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Commems Collection: 1946 Booker T. Washington

 
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 Posted 04/13/2012  9:59 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Tonight we take a quick look at one of the last coins of the classic US commemorative series, the Booker Taliaferro Washington (BTW) half-dollar presented in PCGS MS-66.

The BTW coin was authorized at the same time as the Iowa Statehood Centennial half-dollar. It was more of a "lifetime achievement" commemorative honoring the man's accomplishments as a teacher, leader and spokesman for the US African-American community; the coin did not mark a particular anniversary of an important date/event in his life. The coin was issued to help raise funds to support the creation of a permanent memorial to BTW's life -- the Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial.

Read More: Commems Collection

The design for the coin was originally prepared by noted sculptor Charles Keck, who also designed the Lynchburg Sesquicentennial, Vermont-Bennington Sesquicentennial and Panama-Pacific Exposition half-dollars. Late in the process, after Keck had already submitted his designs, Isaac Scott Hathaway, an African-American artist who owned a life-mask of BTW came forward and offered to prepare the coin's models free of charge. His designs, with revisions, were ultimately selected over Keck's by the Commission of Fine Arts (though Keck's designs had the original approval of the BTW Birthplace Committee) and resulted in the coin we are all familiar with today. The obverse features BTW's portrait, while the reverse highlights his rise from being born into slavery in 1856 to a position of political leadership and induction into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University.

The coin shown is a brilliant, lustrous example struck by the Philadelphia Mint in 1946. The coins were struck by all three mints every year from 1946 through 1951; the ‘D' and ‘S' mintmarks are on the reverse below the cabin. Ultimately, over 1.56 million coins were minted.

I've included an "extra" tonight, a set of mintmarked coins from 1946 in one of the original black leatherette holders.

Enjoy!


1946 Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial -- Obverse




1946 Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial -- Reverse




1946 Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial -- Set in Holder



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/14/2012  11:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TreeMonkey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another beautiful example.! I'm enjoying the show. Keep 'em coming!
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 Posted 04/14/2012  8:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Lovely coin commems and another exceptional discussion of the 'story behind the coin'.

I remain equally impressed and awed by your amazing collection of the related materials that came with the various coins you are showing ... in this case your 1946 set in the original holder.

Amazing and inspiring collectibles indeed.

To this 1946 BTW ... I note that your lovely coin suffers from an average strike ... as evidenced by the original planchet marks observed on BTW jaw/cheek area.

Rest assured that we are in the same boat ... my type example of this coin is a brilliant cartwheel luster 1950-S PCGS MS66/CAC ... and it suffers from the same strike issues.

I've examined a hundred or so of these in high MS ... and have yet to find one fully hammered strike example. Still looking ... and that is what makes the hunt so fun.

For those interested in circulated coins ... the BTW is easily found in well circulated condition at near melt values ...

I have commem 1946 BTW in AG03 condition ... an amazing contrast to this lovely gem plus MS66.

David
Take a look at my other hobby ... http://www.finewoodcrafter.com
Too many hobbies .... too much work .... not enough time.
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 Posted 04/14/2012  9:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Beautiful coin!
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 Posted 04/14/2012  10:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add COMET to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another nice coin, the commemorative half series is a fun series to collect.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  12:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very nice coins! You should create your own e-book of the series.
Edited by wquinn
04/16/2012 12:48 pm
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 Posted 04/16/2012  6:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This is one of the commemorative half dollars that I have considered for my 7070. There are many reasons, but one is that I can get one of these that was minted the year my mother was born.

I know I am Mr. Crack-it-out, but I do enjoy seeing these older OGP holders as well.
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