The 1923 half dollar struck "in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the enunciation of the Monroe Doctrine
" (Public Law 67-391)
features one of the most unusual designs of the entire series - a stylized map of the Western Hemisphere on the coin's reverse. The coin was sponsored by the American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Historical Exposition ("Historical Exposition").
The general concept for the coin's reverse is the presentation of the continents of North and South America - the primary land masses of the Western Hemisphere. To create the map, Chester Beach, the designer of the coin - worked from design concepts developed by the Historical Exposition Coin Committee. He went far beyond the expected relief map approach, however, and used two female figures that were contorted in such a way as to mimic the general shape of North and South America. In her left hand
, North America holds a multi-stemmed branch that somewhat forms Canada, while in her right hand,
she holds a smaller branch as she reaches out to South America and, with her right arm, creates an approximate rendering of Central America. The figure representing South America holds her left hand and arm
against her upper body, while holding a cornucopia in her right hand and arm.
The cornucopia fills in the northern reaches of Brazil and the countries positioned along the continent's northeast coast.
Beach apparently modeled his design after the logo of the 1901 Pan-American Exposition that was held in Buffalo, NY; the Exposition's logo was designed by Ralph Beck.1901 Pan-American Exposition Button
The figures on the coin are depicted looking directly at each other, with South America (IMO) looking up adoringly at North America as a child might look up at an adult parent or guardian. The Monroe Doctrine
was issued by the United States (President James Monroe) to warn outside powers against trying to exert their power and influence in the Western Hemisphere in an attempt to create new colonies. 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollar
To learn more about the Monroe Doctrine
half dollar, check out:
-1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial
For other posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection
Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
04/08/2021 6:01 pm