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Video ANA Academy: The Lafayette Dollar: Big, Bold & Forgotten

 
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 Posted 06/23/2021  4:34 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
ANA - The Lafayette Dollar shares a rich history as part of the classic commemorative series. Unfortunately, the coin is often overlooked when compared to its brethren. What is the reason for this? The time period in which the coin was minted? The design? The subject matter it commemorates? Join a light-hearted discussion on one of America's most forgotten coins. Instructor: Rod Gillis, ANA Education Director.

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Lafayette Memorial Silver Dollar Commemorative History, Facts, and Specifications

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 Posted 06/23/2021  11:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Beefer518 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Their videography skills leave something to be desired, but an interesting video none the less.

I was more interested in the "Forgotten" aspect of the coin, and their reasoning was mostly based on price of the coin at time of release ($2), and lack of interest in the (yet to be) series at the time.

I agree, but I think some other reasons could be; no central sales point or souvenir aspect like the Columbus/Isabella, a cause that many Americans at the time may have had little interest in supporting (a statue in a different country), and that it had been 7 years since the last commemorative.

I'd be interested in knowing how the coin was promoted, how someone would obtain one. Was it mail order from the mint, dealer ads in numismatic (or other) publications, newspaper ads, or what? No internet, no TV, no radio, etc., so how did the committee get the word out to the masses, or did they? When you're hoping to sell a novelty coin for about a full day's pay, in a time when numismatics wasn't a household word, I would think you'd need to be aggressive in your promotion.

Those are my thoughts on it's lack of popularity at release.

As for today, the Lafayette (IMO) is somewhat of an odd duck like the Isabella.

Thanks for the link!
Edited by Beefer518
06/23/2021 11:21 pm
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 Posted 06/24/2021  08:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'd be interested in knowing how the coin was promoted, how someone would obtain one.

The Lafayette Memorial Commission (LMC) released a letter/notice to the press in late November 1899 that was picked up by hobby publications (e.g., the ANA's The Numismatist) and general media newspapers across the country. The notice provided ordering instructions for those interested. Orders were directed to the Secretary of the LMC c/o Chicago's American Trust & Savings Bank. Initially the LMC handled the mail orders for the coin, but later passed the fulfillment responsibility to AT&S Bank as it became more engaged in its activities for the 1900 Paris Exposition. The coins were sold for $2.00 each.

Coins could also be ordered through one's local bank in many cases; the bank would then forward the order, along with others it had received, to the LMC.

About 2,000 of the coins were sold at the Paris Exposition. A much higher sales figure was expected by the LMC (i.e., 10,000+), but did not materialize. Thus, domestic sales of approximately 34,000 coins accounted for the balance of those sold - the Lafayette dollar had a net mintage of 36,026 (including the 26 assay coins).

Hope that answers your question!




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
06/24/2021 09:21 am
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 Posted 06/24/2021  09:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Beefer518 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Commems! Yes it does.

Do you have any thoughts as to the 'Forgotten' aspect of the Lafayette? It does seem to be a coin that is hardly spoken about in forums, even with it's high value.
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 Posted 06/24/2021  10:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do you have any thoughts as to the 'Forgotten' aspect of the Lafayette? It does seem to be a coin that is hardly spoken about in forums, even with it's high value.

I've posted about it - but I post about everything commemorative so, perhaps, I don't count!

I don't consider the coin "forgotten." I see it as more that the half dollars have captured the spotlight over the years due to their number, variety and dealer promotion. With just one (official) silver dollar commemorative within the classic series, I think it's easy for collectors to de-emphasize it and push it to the background - it's high cost for choice/gem mint state examples doesn't help it any.

Each of the dedicated US classic commemorative coin collectors I personally know has the Lafayette either in their sights or already owns it - it's not forgotten by these collectors. It does make for a catchy title for a presentation, however, and is probably good at drawing people in!

Here's one of mine:






Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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