We move up the West Coast this evening to the beautiful Columbia River Gorge area with a stop via a 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial half-dollar in PCGS
The Columbia River area is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever visited. My scenic ride along the Oregon side of the river with stops at a half-dozen waterfalls was an experience I'll never forget. While in the area, I also visited the reconstructed Fort Vancouver and had a great time learning about the fort and life on the frontier in the early 19th century. But now it's time to talk coins...
The Fort Vancouver Centennial half-dollar was one of four commemoratives dated 1925. It was struck to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Fort Vancouver on the north side of the Columbia River in what is now Vancouver, Washington (just north of Portland, Oregon). The fort served as a trading post for the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) which administered Britain's interests in the area; the area was jointly occupied by British and American frontiersmen, trappers and settlers.Read More: Commems Collection
The coin was originally sketched by John Urquhart and modeled by Sydney Bell. Laura Gardin Fraser finalized this initial work and is responsible for the coin as struck. Dr. John McLoughlin is depicted on the obverse, while the reverse features a fur trapper in the foreground with Fort Vancouver and Mt. Hood in the background. Dr. McLoughlin was the HBC's Chief Factor (Manager) of the Columbia District, taking on his position in 1824. He oversaw the construction and completion of Fort Vancouver in 1825, and held the fort's lead management position until 1846 when he resigned from the company.
To be blunt, I've seen quite a few ugly Fort Vancouver's. It is a coin that is prone to splotchy, uneven, unattractive toning and can vary from a "chromy" look to a more natural brilliant finish. The coin currently in my collection is an MS-64 that is clean, has terrific luster and is completely untoned. It will be upgraded at some point, but not until the "right" coin is found!
Enjoy!1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial -- Obverse1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial -- Reverse