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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 16, April 20, 2008, Article 12

COMMENTS ON THE YOACHUM DOLLAR

Jeff Starck writes: "Am I correct in understanding that
modern replicas of whatever Yoachum dollar there was, real
or fake, were struck?

[The article I quoted last week seemed to state that there
were modern 'whatevers' made of the Yoachum dollar, struck
from dies.  If one believes the Yoachum Dollars existed in
the first place and that the dies were real, then they’re
restrikes.  Otherwise, I'd say they're fantasy pieces.
-Editor]

"Coincidentally, or oddly enough, I distinctly remember
buying the W.C. Jameson book during a 1991 trip to Branson
with my family. It was at a bookstore in Silver Dollar City.
It was our second such trip to Branson, and being from Missouri,
about four hours from Branson, that's where we went on most
vacations.

"As a 12-year-old just beginning to read Coin World and
Western and Eastern Treasures (a metal detecting magazine),
the tales in Jameson's book were captivating.  I just picked
the book up recently from my "library" and browsed through
it. The article about the Yoachum silver dollar will send
me looking there once again! "

Tom DeLorey writes: "I am the world's foremost authority on
Yoachum Dollars. They are modern-made fantasies. Period.

"Back in 1982 two of them came into ANACS. They had a
wonderful story that, according to Ozark legends, they
had been made in 1822 by a trader named Yoachum from native
silver ore mined locally by the Indians. The submittor claimed
that according to folklore they had circulated in the Ozarks
for many years, but he could provide no documentation of this
fact. Supposedly a hoard of eight had been found in a firepit
in a cave.

"I had X-ray tests done on them, and they came out almost
exactly 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper, with a variance of only+/-
.02% or so, with zero trace elements. In other words, precise
sterling silver, just as you might get by melting down sterling
silver spoons or forks.  This is impossible in unrefined
native ore.

"I spoke with the submittor, who changed his story to say
that maybe they were made from melted down British coins.
I returned the coins with an official 'No Decision' notice,
and said that unless he could come up with a contemporary
printed reference to them or a specimen found independently
of the others we could not certify them.

"About six months later, we received another submission
from a party in Indiana. There was just one, with the story
that it was an old family heirloom. I checked our photo records,
and the new specimen was one of the original two, now heavily
artificially toned. We returned it without certification.

"I have recently learned that aluminum copies of the Yoachum
dollars are being sold in the souvenir shop of the 'Silver
Dollar City' tourist attraction in Branson, Missouri. I might
speculate that the owners of Silver Dollar City may have been
connected with the original 'discovery' of them, since the
discovery and subsequent publicity of a genuine Ozarks silver
dollar might be expected to help a tourist attraction of that
name, but I have no proof of such a connection."

Jeff Starck adds: "It should be noted that the bookstore in
Silver Dollar City was littered with regional books. I would
give Jameson the benefit of the doubt that he was in on the
effort to promote a fake treasure."

 QUERY: YOACHUM SILVER DOLLAR: APRIL FOOL?
 esylum_v11n15a21.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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