(State Monetary Initiative)
Michigan was the first of the 25 state Liberty Dollars produced in 2006
The #1 Michigan Liberty Dollar
There is something interesting about the Michigan hallmark only pieces. By scrutinizing the hallmarks, I was able to do some logical rationalization about the process Bernard von NotHaus (creator of the Liberty Dollar) went through to produce these pieces (he personally hand stamped all of the numbered and hallmarked pieces). I found that all of the numbered pieces had sharp, cleanly stamped full hallmarks. Of the hallmarked pieces I received, only 35 of them are fully struck. 32 of them have weakly struck hallmarks in which the initials MI or the upper peninsula outline are only partially struck or non-existant. Nothing unusual there, but now comes the interesting part. The weakly struck pieces show how difficult it must have been to hold the hallmark die perfectly straight while striking. It appears that in an effort to get the hallmark fully struck, some pieces were hit twice or else the hammer bounced. I have six pieces with fully struck, double die hallmarks. I have another seven with double die hallmarks in which parts are not fully struck. When buying these pieces, be sure to inquire about this feature. Some of the varieties of hallmark are scarce. The varieties are;Fully double struck hallmarks. Weakly double struck hallmarks. Full hallmarks. Weak hallmarks. This phenomenon exists on some of the other states hallmarks as well.
Below is a photo of all 25 state SMI (only RCOs from 25 states participated, so the 50 state set does not exist). Each of them is serial number 57 from its respective state. There is also a close up of the state hallmark. There only 47 of these matched number sets in existence. Some states had only 100 pieces numbered and many of those have been sold to the public already. Completing matched number sets other than the ones Bernard von Nothaus and I put together will be virtually impossible. They are sure to become very valuable in the future once people recognize the significance of the grass roots effort of the Liberty Dollar to restore our nation to freedom via sound money. 21 of the existing matched number sets are in the hands of various RCOs who participated in the SMI effort. 13 sets have been sold to private collectors. The rest belong to Bernard von NotHaus and myself.This site is maintained by former Southwest Michigan RCO Ron Goodger. If you see any errors on the site, please report them to Ron at; LRGoodger ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com 269-228-1516
All 25 SMI states use this obverse
SMI SN (serial numbered) set #57
SMI HM (hallmarked) set
SMI GI (general issue) set
Each State piece was sponsored by an RCO (Regional Currency Office) in the state, so if there was no RCO to sponsor it, it did not get made. Exactly half of the 50 states had an RCO to step forward and sponsor his state. That is why there are only 25 of the states in a complete set.
The SMI were issued in three different varieties as follows;
Varying quantities of each type were produced for different states according to what the sponsoring RCO ordered. A couple of states had 1000 pieces numbered. Many more had only 100 pieces numbered. I believe there are fewer hallmarked only pieces than there are numbered. There are quite a few GI pieces for each of these states, but some of them are quite scarce because there was a total of 500 pieces minted for the state that included all three types. Since at least 100 were numbered and presumably a minimum of 50 hallmarked, that left only 350 GI for states like ME, OR, MS, AL, ID, MO, NM and VA. Many other states had a total of 1000 pieces made and some states like MI, CA, NY, NC, FL and PA had several thousand done.
As a result of the varying production, some state pieces are becoming quite hard to find. There were only two RCOs who had the foresight to obtain small quantities of these pieces from each state and assemble complete sets for resale to collectors. Both of them are Michigan RCOs. Only one of those two RCOs assembled extra complete sets of hallmarked and numbered pieces. Michigan RCO Ron Goodger spearheaded the cooperative effort between the 25 states to assemble sets of matched serial numbers. Each RCO who participated got a set with all 25 pieces bearing the same serial number. There are only 46 of these sets in existence and 11 of them belong to their creator, Bernard von Nothaus. Another 23 sets are in the hands of the participating RCOs. The remaining 12 sets were sold by Ron to recover the costs of buying pieces for the sets from RCOs who were not collectors and did not want a set of their own.
The Double Date SMI
Here is how the Texas double date and the NY double date came about. There was a 1000 piece minimum order requirement from Sunshine mint, but they were allowing the RCOs to combine two orders of 500 pieces each to make the 1000 pieces. A Texas RCO and a New York RCO teamed up with 500 piece orders each for TX and NY pieces in early 2007. No one knew the mint would use the wrong obverse die and create the only two double dated state pieces. Since these pieces were shipped directly to the RCOs, they were never distributed through the Liberty Dollar main office (as none of the SMI were). The TXDD pieces were discovered to be double dated rather quickly and they were sold as 'error' pieces immediately, which they were. The NYDD pieces were sold almost immediately after receipt by the RCO to some customers who purchased larger quantities. That was done before the realization that they were double dated and the RCO was mysteriously killed under suspicious circumstances shortly afterward. No one knew for several years that they existed. Finally, in 2011, ten pieces were discovered in the hands of the deceased RCO's family. Nine of those have been sold into the collector community. No more were tracked down until early 2014 when one of the unknown buyers was identified. A few pieces were secured from this individual and are being sold off to the highest bidders, who are the premier collectors of Liberty Dollar.
About 120 pieces of TXDD were sent to Bernard von NotHaus, who serial numbered and hallmarked 90 of them and hallmarked the remaining 30 without numbers.
To this date (2/25/14), Bernard has not specially marked any of the NYDD pieces.