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25 Jun 2016

ANACS

Young Numismatists Exchange | user_8029

The American Numismatic Association Certification Service is now overshadowed by other services such as NCG and PCGS, but since it was the first service and began the trend of slabs and numerical grading (Poor-1 to MS-70) we see so often on the marketplace today, so it has considerable history.

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23 Jun 2016

The Centennial Medal of the American Numismatic Society

Medals | coinsbygary

The American Numismatic Society was founded in New York on April 6, 1858, to advance numismatic knowledge. In 1958 the Society had reached its 100th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion Laura Gardin Fraser, winner in 1926 of the Society’s J. Sanford Saltus Award for distinguished accomplishment in medallic art, was commissioned to design the medal. A formal celebration of the Society’s Centennial was held on April 12, 1958, at the auditorium of the Society’s neighbor, the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The accompanying medal represents a continuance of the celebration and will be named the “Centennial Medal of The American Numismatic Society.” [1]The “Centennial Medal of the American Numismatic Society” was made to order through the American Numismatic Society. This 89mm bronze medal struck by the Medallic Art Company had an original purchase price of $3.50. [2] I am not sure how it came about that Mrs. Fraser got the commission to design the “Centennial Medal of The American Numismatic Society.” Nor am I in any way suggesting that there was any impropriety involved. However, I am discovering that many of America’s most prominent sculptors of the early twentieth-century were part of a small and tight knit community centered in New York at the Art Students League. Consequently, the lion’s share of commissions came to the members of this community. As an aside, I like to think of this community as the legacy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens since many of the accomplished sculptors of the early twentieth- century trained and apprenticed there under his instruction.One of those Art Students League sculptors was Anna Hyatt Huntington. Laura Gardin Fraser and Anna Hyatt Huntington were not only associates of one another, but friends. In 1923 Anna Hyatt married philanthropist, Archer Huntington. Archer Huntington was the president of the American Numismatic Society between 1905 and 1910, after which he was the Society’s honorary president and council-member until his death in 1955. [3] Due to Anna’s health, the Huntington’s bought a 9,100 acre tract of land just south of Murrell’s Inlet, SC originally intending for it to be their winter home. Born of an artistic and natural vision, the Huntington’s opened a sculpture and botanical garden on their property in 1932 that they named BrookGreen Gardens. BrookGreen Gardens was built in part as place for Anna and other sculptors to display their works of art. Today BrookGreen Gardens is a registered national historic place with 1445 works of American sculpture. [4]One of the 1445 sculptures in BrookGreen Gardens is an enormous granite sculpture of Pegasus and a rider in the clouds completed by Laura Gardin Fraser in 1954. The basis for the granite sculpture was Mrs. Fraser’s 1927 sculpture entitled “Air”. This much smaller sculpture features Pegasus being ridden by Apollo which is symbolic of man’s spirit and aspirations. [5] Therefore, I think it was Pegasus that brought this around full circle resulting with the commission for the medal going to Laura Gardin Fraser. Pegasus was a favorite subject of Mrs. Fraser’s and she has the following to say about the design features of the “Centennial Medal of The American Numismatic Society”: “The Science of Numismatics engages the imagination of the artist who creates a design in sculptured form, and the artisan who reproduces that model in permanent metal. “When Nature petrified the first forms of animal and plant life, Nature made the first dies. The obverse of the American Numismatic Society Centennial Medal shows the potential archeologist, who, having broken the stone asunder, discovers a petrified animal form in one half and in the other a perfect impression of it, or the die.

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23 Jun 2016

Ahaheim here I come!

| user_95017

I cannot wait for the World's Fair of Money!

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22 Jun 2016

My First So-Called Dollar

| World_Coin_Nut

Heritage Auctions recently held a 2 day auction of historic medals, tokens, so called dollars and other exonumia. In the weeks leading up to the event I had been keeping an eye on a number of items but most ended up selling for well above my comfort zone. This piece was kind of an afterthought because I had not been tracking it but bought it because of its inexpensive price when compared to other items in the auction. Once I did win this piece I found that it is a historically significant piece. Thismedal is graded NGC AU58 and was formerly part of the “Cosmique Collection.”

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21 Jun 2016

The Official Bicentennial Medal of George Washington's Birth

Medals | coinsbygary

Among the greatest of accolades an artist can receive is if a group of his or hers peers recognizes them for their artistry. This honor was effectively bestowed on Laura Gardin Fraser when a special committee of sculptors selected her design for the official 1932 medal of the "United States Commission for the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington." That committee made up of a virtual who's who in American sculpture consisted of Daniel Chester French, Herbert Adams, Lorado Taft, and A. A. Weinman. With the committee's selection, the National Commission of Fine Arts unanimously approved Mrs. Fraser's design to be struck by the United States Mint under the supervision of Mint Director Robert J. Grant. [1]On page 4 in the January 1934 issue of "The Numismatist" is the following description of the medal's design features. "Obverse, bust of Washington in military uniform in center. Above, "Washington," Under bust, in small letters, "Laura Gardin Fraser, Sculptor." Below in a straight line, "1782, 1932" separated by the Washington coat-of-arms. Reverse, figure of Liberty holding a torch in her uplifted right hand and a sheathed sword in her left hand. Above, to the left of the figure an eagle with outspread wings, and above, 13 stars grouped in two lines. Straight across lower half of medal in two lines separated by the figure, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land." The reverse also shows that the eagle is perched atop a fasces. The Washington Bicentennial of Birth medal struck in platinum, silver, and bronze is 75.5mm in diameter. An exact duplicate of the bronze medal but only 58mm in diameter was struck by the US Mint for sale to collectors. The medal in my collection is the 75.5mm bronze variety. The 75.5mm bronze medal was to be "used by the United States Commission for the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington as a medal of award in connection with national essay, oratorical and declamatory contests sponsored by the commission." [2]The platinum medal is one of a kind and the first ever struck in platinum by the United States Mint. Struck from the master dies, this medal weighs in at a full pound. In a ceremony on the south lawn of the White House on December 1, 1932, the platinum medal was presented to President Herbert Hoover, Chairman of United States Commission for the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of George Washington. Laura Gardin Fraser was present at the Philadelphia Mint on February 4, 1932 for the striking of the platinum medal and had this to say as expressed by Charles Engelhard. "After scrutinizing the medal as it came from the press in the Medal Room of the Philadelphia Mint, Mrs. Fraser expressed her complete satisfaction with its artistic success. She pointed out that the use of platinum retained without impairment all the finest details of the sculptor's art in plaster, retaining the design without need of oxidation or other artificial treatment in order to successfully carry out the work." [3]Mrs. Fraser was very good at keeping a diary. She wrote not only of James and her's work, but also of their social life. In November of 1930 Mrs. Fraser wrote about beginning her work on the Washington Medal. In December of 1930, she wrote of completing the Washington medal for the competition. Concurrently, she wrote about celebrating James 54th birthday in November with a party at Tide Hill Tavern, near Westport, Connecticut and moving to their winter home in New York City the next day. In December Mrs. Fraser writes, "A Merry time! A beautiful, crystal clear, cold, wonderful Christmas!" [4] 1 The Numismatist, October 1931, pg. 738 2 The Numismatist, January 1934, pg. 43 The Numismatist, January 1961, pg. 18-204 End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue by Dean Krakel, pg. 44-45

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17 Jun 2016

ANA Summer Seminar

| Boomtree

Can't wait for opening ceremonies for the ANA summer seminar. This trip is my first, thanks to a scholarship from the Oklahoma Numismatic Association.

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17 Jun 2016

Women In Numismatics 25th Anniversary Elongated Coin Sets

| user_9073

I just got the Women In Numismatics (WIN) 25th Anniversary Elongate Sets. Each set contains four coins. All rolled-on designs are the WIN logo and words. The reverses show the host coins to be: 1) a Susan B. Anthony Dollar obverse, 2) a Sacagawea Dollar obverse, 3) a Presidential Dollar reverse showing Lady Liberty, 4) an Illinois ATB Quarter reverse. Plain and Antique finishes are available. I got both and really like the antique finish. If you want more information about these elongates orWIN check their website at http://www.womeninnumismatics.com/

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