1900 Lafayette dollar

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1900 Lafayette dollar

#1 Unread post by Isaiah »

1900 Lafayette Dollar

(Image is public domain)

The very beginning of the Dollar Commemorative series, began in 1900 with Charles E. Barber's Lafayette dollar, and after the 1893 Colombian Exposition Half Dollar. This Commemorative Dollar was a large change compared to the Colombian Half.

The coins with their jugate busts of General Lafayette and George Washington were based, in part, on the coins of Europe which had been minted in this fashion for many years, but considered an innovation for United States coin. An order of 100,000 half dollar coins was the initial order, but, considering the historical significance of Lafayette's memorial, an order of 50,000 dollar coins was found to be more appropriate.

The reverse, which has a representation of The Lafayette memorial, reads: "ERECTED BY THE YOUTH OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN HONOR OF GEN. LAFAYETTE". These coins were sold at $2 each to fund the memorial, and sold poorly. Many were melted in 1945 by the government as scrap. It is interesting to note that the coin is completely void of "E PLURIBUS UNUM", or "IN GOD WE TRUST", which was a change from all previous coins after the 1860's.

Many of these coins circulated at face value, and were often polished during their circulating years. The initial disfavor of the coins has now shifted to love, and appreciation, and the coins are avidly sought, and seen by many (including myself) to be one of the most beautiful designs on United States coinage.

Beware of counterfeits which are often cast, and polished, to hide the casting appearance.

Factual accuracy guaranteed.


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