Private marketing gave identity to half dollar | Silver Coins

Private marketing gave identity to half dollar

Item0820Each so often it is fun to think about the wild and perhaps out of manage days of the commemoratives of the 1930s. If it have been not for the truth that public money and the excellent idea of obtaining commemoratives were involved it would nearly be sufficient to make you want a return to the very good old, undesirable days of private advertising and marketing and strange happenings in the commemorative plan. You could effortlessly chuckle and recommend that they might not exactly have been honest and forthcoming, but they certain have been entertaining.

A good instance of the circumstance may be the Old Spanish Trail half dollar of 1935. It was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Cabeza de Vaca Expedition through the Gulf states in 1535.

In truth, it was type of an intriguing coin as the explorer’s name actually means head of a cow, which might make you query regardless of whether other family members members have been also named soon after barnyard animals. It might have resulted in some kidding in the schoolyard back in the late 1400s, but it did create a nice obverse for the coin along with a map of the Old Spanish Trail and yucca tree reverse.

In fairness, the coin was nice adequate. At least it was basic and different, but selling commemoratives back in 1935 was a true problem. There were basically too several and the topic and design by L.W. Hoffecker with models prepared by Edmund J. Senn have been not going to stand out enough to produce a lot of sales. In the finish, the number of coins sold was put at 10,008.

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Precisely how several of the ten,008 actually ended up in the hands of purchasers at the time is an additional issue. The man credited with the design also was the promoter. That may well seem a small odd, but these were instances when just about anything happened. The truth that Hoffecker ended up promoting the coins from El Paso, Texas, need to not be surprising.

What may well be surprising is that Hoffecker would make all sort of claims about the coins. In his book “American Coin Treasures and Hoards,” Q. David Bowers wrote, “However, considerably of what Hoffecker stated and wrote was false.”

That did not cease Hoffecker from writing Abe Kosoff in 1953 that he was selling two or 3 coins a week at $ 15 each. Given that he had gotten them at face value significantly less than 20 years prior, it was a satisfactory profit.

In his estate there nevertheless had been 63 of the coins. That was in 1987. It was naturally a lifetime effort to sell the coins.

The wealth did get spread around. Bowers reported that the estate of Rev. Edward M. Catich had 400 uncirculated examples that “sold for a million dollars at the height of the 1979-1980 coin investment boom.”

That appears like a quite great price these days. Presently, the MS-65 is $ two,000 and the MS-60 is $ 1,375.

Costs are 1 issue, but the story of the Old Spanish Trail half dollar is fascinating to find out. Hoffecker and Catich managed to strike gold with these silver commemorative coins. With so numerous other commemoratives issued in the course of the period and so a lot of other fascinating approaches to their sales, it shows that Hoffecker knew how the game was played at the time of issue and he was a winner as a outcome.


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