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Commems Collection: What If? 1937 Cleveland Centennial Half Dollar

 
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 Posted 01/22/2016  01:15 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Collectors of the classic series of US commemoratives are likely familiar with the 1936 half dollar that marked the centennial of the city of Cleveland and its hosting of the Great Lakes Exposition. Here are a few links to my earlier posts about the coin:

http://goccf.com/t/116328

http://goccf.com/t/128834

http://goccf.com/t/160068

The obverse of the coin features a left-facing portrait of Revolutionary War General Moses Cleaveland; he was the surveyor who selected the settlement site for what would later become the City of Cleveland. A map of the Great Lakes area with its major cities noted with stars appears on the reverse. The largest star, with the large compass pointing to it, represents Cleveland. Brenda Putnam was responsible for the design on each side.

Bills for the coin were introduced in the US House and Senate in March 1936; they called for the minting of up to 50,000 commemorative half dollars on behalf of the Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association. After minor debate, the Senate bill was moved forward; President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Senate bill into law on May 5, 1936 (less than two months after its introduction in Congress).

The design and striking of the coin also moved quickly, with an initial order of 25,000 coins being struck in July 1936; the coins were sold at the Exposition and via mail order. As sales of the coin were good, the Association ordered an additional 25,000 coins; they were struck in February of 1937 but bear the date "1936" as required by the authorizing legislation. The two orders "maxed out" the number of coins the Association could request.

The Association was not done, however. Believing they could sell additional coins if a second variety was created, it asked Congress for a new authorization.

The House and Senate bills proposing the new coin did not seek a change to its overall design, they simply requested that a small "1937" be added to an additional allocation of 25,000 1936-dated coins. As the Exposition was scheduled to run a full second season in 1937, the Association believed the dual-dated coins would be an attractive souvenir for Exposition attendees and coin collectors across the country.

The new proposal very likely was inspired by the Daniel Boone Bicentennial Commission which had recently, and successfully, requested from Congress a change to its original coin authorization to allow a small "1934" to be added to its coins struck between 1935 and 1938.

Unfortunately for the Association, its new request did not gain the same traction as its original proposal. The new bills were referred to the appropriate committees in the House and Senate, where each died for lack of action.

So, one can only theorize as to the potential popularity of a second Cleveland half dollar. Me? I would suggest total sales in the 10K to 15K range - not everyone who purchased the original coin at the time would have been a "completist" and felt the need to purchase another coin of essentially the same design.

Shown here is my "Cleveland" half dollar along with a piece of August 1937-dated ephemera from the Exposition generated in response to an apparent inquiry regarding the availability of its coin. Interestingly, Baker Camp on Lake Sebago in Sloatsburg, NY still exists today. Camping anyone?







Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 01/22/2016  11:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There certainly were a lot of what-ifs in the classic commemorative era. I do enjoy reading about the possibilities and then wondering how different things might have been different (for better or worse). Once again, thank your for sharing.
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 Posted 01/22/2016  2:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A interesting and entertaining read. Thanks for posting.

I like that reverse design - it's unusual.
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 Posted 01/22/2016  3:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add bpoc1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commems, thanks for sharing.
I did post on one of your previous sites for this Commemorative and still love
reading about it.
I would go for a second minting in a heart beat!
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 Posted 01/23/2016  7:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Amazed that I still have electricity in Maryland ... being pounded by a blizzard ... finally caught up to this forum and see my favorite commemorative member has posted another exceptional 'What if' post.


Quote:
I would go for a second minting in a heart beat!


I'll politely be the contrarian to that wish.

My thinking is as follows ... The 144-coin classic silver commemorative series has 50 type coins and 94 'additional' that are essentially repeats of the original idea with a new date or mint mark.

For me ... the joy of the series is the diversity and beauty of the coins design ... not a repeat of the idea so the originating organization can make more money.

There might be a few commemorative series whereby the design is powerful enough to gain a true multi-coin following ...

The Oregon Trail and Texas halves come to mind along those lines.

There are many (most) commemorative series whereby the design does not inspire me at all ... hence my complete lack of interest in a complete 144-coin set.

IMHO ... my aesthetic of Brenda Putman coin places it into the 'needed to have' for a type coin but does not thrill me.

The second Cleveland as comems states was possible would have become in my judgment another 'wasted' coin in the overall scheme of the series.

BTW - Great to have commems back and posting with us.

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 01/23/2016  7:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Wonderful post. Thanks.
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 Posted 02/11/2016  11:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Susuman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Commems,

I was reading this thread, checked your old ones posted above, and realized that I have one of the apparently rare envelope holders for the Cleveland commemorative. Here is a photo of the coin and original envelope. The coin was in the issuing envelope, which was folded and all stuck into the shown 2x2.

I have little doubt that this is the original coin to the envelope. This commemorative was collected by my grandfather who was an active collector through the 1930's. It is even possible that he actually was the original purchaser of the coin as I know he traveled from Detroit to Washington D.C. in June 1936 specifically to purchase coins.

Anyway, I guess that 733 is one more envelope number you can add to your list. How many have you identified thus far?

I appreciate your write-ups on the different commemorative coins. Thank You




I am thinking of sending this coin into PCGS. I wish they could encapsulate the envelope with it though....
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 Posted 02/12/2016  01:18 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add CelticKnot to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That.....is... AMAZING.
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 Posted 02/12/2016  08:56 am  Show Profile   Check captainrich's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add captainrich to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I am thinking of sending this coin into PCGS. I wish they could encapsulate the envelope with it though....


I see that Susuman's commemorative envelope is even autographed by someone named "P. Mint."
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 Posted 02/12/2016  2:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mellamobradley46 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks to me that it was autograph by "Uncle P. Mint."
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 Posted 02/12/2016  3:14 pm  Show Profile   Check captainrich's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add captainrich to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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 Posted 02/12/2016  5:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Susuman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I seem to have a lot of coin envelopes autographed by 'Uncle P. Mint' and his apparent brothers 'Uncle D. Mint' and 'Uncle S. Mint' They all seem to be in my grandfathers writing....

Wait a minute ... It can't be.... Oh, this is hurting my brain
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 Posted 02/15/2016  11:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@susuman: Wonderful group of Cleveland Centennial coin items! Thanks for sharing - I will add "733" to my listing of envelopes. It will be the first addition in quite some time.

It's great that your grandfather took the time to carefully store the items in his coin collection. So many have been abused over the years, it's wonderful to read about coins that are truly original. I hope you enjoy owning the Cleveland pieces for a long time to come!

Lastly, I'm glad you've enjoyed reading some of my commemorative coin posts!


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 03/04/2016  03:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add freddo30 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I like to think that the "1937" Clevelands include the very scarce heavily clashed and repolished die coins which are rarely mentioned (if ever) produced when no more fresh dies were available indicating possibly late iteration. They are the only examples of this type which I have encountered with spectacular multicolored toning due to the difference in surface texture and one original pair I sold in 1989 still gives me nightmares even though the price was obscene for the time ($4,000 for the pair) having paid $200 in the original holder with envelope in 1981. I've always hoped to see them again somewhere, somehow, but it hasn't happened.
Living in the immediate area of The Great Lakes Exposition, I have owned many (300+) of these coins including (8) in numbered envelopes (I kept #940), single Melish notarized specimens (I retained #102), double Melish notarized two-coin sets (retained #93/94), specimens in his Bromwell Wire Goods Company mailing envelopes, tri-fold cards with tissue, bank distribution single and double cards, a small hoard of 50 matched pcs and 2-1/2 tons of related ephemera. I've also explored the much changed grounds of the exposition in Cleveland just for fun.
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 Posted 03/04/2016  06:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add RCook to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At a final cost of $1.70 each I think I'll put in my order for a few thousand.
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