Several years ago, while attending the large coin show in Baltimore, I had the opportunity to examine an original of a letter/press release from the Lafayette Memorial Commission ( LMC
). A buyer had already been found for the piece, but I had done business with the dealer a good number of times in the past and he knew of my "taste" for commemorative-related ephemera so he brought it out for me to have a look.
The piece was sold for over $1,000, so I'm not sure I would have purchased it even if I had the chance, but it was nice to hold it and give it a read. As much as I enjoy adding this type of material to my collection, there are times when the asking price simply exceeds my desire! (On multiple occasions, I've had additional opportunities to purchase the same item at a lower, (IMO) more reasonable price.)
The release is dated November 25, 1899, but elements of it appear to have been sent to newspapers across the country in early October, 1899 as items discussing select details of the coin began appearing in newspapers by mid-October.
The release uses the tried-and-true "Don't Be disappointed! Act now!" model for its call to order. It sets the stage with "The limited number issued will make these coins extremely rare and in very great demand. For each 1500 of our population there is a ratio of but one Lafayette Dollar." and then driving things home with "to be considered [orders] must be accompanied by payment in full and be in the hands of the Commission on or before DECEMBER 15, 1899, on which date the popular subscription closes."
Of course, we know that sales were not as strong as the LMC
had hoped, and that 14,000 of the 50,000 struck were returned to the Mint to be melted. Still, I find the release to be an interesting, if not overly optimistic, piece of Lafayette Memorial Dollar history that I thought some might enjoy seeing.Lafayette Memorial Dollar Press Release(Image Credit: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division. http://www.loc.gov. Public Domain.)
For more about the Lafayette Dollar coin, check out:
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Revisited
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Date Discussion
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Coins with Hats Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Coins with Hands Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Coins with Military Theme Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Coins Depicting a Statue Thread
- 1900 Lafayette Memorial Dollar - Coins Depicting Flora Thread
- Discussion of Varieties
- 1881 Yorktown Medal vs. 1900 Lafayette Dollar
For more posts about commemorative coins and medals, see: Read More: Commems Collection