For much of the previous half-decade, San Francisco was known as the “wickedest city” in the United States. One stretch of land, now named the Barbary Coast Trail, known for violent crimes and human trafficking tainted the city for years. The trail named after a strip of land in Northern Africa that was frequented by pirates, slave traders, and violent criminals lived up to its namesake by harboring similar criminals. It seemed that criminals who did come to San Francisco flocked to this particular district hoping to obtain illegal financial gain and wreak havoc. In fact, several gangs formed here including the Sydney Ducks and the Regulators, both of which would often display their violent acts publically. As a result of the criminal activity, vigilante groups formed to end the criminality and often publically punished the offenders which created gruesome scenes around the city. It is certainly strange to think about the government’s rationale behind building a branch mint here during these tumultuous times even if it was needed to service the west. Regardless, the branch remained unscathed even after the 1906 earthquake and by 1924 the Barbary Coast activity had dwindled to nearly nothing, making San Francisco a much safer and prominent city for the citizens and the mint. Even almost sixty years after it opened the mint still struggled to produce well struck coins and high mint numbers, which in turn make high-graded specimen like this 1924 nickel from 1924 a fine rarity.
While most of the world had recovered from WWI and enjoyed the 1920s, Germany struggled more than ever before. With a faulty economy, a weak government, and massive war debt the German people quickly lost faith in their once beloved country. This down fall led to frequent elections that happened several years in a row and sometimes several times a year in an effort to find a government that would help Germany climb from the seemingly bottomless pit. This instability bred desperation and allowed opportunities for extremist to spread their ideals and gain political traction. One such party, formerly named the German Workers Party achieved significant support in these conditions and by 1924 under their new leader they had earned a spot on the ballot as the Nazi Party. Though the party was not successfully elected for another ten years, it is scary to think their platform for a better Germany was embraced and even considered an electable option, but I suppose hindsight is always 20/20.