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Lesher House Restoration Dollar and Holder

ZoinsZoins Posts: 28,641 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited November 8, 2020 9:44AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I follow Lesher Dollars and associated medals. This is the first time I've seen this type of case. Is this a one off or were there many done like this?

Did anyone here donate to the Lesher House Restoration fund?

Update: this is a newp now.

Comments

  • rickoricko Posts: 85,394 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not seen the token or the holder before... Interesting that they put an octagonal medal in a round hole...Reduced cost I assume. Cheers, RickO

  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 9,647 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It's a first for me.

    I like the way it was put in a round hole.

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 24,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I kinda like it, fwiw

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 21,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    When were those struck?

    All glory is fleeting.
  • coinJPcoinJP Posts: 10,104 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    When were those struck?

    1984 I believe.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 29,434 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinJP said:

    @291fifth said:
    When were those struck?

    1984 I believe.

    The project got underway in 1984. For some reason Ed Rochette asked me to take charge of it very early in that year, even though I know Jack (Frost) about construction, and I remember going up to Victor with Ed and somebody else to look at the house while there was still snow on the ground. However, I resigned that Spring and never did anything about it. This medal happened after I left in June, and I know nothing about it.

    Winner of the ANA's 2020 Heath Literary Award, Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award. Winner NLG 2020 Best Numismatic Feature Article, U.S.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 28,641 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:

    @coinJP said:

    @291fifth said:
    When were those struck?

    1984 I believe.

    The project got underway in 1984. For some reason Ed Rochette asked me to take charge of it very early in that year, even though I know Jack (Frost) about construction, and I remember going up to Victor with Ed and somebody else to look at the house while there was still snow on the ground. However, I resigned that Spring and never did anything about it. This medal happened after I left in June, and I know nothing about it.

    Wow, that’s great you were tapped to lead the project! It would be great to find it more about the project after you left like who ran it and who minted the medals.

    Are you okay to share why you resigned? It seems like the ANA would be numismatic heaven!

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 21,370 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    @CaptHenway said:

    @coinJP said:

    @291fifth said:
    When were those struck?

    1984 I believe.

    The project got underway in 1984. For some reason Ed Rochette asked me to take charge of it very early in that year, even though I know Jack (Frost) about construction, and I remember going up to Victor with Ed and somebody else to look at the house while there was still snow on the ground. However, I resigned that Spring and never did anything about it. This medal happened after I left in June, and I know nothing about it.

    Wow, that’s great you were tapped to lead the project! It would be great to find it more about the project after you left like who ran it and who minted the medals.

    Are you okay to share why you resigned? It seems like the ANA would be numismatic heaven!

    The stories I have heard about working at the ANA don't sound at all like heaven.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • EXOJUNKIEEXOJUNKIE Posts: 1,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve had a few of these medals but never saw this holder until now. Since it is an ANA program/product I’d call the HQ and maybe ask the historian/curator Douglas Mudd. Just a thought.

    I'm addicted to exonumia ... it is numismatic crack!

    ANA LM

    30+ years of active military service and still going!
  • ranshdowranshdow Posts: 1,382 ✭✭✭✭

    I bought one of these off the BST maybe 2 years ago, raw without a case. I agree they're pretty cool. Mine's numbered 687 so maybe there was an attempt at unique but not necessarily consecutive numbering like with the original Leshers?

  • ZoidMeisterZoidMeister Posts: 1,703 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Late to the party (as usual). I was extremely fortunate to have picked up one of the Lesher House Restoration strikes recently. It just arrived over the weekend.

    My reading on these is that possibly 1,000 of them were struck back in 1984 / 1985 as a fundraiser for the Lesher House restoration project after David Q. Bowers purchased and donated the house to the ANA. The ANA initially ordered 1,000 of these to be struck, sequentially numbered. They were sold in 1985 for the princely sum of $30 each plus $1 shipping.

    More information is available in this old 1985 New York Times article.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1985/06/16/arts/numismatics-historic-lesher-house-recalls-a-bygone-era.html

    The example I was able to secure is a nice low number piece - #139 (of 1,000 I am assuming). This surviving strike is very clean and came in a 2.5" x 2.5" cardboard flip. No holder as seen in the OP of this thread. I became interested in these after my wife and I did a driving vacation earlier this summer that took us through Victor and Cripple Creek Co.

    While not as "historical" as the original Lesher Referendum Dollars, this piece, struck the year my wife and I were married, has historical significance to us of it's own . . . . .

    Enjoy.

    Z

    .

    .

    Busy chasing Carr's . . . . . woof!

    Sucessful BST transactions with: Bullsitter, Downtown1974, P0CKETCHANGE, Twobitcollector, AKbeez, DCW, Illini420, ProofCollection, DCarr, Cazkaboom, RichieURich, LukeMarshall, carew4me, BustDMs, coinsarefun, PreTurb, mwallace, jwitten, GoldenEgg, pruebas, lazybones, who'd I forget?

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 28,641 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 18, 2021 8:30AM

    Congrats @ZoidMeister !

    You have a nice low number at 189!

    I ended up picking up the one in the OP because I wanted the case and the price was about the same as a piece without the holder. Since then, I've seen one more with this holder offered. It would be great to find out who had these holders made and how many were done.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 5,814 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins @CaptHenway So I used the search function to see who knew what about my recent purchase of Lesher #404. Now I know about the op. Anyway I'm jazzed to have it in great condition. Wonder if I'll locate the op? Current value estimate? Peace Roy

    Positivity with endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins JimTyler, USMarine6 and others.

  • Pioneer1Pioneer1 Posts: 90 ✭✭✭

    One of these with a #16 sold last year. I wonder if there is any historical information about who might have gotten the first 25....

    https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-NM4GU/lot-of-3-1900-1985-lesher-house-restoration-souvenirs-silver-mint-state

    A So-Called Dollar and Slug Collector... Previously "Pioneer" on this site...

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 28,641 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Pioneer1 said:
    One of these with a #16 sold last year. I wonder if there is any historical information about who might have gotten the first 25....

    https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-NM4GU/lot-of-3-1900-1985-lesher-house-restoration-souvenirs-silver-mint-state

    Low numbers are great. Does the ANA still have the sales records?

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 5,814 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Pioneer1 Often the first group is pulled to use as presentation pieces during a ceremony type event IMO. Peace Roy

    Positivity with endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins JimTyler, USMarine6 and others.

  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 20,413 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was pointed towards this one by @ZoidMeister . Very happy with mine. No holder but would like it slabbed and trueview Ed if/when pcgs slabs these,

    .

    .
    And unrelated but to show you how much I like the Gruber pieces I have this

    .

    .
    .

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 5,814 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinsarefun Very cool and signed no less! Peace Roy

    Positivity with endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins JimTyler, USMarine6 and others.

  • I have one of these #875. Do not know where I acquired it. Have pics, but I have not figured out how to post them. New to this site, when I figure out will post. Was thinking of selling it in near future.

  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 20,413 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @howyadoing said:
    I have one of these #875. Do not know where I acquired it. Have pics, but I have not figured out how to post them. New to this site, when I figure out will post. Was thinking of selling it in near future.

    When you figure out how things work here please pm me with your price.

  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 5,111 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is from the NYTimes. Copied from the following web page.
    https://www.nytimes.com/1985/06/16/arts/numismatics-historic-lesher-house-recalls-a-bygone-era.html
    Interesting article, as I had never fully heard the reason for the restrikes.
    Jim

    NUMISMATICS;

    HISTORIC LESHER HOUSE RECALLS A BYGONE ERA

    By Ed Reiter
    June 16, 1985

    Credit...The New York Times Archives
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    June 16, 1985, Section 2, Page 35Buy Reprints
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    About the Archive
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    A small, ramshackle house in Victor, Colo., will soon be transformed into an important numismatic museum. The house was once the residence of Joseph Lesher, a numismatic entrepreneur of the early 20th century and it now is being restored as a repository for the fascinating tokens he produced.

    Joseph Lesher was a native of Ohio who settled in Colorado and worked for several decades as a gold and silver miner. At one time, he owned a silver mine near Central City, Colo. Mining declined after the Federal Government stopped buying silver in 1873. Mine after mine was forced to close and thousands of miners were left unemployed.

    At the turn of the century, Mr. Lesher hit upon a plan for breathing new life into the mines. He decided to produce and distribute one ounce silver tokens for use as money by Colorado merchants and their customers. As use of these tokens increased, he theorized a need would be created to reopen the idle mines thus providing jobs.

    In 1900, Mr. Lesher commissioned the Miller Badge and Button Company of Denver to produce a small quantity of his tokens. He designed them with eight sides to make them readily distinguishable from Government silver dollars and placed simple inscriptions on both sides. The obverse carried the date 1900, along with a notation that this was ''one oz. of coin'' worth a ''silver price'' of $1.25. It also bore the inscription ''Jos. Leshers referendum souvenir'' and stated that it had been manufactured at Victor, Colo. The reverse of each token was serially numbered and carried a pledge that the person tendering the piece would ''give in exchange curency, coin or merchandise'' worth the face value of $1.25.

    Mr. Lesher called his tokens ''referendum souvenirs'' because he viewed their acceptance or rejection by the public as a form of referendum on whether Americans wanted free and unlimited coinage of silver. This was something the Federal Government had resisted.

    Locally, the referendum went his way. A number of merchants started using the tokens which they personalized with the names of their businesses. However, the Secret Service saw the novel venture as a form of illegal infringement on the Government's monopoly over coinage. Accordingly, Federal agents confiscated the dies after just two years' production.

    More than a dozen merchants issued ''Lesher dollars'' to their customers. In all, several thousand were produced. Besides including the merchants' names, later ones also featured a modified design portraying a mining scene with Pike's Peak in the background. Although their use in commerce was limited and brief, their popularity with hobbyists has expanded steadily. Today, a typical piece is worth hundreds of dollars as a collector's item.

    Joseph Lesher died at his home in Victor on July 4, 1918, at the age of 80. The seven-room wooden structure served for a time as a home to other miners, then as a storage building. In recent years, it has stood empty.

    Several years ago, Q. David Bowers, the current president of the American Numismatic Association, purchased the building and presented the deed to the ANA. Mr. Bowers recognized that the Lesher House was a building of great significance to numismatists. In fact, it is believed to be the oldest surviving structure in the state of Colorado with historical importance for the hobby.

    Editors’ Picks

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    Following Mr. Bowers' donation, ANA officials made plans to restore the old house as a museum. Among other things, it will serve as a showcase for Lesher dollars plus documents and other memorabilia related to their issuance.

    To help finance this project, the association has authorized the production and sale of replica Lesher dollars. Like the originals, each is an octagonal piece containing one troy ounce of sterling silver. The replicas also are similar in design to the originals. This time, the Lesher House is portrayed in the foreground of the mining scene. In addition, the new reverse bears an inscription denoting the fund-raising character of the issue: ''Receipt. . . In Support. . . Lesher House Restoration.'' Interestingly, some of the original equipment was used in the production of the replicas. They were struck by the Colorado Badge and Trophy Company of Denver.

    The ANA submitted an initial order for 1,000 replicas and is reserving the right to issue an additional 1,000. However, no more than 2,000 will be produced. Like the originals, they are serially numbered. They are being offered for $30 apiece plus $1 for postage, handling and insurance. Proceeds will be used to underwrite the costs of the restoration which was started this spring. Completion of the project is scheduled this summer and opening of the museum is anticipated shortly thereafter.

    Send orders and inquiries to Lesher House Project, American Numismatic Association, P.O. Box 2366, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80901.

    Proof Sets

    The United States Mint is now selling 1985 proof sets over the counter at its four retail outlets. These are located at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, the Old Mint in San Francisco and the main Treasury building in Washington, D.C. Each set contains proof examples of all five 1985 dated United States coins from the cent through the half dollar. The price is $11 per set. Mail orders also are being accepted. Send orders to the United States Mint, P.O. Box 7662, San Francisco, Calif. 94120-7662. Enclose a check or money order payable to the United States Mint.

    Through May 24, the Mint had received mail orders for more than 2.5 million 1985 proof sets. The ordering period opened several months ago and is expected to continue at least through the end of the year. All sales of 1984 proof sets were discontinued recently. Final mintage figures have not been released, but the total is expected to be between 2.7 and 2.8 million sets.

    Canadian Exhibit

    Early American and Canadian bank notes and checks figure prominently in an interesting exhibit on view at McGill University in Montreal. The exhibit, assembled by Dr. Lawrence M. Lande, traces the development of trade in North America. It places special emphasis on notes and other items related to John Law, a Scottish financier whose inflationary practices led to the so-called ''Mississippi Bubble'' of 1720, the first great bankruptcy affecting North America. The exhibit will remain on view through Aug. 31 in the McLennan and Redpath Libraries at the university.

    Cent Book

    ''Investing and Collecting United States Small Cents,'' a popular guide book by Thomas Schmieder, is being reprinted by Sanford J. Durst of Long Island City. The 110-page volume, originally published in 1979, has been updated and expanded. Among other things, the new edition will include grading information reflecting the dramatic market developments of the intervening years.

    Pre-publication orders are now being accepted at $8 postpaid, with publication expected in July. The regular price thereafter will be $10. Send orders and inquiries to Sanford J. Durst, 29-28 41st Avenue, Long Island City, N.Y. 11101.

    Junior Award

    Michael Reiter, 10, of Highland, Calif., recently received the Maurice M. Gould Memorial Award for junior achievement from the Numismatic Association of Southern California. Young Reiter, no relation to this columnist, is a frequent exhibitor at coin shows and club meetings in his area and delivered a talk last fall at the semi-annual convention of the California State Numismatic Association. His topic - ''Victor David Brenner and the Lincoln Cent'' - reflected his special interest in the Lincoln cent series. The late Maurice M. Gould, for whom the award is named, was a noted numismatic author who resided in Southern California for many years.

    A version of this article appears in print on June 16, 1985, Section 2, Page 35 of the National edition with the headline: NUMISMATICS; HISTORIC LESHER HOUSE RECALLS A BYGONE ERA. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe


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  • ZoidMeisterZoidMeister Posts: 1,703 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I noticed that a whole group of the original Lesher Dollars came up for sale on Ebay today.

    Never seen that many for sale at one time before.

    Z

    Busy chasing Carr's . . . . . woof!

    Sucessful BST transactions with: Bullsitter, Downtown1974, P0CKETCHANGE, Twobitcollector, AKbeez, DCW, Illini420, ProofCollection, DCarr, Cazkaboom, RichieURich, LukeMarshall, carew4me, BustDMs, coinsarefun, PreTurb, mwallace, jwitten, GoldenEgg, pruebas, lazybones, who'd I forget?

  • DCWDCW Posts: 5,401 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ZoidMeister said:
    I noticed that a whole group of the original Lesher Dollars came up for sale on Ebay today.

    Never seen that many for sale at one time before.

    Z

    In the last year, a major collection/hoard must have been liquidated or revealed. Ive never seen so many Lesher Dollars on the market at one time. Some of the really rare varieties, too.
    But they are languishing at some very crazy high asking prices.

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
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  • coinsarefuncoinsarefun Posts: 20,413 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DCW said:

    @ZoidMeister said:
    I noticed that a whole group of the original Lesher Dollars came up for sale on Ebay today.

    Never seen that many for sale at one time before.

    Z

    In the last year, a major collection/hoard must have been liquidated or revealed. Ive never seen so many Lesher Dollars on the market at one time. Some of the really rare varieties, too.
    But they are languishing at some very crazy high asking prices.

    .
    Wow, just went to look….oh my. And yes I did notice some very high priced ones lately

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