Collection Highlight No. 1 - 1926 America Sesqui

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Lastufka Collection

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This is the first in a new Journal series I'll be working on called "Collection Highlights". I also have a custom registry set where all of these highlights will be included for easy viewing in the future.

This series features standout coins from my collection as I work to rebuild my registry sets after selling the majority of my collection to fund a move across the country and the purchase of a new home (this particular piece was one of the few that I just couldn't let go).

I have photographed each coin in detail and described each piece with attention to both technical and historical aspects.

Collection Highlight No. 1 - 1926 Sesquicentennial of American Independence G$2.5 (view this coin in the NGC Registry)

Composition: Gold (0.12094oz)
Diameter: 18mm
Mintage: 46,019

Obverse: Liberty holding a scroll representing the Declaration of Independence in one hand and the Torch of Freedom in the other. Designed by John R. Sinnock.

Reverse: The Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. Designed by John R. Sinnock.

I fell in love with the 1926 American Sesquicentennial gold commemorative the first time I saw a photo in the Red Book. It’s a beautiful dual date coin celebrating the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This is the second example I've owned after I upgraded an MS 63 graded coin to this nicer piece.

These gold commemoratives were minted, along with a silver half dollar commemorative, to help fund the Sesquicentennial Exposition held in Philadelphia from June 1 to November 30, 1926. The fair was not popular with the public who, at the time, was more excited to celebrate the present than honor the past. In addition to the low turn out, this was a low relief coin, which also proved unpopular with visitors. Of the 200,000 pieces minted, only 45,793 gold commemoratives sold at the fair. The rest were melted once the event was closed, leaving a final mintage (including assay pieces) of only 46,019.

The coins were originally sold without protective sleeves or cases at the fair, so high grade examples above MS-63 are rare, as most show marks and wear from handling. My example here is graded NGC MS 65+ with just over 100 individual coins grading higher.

Long-time readers may remember this coin from when I acquired it a little over four years ago, and may also remember the additional items pictured above. But for new readers, those additional items are my Sesquicentennial button and bell, and my sheet of four 1926 USPS two cent commemorative stamps. The button features dual dates, same as the coin, and a replica of the Liberty Bell hangs from the button and actually rings when worn! The stamps feature the Liberty Bell and the dual dates as well.

All together a beautiful set of ephemera from over 90 years ago, and a worthy first coin in my "Collection Highlights" series.

 

 

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Alan

I have always loved the way you display your coins. The other sesquicentennial artifacts you picture with the coin are skillfully laid out and make for an excellent presentation with the Declaration of Independence softly portrayed in the background. The picture of your coin is very exceptional. Of course it is high quality coins like yours that prove to be the most photogenic! Gary

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Thanks everyone for the comments! I have a lot of fun working on design projects like the above in my spare time, it's what I went to school for. I also had a bit of fun reading up again on the Exposition for this post, it's a shame there isn't any video or more photos of the gigantic light-up Liberty Bell from the event.

Anyway, looking forward to digging into the research for highlight number two next month.

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On 12/30/2019 at 8:13 AM, gherrmann44 said:

I have always loved the way you display your coins. The other sesquicentennial artifacts you picture with the coin are skillfully laid out and make for an excellent presentation with the Declaration of Independence softly portrayed in the background. 

Yes ditto.  Your collage looks like a good auction catalog.  Are there tickets to the fair like I've seen for the Columbian 1892 fair in Chicago?

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On December 30, 2019 at 9:43 PM, Lastufka Collection said:

Thanks everyone for the comments! I have a lot of fun working on design projects like the above in my spare time, it's what I went to school for. I also had a bit of fun reading up again on the Exposition for this post, it's a shame there isn't any video or more photos of the gigantic light-up Liberty Bell from the event.

Anyway, looking forward to digging into the research for highlight number two next month.

Excellent presentation. I've been toying with the idea of putting together a nice presentation for one of my collections. Yours gives me a couple additional ideas. Thanks for sharing

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On 12/31/2019 at 10:12 PM, Lastufka Collection said:

Yes, but I don't own one yet. You can, however, see it on Page 16 of this PDF: http://www.hamiltonphilatelic.org/presentations/sesquicentennial.pdf (which has a ton of great information on the Exhibition)

I clicked through to look at that.  I know this isn't what your post or presentation is about, but looking at those postcards etc. kind of made me sad when I think of how derisive many of my peers are about this nice country and its origins, compared to how it seems the public thought about it in 1926

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