I've previously mentioned the Bill of Rights (BofR) Coin and Stamp Set in a general post about the BofR coins (see link below), but I didn't actually discuss the Set. So...
The 1993 Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Set was one of three special collector sets offered by the US Mint for the BofR coin program, the others were a Young Collectors Set and a Coin and Medal Set. (See links below.)
The BofR Coin and Stamp Set paired a proof version of the BofR program's 0.900 fine silver dollar with a mint condition 25-cent Bill of Rights stamp that was issued on September 25, 1989 to mark the bicentennial of the adoption of the Bill of Rights by Congress; the Constitutional amendments were adopted on September 25, 1789.
The coin's obverse presents a three-quarter, front-facing portrait of James Madison as he works, quill pen in hand, on the Bill of Rights. Madison is often referred to as the "Father of the Bill of Rights" in consideration of his lead position for its drafting. In the background, over Madison's left shoulder is seen Montpelier, his home in Virginia. The reverse is dominated by the Torch of Freedom and is flanked/encircled by legislated mottoes and various commemorative inscriptions.
I've discussed the somewhat odd timing of the James Madison/Bill of Rights coins before, so I won't repeat it here other than to say that 1793 was not a milestone year for Madison or the Bill of Rights, and so using it as the year for a bicentennial commemoration seems off. (For more about this, follow the link below.)
Though adopted by Congress in 1789, the Bill of Rights would not be ratified by the states until 1791 when Virginia voted in favor. The original version had 20 proposed amendments, but this was reduced to 12 before the collection was adopted by Congress and sent to the states. The states ratified 10 of the proposed 12 Constitutional amendments, and these 10 became known as the Bill of Rights. Just FYI: the two that failed to be ratified at the time were:
1) (initially, Article the first) an amendment that would have created a sliding scale for the number of Representatives in Congress; the amendment specified limits based on population counts of 30,000, 40,000 and 50,000 in a congressional district - as a district's population grew, it would be divided into additional districts. The proposed amendment stopped at a population of 50,000, however, which would not allow for the country's enormous population growth and today's district assignments which are based on equal and balanced representation across an entire state's population. For example, the State of New York has 27 districts of varying geographic sizes, all of which have a population in excess of 600,000 (but as equal as currently possible). If the amendment had been ratified (and left unchanged), New York would, today, have well over 300 districts!
2) (initially, Article the second) an amendment that would have prevented a Congress from altering its own salary; any adjustments made would not take effect until the next Congress takes office. Interestingly, this amendment was eventually ratified in 1992 when Michigan ratified it and thus enabled the amendment to reach the three-quarters of all states level it needed for ratification. It is now part of the Constitution. If you'd like to dig deeper, check out this very informative piece on the web site of the Constitution Center: The Twenty-Seventh Amendment.
Back to the Set...
The Set's coin and stamp folder includes brief introductory information about James Madison, the BofR and the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation (the sponsor of the coin), plus information/specifications on the included coin and stamp.
The BofR Coin and Stamp Set was the first such set created by the US Mint. It was released months after the February release of the individual coins and the special collectors sets - the Young Collectors Set and the Coin and Medal Set. The issue price for the Coin and Stamp Set was $14.50 (a far cry of what it's issue price would be today!). Final sales of the Set totaled 49,926 of 50,000. The Set sold out its production limit, the lower-than-50K final total represents a reduction due to returned/damaged/unsalable units.
The Coin and Stamp Set is comprised of two components: an outer slipcase and a four-panel folder that houses the coin and stamp. The front cover of the slipcase features an embossed rendition of the Great Seal of the US set upon a stylized US flag, along with the text "UNITED STATES MINT / Bill of Rights / COMMEMORATIVE COIN AND STAMP SET" at left. The back cover of the slipcase includes a reverse mirror image of the front cover in terms of the Seal and flag, but with a small Treasury Department Seal and the text "DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY / UNITED STATES MINT / WASHINGTON, D.C. 20220" at right. Also, the packaging source is referenced as being the UK. Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Slipcase - Front Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Slipcase - Back
The front cover of the coin folder is essentially a duplicate of the front cover of the slipcase, but without the embossing on the Great Seal. Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Folder - Front Panel
The top interior panel of the folder presents a miniature version of the Bill of Rights document, along with brief informational content about the Bill of Rights and the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation. Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Folder - Interior-Top Panel
The obverse of the coin (left) and the Bill of Rights stamp are presented within the bottom interior panel; basic information about each is included. Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Folder - Interior-Bottom Panel
The back cover features a window through which the coin's reverse is seen. The Certificate of Authenticity for the coin and the specifications for the coin and stamp are also presented. Bill of Rights Coin and Stamp Folder - Back Panel
All-in-all, an attractive and nicely-packaged set that would resurface as a product option in 1996 with the Community Service silver dollar.
For more on the 1993 James Madison/Bill of Rights coins, see:
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Coins
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Young Collectors Set
- 1993 James Madison / Bill of Rights Coin and Medal Set - Coming Soon!
For other posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection