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Commems Collection: 1921 Alabama 2x2

 
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 Posted 03/26/2012  9:18 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My offering today is a 1921 Alabama Centennial, 2x2 variety in PCGS MS-65, it is a coin with at least two interesting distinctions.

Read More: Commems Collection

Distinction #1: It was the first US coin to feature the portrait of a living person, the then-current Governor of Alabama -- George Kilby. The obverse features Governor Kilby in a conjoined portrait with that of Governor William Bibb, Alabama's first governor.

Distinction #2: It was the first US commemorative to play fast and loose with the date being commemorated. The Alabama statehood centennial took place in 1919, the coin was authorized in 1920 but was not struck until 1921 -- two years after the centennial! Gotta love it!

The coin was modeled by Laura Gardin Fraser from designs submitted by the Alabama Centennial Commission. The 2x2 variety had 5,000 coins struck, the Plain variety (i.e., no 2x2 in the obverse field) has a net mintage of about 59,000. Considering the number of coins available, one would expect the 2x2 variety to carry a significant price premium. While it does typically command a premium throughout the range of grades, the difference is not as great as expected. In higher mint state grades, for example, the premium is rather small - often just 10 to 15%.

The coin presented here is typical for my set, nice cartwheel luster and strong overall eye appeal.

Enjoy!


1921 Alabama 2x2 -- Obverse




1921 Alabama 2x2 -- Reverse


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 03/27/2012  07:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In 1919, 1920 and 1921 things were done a bit more casually than now.
Australia issued a commemorative sterling silver crown in 1937, they also issued it in the following non commemorative year of 1938.

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 Posted 03/27/2012  12:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice!

I have family in Alabama, so this coin is on the short list for the last commemorative slot in my 7070.
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 Posted 03/27/2012  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coin!
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 Posted 03/27/2012  8:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another outstanding coin commems ... thanks for sharing.

Mention should be made for our newer enthusiasts to the set about the nature of the 2x2 designation on your lovely Alabama example.

James Earl Fraser ... husband of Laura Gardin Fraser, and the renowned designer of the Buffalo nickel (plus a few Classic USA silver commemorative) ... was at the time a member of the Commission of Fine Arts.

The Commission had approval rights over the design of USA coinage ... and from this position of authority James suggested that sales could increase if the Alabama issue incorporated the variety trick employed just a few months earlier with the Missouri half dollar.

The entire gimmick was intended to take more $ from collectors pockets in order to keep their sets complete ... and spelled the initial beginnings of the collector abuse that IMHO led to the downfall of the series in 1938/1939.

Anyways ... the 2x2 Alabama was intended to signify it's status as the 22nd State admitted to the Union ... you can check your 50 State Quarters folder to confirm this.

Interesting fun fact is that the 'x' in 2x2 is actually a St. Andrew's cross ... taken from the Alabama state flag ... which inspired the design of the Civil War Confederate flag.

Today we treasure the 2x2 variety ... although contemporary records at the time are confusing about relative mintages between the 2x2 variety and the 'plain' variety.

I'm of the opinion that they are found in roughly equal proportions in the marketplace ...

Final thought ... the 1921 Alabama Half dollar is easy to find in honestly circulated condition ... and as such can fit the need for a beginner collection of these great USA coins at a budget price.

David

Edited for spllneging
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.jk-dk.art
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
Edited by nickelsearcher
03/27/2012 8:08 pm
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 Posted 03/28/2012  10:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice coin and description. It is nice to read the story that goes along with the coin. I look forward to seeing the rest of your collection.

You should write a book on them.
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