the more famous die varieties happened in 1864.  One is called the “large motto,” and the other is called the “small motto.”  These two varieties deal with the motto, “In God We Trust.”  The words IN, GOD, and TRUST has some small differences, while the word WE has the most differences.  It all hinges on the size of it, and it is very noticeable.  The WE on “large motto” is larger than the WE on the “small motto.”

*picture courtesy of
The “small motto” is much scarcer than the “large motto.”  The best idea is to keep an eye out for it in case you might walk across a case full of coins at a mall, or happen to be at a coin shop or show.

Have you seen one of these really cool coins?