Descriptions of this era begin in 1848, when 228 ounces of California gold was shipped to the Philadelphia mint and turned into quarter eagles to commemorate the Gold Rush, and ends with the Booker T. Washington/George Washington Carver silver half dollar coined in 1954, The authors quote the promoter of that coin as justifying it in order "to oppose the spread of Communism among Negroes in the interest of national defense." We also learn about the distribution inequities that prompted the government to stop minting all commemoratives for nearly 30 years until production resumed in 1982.
We are told about the one commemorative that was so popular with collectors--and so lucrative for the association that sold it-- that the association just couldn't let go of it. So they offered more of the same coin from different mints between 1926 and 1939. Included in this book are accompanying photos of advertisements at the times of sale. In 1915, for example, we learn that you could buy one each of the Panama-Pacific Exposition coins, minted to commemorate the completion of the Panama Canal and the rebirth of San Francisco from its 1906 earthquake. Wrapped in a leather presentation case, the offering included a silver half dollar, a $1 dollar and $2.50 dollar gold coin, and the octagonal and round varieties of the $50 gold coin. The price? $200, four times the monthly salary of the average worker.
Publication Date: 1992