Note: A little over five years ago, GR58 posted about this set here:http://goccf.com/t/74728. That thread had a different focus than is my intent here, so I believe it is OK to "duplicate" the topic.
I have posted quite a bit about the ephemera (i.e., paper items) associated with coins of the classic commemorative era (1892-1954). I enjoy collecting the original holders, letters from the sponsors and "official" booklets, programs, etc. that accompanied the coins.
Surprisingly, as I obtained the modern commemorative coins directly from the Mint during the 1990s and early 2000s, I didn't always purchase the specially-packaged sets that were offered for some programs. So, I've had to purchase such sets on the secondary market as I find them for what I consider fair prices.
Previously, I wrote about the 2004 Lewis & Clark Coinage & Currency Set here: http://goccf.com/t/189405
Tonight, I'd like to discuss the US Mint's first "C&C" set - the 1994 Thomas Jefferson Coinage & Currency Set.
The US Mint released its first special educational packages in 1993 when it issued a "Young Collector" set, a "Coin and Stamp" set and a "Coin and Medal" set as part of the James Madison / Bill of Rights commemorative program. Also issued in 1993 were the "Young Collector" and "Victory Medal" sets for the World War II coin program.
In 1994, as part of its Thomas Jefferson commemorative program, the Mint released a "Coinage and Currency" set that was a collaborative effort between the Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Why was a set featuring a 1993-dated silver dollar not issued until 1994? The legislation authorizing the Jefferson commemorative did not become Public Law 103-186 until December 14, 1993 - there was no time for the Mint to produce and release the coins in calendar year 1993. However, the issued coins are dated "1993" because the enabling legislation specifies that the coins were to feature such date.
The Jefferson silver dollar features a portrait of Jefferson on the obverse; it is based on the "Medallion Portrait" created by Gilbert Stuart in 1805. The artist is said to have "modeled it directly on the imagery of ancient Greek and Roman coins, medallions, and marble relief sculptures." (www.harvardartmuseums.org). Jefferson paid Stuart $100 for the painting, and is known to have been very pleased with it. You can see the portrait in the "Inner Content Panel" image below.
The reverse of the dollar depicts about 85% of the "west front" of Monticello, Jefferson's self-designed home from 1770 until his death in 1826; the viewer's perspective is slightly left of center. I say "west front" because Jefferson considered both the east-facing and west-facing sides of his house to be "fronts" vs. one a "front" and the other a "back."
The coin's designs are the work of US Mint sculptor/engraver T. James Ferrell.
The Jefferson C&C set features an uncirculated strike of the Jefferson silver dollar, a 1994 Jefferson nickel
and a $2.00 bill featuring Jefferson's portrait; each of the coins was struck in Philadelphia. The sets generated quite a bit of collector interest at and immediately following their launch. It was not due to the new commemorative silver dollar, it was the inclusion of a "matte finish" Jefferson nickel
that was not available any other way. The Mint used the special finish for the nickel so that it would match the satiny finish of the uncirculated silver dollar. It was the first Jefferson five-cent piece to feature the matte finish and many collectors of the Jefferson series were quick to purchase the sets to keep their collection complete.
The set also includes a Thomas Jefferson: Father of America's Decimal Coinage System
booklet which provides a brief introduction to Jefferson's role in creating the US' decimal-based national coinage - a quick but interesting read.
The Mint originally intended to limit the number of Jefferson C&C sets to 50,000. It did not specify this when the sets went on sale, however, and well over 100,000 orders were soon placed. The Mint decided to honor all orders and eventually distributed 167,703 sets.
If you ever wondered why the Jefferson C&C set is available in the market for much less than the 1997 Botanic Gardens C&C set, which also features a matte finish nickel, it is a direct result of the number of sets distributed: 167,703 for the Jefferson set vs. 24,931 for the Botanic Gardens set (a roughly 7:1 ratio); the Mint limited sales of the Botanic Gardens set to a maximum of 25,000 units.
The sets were produced with "regular" $2.00 bills and "replacement" notes which feature a star as part of the serial number. Though fewer of the "star note" sets were produced, the sets carry only a slight (if any) premium in the marketplace. I chose to purchase a star note set for no other reason than it was a bit less common - I didn't pay extra for it.
If you should seek out one of these sets, you should understand that it is very common to find the reverse side of each coin showing signs of toning. In my experience, the five-cent pieces tend to show much more toning than the silver dollar. The obverses are generally tone-free. The toning I refer to can be seen in the "Coin Panel: Reverse" image of my set below.
The set was issued in mid-1994. It was initially available for $34 if ordered by June 24th; the regular price of $39 went into effect for all subsequent orders.
Nice undamaged sets are often available at prices in the $40 to $50 range - sometimes less, sometimes more. If you adjust the 1994 selling price of $39 for inflation, the set would cost about $62 in today's dollars. So, the set's market appreciation has clearly not kept up with inflation. I find that a shame. The set is a wonderful educational tool that features a commemorative silver dollar and a commemorative $2.00 note honoring a central figure in the founding of the US. It seems like a perfect numismatic collectible!
Enjoy!Jefferson C&C Set: Outer Sleeve - FrontJefferson C&C Set: Outer Title PanelJefferson C&C Set: Inner Content PanelJefferson C&C Set: Coin Panel - ObverseJefferson C&C Set: Coin Panel - ReverseJefferson C&C Set: Note Panel - FrontJefferson C&C Set: Note Panel - BackJefferson C&C Set: Outer Sleeve - BackRead More: Commems Collection