Bryan Dollar Opinion

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Randy Abercrombie, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I have been wanting one of these for some time and costs are just all over the place for them. I like the history associated with these pieces and this one is quite affordable. I simply don't know the diagnostics to be able to tell if this is an original piece or not. Is anyone familiar with these?

    Bryan 1.jpg Bryan 2.jpg
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  3. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    POP 1896 All.jpg

    It looks like it's been dipped in acid or something like that. These pieces are made of aluminum or something similar. They are very soft and easily scratched.

    "POP" made a second appearance in 1900 on this piece. He has a smaller role here, running under the mule. This piece is much scarcer and than 1896 version.

    POP 1900 All.jpg

    To provide a little history, "POP" is short for populist. The Populist Party ran candidates in the late 1890s through the early 1900s. In 1896 William Jennings Bryan took so much of their thunder that they nominated him for president. The Populists didn’t like Bryan’s running mate, Maine shipyard owner, Arthur Sewall so they nominated Thomas Watson instead.

    Bryan 1896 jugate.jpg

    Bryan & Watson.jpg

    The Populists wanted to inflate the currency so that farmers, who were in debt, could pay off their mortages with cheaper dollars. They grew out of the Greenback Party which ran candidates in the 1880s. Those guys wanted to inflate the economy with paper money. In the 1890s and 1900s, they wanted to do it with silver.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I was hoping you would take a look at this. Does that one appears original to your eyes?
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  5. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    it's had something done to it post strike. I have never seen one that was blurry like that. I think that it is genuine, but it's been abused.
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  6. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank


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  7. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks, Frank..... These pieces tend to be surprisingly expensive. I been wanting one just because I like the political drama and history associated with it.... You reckon it is a dog at $70.00?
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  8. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I think so, but I have not been in the market for quite a while. I paid something like $35 for one I posted earlier 25+ years ago. Some items, like the big lead Brian Dollars, have not gone up in years. Here's an example.

    Bryan Dollar O.JPG Bryan Dollar R.JPG
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  9. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks, John.... I'll keep looking for a better example.
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  10. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member


    I just checked on eBay after a Google search, and those guys want from $399 to $499 for higher grade examples.

    It makes me wonder what the rarer ones are supposed to be worth. This is one of the most common varieties.
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  11. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I know... That was rather what had drawn me to the $70.00 piece.
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  12. Colonialjohn

    Colonialjohn Active Member

    It's made of aluminum.
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  13. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

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  14. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I had been watching the piece. I guess the seller was notified that I was watching so he sent me a lower offer to take the piece. So I did. If @johnmilton is satisfied the piece is original, that is good enough for me. And I can live with the lower quality. This is a piece I wanted so I could enjoy the historical intrigue. Not so much for reselling. So I just did the deal. Thanks everyone for the help.
  15. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    Here is one more appearance for our comical character, "POP," the bird with the head of a donkey.

    United Snakes All.jpg

    This one is listed the book, Bryan Money, by Fred Schornstein as "rare." The piece with the old lady riding the donkey I posted earlier, is "very rare." I am not sure of the date on this one, but my guess would be 1896.

    Not all of these base metal pieces were against Bryan. This one was pro-silver. I believe that this piece is quite scarce although Schornstein does not provide a rarity rating.

    1900 Pro Silver 1 All.jpg

    Here is a piece when the pro-Bryan people went on the offensive. Here William McKinley's chief sponsor and money raiser, Mark Hanna, is characterized as a "bag man." In politics "a bag man" is a person who collects and distributes illegally obtained funds. Hanna did "put the bite on" contributors, often putting "the fear of free silver" into them.

    The dead elephant and the comments about "anti-imperialism" refer to the Spanish-American War. Bryan opposed the war, but it was already over and won.

    Hanna 4 All.jpg

    Here is another anti-Bryan piece. One of the anti-Bryan slogans was "In God we trust ... for the other 47 cents." The implication was that a silver dollar was only worth 53 cents. Note the copy of the Morgan Dollar lady on the obverse. This is another tough one.

    Al Bryan Dol All.jpg

    Here is lapel hanger that provided the 16 to 1 comparison with a gold and silver colored piece.


    16 to 1 Hanger O.jpg


    16 to 1 Hanger R.jpg
  16. Cheech9712

    Cheech9712 Every thing is a guess

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  17. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    yes, a problem coin will always be a problem coin.

    Think about how long you spent deciding whether to buy this.
    That is probably shorter than the time it will take to sell it -- someday
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  18. H8_modern

    H8_modern Attracted to small round-ish art

    From the title I was expecting one of these



    Here’s the giant holder
  19. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    There are two broad categories of Bryan dollars. The piece you posted, @H8_modern, is called a comparative Bryan dollar. They were made of coin silver. They stated that dollar needed to contain or weigh that much to really be worth a dollar. The pieces we posted earlier were the satirical Bryan dollars. They made fun or ridiculed Bryan’s free silver platform.

    The most often seen maker of these pieces was the Gorham Silver Company. Others were made by Spaulding and the pieces that often bring the most money were made by Tiffany, the famous jewelry store. These pieces were issued during all three of the years (1896, 1900 and 1908) when Bryan ran for President.

    Here is an example of a Tiffany Bryan Dollar.

    Bryan Dol Tif her Cir All.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  20. Dimedude2

    Dimedude2 Member

    Fantastic topic and thank you for sharing
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  21. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    A great political advertising piece Randy. It looks genuine but it also looks like it’s been tampered with.
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