Dick Hanscom of Alaska Rare Coins poses a question for our readers.
Here is a puzzler for The E-Sylum. Scans are attached.
Background – two different sets of three different colored plastic "trade dollars" were issued for the Alaska Purchase Centennial in 1967. One set for Juneau (yellow, green and dark blue), one for Anchorage (red, white and light blue).
Consigned to our Sept. 24 auction are two pieces from the Juneau issue, one in lead and one in what appears to be 18kt gold (specific gravity is 15.22). The lead is well cast/struck and appears to be two halves (quite thick) put together. The detail is as good as on the plastic.
The gold is very weak. It appears to have been turned down (by the marks on the edge) from a larger piece of gold. It is not two pieces put together as it rings as a solid piece. It may not be unique, but is definitely the last as the die/mold is collapsing. There is a die break all around the central ring, and the central portion is raised rather than dished as on the lead and plastic. There are also multiple other die breaks.
So I guess my question is this: How does one use molds (dies?) used for casting plastic to "strike" gold?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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