Featured A Little History From 1892

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by leeg, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Wanted to share a little bit:

    Souvenir Coins:

    A very pretty as well as practical idea has been suggested by Commissioner M. H. DeYoung, of California, and Captain Porter, of the United States Secret Service. It is to the effect that the United States shall issue a number of silver half dollars with a design that shall make them souvenirs of the World’s Columbian Exposition. These coins are to be legal tender, and it is thought that many people, in fact all who visit the Exposition, will wish to keep at least one as a souvenir of the greatest peaceable event in the history of the United States.

    The United States Mint would, according to this plan, issue ten or twenty millions of these half dollars to be used as admission to the Exposition. But as most of them would, after the Exposition, be bought as keepsakes and withdrawn from circulation, the government would be a large sum ahead. For Director Leach, of the Mint, estimates that it will cost about thirty cents to make the coin which shall be worth fifty cents, so the government would gain twenty cents on each half dollar. It is thought that the visitors to the Exposition will number enough to absorb all that may be issued of this coin, thus giving the government a profit of about three or four millions.

    The appropriation asked by the management of the Exposition is five million dollars. With the profit realized out of the special coins this would be reduced to about one million. And yet the money will probably be returned in full, as the government is not asked to donate the money, but enter on equal terms with other stockholders. There would thus be realized a big profit to the United States Treasury.

    Director Leach is favorably disposed toward the plan, and has gone so far as to approve a design submitted by Captain Porter (I have found no record, or image, of this design). This design shows on one side the head of Columbus and on the other an inscription.

    Could this be it? Found in the Olin L. Warner Papers; Archives of American Art. My guess is it’s not since it’s in the Olin L. Warner Papers.

    O L Warner Papers 2A.png

    A similar coin was gotten up in England at the time of the Queen’s Jubilee (of 1887), and that coin is now selling at a premium. It will require a special act of Congress to authorize the issue of the souvenir coin.”1

    1 The World’s Columbian Exposition Illustrated. Volume II, containing second twelve numbers, June 1892. Published by James B. Campbell, 159 Adams St., Chicago, IL, 1893. p.87
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