Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar
The Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar, sometimes called the Bennington–Vermont half dollar or the Battle of Bennington Sesquicentennial half dollar, is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1927. The coin was designed by Charles Keck, on its obverse depicts early Vermont leader Ira Allen, brother of Ethan Allen. On January 9, 1925, Vermont Senator Frank Greene introduced legislation for commemorative coins to mark the 150th anniversary of Vermont declaring itself independent in 1777 and of the American victory at the Battle of Bennington the same year, his bill passed the Senate without difficulty, but in the House of Representatives faced an array of problems. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon sent a letter opposing the bill and dispatched three Treasury officials to testify against it, arguing that the public was being confused as special coin issues entered circulation; the committee's resolve to have no more commemorative coins—after this one—did not impress the full House, which added two more half dollars to the legislation to mark other anniversaries.
The Senate agreed to the changes, President Calvin Coolidge signed the authorizing act on February 24, 1925. There was a lengthy battle over the design between the Commission of Fine Arts and the Vermont commission in charge of organizing the coin issue, as a result of which the original designer, Sherry Fry, left the project, replaced by Keck. Although the eventual reverse design of a catamount satisfied the Fine Arts Commission, it has been criticized by writers; the coins did not sell out. The coins sell for at least in the hundreds of dollars today, depending on condition. In the days before the American Revolutionary War, the ownership of what is now the state of Vermont was uncertain. New Hampshire claimed it. British authorities awarded the land to New York in 1764, but settlers felt more affinity with New Hampshire, from which they had secured land grants; when New York issued grants for the same real estate, there was conflict between the two groups of settlers, those deriving title from New Hampshire organized the Green Mountain Boys, a local militia.
At first, the Boys concentrated on fending off unwanted settlers from New York, but after the war began in 1775, they turned their attention to the British. Brothers Ira and Ethan Allen were born in Connecticut, were leaders of the Green Mountain Boys. Ethan Allen led an ill-advised raid on Montreal in 1775, was captured, spent the remainder of the Revolutionary War a prisoner of the British. Ira Allen, besides being a military leader, was a member of the convention that declared Vermont independent in January 1777. A key player in Vermont politics in the Revolutionary War years, Allen served as state treasurer, designed the great seal, in the 1780s surveyed several towns, three of which are named for him: Ira and Alburg, the last a shortened form of "Allenburgh". In 1791, the year Vermont was admitted to the Union, he was the principal founder of the University of Vermont, the first university in what is now the United States to have a religious nondiscrimination policy. Thereafter his fortunes declined: he went to France in 1796 to buy weapons for the state militia, but his ship and cargo were taken by the British.
He returned to Vermont to find his land seized for taxes, was put in jail in Burlington for debt. He fled to Philadelphia, where he was unable to. In 1777, the British general, John Burgoyne, advanced south from Canada, hoping to divide the colonies by capturing the Hudson Valley in what is called the Saratoga Campaign. Low on supplies, he heard of a poorly-guarded American depot at what is now Bennington and sent part of his force to secure it. Vermonters were joined by some 1,500 New Hampshire militiamen, on August 16, 1777, the Battle of Bennington took place. About 200 of the British forces were killed and 700 taken prisoner. Weakened by the losses and the failure to obtain supplies, Burgoyne was defeated at the Battle of Saratoga in New York state that October, an American victory that historian Edmund Morgan deemed "a great turning point of the war, because it won for Americans the foreign assistance, the last element needed for victory". Legislation for a silver fifty-cent piece and a gold one-dollar piece in commemoration of the 150th anniversaries of the Battle of Bennington and of the independence of Vermont was introduced in the Senate by that state's Frank Greene on January 9, 1925.
Greene had not always been a friend to commemorative coins: when the Monroe Doctrine Centennial half dollar was debated in 1922, he commented, "the question is whether the United States Government is going to go on from year to year submitting its coinage to this—well—harlotry." His bill was referred to the Committee on Currency. Greene, a member of that committee, reported the bill back to the Senate on January 20, with an amendment and a recommendation that it pass; the amendment deleted the proposed one-dollar piece and increased the mintage of the half dollar from 20,000 to 40,000. On January 24, New Hampshire's George H. Moses, acting on Greene's behalf, moved that the Senate consider the bill, it passed that body without opposition. After the House received the Senate-passed bill, it was referred to the Committee on Coinage and Measures, which held hearings on January 30, with the chairman, Indiana Representative Albert H. Vestal
Hawaii Sesquicentennial half dollar
The Hawaii Sesquicentennial half dollar was struck in 1928 by the United States Bureau of the Mint in honor of the 150th anniversary of Captain James Cook's landing in Hawaii, the first European to reach there. The coin depicts a Hawaiian chieftain on the reverse. Only 10,000 were struck for the public, making the coin valuable. In 1927, the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii passed a resolution calling on the U. S. government to produce a commemorative coin for the 150th anniversary of Cook's arrival in Hawaii. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon thought the occasion important enough that, unusually for him, he did not oppose such an issue; the bill for the Hawaii half dollar passed through Congress without opposition or amendment, became the Act of March 7, 1928 with the signature of President Calvin Coolidge. Sculptor Chester Beach made the plaster models for the coins from sketches by Juliette May Fraser. Beach had some trouble gaining approval for his designs, as there were issues raised by the Mint and by Victor Stewart Kaleoaloha Houston, Hawaii Territory's delegate to Congress.
These concerns were addressed, the coin went into production. Although the issue price, at $2, was the highest for a commemorative half dollar to that point, the coins sold out and have risen in value to over a thousand dollars; the Hawaii Sesquicentennial half dollar was proposed because of the observances there for the 150th anniversary of Captain James Cook becoming the first European to reach the Hawaiian Islands or, as it was termed "its discovery". Planners decided on a date for the celebrations as August 1928, halfway between the sesquicentennial of Cook's landing in January 1778 and of his death in the islands in February 1779. A resolution was passed by the legislature of the Territory of Hawaii to give the celebrations official status, to ask the federal government to have the armed forces participate; the resolution requested that Washington invite other nations. It asked the federal government to issue a half dollar and postage stamps in honor of the anniversary. At the time, commemoratives were not sold by the government—Congress, in authorizing legislation, designated an organization which had the exclusive right to purchase the coins at face value and vend them to the public at a premium.
In the case of the Hawaii half dollar, the Cook Sesquicentennial Commission of Hawaii was the designated group. Bruce Cartwright, Jr. was in charge of choosing a coin design for the Cook commission. Mrs. Ethelwyn Castle, a civic-minded person, arranged for him to meet Juliette May Fraser, a local artist. Cartwright had prepared cartoon-style drawings, with the portrait of Cook based on a Wedgwood plaque, owned by Queen Emma, showing the explorer facing right. Within two days, Fraser had produced sketches. On November 2, Charles Moore, chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts, wrote to Assistant Director of the Mint Mary M. O'Reilly that Juliette Fraser's sketches were excellent and would translate well into a coin; the Commission of Fine Arts met and, at the suggestion of sculptor-member Lorado Taft, decided to ask Buffalo nickel designer James Earle Fraser who would be most suitable to turn the sketches into plaster models, from which the Mint could make coinage dies and hubs. James Fraser suggested Peace dollar designer Anthony de Francisci, but sculptor Chester Beach was engaged instead.
Numismatic historian Don Taxay thought it that members of the House Committee on Coinage and Measures had agreed to support a Hawaii half dollar prior to a bill being submitted, as preparations had begun. Legislation for such was introduced into the House of Representatives by the territory's delegate to Congress, Victor Stewart Kaleoaloha Houston, on December 5, 1927, it was referred to the coinage committee, of which New Jersey Congressman Randolph Perkins was the chair, which held hearings on the bill on January 23, 1928. Delegate Houston appeared in support of his bill, to the surprise of committee members, had gotten a statement from Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, stating that Mellon did not oppose the bill; when a commemorative coin was proposed, Mellon argued that a medal should be issued instead. This had been the case for the Norse-American medal three years previously. Congressman Kvale was "very much interested in learning what powers of persuasion have been exercised by the gentleman from Hawaii to bring out such a favorable report".
Kvale, a Norse-American, asked, "why this discrimination against two and a half million people in the United States has come about in favor of about 35,000 whites in that Territory?"Houston stated he had not lobbied the Treasury for the coin, Perkins, before promising to find out more information, speculated that it was because the coins were to be issued far from the continental United States. Houston told the committee that the coin was "something that may be kept by those who attend the celebration as a memorial of it and will be available to foreigners who come there, as well as our own people who celebrate the occasion". Kvale stated. Mississippi's Bill G. Lowrey noted. Perkins issued a report on February 1, 1928, recounting the history behind the proposed coin and indicating his committee's support; the bill was passed without objection by the House of Representatives on February 20, 1928. The bill was received by the Senate the following day and was referred to the Committee on Banking and Curr
Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright reddish yellow, soft and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a group 11 element, it is solid under standard conditions. Gold occurs in free elemental form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, in alluvial deposits, it occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver and naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less it occurs in minerals as gold compounds with tellurium. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, which forms a soluble tetrachloroaurate anion. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that has long been used to refine gold and to confirm the presence of gold in metallic objects, giving rise to the term acid test. Gold dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide, which are used in mining and electroplating.
Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys. A rare element, gold is a precious metal, used for coinage and other arts throughout recorded history. In the past, a gold standard was implemented as a monetary policy, but gold coins ceased to be minted as a circulating currency in the 1930s, the world gold standard was abandoned for a fiat currency system after 1971. A total of 186,700 tonnes of gold exists above ground, as of 2015; the world consumption of new gold produced is about 50% in jewelry, 40% in investments, 10% in industry. Gold's high malleability, resistance to corrosion and most other chemical reactions, conductivity of electricity have led to its continued use in corrosion resistant electrical connectors in all types of computerized devices. Gold is used in infrared shielding, colored-glass production, gold leafing, tooth restoration. Certain gold salts are still used as anti-inflammatories in medicine; as of 2017, the world's largest gold producer by far was China with 440 tonnes per year.
Gold is the most malleable of all metals. It can be drawn into a monoatomic wire, stretched about twice before it breaks; such nanowires distort via formation and migration of dislocations and crystal twins without noticeable hardening. A single gram of gold can be beaten into a sheet of 1 square meter, an avoirdupois ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become semi-transparent; the transmitted light appears greenish blue, because gold reflects yellow and red. Such semi-transparent sheets strongly reflect infrared light, making them useful as infrared shields in visors of heat-resistant suits, in sun-visors for spacesuits. Gold is a good conductor of electricity. Gold has a density of 19.3 g/cm3 identical to that of tungsten at 19.25 g/cm3. By comparison, the density of lead is 11.34 g/cm3, that of the densest element, osmium, is 22.588±0.015 g/cm3. Whereas most metals are gray or silvery white, gold is reddish-yellow; this color is determined by the frequency of plasma oscillations among the metal's valence electrons, in the ultraviolet range for most metals but in the visible range for gold due to relativistic effects affecting the orbitals around gold atoms.
Similar effects impart a golden hue to metallic caesium. Common colored gold alloys include the distinctive eighteen-karat rose gold created by the addition of copper. Alloys containing palladium or nickel are important in commercial jewelry as these produce white gold alloys. Fourteen-karat gold-copper alloy is nearly identical in color to certain bronze alloys, both may be used to produce police and other badges. White gold alloys can be made with nickel. Fourteen- and eighteen-karat gold alloys with silver alone appear greenish-yellow and are referred to as green gold. Blue gold can be made by alloying with iron, purple gold can be made by alloying with aluminium. Less addition of manganese, aluminium and other elements can produce more unusual colors of gold for various applications. Colloidal gold, used by electron-microscopists, is red. Gold has only one stable isotope, 197Au, its only occurring isotope, so gold is both a mononuclidic and monoisotopic element. Thirty-six radioisotopes have been synthesized, ranging in atomic mass from 169 to 205.
The most stable of these is 195Au with a half-life of 186.1 days. The least stable is 171Au. Most of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses below 197 decay by some combination of proton emission, α decay, β+ decay; the exceptions are 195Au, which decays by electron capture, 196Au, which decays most by electron capture with a minor β− decay path. All of gold's radioisotopes with atomic masses above 197 decay by β− decay. At least 32 nuclear isomers have been characterized, ranging in atomic mass from 170 to 200. Within that range, only 178Au, 180Au, 181Au, 182Au, 188Au do not have isomers. Gold's most stable isomer is 198m2Au with a half-life of 2.27 days. Gold's least stable isomer is 177m2Au with a half-life of only 7 ns. 184m1Au has three decay paths: β+ decay, isomeric
Fort Vancouver Centennial half dollar
The Fort Vancouver Centennial half dollar, sometimes called the Fort Vancouver half dollar, is a commemorative fifty-cent piece struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint in 1925. The coin was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser, its obverse depicts John McLoughlin, in charge of Fort Vancouver from its construction in 1825 until 1846. From there, he ruled the Oregon Country, on behalf of the Hudson's Bay Company; the reverse shows an armed frontiersman standing in front of the fort. Washington Representative Albert Johnson wanted a coin for Fort Vancouver's centennial celebrations, but was persuaded to accept a medal instead, but when another congressman was successful in amending a coinage bill to add a commemorative, Johnson tacked on language authorizing a coin for Fort Vancouver. The Senate agreed to the changes, President Calvin Coolidge signed the authorizing act on February 24, 1925. Fraser was engaged to design the coin on the recommendation of the United States Commission of Fine Arts.
The coins were flown from the San Francisco Mint, where they were struck, to Washington state by airplane as a publicity stunt. They sold badly. Due to the low number of surviving pieces, the coins are valuable today. Fort Vancouver, on the north bank of the Columbia River in what is today Vancouver, lay across the river from what would become Portland, Oregon, it was founded in 1825 by the Hudson's Bay Company chief factor for Dr. John McLoughlin; the company sought furs and other trade goods, was in competition with John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company, which had an outpost at what is now Astoria, Oregon. Fort Vancouver was named for the British sea captain George Vancouver, who gave his name to Vancouver in Canada; until the Oregon Treaty of 1846 settled the disputed claims of the United States and Britain, McLoughlin was what government there was in the Oregon Country. McLoughlin's word was obeyed by white man and Native American alike, there were no significant wars there in that time. Fort Vancouver became the trading center for a large area, the largest settlement west of the Great Plains.
With the coming of American rule in 1846, McLoughlin resigned from the Hudson's Bay Company, going to Iive at Oregon City, which he had founded, became its mayor in 1851, two years after becoming a U. S. citizen. He died in 1857; the Fort Vancouver Centennial Corporation hoped to sell commemorative half dollars at the planned celebration, persuaded Representative Albert Johnson of Washington state to introduce legislation in the House of Representatives. In May 1924, he and Senator Wesley Jones of Washington state, introduced legislation in their houses of Congress for a half dollar commemorating the centennial of Fort Vancouver; the bills were not given any hearings. Indiana Representative Albert Vestal, the chairman of the House Committee on Coinage and Measures, met with Johnson and persuaded him to introduce a bill for a medal instead. Vestal reasoned that the Treasury Department was opposing more commemorative coin issues, as these were finding their way into circulation and confusing the public.
On February 3, 1925, Jones introduced a bill for a medal, on the 12th, Johnson did the same. Legislation for a Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar had been introduced by that state's senior senator, Frank Greene, had passed the Senate; when that bill came to the floor of the House of Representatives on February 16, California Representative John E. Raker moved to amend it to provide for a California Diamond Jubilee half dollar. Vestal asked to be heard in opposition to the amendment, stating that his committee, after recommending the Vermont bill, had decided to promote no further coin bills, he added. The Minority Leader, Democratic Congressman Finis J. Garrett of Tennessee, asked why the committee had not set the rule before considering the Vermont bill, Vestal admitted it was hard to answer; the House voted, the amendment was added. Johnson to applause from his colleagues moved a further amendment, to add "and Vancouver, Wash." The amendment passed. Johnson realized, he therefore returned to the House floor soon thereafter, asking that the bill be reconsidered, so he could couch his amendment in the same phrasing as for the other two coins.
Once the bill was again being considered, Johnson added his amendment, but Vestal moved that the bill be returned to his committee. Vestal's motion failed, 24 ayes to 67 noes. Lengthy procedural wrangling followed over whether that vote could be objected to because there was no quorum present. Once, resolved, the House passed the bill again; the bill was returned to the Senate the following day. Kansas's Charles Curtis moved on behalf of Greene that the Senate agree to the House amendments, though Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon urged President Calvin Coolidge to veto it, the bill, authorizing all three coins, was enacted by the President's signature on February 24, 1925. Once the coin had been approved by Congress, the Centennial Corporation submitted plaster models by an unknown artist, whose initials SB appeared on the obverse, they were sent to the Commission of Fine Arts, charged by a 1921 executive order by President Warren G. Harding with rendering advisory opinions regarding public artworks, including coins.
The models showed McLoughlin on the obverse and the fort stockade with Mount Hood in the background for the
United States Sesquicentennial coinage
The United States Sesquicentennial coin issue consisted of a commemorative half dollar and quarter eagle struck in 1926 at the Philadelphia Mint for the 150th anniversary of American independence. The obverse of the half dollar features portraits of the first president, George Washington, the president in 1926, Calvin Coolidge, making it the only American coin to depict a president in his lifetime. By the March 1925 Act of Congress, by which the National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission was chartered, Congress allowed it to purchase 1,000,000 specially designed half dollars and 200,000 quarter eagles, which could be sold to the public at a premium; the Commission had trouble agreeing on a design with Mint Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock, asked Philadelphia attorney, arts patron and numismatist John Frederick Lewis to submit sketches; these were adapted by Sinnock, without giving credit to Lewis, whose involvement would not be known for forty years. Both the quarter eagle, designed by Sinnock, the half dollar were struck in the maximum number authorized, but many were returned to the Mint for melting when they failed to sell.
The Liberty Bell reverse for the half dollar was reused by Sinnock, again without giving Lewis credit, on the Chief Engraver's Franklin half dollar, first minted in 1948. Legislation for a commemorative coin to mark the 150th anniversary of American independence was introduced on behalf of the United States National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission, charged with organizing what became known as the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In the Act of March 3, 1925, Congress both chartered the Commission and allowed one million half dollars and 200,000 quarter eagles to be struck in commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of American Independence; these coins would be sold only at face value. Profits would go to financing the Exposition; the original version of the bill, introduced in the House of Representatives on February 16, 1925 by Pennsylvania Congressman George P. Darrow and in the Senate by that state's George W. Pepper, called for a $1.50 gold coin for the 150th anniversary, for commemorative half dollars, for a $1 bill honoring the Declaration of Independence.
A hearing was held before the House Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions two days at which Congressman Darrow predicted that the $1.50 gold pieces would not be opposed by either the Treasury or the Committee on Coinage and Measures, but he was incorrect. The Commission hoped to have commemoratives depicting the enlargement of the country through acquisitions such as the Louisiana Purchase and the Annexation of Texas, but these were not included in the final version of the bill; the Commission continued to pursue congressional approval of the $1.50 piece and the other proposed commemoratives at least through August 1925. In May, H. P. Caemmerer, secretary of the Commission of Fine Arts, a body charged with making recommendations on the approval of coinage design, wrote to the Sesquicentennial Commission, asking what they proposed to do about the coins. Having received no reply, he wrote again in late August, this time to Milton Medary, a member of the Fine Arts Commission, asking what progress had been made.
Medary replied that the Sesquicentennial Commission was in touch with the new Chief Engraver at the Philadelphia Mint, John R. Sinnock, but that Sinnock had not yet submitted satisfactory designs. Dissatisfied with Sinnock's work, the Sesquicentennial Commission hired John Frederick Lewis to create designs. Lewis, who served as president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1906 until his death in 1932, was known as a numismatist, but not as an artist. On December 8, 1925, Sesquicentennial Commission director Asher C. Baker submitted Lewis's sketches, which appear much like the present half dollar, to Fine Arts Commission chairman Charles Moore. Baker referred to Lewis's "designs for the coins", which may mean that he submitted sketches for the quarter eagle as well, but if so, they are not extant and were not acted upon by the Fine Arts Commission; the half dollar designs were approved by the Fine Arts Commission, on condition the sketches were converted into models by a competent sculptor, Moore sent them on December 11 to Mint Director Robert J. Grant.
The resultant plaster models, made by Sinnock, were submitted to the Fine Arts Commission on March 13, 1926, were undoubtedly endorsed, but the approval letter is lost. Sinnock's sketches for the quarter eagle were sent to the Fine Arts Commission on February 27, 1926, were forwarded to sculptor member Lorado Taft for his views. Moore sent his commission's approval to Grant on March 26, with several recommendations, including that the motto E Pluribus Unum, present on the obverse in Sinnock's sketches, the sun's rays on the reverse, be omitted; the rays were not removed, the motto was moved to the reverse. Approval of the models followed in April, again with minor suggestions; the obverse of the half dollar features jugate busts of George Washington, first president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, the president in 1926. According to Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen, "both were mistakes. Washington was not president of the Continental Congress in 1776, Coolidge's likeness was illegal. By an 1866 Act of Congress, no living person could be portrayed on U.
S. coins or currency. Although Sinnock had not designed a coin showing a president, he had created presidential medals under Chief Engraver
Gadsden Purchase half dollar
The Gadsden Purchase half dollar was a proposed commemorative coin to be issued by the United States Bureau of the Mint. Legislation for the half dollar passed both houses of Congress in 1930, but was vetoed by President Herbert Hoover and the House of Representatives sustained his action, 96 votes in favor of overriding it to 243 opposed, well short of the necessary two-thirds majority; this was the first veto of Hoover's presidency, the first for a commemorative coin bill. The proposal was the brainchild of El Paso coin dealer Lyman W. Hoffecker, who wanted a commemorative coin he could control and distribute, he gained the support of a number of members of Congress from Texas and the Southwest, a bill was introduced in Congress in April 1929, receiving a hearing 11 months later. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon sent a letter and two officials in opposition to the bill, but it passed both houses of Congress without dissent. On April 21, 1930, Hoover vetoed the bill. Although only one congressman spoke in favor of Hoover's action during the override debate in the House, the veto was sustained.
No commemorative coins were struck during the remainder of the Hoover Administration, although they began again after Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated, by 1935, Roosevelt was citing Hoover's veto favorably in urging Congress to avoid passing commemorative coin bills. In 1946, Harry S. Truman adopted similar arguments in warning he would oppose further coin bills, he vetoed one in 1947. Three more were vetoed by Eisenhower in 1954. No commemorative coins were struck from 1955 until after the Treasury Department changed its position in 1981; the Gadsden Purchase came as the result of negotiation between the U. S. minister to Mexico James Gadsden and Mexican president Santa Anna. Following the Mexican Cession, land conveyed as the result of the American victory in the Mexican-American War, there were border disputes left unresolved by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Southerners in the United States sought land over. Accordingly, U. S. President Franklin Pierce sent Gadsden to resolve these issues.
The resulting treaty was signed on December 30, 1853. 45,000 square miles were to be conveyed in exchange for $15 million, but when the original treaty could not pass the U. S. Senate, both the land and the payment were reduced by about a third; the Gadsden Purchase, west of El Paso, forms part of the states of New Mexico. During the late 1920s, El Paso coin dealer Lyman W. Hoffecker tried hard to gain congressional approval for a half dollar commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Gadsden Purchase. In 1929, he founded the Gadsden Purchase Commission. At the time, commemorative coins were not sold by the government—Congress, in authorizing legislation designated an organization which had the exclusive right to purchase them at face value and vend them to the public at a premium. Hoffecker wanted to be able to control the distribution of the Gadsden Purchase half dollars; the April 1929 issue of The Numismatist printed a letter from Hoffecker, said to have designed the proposed coin and would be responsible for its distribution.
It stated that Texas Congressman Claude Benton Hudspeth had agreed to introduce legislation for the Gadsden piece. Hoffecker related that the coin would have the portrait of Gadsden on its obverse, a reverse with a map of New Mexico and Arizona depicting the purchased lands, with El Paso shown. Ten thousand coins were to be sought. Hudspeth introduced a bill for a Gadsden Purchase half dollar into the House of Representatives on April 25, 1929. On January 29, 1930, the committee chair, Randolph Perkins of New Jersey, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, enquiring as to the Treasury's views. Mellon replied on the 31st, opposing the bill, on the grounds that Congress had wisely decided in 1890 that coin designs should not be changed more than once in 25 years, that the 15 commemorative coin bills passed since 1920 were wasteful and a burden on the Mint, he noted that in 1927, at the time of the Vermont Sesquicentennial half dollar, the Coinage Committee had gone on record in opposition of commemorative coin issues, many of which were only of local and not national significance.
A number of issues had not sold out, with coins returned to the Mint to be melted, he suggested that a medal be issued instead of a coin. On March 8, Hoffecker sent a telegram to the committee offering to pay for the entire issue of 10,000 anytime the department wanted, given that the Mint had produced over 30,000,000 coins for other nations in 1929, any burden posed by commemorative half dollars was slight. Hearings were held by the committee on the bill on March 17, 1930, with Perkins presiding. On the 17th, Congressman Guinn Williams appeared on behalf of Hudspeth, ill. Williams stated that the coin issue was important to the entire Southwest, that proponents would not allow the government to incur any expense, stated that they were ready to pay for the coins, he presented a joint resolution of the houses of the Texas Legislature, asking the state's representatives to introduce and support a bill for a Gadsden Purchase half dollar. Next to speak was Albert Gallatin Simms of New Mexico, who assured the committee of his own support for the bill, that of his state's two senators.
Hudspeth sent a letter, his secretary Kate George told the committee that the senators from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona were unanimously in favor of the bill. Hudspeth's letter stated he had been told by Hoffecker's committee that
Daniel Boone Bicentennial half dollar
The Daniel Boone Bicentennial half dollar was designed by Henry Augustus Lukeman and minted during the 1934, commemorating the 200th birthday of frontiersman Daniel Boone. The obverse depicts Boone while the obverse depicts a frontiersman standing next to an Indian Chief in front of a stockade on the left and the rising sun on the right. Sculptor Henry Augustus Lukeman was hired by the Kentucky Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission to prepare designs for the upcoming commemorative coin honoring the frontiersman. Although Lukeman ignored many of their artistic requirements for the coin, the Commission conceded and Lukeman's designs, after minor changes, were approved; the profits from the sale were distributed to the "Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission" and the "Pioneer National Monument Association" in Lexington, Kentucky. The coins were struck only at the Philadelphia mint that year, all were sold by the end of the year. In early 1935, production continued; that same year, the coin's reverse design was modified when C.
Frank Dunn, the secretary of the Boone Bicentennial Commission, used his connections in Congress to get new legislation approved stating in part: That, insomuch as the annual change in coinage date required by law has caused the removal of the commemorative date of 1934 from the design approved and in use for the coinage of the 50-cent pieces commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel Boone… it is herby authorized to supplement said design so that the reverse of said 50-cent pieces will show the figures "1934" above the words "PIONEER YEAR". The legislation passed on August 26, 1935, as a result, an additional 10,008 coins were minted at Philadelphia, with 2,003 being minted at Denver and 2,004 at San Francisco. Dunn advertised these coins as rarities, the pair was sold for $3.70. Although collectors ordered this extra issue on order for their sets were to be complete, most were frustrated when their orders were returned unfilled by the commission, which claimed that all of the branch mint pieces were sold in pre-order sales.
As a result, many collectors, sensing fraud from the commission, turned to the secondary market. Although the coins were available on the secondary market, they were sold at many times their advertised price. Frustration was further compounded when rumors circulated that the commission had only distributed only around 25% of the branch mint issues and held the remaining coins to be released to dealers and speculators after the price had risen. Production of the Daniel Boone Bicentennial half dollar continued into the following three years. Although Dunn announced production would end in 1937, the following year more coins would be minted. However, the 1937 and 1938 were shunned by collectors and did not sell well, resulting in many being returned to the mint and melted. Early United States commemorative coins Half dollar Media related to Daniel Boone Bicentennial half dollar at Wikimedia Commons