As the new year approaches, many look forward to new beginnings but coin collectors are going back in time to look back at history and how it’s impacted our lives. President of the Albuquerque Coin Club, Philip Vitale and club member Ethan Sandweiss discuss coins that shaped history including a coin dating back to 330 B.C.
Phil explains that back in 1851, the postal rate act set the price of stamps at $0.03 and directed the mint to produce three-cent coins to pay for the stamps. These coins were made from 1851 until 1873 and though they were initially popular in the 1850s, the demand for them eventually faded.
The Mint Act of 1873 was passed and enabled the mint to discontinue making three-cent pieces. Many circulated pieces from 1863 to 1873 were melted down, making them exceptionally rare today.
Phil and Ethan showcase ancient coins including an Alexander the Great coin which dates back to 330 B.C. and costs approximately $500 today.
Antiochus IV of the Syrian empire was responsible for defiling the Jewish temple and spurring the Maccabean revolt in 166 B.C. The rededication of the temple led to the celebration of Hanukkah and a coin featuring Antiochus during his rule goes for about $500.
In 49 B.C., a coin featuring Julius Caesar was issued in order to pay the troops during Caesar’s advance on Rome and has great political symbolism. This rare coin fetches a price of $2,000.
The Albuquerque Coin Club promotes the interest in numismatics through the education of their club’s members and encourages them to research history and geography as it relates to numismatics. The club provides a forum for discussion and the exchange of information and aims to encourage young members to develop a greater interest in the impact of numismatics.