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30 May 2016

The 1957 Oklahoma Semicentennial Exposition Medal

Medals | coinsbygary

Thematic coins and medals based on western subjects were a favorite of both Frasers. James Earle Fraser was born in Winona, Minnesota on November 4, 1876. In 1880 his family moved to Mitchell in the Dakota Territory. It was here in the vast openness of the American frontier that James love of the West grew. In the case of Laura Gardin Fraser, I believe it was her love of American history, the allure and excitement of the American frontier, and her love of horses that inspired her rendition of the “Oklahoma Run” on the 1957 Oklahoma Semicentennial Medal.[1]The motivation for James and Laura’s love of the West impacted their interpretation of it. In an interview with Mrs. Fraser, Dean Krakel, the author of “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” writes in his book; “There is a mood not only to our lives but to our studio and to everything we have ever done. I saw the frontier in a different light from Jimmy. I saw it with all its glamour, excitement, and motion and so created my Oklahoma Run. Jimmy saw the spiritual mood, the tragedy and emotional undercurrents of the frontier and so created his End of the Trail.” Late in his life, James Earle Fraser received a commission from the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds to sculpt a relief panel of the 1889 Oklahoma Run. With his health failing and near death James asked Laura to finish the panel which at the time was only in the preliminary stages of design. Based on James sketches, Laura finished the 4 x 20 foot panel in 1955, two years after his death. The relief panel features more than 250 figures composed primarily of horses and riders. Unfortunately, due to several disagreements it was not delivered until after Laura’s death in 1966 and a decade after the 1957 Oklahoma semicentennial celebration. The “Run of 1889” relief panel that is a model for the obverse of the Oklahoma Semicentennial Medal currently resides at Oklahoma City’s Bicentennial Plaza.[2][3]Mrs. Fraser brilliantly captures a snapshot of all the chaos, excitement, and fast movement of the Oklahoma Run featured on the obverse of the Oklahoma Semicentennial medal. Up for grabs on April 22,1889 was 2 million acres of land and 50,000 people simultaneously vying for it. As mentioned in a previous paragraph, Mrs. Fraser captures all the glamour, excitement, and motion of the American frontier on the obverse of this medal.[4] The highest relief devices on the obverse of this medal are the largest and most detailed images. The horses have their muscles flexed in full gallop and give an impression of fast motion. As the relief lowers so does the size and detail of the images until the images forming the lowest relief are very small and numerous. This gives the medal a three dimensional look to the action portrayed on the obverse. At the highest relief is a cloud of dust which frames the devices. A few wagons, one just behind the central horse and rider and a covered wagon towards the back adds diversity to the devices.The following is a description of the reverse as given by the editor of The Numismatist, Elston G. Bradfield in the June 1958 issue of The Numismatist; “Reverse: Around, at top, OKLAHOMA SEMI-CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION, at bottom, OKLAHOMA CITY; in center, two dramatic figures facing left, one representing energy and progress and the other imagination and vision; woven into the design are symbols of each activity that is derived from the earth, the air, fire and water. Harvesting is suggested by the scythe, mining by the pick, electricity by the wheels, animal husbandry by the cow and sheep, and power by the waterfall, oil wells and atomic symbol. The figure of Vision reflects the reverence that comes to him from on High. The symbol of the arrow piercing the symbol of atomic energy was the theme of the Oklahoma Semicentennial Exposition, "Arrows to Atoms" in 50 years. To the left of the central figures is 1907 and to right, 1957. In exergue, ~ PROGRESS ~ VISION~.” Certainly, Laura Gardin Fraser employed numerous and appropriate symbols to tell the story of Oklahoma on the reverse of this medal.This medal is struck in bronze by the Medallic Art Company and is 76mm in diameter. Distribution was by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce at a cost of $7.50 each.[5]1 “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” by Dean Krakel; Chapters 2 & 4.2 The Numismatist, July 2013, “Canine & Equine the Art of Laura Gardin Fraser” , pg. 36-37.3 “End of the Trail the Odyssey of a Statue” by Dean Krakel; Chapter 4.4 Wikipedia, “Land Rush of 1889”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Rush_of_1889.5 The Numismatist, June 1958, page 664

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30 May 2016

CIVIL WAR TOKENS PART TWO

Tokens | Mike Burn

Hi! I have previously written a blog a while ago on these tokens. The information is based on Q.DAVID BOWERS book A GUIDE BOOK of CIVIL WAR TOKENS. Now a few of you asked me the value on these gems. Well I'll try to keep to keep it simple. Each token is assigned a rarity factor or like I like to call it mintage. These can be found on page four. I will list some to give you an idea. A rarity one means they made greater than 5000. A mintage of four would mean they made 201 to 500. A mintage of six means they made 21 to 75. And a mintage of ten means they made one.

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28 May 2016

The Society of Medalists First Issue

Medals | coinsbygary

Before Laura Gardin Fraser married James Earle Fraser on Thanksgiving Day of 1913 she was an admiring student under his tutelage at the Art Students League in New York City. After three years as a student she joined him as an instructor at the school in 1910. It is here that she honed her skills as a sculptor, receiving several awards for her work.[1]Perhaps on account of James teaching Laura learned that to be successful as a medallic artist she needed to simplify the design, employ appropriate symbols, use care in spacing all the elements, and execute the design with style. Accordingly, I believe Mrs. Fraser meets or exceeds each of the aforementioned objectives with her 1930 Hunter’s Medal. This medal also has the distinction of being the inaugural issue of the Society of Medalists.[2] The Hunter’s Medal is struck in bronze and is 72mm in diameter. It has a mintage of 3,235 and a reported 125 re-strikes with the same pair of dies struck in silver and issued in the 1970’s.[3]The following is quoted by medalist and sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser concerning the Hunter’s Medal. “There are many persons who desire to collect medals but are unable to do so because the medal is used in most instances as a specific award. The scope of the subject matter which bears no relation to a particular person or occasion embraces many forms of expression and the sculptor has a large field of choice. In this case, I felt that a sporting subject would be a departure from what one has been accustomed to seeing in medallic art. Therefore, I chose the hunter with his dog because it presented the opportunity of telling a story embodying a human and animal element. It has been studied as to correctness of detail so that it should have an appeal to those who are interested in out-of-door life. The ruffled grouse forms the reverse. It may be considered as a national game bird and is distinct in character and very decorative. It is hoped that there is sufficient merit in the rendering of this work to appease the collector whose interest is in the art of the medal.” The Circle of Friends of the Medallion (1909-1915) laid the groundwork for the formation of the Society of Medalists under the auspices of the American Federation of the Arts in 1930. The Society of medalists provided a forum for prominent sculptors to exhibit their medallic art. The resulting medals were then made available to the collecting public. From 1930-1995 the Society of Medalists issued a total of 129 medals at a rate of two per year. In addition to the regular issue medals there were also five special issue medals. All the SOM medals were struck by the Medallic Art Company. [4][5][6]The Medallic Art Company then headquartered in New York City was founded in 1903 by two Frenchmen, Henri and Felix Weil. Today, based in Dayton, Nevada, the Medallic Art Company is America’s oldest and largest private mint. The medallic Art Company specializes in making academic awards, maces, and medallions. Among their most notable awards is the Pulitzer Prize, the Peabody Award, the Newbery medal, and the Caldecott medal. The Medallic Art Company has also struck the inaugural medals of eleven presidents.[7][8] 1 The Meadowlark Gallery; http://www.meadowlarkgallery.com/FraserLaura.htm2 The Medal Maker; http://www.medallic.com/about/medal_maker.php3 medallicartcollector.com4 Wikipedia “Society of Medalists”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Medalists5 Wikipedia “Circle of Friends of the Medallion”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Circle_of_Friends_of_the_Medallion6 PCGS “Enduring Society of Medalists First Issue Continues to Attract Collectors” by Fred Reed - September 9, 19997 Wikipedia “Medallic Art Company”; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medallic_Art_Company 8 The Medallic Art Company; http://www.medallic.com/

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27 May 2016

2016 ANA Summer Seminar - Second Session

Summer Seminar | InGodWeTrustOurMotto

It was two years ago that I attended my first ever ANA Summer Seminar.Iam so excited about being able to return in 2016.I called in the Fall of 2015 and spoke to Amber B. She was kind enough to keepme informed, so that I could sign up as soon as was possible.The first time I attended, I was part ofthe Second Session. I was unable to attend the First Session that year, because I was running theKansas Numismatic Association's Annual Coin & Stamp Show in Wichita, KS.I was a regular board member of the KNA,then.The following year, I was doing the same, but due tomy health I was unable to attend the Summer Sessionin 2015. I am still a KNABoard Member, but this is my last term as Vice President. This year is alsomy last year running the Kansas Numismatic Association's Annual Coin & Stamp Show, so I will onlybe attending the Second Session this year.I look forward to meeting new people who share thesame interests. I am planningon driving all the way from Wichita, KS to Colorado Springs, CO. It's about an 8 hour drive, so Iam driving in a day early on Friday, June 24th. This can help me acclimate to the altitude. I am alife long Kansan, whichmeans that I'm a "flat lander". Look forwardto seeing everyone again!

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25 May 2016

DANSCO SETS

Coins | Mike Burn

Well it took till May but my still active sets are now up to date. I completed the deluxe Kennedy set with the P&D rolls.the silver proofs of course with the proof sets. And the S mints. It does take time but when you look at the set that's up to date there is a feeling of accomplishment. I have older sets thank the Lord there not making a lot of coins anymore. Now some of you will say what's the big deal. Well I as a collector enjoy it. There not the only coins I collect by far. Some of you I have told you part of my collection. It's just to long. After twenty five years you tend to accumulate a lot of coins. I still like the up to date sets. Like nickels dimes Penny's half dollars all are current coinage. Some of the coins I don't collect in DANSCO albums. Like the America the Beautiful quarters. There all graded. All the same grade and all ultra cameo and of course silver. Now I can pull out any sets I want on a bad day and put a smile on my face. Some will say but there not investment coins. So what I like them. And that's all that counts. Take care. Mike

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25 May 2016

Authenticating coins

Coins-United States | user_4648

I am preparing to sell parts of my collection but I want to authenticate four or five before hand. I am aware I can send them to NGC but wonder if there are sources closer to home. I live in the Pacific Northwest.

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24 May 2016

Why Numismatics?

Coins | Pliny The Elder

I believe that finding a hobby is essential to a healthy outlook on life, and with coin collecting you have a hobby that inspires and teaches it's participants. A handful of change can tell a long story about silver shortages, wars, celebrations and important events. But that story starts with each individual collector, each entering into the hobby for different reasons. For some, coin collecting gives us respite from a world that often is overly involved with the concerns of others. It brings our thoughts into focus in a specific area that holds great interest to one's self. Whether it be gryphons or gorgons, watchful eagles or possibly trees, a person can find an area of coin collecting that brings great joy into not only their life but into the lives of others. Some coin collectors spend long hours studying their collection, reading numismatic material, furthering their knowledge of their particular area of numismatic interest. There are die combinations to learn about, hordes that have been studied, legend variations to look after, and all happening while one tries to fully enjoy their coins. It can get confusing as coin collecting often involves more than just looking at your coins, but this is a hobby and it is only important to enjoy it and to have fun. Along the way of coin collecting fun, though, you will start to notice variations in your coins that you have and you will want to know more. Why did this particular coin have this type of legend, and this other one shows a different style? Outside of the pretty images and silver and gold content one eventually learns that any serious numismatic pursuit involves a lot of counting and cataloging things. Now that doesn't mean if you are bad at math then numismatics is not your pursuit. It does involve some level of mathematics, but this area of math is practiced only in a fun way, trust me. You do not jump right in counting coin types in hordes and learning about die combinations, but it comes eventually because it just does. Because numismatics, besides being about math and about coin COLLECTING, is also a scientific pursuit. You can get our your microscope as well as your cotton gloves, because your coin collection will become a classroom over time. Through your study of your collection you will learn about how environment affects some coin surfaces. You will learn about toning of coins, about patinas both natural and artificial. You will learn a lot about metal contents, and what is expected for certain issues. Flow lines and clogged dies, various makeup of coin hordes, there is a great deal to know. But outside of this scientific aspect of numismatics there is still even more. Coin and currency collecting also holds a high level of interest to those studying history. In cataloging one's collection, specifically identifying details on your coins, getting to know them each personally through hours of hands on learning, weighing and measuring, and always studying, one becomes an actual numismatist and not just a coin collector. Through this study a coin collector becomes more expert, and sometimes a collector finds theywish to share what they have learned with others. This hobby is so expansive, and includes a type of people that for the most part are dedicated to furthering the intellectual advancement of mankind. Some collectors feel that the need to share their knowledge with others is important, and it grows this hobby in ways that are hard to quantify. There are many reasons why people choose numismatics, and for some those reasons shift and grow over time. One might start off collecting silver, then graduating to Franklin Halves only, then slowly moving into Civil War Tokens. By the time old age is reached there is a lot of experience to share, and that becomes the next level. You have a nice collection. You have learned so much about history. Your scientific pursuit in this hobby has been so very rewarding. You are ready to help others. One might get into numismatics for a variety of reasons, but with time, the reason one stays is to help others. Have fun collecting.

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22 May 2016

Bibliography

| user_8029

Sorry, my spreadsheets did not did not format correctly, so I did not include them. In some cases, the bibliography did not come out correctly, but i cannot change that.

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