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Mokester's Blog

12 Nov 2019

A Very Controversial Choice

Medals | Mokester

2017 was a momentous year in the history of the United States Mint and once certainly deserving of special products. One of the popular items was the 2017-S Enhanced Uncirculated Mint Set. These enhanced finish coins were not double struck, like a proof, but were struck on carefully handled planchets that have a soft matte finish, very pleasing to the eye. But controversy arose with a special medal produced for the 225th Anniversary. The medal was made in Gold with 1/10 and 1 Ounce versions from the West Point Mint. The Mint also produced 5 different 1 ounce silver medals. These five medals were a standard Proof from Philadelphia, a standard Proof from San Fransisco, a reverse Proof from Philadelphia, an Uncirculated from Denver, and an Enhanced Uncirculated from West Point. The last 4 of these were issued together as a set. That's why we have both a Philadelphia and a San Fransisco Proof. The Obverse of each medal depicted an allegorical Liberty and the reverse depicted an Eagle in flight, both designs having a modern flair.Sounds good so far, a nice assortment of items for the 225th Anniversary but the controversy arose due to the choice of allegorical Liberty for the Gold and Silver issues. Instead of using a European featured liberty (even on our Liberty Heads with Indian War Bonnets), the Mint chose a very modern looking and very African-American looking Liberty. Personally, I found her very attractive and i bought all the Silver issues and one extra in a slab. But reading message boards around the time of issuance, I could clearly see a very strong collector backlash against the Mint's choice for their Liberty. Some people said she looked just like Michelle Obama (and they were not pleased) some just said it was ugly without really explaining their reasoning although the subtext was often barely concealed. Due to the Mints controversial choice of Liberty, I suspect sales may have suffered but I am very happy with my purchase and I hope the Mint is thinking outside the box for our upcoming 250th Anniversary. The beautiful obverse was designed by Justin Kunz with the Mints Sculptor/Engraver Phebe Hemphill bringing it to life. The exquisite reverse with its soaring Eagle was designed by Chris Costello with Sculptor/Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

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17 Feb 2019

Bicentennial PNCs

Medals | Mokester

Starting in 1972, and annually thereafter, until 1976, the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission marketed PNCs through the US mint that included a bronze mint medal and a set of four different stamps postmarked in the city where they were first issued.

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17 Feb 2019

Two Hobbies in One

Medals | Mokester

One of the best ways to combine a love of Numismatics and Philately is to collect PNCs. Philatelic Numismatic Covers are often produced for special events where the stamp and the coin or medal have some relation to each other. The envelope that houses the two items is also has some artwork related to the overall subject. They are extremely attractive, easily displayed, and are often quite inexpensive. In fact, they can often be found in the case at your local coin dealer or at shows of every level. Ms. Doris Walker has written a very comprehensive guide covering many of the more popular issues. It is a fun read for folks into PNCs or just curious about them.

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13 Dec 2018

The Golden Pavilion

Medals | Mokester

When I visited Japan back in 1976, I picked up this beautiful medal in Kyoto Japan. The medal depicts the Golden Pavilion on the obverse and the reverse is blank except for tiny Japanese characters in a box which read " Kinkaku-Ji", which is the name used by the Japanese for the Golden Pavilion. The Medal is signed by M. Sawano, possibly Mizue Sawano, but I am not sure. Mizue is a Japanese female artist well known for her paintings.

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