Recreation: Hi-Ho, Silver!

When the U.S. ran out of silver dol lars a year and a half ago, it meant only one thing for Nevada's gambling casinos: snake eyes. Gone were the traditional silver-dollar slot machines, the familiar clank of "cart wheels," the bulging pants pockets. At least until onetime Adman Joseph Segel came on the scene.

In 1964, Segel organized General Numismatics Corp., a private mint set up in Franklin, Pa., to produce commemorative coins for some 5,000 coin collectors and hired away from the U.S.

Mint Gilroy Roberts, designer of the Kennedy half dollar. When...

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