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)
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.