There is more than one location for the United States Mint to produce coins?

When it comes to the United States Mint, did you know that there have been several branch mints that have been opened in different cities other than Philadelphia?  There are several locations across the country, and here are some of them:

Carson City Mint—this was a branch mint found in Carson City Nevada.   This Mint primarily made silver coins from 1870 to the early 1890’s due to the vast amounts of silver being mined in that area.  Carson City minted coins are easily identified by the “CC” mint mark that they put on them.

The Dahlonega Mint—this is a former branch of the Mint that was based in Dahlonega, Georgia.  The coins produced at the Dahlonega Mint bear the “D” mint mark, which is the same mint mark that is used today by the Denver Mint.  All the coins from this mint are gold (the $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 denominations were made there).  The coins that were made there were made from 1838 to 1861, and this mint was built during the Georgia Gold Rush to help the miners get their gold assayed and minted. This way, they didn’t have to travel to the Philadelphia Mint.

The Denver Mint is another branch mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still going strong and producing coins for circulation (as well as mint sets and commerative coins).  Like the Dahlonega mint, coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark.  It has been said that the Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the world.

The San Francisco mint—this branch mint  was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines during the California Gold Rush.  The mint quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874.  This building was also known affectionately as “The Granite Lady”, and this building is one of the few that survived the great San Francisco Earthquake in 1906. It served until 1937, when the current facility was opened.

The New Orleans Mint—this branch mint operated in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1838 to 1861 and then again from 1879 to 1909.  When the mint was operating, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination (this has a total face value of over $307 million).  It was closed during most of the American Civil War and Reconstruction.  The mint was formally decommissioned by the mint in 1911.

There are several more branch mints that are still open today like the ones at Fort Knox and West Point.  Which mint marks have you run across?

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Take a seat and look at some chair designs!

When it comes to furniture, there are quite a few different designs and forms out there—there’s more than enough to make your head spin.  This is also very true for chairs—take a seat and look at several of the designs that you will run across when you are out at your favorite place to shop:

Fauteuil—this is an upholstered armchair that has open sides, and this type of chair has also been referred to as an elbow chair.

*Picture courtesy of Wikipedia*

Adirondack chair—this is a very distinctively styled chair for the outdoors, and it is usually made out of wood.  Originally, the chair was made with a flat seat and a flat back composed of 11 flat wooden boards (it also featured wide armrests that are parallel to the ground).

*Picture courtesy of Wikipedia*

Ladderback chair—this chair gets its name from the horizontal slats that serve as the back support.  The design of the chair is reminiscent of a ladder.  Some of the other names of this chair are ladder-back chair, slatback chair or even fiddle back chair.

*Picture courtesy of Wikipedia*

This is just a few of the designs that you will see.  What have you run across?

Great vintage items that you can decorate your home with

There are many items that you can use to decorate your home or apartment.  It could be anything–a great picture for the living room, a lamp for your bedroom, a vintage book for the corner of a desk or table, or even a vase on a table holding a bouquet of your favorite flowers.

One such thing that you can use is this terrific lot of two silhouettes.

One of the great things about this pair is that they don’t take up a ton of room on the wall–the small one measures 9 inches by 12 inches while the large one measures 9 3/4 inches by 12 3/4 inches.  You can see the pair in my Etsy store here.

Another great item to decorate item to decorate with is this terrific planter from McCoy.

The planter dates to the 1950’s and it has a Greek Key pattern on both the top and the bottom of it.  Not only would it be a great planter, it would be great as a pencil or pen holder for a desk.  You can see this great find in my Etsy shop here.

Another great item to decorate with that doesn’t take up a ton of room is this great table lamp.

The lamp dates to the 1950’s and sports a gazelle (or even a deer) motif, and it would be a great gift for the avid hunter.  I love that it’s green and brown and would look great with just about any color combination in any room.  This great lamp can be seen in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see more terrific items to decorate your home with in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

Grab yourself a cup and saucer, it’s tea time!

One of the areas that you can dive in and have a lot of fun collecting are cups and saucers.  They come in a wide variety of makers, sizes and even decoration.

Some of the materials that they could be made of are glassware, pottery or even fine china.  They could be decorated with just about anything–flowers, people and even outdoor scenes are just a small portion of what is out there.

Hocking Glass, MacBETH-Evans and even Royal Doulton are but a tiny portion of makers that have made cups and saucers, and there are many more.

One cup and saucer set that you could run across is this great Depression Glass example.

As you can see, it sports the CHERRY BLOSSOM pattern and is by the Jeanette Glass Company.  It was made from 1930 to 1939 and can be found in my Etsy shop here.

Hand painted examples are always fun for me, you will never find two that are exactly alike.  One cup and saucer set that fits in this area is this one by NAPCO Pottery.

This set features a yellow floral motif, and it dates to the 1950’s.  You can see it in my Etsy shop here.

Wedgewood also made several examples, and one such example is this terrific Mulberry handle less cup and saucer from the 1800’s.

It sports the WASHINGTON VASE pattern, and you can see it in my Etsy shop here.

There are quite a few ways that you can collect cups and saucers.  Not only can you collect cups and saucers by the pattern that is on them or the manufacturer, you can also find examples that could go with a certain color combination that is in your house or apartment.

You can see all of the cups and saucers in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

A little Lefton Pottery history

George Zoltan Lefton was a Hungarian-born sportswear manufacturer, and he had a big passion for collecting fine porcelain.  From 1945 through 1953, the Lefton pottery company was importing many things from postwar Japan including (but not limited to) head vases, figurines, cookie jars, and salt and pepper shakers.

These items are marked “Made In Occupied Japan,” and the figures even sport a red and gold paper label that read “Lefton’s Exclusives Japan.”

Lefton contracted pottery companies around the world to produce ceramic items for Lefton.  These items are just as diverse as what they imported.

One of these really cool items that was imported is this 25th Anniversary Plate.

The silver decorator plate dates to the 1970’s and can be seen in my Etsy shop here.  Another item that shows how diverse Lefton is this great nappy.

You can see the nappy in my Etsy shop here.  As a matter of fact, you can see all of the Lefton pieces in my shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

What exactly is opalescent glass?

It doesn’t matter exactly where you are shopping for antiques and collectibles, you will run across a type of glassware called Opalescent glass. What is it exactly?

Opalescent glass is a general term for either a clear or colored glass that has a milky white,opaque or even a translucent effect to a portion of a glass piece.  It could be limited to just the rim of the piece, but you will also see it on the body of the item.

Lalique, Sabino, Jobling (this is from England) and even Fenton are all well known for their opalescent glass production.  This type of glass has also been produced in various other countries like Italy and Czechoslovakia.

One way of creating this glassware is the slow cooling of the thicker areas of the glass.  This results in what’s called crystallization, which is the formation of the milky white layer.  Another method is used in hand blown glass.  When hand blowing the glass, you use two layers of glass—the outer layer will contain chemicals that react to heat to cause the opalescence.

Another way to create Opalescent glass is to reheat certain areas of a piece and apply chemicals to the glass.  When you reheat the piece, the chemicals you use will create the opalescence (the chemicals are heat sensitive).

Over the years, there have been quite a few different colors that have been made that sport this type of effect.  Here are some of the colors that you will run across:

Amber Opalescent


French Opalescent

Pink Opalescent

Blue Opalescent

This is just a few of the colors that have been made.  What colors have you run across?

Wow, those are great flower vases to decorate with!

Flower vases can be as varied as the flowers that they can hold.  They can be made of a wide variety of materials like pottery and glass, and the color combinations are limitless.  Blue, gold, red and green are just some of the colors that you will see.

Like the materials and the colors, the companies that have made vases are countless.  Hull, Hall, Fenton and even Stangl are just some of the companies that have made an example.

One vase that would look terrific just about anywhere is this one by West Coast Pottery.

This cool gray and maroon fan vase dates to the 1950’s, and it is mold number 901.  You can check this vase out in my Etsy shop here.

Another vase that would look great holding flowers is this one that was made by Fenton from 1970 to 1974.

The vase has the Drapery pattern on it, and it has a color called rose satin. The vase can be seen in my Etsy shop here.

Another company that made quite a few vases is Hull Pottery. They made a wide variety of vases like this one from the 1940’s.

It sports the ROSELLA pattern on it, and the pattern looks like it sports Dogwood blooms.  You can see this terrific vase in my Etsy shop here.

As a matter of fact, you can see all the vases in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check them out!

What are some different types of glassware that you might run across?

I am always amazed by the different colors, shapes and patterns that I run across on glassware—you never know what you will see.  Here are some of the types of glassware that you might run across when you are out shopping:

Milk glass—this is an opaque milk white colored glass that can be blown or pressed into a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  There have been several different colors of this type of glass made over the years—this includes blue, pink, yellow, brown,black, and the white that led to its name.

Slag glass—this is a collectors’ name for an opaque pressed glass that has colored streaks in it. The streaks are usually white or even a cream color. One way to achieve these colors is to add pulverized silicate slag from iron smelting works to the glass.

Cased glass—this is a type of glass that consists of two or more fused layers of different colors.  This type of glass is often decorated by cutting away glass so that the inner layers show through.

This is just a handful of what you might run across.  What types of glassware have you run across?

Wisdom Lane Antiques Store Highlight: Joe Mattson Signed Art Glass Vase

This Wisdom Lane Antiques Store Highlight features a terrific art glass vase that was made by Joe Mattson.

Joe Mattson

Joe Mattson is a self-taught glass artist, and he began working in glass in 1976.

The shapes, forms and even the patterns he makes in glass are like those of the Art Nouveau era from the early 1900s.  The items that Joe Mattson makes in glass are primarily one-of-a-kind pieces that he calls contemporary traditional glass.

joe mattson bottom

This terrific one-of-a-kind handmade vase has a white milk glass background with an orange zig zag pattern on it.  Not only that, it also has a flared top edge and a great hour glass shape to it.  I also like the fact that the top is not too small to where you can show off a good-sized bouquet of flowers in it.

joe mattson top

You can see this terrific signed Joe Mattson vase in my Etsy shop here.  Head on over and check it out!