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New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:59 pm
by RogerB
This is the die use report for November 1896 by the New Orleans Mint.
18961201 NO Dies used November 1896.jpg
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Re: New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:14 am
by caltx01
RogerB wrote:
Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:59 pm
This is the die use report for November 1896 by the New Orleans Mint.

18961201 NO Dies used November 1896.jpg
What does 'Condemned' mean in the Remarks column?

Re: New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:39 pm
by RogerB
It means the die was withdrawn from service and not intended for further use. In this report the numbered die pairs were pulled from use together, even if one might have more "life" left in it. The dime pair at bottom of the page was labeled "Good" to show that at the end of November, that pair remained in use, or was available for future coinage.

Condemning dollar dies in pairs would have been a reasonable approach at New Orleans. (See below.)

Re: New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:45 pm
by RogerB
Additional Note:
The New Orleans Mint had persistent problems with poorly executed dollar coins - often called "weak strikes" by modern collectors. The internal cause was eventually traced to inadequate planchet annealing, but was never fully corrected. The reason for inadequate annealing was that the NO furnaces could not handle the volume of planchets demanded by Mint HQ - usually about 1 million per month. Treasury refused to buy better furnaces, and also refused to reduce the monthly dollar coin quota. This caught New Orleans in a cycle of assured failure, poor die life, low quality dollar coins, and wasted work.

But - as can be seen by an 1897 letter, posted elsewhere - Treasury wanted to close the place in 1897.

Re: New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:28 am
by blh74
Great explanation for strike weakness.

Re: New Orleans die use - November 1896

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 2:33 pm
by RogerB
It wasn't until a careful investigation in 1900 that the cause was identified. Previously, everyone at New Orleans was blaming it on poor dies, or bad steel, and Engraver Barber blamed incompetence at New Orleans.