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Commems Collection: 1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial

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 Posted 04/03/2012  7:30 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Next up on our commemorative journey is the 1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial, here shown in PCGS MS-67.

The coin features the Old Stone Capitol in Iowa City on the obverse; this building served as the center of government for the last days of the Iowa Territory and first days of the State of Iowa; the state capital was subsequently moved to Des Moines in 1857 and the building then became the first building of what is now Iowa State University. On the reverse is an eagle with 29 stars above (Iowa was the 29th state to join the Union). The coin was designed by Adam Pietz.

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The Iowa coin was one of the last of the traditional or classic US commemoratives to be authorized; the Booker T. Washington half dollar was authorized the same day, 7 August 1946 -- only a 1951 supplement to the BTW legislation to allow for the coining of Carver-Washington half dollars would follow. In his statement of approval, President Truman indicated a preference for commemorative medals vs. commemorative coins to mark such occasions (as had previous presidents) and added that he "shall look with disfavor upon any future proposals" for commemorative coins. In the years that followed, Truman vetoed bills for a Wisconsin Statehood Centennial half-dollar (1947) and a Minnesota Territorial Centennial half-dollar (1948). I guess Congress needed to test his resolve regarding commemoratives before they believed him! (Note: Though they didn't get an official US coin for their anniversaries, nice commemorative medals were struck privately for both states and are avidly collected as part of the H&K So-Called Dollar series.)

The coin shown is blast white with perfect cartwheel luster, it's a great looking coin in hand. This particular coin will always hold a special place in my commemorative collection, as it was the first "Superb" uncirculated coin that I ever purchased. For those unfamiliar with the adjectival grading scale, I believe the conversion is: "Choice" = MS-63/64, "Gem" = MS-65/66, "Superb" = MS-67/68 -- I don't know if they have an adjective for MS-69/70, maybe "Super Duper"?


1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial -- Obverse

1946 Iowa Statehood Centennial - Reverse

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/03/2012  7:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add muddler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hey it looks super duper to me!
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 Posted 04/03/2012  8:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wow ... if those images are scans, then I can only imagine how this coin looks in hand. Tremendous strike and luster ... a quality coin for sure.

I say a blind man could find his way through a dark cave by holding your Iowa Half in front of him and using its glow to navigate.

All collectors regardless of personal favorites surely would appreciate the eye-appeal and beauty of this MS67 Iowa example ... lovely coin indeed commems.

I don't know if they have an adjective for MS-69/70, maybe "Super Duper"?

LOL ... how about ... in this series at least ... Super Expensive?

A few interesting tidbits to augment your excellent historical synopsis on this coin ...

Q. David Bowers writes in his 1991 "Commemorative Coins of the United States, A Complete Encyclopedia" about the relationship between coin designer Adam Pietz and Ralph Evans, then the Chairman of the Iowa State Centennial Sub-Committee on Coins ...

Bowers summarizes an excellent historical record of the correspondence between the two ... and the correspondence is very insightful to modern collectors who wish to understand the nature of design and distribution of the classic silver series.

At the end of the day Mr. Pietz was paid his fee ... plus awarded 25 MS Iowa Half Dollars for his efforts.

Last ... to the best of my knowledge ... the 1946 Iowa Half Dollar remains the last of the classic silver set that is technically not yet fully distributed.

It has been reported that 1,000 coins were set aside by the Iowa Commission ... intended for distribution in 1996 (150th anniversary) and 2046 (200th anniversary).

Reports as late as 1989 describe these 'reserved' coins being stored in a bank vault in Des Moines ... but I do not know what happened in 1996.

Another lovely coin commems ... please keep them coming.

Take a look at my other hobby ...
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 04/04/2012  11:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice, high grade, commem. That coin looks like it has 2 reverses though.
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