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Post Your Coins With Hats

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 Posted 04/06/2021  2:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've previously discussed the hats included on the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition silver half dollar and gold one dollar coins...this time out it's time to take a quick look at the gold Quarter Eagle ($2.50).

Columbia - the personification of the United States - a popular allegorical figure in the US during the 1800s and early 1900s, is depicted riding on a hippocampus - a fictitious animal that dates to Greek mythology. A hippocampus was said to be an animal that combined the front quarters of a horse with the body and tail of a fish.

Columbia is shown with her head turned and facing right while wearing a Phrygian cap - aka a liberty cap; the Phrygian cap as a symbol of freedom dates back to the American and French Revolutions of the late 1700s. A similar brimless cap, the pileus, dates back to Roman times when Roman slaves were given such hats when they were freed; the two caps/hats are not one in the same, however. The cap is a common device used to symbolize freedom/liberty on coins from many countries around the world..

The coin's design resulted from the combined efforts of Charles Barber, sixth Chief Engraver of the US Mint, and Assistant Engraver George Morgan. As was custom, Barber, as Chief Engraver, took responsibility for the coin's obverse and assigned Morgan to the reverse.

1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Gold Quarter Eagle


Note: I do not own this coin yet, so I am presenting images of it courtesy of Heritage Auctions, http://www.ha.com.


For more on the 1915 Pan-Pac Quarter Eagle, see:

- 1915 Pan-Pac Quarter Eagle - Coins Representing the Animal Kingdom Thread
- 1915 Pan-Pac Quarter Eagle - Coins with Hands Thread

Link to a discussion of the hats seen on other Pan-Pac coins:

- 1915 Pan-Pac Silver Half Dollar & Gold $1.00 - Coins with Hats Thread

For more posts about commemorative coins and medals, check out: Read More: Commems Collection.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/06/2021  9:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1929 Brazil.
200 Reis

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 Posted 04/07/2021  08:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The gold $50 commemorative coins of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition complete the Exposition's five-coin "Everybody Wears a Hat" program via the depiction of Minerva wearing a crested helmet on the obverse of both the round and octagonal varieties of the coin.

The two varieties of the coin share common obverse and reverse designs. The only difference between them, aside from their shape, is that the octagonal variety adds small dolphins in each of the coin's eight corners (obverse and reverse).

On the obverse of each coin is seen a left-facing portrait of Minerva - the Roman goddess of "wisdom and statecraft" (1) She is depicted wearing a hat - a crested Roman helmet. The helmet is called a galea, and was the helmet of Roman legionaries and centurions. Its most distinguishing feature is its crest or plume made of either horse hair or feathers. It is believed by many current historians that the crests on the helmets were more ceremonial vs. adornments seen on the battlefield. This is not known definitively, however, and some researchers believe the crests helped identify groups of soldiers and ranks of soldiers on the battlefield; the higher-ranking legionaries wore longitudinal crests (i.e., running from front to back) while the lower-ranked centurions wore transverse-mounted (i.e., side-to-side) crests.

Depictions of Minerva generally show her wearing a helmet with a longitudinal crest - like on the coin - indicating she is a leader vs. a rank-and-file soldier - a fitting role for a goddess!

While a soldier's helmet might seem like an odd item for a goddess of "wisdom and statecraft" to wear, it's important to realize that Minerva had other "responsibilities" assigned to her in the Roman religion. She was also the goddess of the Liberal Arts, Polity (i.e., Civil Government), Trade and War (among other things).

With War among her incumbencies, Minerva in a Roman soldier's helmet seems perfectly natural. It seems safe to say, however, that within the context of a commemorative for the completion and opening of the Panama Canal - the purpose of the Exposition's coin program - Minerva, depicted as the goddess of Wisdom is more fitting vs. as the goddess of War. After all, the Canal was not constructed to be an instrument of war, but, rather, an instrument in support of international trade and exchange. Its completion reflected the wisdom of many individuals; General Walter Reed, a US Army physician, for example. Without Reed's medical knowledge and research acumen (i.e., "wisdom"), along with the intelligence and creative ingenuity (i.e., "wisdom") of the engineers who developed the Canal's construction plan, its completion may either not have happened at all or it might have been delayed for many years! For me, helmet or no, Minerva was included in the coin's design to symbolize wisdom and knowledge!

The coin was designed by Robert Aitken who would go on to create the designs for the 1921 Missouri Statehood Centennial half dollar and the 1935-36 California-Pacific International Exposition half dollar (aka "San Diego") - two other coins that features hats!


1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Gold $50 - Round Variety


1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition Gold $50 - Octagonal Variety


Image Credit: Images of both varieties courtesy of Heritage Auctions, http://www.ha.com.

For more on the Pan-Pac Quintuple Eagles, see:

- 1915 Pan-Pac Gold $50 Coins - Mythology on Coins Thread
- 1915 Pan-Pac Gold $50 Coins - Coins Depicting the Animal Kingdom Thread


For other of my discussions of commemorative coins and medals, including Aitken's other coin designs, check out: Read More: Commems Collection


Works Cited

1. Kelsey, Francis. An Outline of Greek and Roman Mythology. Boston : Allyn and Bacon, 1889. p 33.


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
04/07/2021 09:20 am
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 Posted 04/08/2021  06:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1958 Repubblica Italiana.
L.500

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 Posted 04/10/2021  10:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add owatchman to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Canada 10 dollars 2006

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 Posted 04/11/2021  05:24 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
2005 British £5 coin showing Admiral Lord Nelson:

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 Posted 04/11/2021  12:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Back in 2002, the Royal Canadian Mint ( RCM) issued a commemorative silver dollar as a memorial to the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth, who passed on March 30,2002. The commemorative reverse featured her portrait based on a photograph that presented her wearing a wide-brimmed hat.

I've included an image of the coin's outer box/package as it features the reference photograph.






Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 04/11/2021  5:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1907 Republica de Panama.
1/2 centesimo



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 Posted 04/16/2021  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1962 Republica Argentina.
Un Peso.


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 Posted 04/17/2021  2:09 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Napoleon on a 1986 St Helena 50p crown:
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 Posted 04/17/2021  10:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dorado to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
1903 Republique Française
25 centimes


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