Those who have patrolled the US Commemoratives section of CCF know that I enjoy collecting original promotional/distribution items associated with the classic series of coins as well as the special packaging options that are sometimes available with the modern issues. I have most of the modern variations at this point, but do lack a few.
I encountered one of the "holes" in my modern collection this past weekend at the annual South Carolina Numismatic Association (SCNA) show - the very attractive and impressive "Lewis and Clark Coinage and Currency Set." A dealer had a pair of nice examples offered at a very attractive price point. After a minute or two of inspection, my preferred choice was purchased and stashed in my briefcase for safekeeping.
The set features four coins, three stamps, a silver-plated bronze medal and a specimen print from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). It was issued as one of the two special packaging options by the US Mint within its 2004 silver dollar program marking the bicentennial of the explorations of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. (The other was the "Coin and Pouch Set" which featured a hand-crafted leather pouch made and signed by a Native American artisan.) The "Coinage and Currency" set sold for $90 at the time of its issue; its production was limited to 50,000 sets.
President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Captains Lewis and Clark to lead an expedition into the newly acquired territory of Louisiana - gained from France via the "Louisiana Purchase" - to explore the uncharted West and to search for a potential water route across North America; their journey began in May 1804 and concluded in September 1806.
The obverse of the attractive silver dollar depicts the explorers standing together beside a stream; Lewis is seen pointing into the distance and Clark is depicted holding his rifle. A forest is seen in the background. On the reverse is seen a pair of feathers meant to represent the Native Americans encountered during their journey along with the reverse design of the "Indian Peace Medal" used during Thomas Jefferson's administration. The original silver medals were given to Native American chiefs and other important representatives by those representing the US Government as a token of friendship and peace.
To supplement the dollar coin, a silver-plated version of the small bronze Thomas Jefferson medal from the US Mint's "Presidents Series" is included, as are a 2004 uncirculated Sacagawea dollar
(she was the Shoshone woman that accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition) and an example of each of the two 2004 circulating commemorative five-cent pieces - the "Peace Medal" and "Keelboat" designs.
Also included are the three stamps the USPS issued to commemorate the expedition and a specimen of the front design of the Series 1901 $10 United States Notes (the "Bison" note.) The specimen note was printed from a specially-created plate prepared from the original master die used for the famous note.
The set also includes a well-written and nicely illustrated booklet about the expedition which features reproductions of pertinent documents from the National Archives.
All in all, the set is a wonderful way to collect the 2004 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial silver dollar and to recall their momentous journey through the American West.
Here are a few images of the set. Note: The images presented are much smaller than the actual size of the set's folder. Each of its panels measures 9-1/2" wide by 5 inches tall.2004 Lewis and Clark "Coinage and Currency Set" - Front Panel2004 Lewis and Clark "Coinage and Currency Set" - Stamp Panel2004 Lewis and Clark "Coinage and Currency Set" - Coin Obverse Panel2004 Lewis and Clark "Coinage and Currency Set" - Coin Reverse Panel2004 Lewis and Clark "Coinage and Currency Set" - Specimen Note PanelRead More: Commems Collection