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Commems Collection: 1937 Battle Of Antietam 75th Ann.

 
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 Posted 04/15/2012  08:28 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Today we take a look at the second commemorative half-dollar to mark the 75th anniversary of a Civil War battle -- the 1937 Battle of Antietam coin. The coin presented here is a PCGS MS-65 example.

The coin commemorates the bloodiest single day of the Civil War -- 17 September 1862. During the battle, the first major battle on Union soil, it is estimated that over 23,000 soldiers were either killed or wounded. The battle took place in Washington County, MD, in the vicinity of Sharpsburg. As with last night's Battle of Gettysburg post, I simply can't do justice to the story of the battle here, so I encourage other references to be sought to better understand this tragic day in US history.

Read More: Commems Collection

As with the Gettysburg, the Battle of Antietam half-dollar features conjoined portraits on its obverse. In the foreground is General Robert E. Lee who led the Confederate forces, while General George McClellan, leader of the Union forces, is seen in the background. The reverse depicts the Burnside Bridge over Antietam Creek -- site of some of the fiercest fighting of the battle. The coin was designed by William Marks Simpson, whose work also appears on the Norfolk and Roanoke half-dollars.

Like the Gettysburg, 50,000 of the Antietam half-dollars were struck. Unfortunately, even fewer of these coins were sold -- 18,000 vs. ~27,000 for the Gettysburg -- which resulted in 32,000 coins being returned to the Mint in Philadelphia for melting. Also like the Gettysburg, the Antietam is readily available in nicely preserved MS-66 and MS-67 grades (picking the choicest within each grade is always the goal!). Unlike the Gettysburg, the Antietam was dated and struck in the same year (1937) and was for an anniversary occurring in the same year!

The coin shown here is a brilliant, almost satiny white with the cartwheel luster that is mandatory for all of my coins. It looks like it just came off the press! From my experience, the satiny look is seen fairly regularly on Antietam coins that haven't either toned poorly or been over-dipped to "improve" them.

I have a few related pieces of ephemera for the Antietam, and have included them here. First is the relatively plain original five-coin holder for the coin, then a few images from the Official Program & Guide of the commemoration event held in Washington County, MD.

Enjoy!


1937 Battle of Antietam 75th Anniversary -- Obverse




1937 Battle of Antietam 75th Anniversary -- Reverse




1937 Battle of Antietam 75th Anniversary -- Original Holder, Front




1937 Battle of Antietam 75th Anniversary -- Original Holder, Interior




1937 Battle of Antietam 75th Anniversary -- Original Holder, Back




Official Program & Guide for the National Antietam Commemoration -- Front




Official Program & Guide for the National Antietam Commemoration -- Interior, Battle Memorials




Official Program & Guide for the National Antietam Commemoration -- Back





Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/15/2012  10:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TreeMonkey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What cool related documents you have there, commems! The coin is absolutely lovely and the Official Program & Guide is something really special.
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 Posted 04/15/2012  8:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another outstanding coin indeed commems.

Great story behind the coin ... consistent quality with what you have shared so far ... your knowledge and related ephemera are amazing to me and bring much joy to see.

This particular coin is the best I own in my type set ... I did find that very special gem plus example ...

Many Thanks for sharing from your fabulous set ... I learn something from every post you make.

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 04/15/2012  10:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I love this coin as well. Dont mean to try and hijack your thread but there is currently a PCGS MS67 CAC certified version of this coin on ebay. The buy it now price is 1600 but has the best offer option as well. I am thinking of making an offer on this coin and was wondering if anyone might have better insight into what a fair offer for the coin would be?
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 Posted 04/15/2012  11:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add COMET to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Really glad to see you posting all these commems. I rarely see these coins as a lot of collectors don't collect them. There are a lot of good looking ones, I may just pick up a few now.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  11:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add wquinn to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very awesome coin and story. I hope to visit that battlefield some day.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  7:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add D0ubl3Eagle to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome coin! Just beautiful!
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 Posted 04/16/2012  7:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@basebal21: I'd like to share a thought with you. If you are looking to build a truly high-end, visually appealing set of US commemoratives (not just a set of coins with high grades on their holders), it will be important for you to understand that "bargain" and "top-tier quality" do not typically go together. I'm not trying to be condescending or anything like it, it's just that I've seen too many collectors who don't understand that above average coins will almost always cost more than an average one and they wind up passing on special coins because a dealer wants a premium price. Please remember that not all coins at any particular grade level are the same in terms of overall quality! Also, the bargain is sometimes the opportunity!


It's difficult for me to say how high-end the Antietam you're referring to is without seeing it in hand. It does look very nice from what I can tell, and CAC considers it at the top end of the coins with MS-67 grades. So, it likely will be very nice in hand and likely not a coin that will be bargain priced.

You might try offering 90% of the asking price and see how the dealer responds. The listing indicates returns are accepted, so if you pay a premium price and the coin turns out not to be as high-end as your eye would like it to be, you have options.

Hope this helps!

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/16/2012  10:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very well stated commems ...

I say to basebal21 that your own personal standards are all that matters ... and you need to decide how that E-Bay Antietam meets your needs.

An educated collector will recognize all aspects of a coins quality ... surfaces, strike, luster and last IMHO is technical grade. The goal for many of us is to find quality coins ... not just high graded coins.

You need to sort those competing characteristics ... and decide for yourself if the E-Bay coin meets your needs.

I'm thrilled that you are considering a significant purchase in this fabulous set ...

With all due respect to commems and his thread ... here is a photo of my PCGS MS67/CAC Antietam ... a quality coin.

If the E-Bay coin matches this ... then the price is a bargain for a quality coin ...



Apologize to commems ... I never intend to post a coin of mine in your threads ... your posts are all about you and your coins. I saw this as a learning moment for our new enthusiast.

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 04/17/2012  12:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add TreeMonkey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
David, your example is blinding me! Never look directly at David or commems coins without eye protection and a bib
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 Posted 04/17/2012  12:15 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add basebal21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
commens sorry if I gave the wrong impression. I'm not necessarily bargain hunting (though that would be nice) more or less just want to stay within a reasonable range for fair market value on price. I would like to one day high a true high quality set such as you have, at the moment though I am saving my big high quality purchases to my favorite coins which would be this one and the Gettysburg one. You do make a very good point about the coins being at the higher end of the scale for their grade costing more than at the lower end which had slipped my mind on this one.

I too would prefer to see the coin first but have had good results with online purchases so far and try to stick to coins I can return if they dont meet expectations when I get them in hand. I made an offer and got the price down a little, going to try one more and if that gets rejected accept the counter offer.

Thank you for the advise it was very helpful and pointed out something that I had initially over looked.

I am rather new with the CAC label part. If I understand it correctly only coins at the higher end of their grade get their seal like the new + being offered by PCGS?
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