1931 was a bad year for almost everyone. The price of silver fell to an average of $.304 for the year, the lowest in US history at the time. Gold fell 15% to $17.06 and the Dow lost almost 92 points or 54% for the year. By September, Chino-Japanese conflicts erupted after a few Chinese bombed a small section of railroad tracks. This prompted the Japanese Army to attack the Chinese Army’s 7th Brigade. Another major event almost went unnoticed: German President Paul von Hindenburg met Hitler for the first time. Things were really bad, but with each disaster, a solution often emerges. That solution for 1931 was the introduction of Alka Seltzer.
Numismatists were also possibly disappointed with the number of collectible coins for the year. There were still 3 different cents to collect, but the low San Francisco mintage prompted hoarding. The Buffalo nickel was reduced to only one the San Francisco issue. While the dime was issued from all three mints, there were no Standing Liberty Quarters, Walking Liberty Halves, or Peace Dollars.