Last year my lunch buddies, Brad and Paul, went up to the far northeast corner of Georgia to find Ellicott’s Rock. This rock was determined to be the three-way border of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia by Andrew Ellicott in 1811. Ellicott was a well-respected surveyor who had already laid out the city of Washington, DC according to L’Enfant’s plans. He was hired by the state of Georgia to correct the location of the Georgia and North Carolina state line 3 miles to the north. Ellicott asked for Georgia to pay for better equipment but they refused. And when Ellicott confirmed the location of the line and kept it in place (he actually missed the correct 35th parallel by about 300 feet to the north), Georgia refused to pay him at all. A couple of years later the three states put together another expedition to settle the issue and another rock, called Commissioners Rock, was chiseled. The area is deep in national forest shared by the three states, in an area now called the Ellicott’s Rock Wilderness. Last year, Paul and Brad were able to find Commissioners Rock, but were unable to find Ellicott’s Rock, which they understood was 500 feet downstream. With more research, they decided that Ellicott’s Rock might be much closer. We decided to go on State Holiday No. 1, formerly known as Confederate Memorial Day. That was yesterday.
I’ve been buying silver and gold bullion coins for a couple of years now. Reading news about the latest coin designs, I saw that the United States Mint was coming up with a gold version of the Mercury dime to celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was first issued in 1916 with a design by Adolph Weinman featuring lady liberty in a winged cap (not actually Mercury). Lincoln had already replaced an indian on the penny in 1909, but all of the other coins featured liberty. Though it is very small, the mercury dime is a favorite design. I remember Jeb had a bunch of them when he was collecting coins, but it seemed like they were pretty beat up. However, a lot of people collected Mercury dimes and I was able to get a pretty nice one for $7.50 on eBay. I thought I would get a Mercury dime and then maybe get the gold one when it comes out next week. However, the mint is going to charge $205 for the new coin which has only 1/10th oz. of gold worth about $124. I don’t think I want to pay that big a premium, which is why I end up never buying the mint’s commemorative offerings and instead stick with bullion coins with much lower premiums, including a privately produced 1 oz. silver coin with the mercury design.