CONA February 2020 Newsletter

When: 7 p.m., February 19, 2020
Oakstone Academy: 939 State St. Westerville, Ohio 43081
Topic: Women on coins
Speaker: Gerry Tebben

February Presentation

For the U.S. Mint’s first 100 years, a woman appeared on just about every coin. She wasn’t a real woman, but a personification of Liberty. Sometimes her hair was a fright, sometimes in a bun or under a hat. But always she was clearly and unmistakably a woman.

Things changed in 1893 when Queen Isabella of Spain, of all people, became the first real woman to appear on a U.S. coin – a commemorative quarter dollar celebrating the Board of Lady Managers of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Since then nearly 50 identifiable women and girls have appeared on the nation’s coins — Gerry

January Presentation

For what may be the first time, at a CONA meeting, Heath’s presentation on the U.S. Mint medals of FDR included video.

Heath included three video segments in his presentation and Gary Moran succeeded in making them work.

The most remarkable one showed Chief Engraver John Sinnock working on one of the Roosevelt medals.

Since 1933 when Roosevelt took office, the Mint has produced 23, 25 or some other number of medals marking his presidency. No one knows for sure, Heath said, and no catalog exists of 20th century Mint medals. “I’m not sure I’ve found everything,” Heath said.

Heath’s collection includes the massive 3-inch bronze medals that are still available ($39.95) today as well as several little-known. 1.5-inch medals that were sold to Philadelphia Mint visitors.

The rarest medal, he said, is a pattern for Roosevelt’s first-term medal. The fleshy profile was panned by Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt and never saw production.

When shown the medal, Roosevelt complained, “You make me look awfully fat.”

Heath believes the only known example came from the Sinnock estate.

Early examples of some of the medal show the “C’ in a circle copyright logo and the initials JRS. Heath said Sinnock claimed ownership of the image and licensed it to private medal manufacturers to his profit.

January Presentation #2 (From the E-Sylum)

Mint Medals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Recently added to Newman Portal is a slide deck presented by Heath at the January 15, 2020 Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA) meeting. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the subject of a surprisingly large number of U.S. Mint medals, and Heath’s presentation makes sense of it all, detailing a number of medal series that portrayed Roosevelt. These include the inaugural medals, presidential pieces, assay commission medals, the U.S. Mint visitor medals, and finally the Roosevelt memorial medals.

Heath’s die variety analysis of the presidential and memorial series is especially helpful. In all,

Heath counts nearly 30 varieties of Roosevelt medals produced by the Mint, and anyone who wishes to collect this material will do well to study the images in this presentation. Newman Portal acknowledges CONA editor Gerry Tebben for his assistance with this content.

David Fanning’s new book

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers have announced the publication of Thian’s Masterpiece and the Early Literature of Confederate Paper Money, by David F. Fanning. This publication traces the development of the study of the Treasury Notes issued by the Confederate States of America and outlines the literary history of the subject. Beginning with Thomas Addis Emmet’s 1867 articles in the American Journal of Numismatics, Fanning discusses the various publications devoted to the collecting and study of Confederate paper money in the 19th century, culminating with the publication in the early 20th century of Raphael P. Thian’s The Currency of the Confederate States of America.

In addition to the regular edition of Fanning’s study, a deluxe portfolio edition has been prepared. The Currency of the Confederate States of America is a very rare publication that combines Thian’s most thorough treatment of the subject with an album of around 300 actual specimens of Confederate currency. When an incomplete copy became available, the idea was formed to create a leaf book.

Twenty-four copies of Fanning’s study have been bound in a portfolio, each of which includes an original leaf from an incomplete copy of Thian’s book. Some of these leaves include the original specimens of Confederate paper money that Thian mounted to them, while other leaves are text only.

Fanning’s study can be purchased on its own for $25 plus $5 domestic postage. Only 100 copies have been printed, each numbered and signed by the author, with 24 of them reserved for inclusion in the portfolios. Portfolio copies are priced at $200 to $250, depending upon the leaf included.

Fanning will be part of a panel discussion scheduled for the April CONA meeting.

By: Gerry Tebben

Interested in past CONA Newsletters? Please visit the Newman Portal for a vast collection that dates back to 2011!


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