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Rare Money Blog

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

Born in Philadelphia on April 27, 1943, John Mercanti was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (briefly), the Philadelphia College of Art, and the Fleisher Art School. He joined the U.S. Mint staff in 1974 and served as sculptor and engraver. 

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Born in Clayton, New Jersey in 1939, T. James Ferrell graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he pursued studies in painting, sculpture, and graphics. Upon leaving art school in 1963, he worked as an artist on the staff of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin for six years. In the decade after his graduation he served as monitor of the Professional Artists’ Graphic Workshop at the Academy. He studied art at the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania for two years.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Elizabeth Jones stands tall as one of the most accomplished artists of the United States Mint. Born in Montclair, New Jersey on May 31, 1935, Jones earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Vassar College in 1957, studied at the Art Students League 1958-1960, briefly at the National Academy of Design, and in Rome at the Scuola dell’ Arte della Medaglia (receiving its diploma in 1964).

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Gilroy Roberts served as chief engraver at the Mint from 1948 through 1964 after working as the top assistant to then Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock. He retired from the Mint in 1964 and went on to become an important part of the Franklin Mint, founded by Joseph M. Segel.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Adolph Weinman left a memorable legacy in the halls of numismatics. Today he is best remembered for his 1916 Mercury or Winged Liberty Head dime and the Liberty Walking half dollar that debuted the same year. The last was described as Liberty striding in Mint literature.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​There is no better way to begin this commentary than by quoting an excerpt from an  article by Paterson Dubois, “Our Mint and Engravers,”  which appeared in the American Journal of Numismatics, July 1883, pages 12-16: 

“William Barber, fifth engraver of the Mint, was born in London, May 2, 1807. He learned his profession from his father, John Barber, and was employed on silver plate work; he also worked for De La Rue & Co, in making dies for embossing cards and labels.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Today James Barton Longacre (October 11, 1794 – January 1, 1869) stands as one of the best remembered nineteenth century engravers at the Philadelphia Mint.  His most famous signature is the tiny letter L on the ribbon of the Indian Head cent. A bronze 1864 cent with an L is a key issue, and one lacking this letter is common.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​Among American engravers of the past, Christian Gobrecht (1785-1844) is especially well remembered today. His name is associated with multiple coinage designs, none more famous than the Liberty Seated silver coinage of 1836 to 1873. The Liberty Seated Coin Club pays tribute to his accomplishments.

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