Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Eckfeldt family and the U.S. Mint

The Eckfield family was involved with the U.S. Mint from its very beginning until 1929. Their contributions to numismatics are incredible, ranging from engraving the first dies to illegally striking 1804 dollars and other coins.

Adam Eckfeldt designed and provided equipment for the nascent mint and is thought to have designed the 1792 half dime. He cut the obverse die for the 1792 Birch cent and designed the Wreath Cent reverse as well as the first half cents.

In 1796, he was appointed Assistant Coiner and became Chief Coiner in 1814. He began setting aside carefully struck coins for a Mint Coin collection. Less legally, he caused missing dates to be restruck. That collection eventually became the Smithsonian National Numismatic Collection.

Officially, Eckfeldt  retired in 1839, but unofficially continued to work at the Mint long after. He died in 1852. His son, Jacob Reese Eckfeldr, worked as Chief Assayer for the Mint from 1832 to 1872 and Jacob's son (Jacob Bausch Eckfeldt) worked for the Mint from 1865 to 1929.

Jacob Reese Eckfeldt became world famous for challenging the London Royal Mint over substandard sovereigns. He was found correct in spite of their insistence otherwise.

The grandson of Adam's stepbrother was George J. Eckfeldt. He and his son Theodore worked at the Mint and are said to be responsible for proof restrikes of 1851-1853 Silver Dollars. Theodore is also likely the one responsible for the Class 2 restrikes of the 1804 dollars in the late 1850's.

Further reading:

"Was George J. Eckfeldt related to Adam Eckfeldt?"

"Liberty Seated Dollars, Guide to Collecting and Investing"

"The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint"


Note: All my coins are in a safe deposit box. I keep nothing in my home.

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