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1891 New Orleans Mint exonumia

AntebellumGoldAntebellumGold Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
edited February 6, 2024 8:44AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have this crescent-shaped pin which appears to be silver. It's about 38mm across and a little thinner than a silver dollar.

The obverse is engraved with an alligator, and the reverse is engraved "U.S. Mint. New Orleans, May, 1891."

I wonder if it was created to commemorate some event at the mint in May of 1891? A cursory search of New Orleans newspapers from May of 1891 didn't reveal any specific event, but the Daily Picayune (New Orleans) published a lengthy and nicely illustrated article about the New Orleans Mint on May 31, 1891.

I have a fascination with the New Orleans mint, and collect those coins obviously, but also other items related to the mint and its history.

Comments

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, very cool item! Hopefully someone here will know more about it.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is way damn kewl!!!!!

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,442 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I checked the Superintendents at N.O. Nobody new in 1891.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • NumisOxideNumisOxide Posts: 10,981 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Neat for sure!

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The crescent was a specific design choice. Possibly Masonic?

    "In 1890, when the Grand Lodge of New Orleans wanted to build a new and larger Masonic temple, J. R. Turck won the contract with a low bid of $91,500. Turck completed building the Second Masonic Temple of New Orleans, at the corner of St. Charles and Perdido streets, in late 1891."

    https://jchmhistorian.com/2021/09/01/j-r-turck-from-mequon-to-new-orleans/

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    The crescent was a specific design choice. Possibly Masonic?

    "In 1890, when the Grand Lodge of New Orleans wanted to build a new and larger Masonic temple, J. R. Turck won the contract with a low bid of $91,500. Turck completed building the Second Masonic Temple of New Orleans, at the corner of St. Charles and Perdido streets, in late 1891."

    https://jchmhistorian.com/2021/09/01/j-r-turck-from-mequon-to-new-orleans/

    I assumed because New Orleans is known as the Crescent City. Kind of like New York is the Big Apple.

  • AntebellumGoldAntebellumGold Posts: 71 ✭✭✭
    edited February 6, 2024 9:47AM

    @Weiss said:
    The crescent was a specific design choice. Possibly Masonic?

    "In 1890, when the Grand Lodge of New Orleans wanted to build a new and larger Masonic temple, J. R. Turck won the contract with a low bid of $91,500. Turck completed building the Second Masonic Temple of New Orleans, at the corner of St. Charles and Perdido streets, in late 1891."

    https://jchmhistorian.com/2021/09/01/j-r-turck-from-mequon-to-new-orleans/

    I think Manifest Destiny is correct, the crescent shape is likely an allusion to New Orleans being known as the Crescent City due to its location on a bend in the Mississippi River. I think the Crescent City nickname is quite old and was likely in common use during the 1800s.

  • scubafuelscubafuel Posts: 1,716 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My first reaction was that it was clipped planchet scrap that a mint worker was messing around with at lunch! 38mm would be the diameter of a Morgan dollar.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 14,536 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 6, 2024 10:12AM

    @scubafuel said:
    My first reaction was that it was clipped planchet scrap that a mint worker was messing around with at lunch! 38mm would be the diameter of a Morgan dollar.

    That was my thought as well, but I guess it could be both - mint scrap and a reference to Crescent City.

  • Now if I recall correctly, wasn't 1891 the first year that the New Orleans Mint struck dimes and quarters since before the Civil War?

    Perhaps it is connected to the that. Does anyone know what month in 1891 the mint resumed coining dimes and quarters?

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AntebellumGold said:
    Now if I recall correctly, wasn't 1891 the first year that the New Orleans Mint struck dimes and quarters since before the Civil War?

    Perhaps it is connected to the that. Does anyone know what month in 1891 the mint resumed coining dimes and quarters?

    That's true, 1891 was the first year since 1861 (halves) and 1860 (other denominations) that minor silver coins were struck.

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