As usual I am writing this Thursday evening, so there’s a decent chance something Big, something that’s not just a Boom or even a Kaboom, but a Kaf*ckingboom, has happened between then and the time you’re reading this!
I decided to go back to the eagle from my first post. I just spent half an hour scrolling back to my original eagle from January 10 2019, because the image at the top of this post MUST be loaded as a media file on this site, and there’s no other way to do it but to scroll back through nearly two years of images and pick it. And it gets slower and slower and slower the further you go.
I *do* have the URL of the media file (I just had to go back to my first post and save it), but you can’t just type that in; you have to scroll to the picture and click on it.
I thought I’d save Wolf some space (since half of his media space is used).
So I finally get there, select the image…and instead it’s some blurry image out of the middle of a Q drop.
You can’t type the URL in, but you can add a new piece of media and make that the URL of the one you have. Yes, you end up with a duplicate image in Wolf’s media library, but I had no choice.
Fuck you, WordPress. Fuck you sidewise with a 12 gauge bore brush, for making it impossible for me to do Wolf a favor, and making me waste a ton of bandwidth and time finding that out. The moron who made it necessary to scroll back to select an image from the media file should be dragged down a dirt road for thirty miles.
This sort of thing irritates me, because I work in software, and I’d be fired for this kind of donkeyf*ck bullshit. Well, actually my boss wouldn’t fire me immediately, but he would if I refused to redo it right.
By the next time I do my Saturday post, the election will be over, and we’ll be going through absolute mayhem. Either the results won’t be clear, or they will be clear and someone will be very, very unhappy about it. Hopefully everyone is prepared, and also hopefully it won’t come down to Civil War II.
A Reminder Of Today’s Big Issue.
Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American People...Our campaign represents a true existential threat, like they’ve never seen before.Then-Candidate Donald J. Trump
Needs to happen, soon.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
Please note that our menu has changed, please listen to all of the options.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Political correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. The first rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government take your guns.
5. The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
9. Social Justice Warriors, ANTIFA pukes, BLM hypocrites, and other assorted varieties of Marxists can go copulate with themselves, or if insufficiently limber, may substitute a rusty wire brush suitable for cleaning the bore of a twelve or ten gauge.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
Coin of The Day
The Eagle, Part II.
In our previous post, I discussed the eagle, not the bird but the coin, with the official definition of an “eagle” being ten dollars. And yes, it was an official definition unlike “nickel” but very much like “dime” (look at one, and you will see it actually says “one dime” not “ten cents” on it).
For all that it was a full, official denomination, for some reason in the early years the US didn’t make them very often, preferring instead to make half eagles and quarter eagles. That plus the fact that any gold coin became subject to melting when the price of gold (relative to silver) went up in the 1830s, makes any eagle from before 1834 quite rare. Which brings us up to where we left off last time.
In the middle of 1834 the gold standard was reduced, and designs of quarter and half eagles were altered so people could readily tell the old coins from the new ones (and old ones were now exchangeable for a bit more than face value, which saved the ones that hadn’t been melted). But we still didn’t make full eagles.
In 1839, however, the mint had a new chief engraver, Christian Gobrecht and he was a capable artist. He redid the silver from 1837-1840 and turned his attention to gold in 1839.
And now, finally we had eagles again. This design is now called the “Liberty Head” eagle by collectors, and we used it for almost seventy years, which until 1979 or so was a record (we’ve now been using Lincoln’s head on the cent for over 120 years, and Jefferson’s head on the nickel for 82 years).
The bad news is, he didn’t do a new eagle design, basically using the motif that had appeared on the quarter and half eagle since the late 00s of the 19th century. Still, at least it does look like an eagle!
I had to struggle to find one of these in a picture…and I don’t know if it’s the picture or the coin, but the color just looks freaking awful on this coin. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been harshly cleaned at some point. But it took me a while to find even this picture.
The same basic design was used on quarter and half eagles, but when the gold dollar and gold double eagle were introduced in 1849-1850, the mint had a new engraver, James Longacre, and he put totally different designs on those denominations. (His major shortcoming as an engraver was that he had great difficulty getting lettering lined up properly.)
Coronet eagles from before 1866 are rare, and in many cases when you try to look up the price of one in choice uncirculated (MS-63), you will find a dash in the book…meaning there’s no such thing. For dates where such a thing exists, the price is stratospheric.
Now why would one care about ones from before 1866? Because in 1866 a minor change was made to the reverse, and those who collect by type (rather than by date) therefore want one from before the change and one from after the change.
Fortunately, after the change is easy, since that time span (1866-1907) has plenty of common dates in it where you won’t pay much more than the price of the gold in the coin. Of course you’ll have a piece with a date that starts with a 19 or maybe 1890-something, not a coin from 1867 (coins continue to be scarce until 1876 or so thanks to the after effects of the Civil War, but that’s another story–maybe I’ve already told it; I can no longer keep track).
Anyhow, here’s the change:
The motto was not added to the quarter eagle, as the coin was deemed too small for it to fit. Nor was it added to the $1 or $3 gold coins that were being issued at the time.
So now we fast forward to Teddy Roosevelt, during 1906-07.
Roosevelt felt that our coinage was staid, and he had a point. He wanted to redesign our coinage to be much more artistic, and as a result we have coins like the Mercury dime, the standing liberty quarter, the walking liberty half dollar…all of which I have discussed in the past. But we also have the St. Gaudens double eagle and the Indian head eagle, both designed by Augustus St. Gaudens, a world famous artist at the time.
At Roosevelt’s insistence the In God We Trust motto was omitted, both on this coin and on the new double eagle. Was he some sort of foaming-at-the-mouth atheist? No. He was a believer, and he thought putting the deity’s name on a mere piece of money was a sacrilege.
Congress didn’t agree, and passed a law requiring the restoration of the motto. Up to this time it had been something the mint and the treasury had just agreed between them to do. Now it was required by law on those two coins, and the mint was forbidden from removing it in the future, though it was not required to add it to coins that didn’t have the motto, which at that time were the cent, nickel, dime, and quarter eagle. (The nickel had had the motto from 1865 through 1883, but it was dropped with the change in design that happened that year, without anyone kicking up a fuss.)
And this photo, and our story, bring us to the end.
In 1933 a different Roosevelt confiscated our gold. He then devalued the dollar from $20.67 per troy ounce of gold to $35, which would be the official level through the 1960s.
People were allowed to hold gold in jewelry, and could even hang onto coins that had numismatic value (i.e., were worth more than their face value, to a collector). But much of our gold went back to the mint, which melted most of it and it’s now in bars in Fort Knox and other places. (The mint actually hung onto many pieces that were turned in that were of numismatic interest.)
A lot of our gold coinage “wintered over” in Europe and has been coming back home in the hands of numismatists ever since all restrictions on gold ownership were removed in the 1970s. I still see coin dealers offering coins that are coming back from Europe, today.
In particular, almost every 1933 eagle was melted at the mint. Any out there today are in the high six figures for value.
[Digression: For double eagles, none were officially released, though a few got out. They are officially considered stolen property (and the US government confiscated ten of them about 15 years ago), with the exception of one piece that our government apparently gifted to a foreign dignitary. That coin sold for seven million dollars in 2002. I did get to see that double eagle since I was at the convention where it was auctioned off, as well as the ten that were confiscated–the mint did not destroy them, it even exhibited them in Denver in 2006. It’s funny to think that I have seen and photographed (too badly to show here) every single 1933 gold double eagle that exists.]
So that is the end of the eagle as a circulating $10 denomination.
But I’m going repeat my rant/conclusion from last time.
You can, today, buy “eagles” from the mint. But they aren’t these eagles. The word has been redefined to mean either a silver coin with an ounce of nearly pure silver in it, with a denomination of a dollar (but they’ll set you back thirty dollars), or gold coins…with a tenth, quarter, half, or full ounce of gold, denominated five, ten, twenty five, or fifty dollars. (Yes, the quarter ounce should either be a fifth of an ounce, or denominated twelve-and-a-half dollars. This is the government we’re talking about here, it doesn’t have to make sense anymore.) There are even platinum and palladium coins. (Platinum is denominated 10, 25, 50 and 100–so at least the values are consistent with the weights. Palladium just has a full ounce coin, which is denominated #25, even though it’s more expensive as a metal than any of the others.)
All have a denomination, and each and every one of them would mark you as the world’s biggest idiot if you were to actually spend them at face value.
So “eagle” has lost its original meaning, at least when it comes to coins.
But in zoology, they’re still cool birds!
Standard disclaimer: I never show pictures of my coins, and in many cases don’t own anything remotely resembling the coins in these pictures. [This would be one of those cases.] Any prospective thieves should know I also collect other heavy metals–anything with a heavier nucleus would be unstable–and keep those a lot closer to me than the coins.
Just one more thing, my standard Public Service Announcements. We don’t want to forget any of these!!!
How not to get your ass kicked by the police. Chris Rock in 2007
Granted an “ass kicking” isn’t the same as being shot, but both can result from the same stupid act. You may ultimately beat the rap, but you aren’t going to avoid the ride.
Remember Hong Kong!!! And remember the tens of millions who died under the “Great Helmsman” Chairman Mao.
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
For my money the Great Helmsman is Hikaru Sulu (even if the actor is a dingbat).