Friday, January 19, 2018

Microstory 760: Dime

In 1825, a new Director of the United States mint was appointed to her new position. She was born in a small town in Kansas called Twin Hillsides, which one year prior became the site of a new minting facility; designed to be the largest ever, serving as the primary provider in the country. To commemorate their new facility, Director Isika Stawski decided to generate a new design for the ten cent coin. She opened submissions to everyone in the office, whether they were in the design department, or otherwise. The entire agency voted on the best submissions, ultimately settling on a beautiful depiction of the Ruins of Cargaley that remain standing in Northern Alabama. Due to a clerical, however, precisely ten coins were made of a completely different design before anyone realized what was happening. They are referred to as the Camel Dimes. Unlike what one might expect, no camels are printed on the coin. Instead, it portrays two hillsides, but as one worker pointed out, they better resemble humps on a camel, which is exactly why it was not chosen. Despite pressure from her superiors in government, Stawski decided that there was no reason to not place the ten mistakes in circulation. They were released into the wild with all the rest, and disappeared into obscurity for a long time. People continued to use them, usually without even looking at the one in their possession long enough to notice that there was something different about it. They didn’t start gaining notoriety until around 1921 when a history buff came into possession of one, and realized what it was. They have been increasing in value ever since, as you might imagine, and are now each worth up to 2.8 million dollars, depending on condition. The largest collection of these belongs to Magnate magnate, Manus Burke, who owns four of them at the moment, which total roughly ten million bucks. That’s why I’ve gathered you all here today; the best of the best. We’re gonna steal ‘em. Who’s in?

No comments :

Post a Comment