US Mint Engraver(?) with the initials "EvH"

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by mlov43, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가 Supporter

    I thought I might ask here, as this forum has some very knowledgable people, who are quite generous with their knowledge, particularly when it comes to information about US coins or coins made by the US Mint.

    So here's my question:
    The US Mint in Philadelphia manufactured about 50 million South Korean 100 Hwan coins, dated 1959. It is the only year this coin was produced, and it was only produced by the US Mint.

    On the obverse of this coin are the initials "EvH". This is an odd inclusion on a South Korean coin, as they are the ONLY initials on any South Korean coin minted to date. South Korean coins don't even have a Mint Mark. Also, "EvH" would probably(?) not be applicable to the name of a Korean designer or engraver, in my opinion. In a Korean-language book written in 2006 by a former Korean Mint employee, it is explained that the design and engraving work for the 100 Hwan coin was done in Korea. If true, it makes the initials on this coin even more mysterious. No other Korean-language or English-language information on this topic is readily available on the internet. If you do look this up, you will notice a lot of references to Eddie Van Halen. I suspect it wasn't THAT "EvH", though(!)

    So, are these the initials of a US Mint employee, like an engraver or designer? The time period would be 1958-1959. I can only see the Mint's Chief Engravers' names in searches.

    Any learned suggestions or information would be appreciated!

    100hwan.jpg EVH.jpg

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. vlaha

    vlaha Respect. The. Hat.

    Sadly, I have no answers. But it sounds interesting, what a great question!
  4. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    I found a list of 41 past and present U.S. Mint engravers but no one with those initials was on it. I also did an acronym check and guess what? I got a hit for Eddie...excuse me, Edward... Van Halen. :D

    rockypa and Paul M. like this.
  5. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    This is interesting!

    It's a coin that was issued more than 50 years ago and yet we can still find something interesting.

    My gut feel is that it maybe related to Syngman Rhee as he had a fair number of controversies behind him. But EvH... I am not an expert in Korean but isn't the usage of letter "v" rather uncommon???
  6. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    It's possible the person is of German descent as the v would be for von, which generally is kept in lower case letter. Such as Paul von Hindenburg, etc.
    mlov43 likes this.
  7. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가 Supporter

    I think maybe you're right, gx...

    I know he had several foreign advisors nearby throughout his presidency, much unlike later Korean presidents. Robert Oliver was one of them.

    Perhaps it was the initials of the artist who drew the portrait that this image was based on? One of my Korean-language books on currency history has an image of a pencil drawing with the caption "Pencil sketch of President Rhee that was used on the 100 Hwan coin". It's the same image.
    Screen shot 2014-01-26 at 9.39.29 AM.png
    ...But no reference to the artist's NAME. The article in this section of the book claims that the design and engraving were done in Korea, and that the Philadelphia Mint employees were impressed by the quality of the work, which the Koreans gave them to use to make the master dies.

    Still, I find it unusual that the Koreans would agree to having some artist's initials included on a coin (either a Korean or a non-Korean). I mean, the Bank of Korea and the Korean Mint itself, currently, have ZERO information on who their artists/designers or engraver were. These organizations have never officially or unofficially ascribed a person's name to a Korean coin or note design. I only know about the designers myself because a former designer from the Mint wrote a few books about this history. If left to the BOK or the Korean Mint, this information would have been lost.

    It seems to me that the "go-ahead" for putting initials on the coin could have come from Rhee, who ruled as an autocrat, and he probably didn't care what some puny Mint officials thought about it. If it IS the name of the artist, then the artist might have been one of Rhee's acquaintances, and that the inclusion of his initials on the coin was one conditions to which they agreed.

    Still, I don't know what these letters mean. An outside artist? An employee at the US Mint?

    The search goes on...​
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  8. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

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  9. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가 Supporter

    Thanks, friend! I'll keep looking for the reference, but I don't see it. It's a LOOOONG page, man. Under what exact article is it referenced at this link?
  10. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가 Supporter

    OH! Okay. Got it, now! So "Dick Johnson" submitted the answer? I'd like to know who that is, and what his contact is, so that I can personally thank him!

    I'd like to know more about this particular engraving job, so if Dick Johnson is available via email, I'd love to ask a few questions.

    I will change the information on my "Hwan Coins" article, now:
  11. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    I don't know him but I'm glad you saw the link. I've been browsing the website a bit lately.
  12. Gerhardus von Hebel

    Gerhardus von Hebel New Member

    His name was Everhardus von Hebel. He was my great-uncle (younger brother of my grandfather). He was born in the Netherlands in 1892.
    saltysam-1 likes this.
  13. Gerhardus von Hebel

    Gerhardus von Hebel New Member

    His name was Everhardus von Hebel. He was my great-uncle (younger brother of my grandfather). He was born in the Netherlands in 1892.
    Michael K and Paul M. like this.
  14. Gerhardus von Hebel

    Gerhardus von Hebel New Member

    Sorry, I made a mistake. The name is not Everhardus von Hebel but Engelhardus von Hebel....

    Gerard von Hebel
    Michael K likes this.
  15. Gerhardus von Hebel

    Gerhardus von Hebel New Member

    Engelhardus (or Engelhardt) was my great-uncle (my grandfather’s brother) and he was born in the Netherlands in the city of Groningen. The surname sounds unmistakably German, but the family had been resident in the Netherlands for about three generations at the time of his birth. I personally never knew him, but I still own a letter he sent from the USA to my father. Engelhardus was also a sculptor who participated in the sculpting of the facades of the building of the Groningen Provincial Authority “Provinciehuis” in the second decade of the 20th century. That is from personal information by my father who was his nephew. Back in the eighties there was no contact anymore. My parents assumed that he had died. Turns out Everhardt died in 1987 and survived both of them! Which I didn't know until today.... His wife was called Gloria as I remember.

    Gerard von Hebel
    Michael K, chrisild, mlov43 and 2 others like this.
  16. Randy_K

    Randy_K Love them coins...

    Engelhardus von Hebel was a staff engraver at the Philadelphia Mint from 1949 to 1961. Born in Germany February 15, 1892, he engraved some notable American medals in addition to a 100-hwan coin for South Korea.

    As was the custom of the Philadelphia Mint at the time engravers did only one side. A new engraver is assigned the lesser important side until he proved himself, while the chief engraver or other senior engraver created the important portrait, usually the obverse.

    In 1949 he engraved only the seal on the reverse of the Harry Truman Presidential Medal (List 132), while John R. Sinnock did the obverse, Gilroy Roberts did the rest of the reverse.

    von Hebel passed the test. He was allowed to do the entire reverse of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Medal (List 134), while Gilroy Roberts did the portrait obverse. The same two engravers created the William Howard Brett Director of the Mint Medal of 1954 (List 317).

    In 1955 Chief Engraver Roberts modeled a Winston Churchill Medal -- von Hebel did the reverse -- and the following year a Louis D. Brandis Medal, Roberts obverse, von Hebel reverse.

    Von Hebel did four U.S. Assay Medals, always the reverse, while Frank Gasparro did two and Gilroy Roberts did two obverses. For two different 1960 and 1961 Pony Express Centennial medals again it was Gasparro obverse, von Hebel reverse. Same for the 1961 Mobile Alabama 350th Anniversary Medal.

    Always the bride's maid, never the bride. Von Hebel finally was assigned the complete medal -- both obverse and reverse -- for the Robert Goddard Congressional Medal of 1959. He followed that with a second Congressional; Medal, this for Robert Frost in 1960.

    In 1961 he resigned his engraving post at the mint and went to live with his daughter and her husband in La Jolla California. He died there at age 95 December 12, 1987.
    ldhair likes this.
  17. mlov43

    mlov43 주화 수집가 Supporter

    Thank you, Gerard, for your message. It is nice to hear from a family member!

    The information that I have on your great uncle Engelhardus comes from some information that an author named Dick Johnson has revealed. Most probably, Dick got his information on Engelhardus' country of birth from the U.S. Mint, where he worked in the 1950s. I do not know the reason why his country of origin was in error. Did he live in Groningen prior to emigrating to the USA? Would you have any other information on Engelhardus that you think might be relevant in better knowing his career as an engraver?

    Is this the facade of the Provinciehuis that Engelhardus helped engrave? The wikipedia page for the building only lists other artists for this piece. Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 12.35.15 PM.png

    Thanks for getting in touch with us here on Coin Talk!
    -Mark Lovmo
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2016
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