Speaking of launch ceremonies, Charles Morgan published a nice article in Coin Week March 7, 2013 about a possible presentation Eisenhower dollar that may have been distributed at a U.S. Mint launch ceremony.
After going unnoticed for more than forty years, a rare early Eisenhower dollar variety has emerged. As of right now, we’re calling it the Nixon Presentation Dollar. In this column, we’ll retrace our steps, tell you what we know about the coin, and speculate about what it could potentially tell us.
Discovered by numismatist Andy Oskam, the Nixon Presentation Dollar was found housed in a cardboard wood grain box similar to the standard “Brown Pack” silver proof box used from 1971 through 1974. Unlike those boxes, however, this one has a large metallic Presidential Seal on it and a golden facsimile of President Nixon’s signature.
Intrigued by the unusual box, Oskam placed a strong bid for the coin on eBay and won it for a sum well in excess of the typical brown pack Ike’s market price. The coin was advertised as a DDO (doubled die obverse), which isn’t uncommon for the date since there are many known doubled dies. Most carry no discernible premium.
The coin’s consigner also claimed that the piece was distributed at a presentation ceremony, with President Nixon and Mamie Eisenhower, President Eisenhower’s widow, in attendance. The design of the box, with its metal-stamped seal and golden signature, seems to support this claim, but as of yet neither the U.S. Mint, the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, Coin World, nor any other source we’ve talked to (including multiple experts in the field of Eisenhower dollars), could speak with any degree of certainty about the box or the coin.
The one date that comes to mind in regards to the public unveiling of the coin and associated memorabilia with both the President and Ms. Eisenhower in attendance is January 15, 1971. That day, there was an event at the Dwight David Eisenhower Republican National Center in Washington, D.C.
Provenance and alleged backstory aside, the piece is significant because it is the third instance of a 1971-S Ike dollar proof discovered with the low relief reverse typically found in 1971-S silver-clad and Cu-Ni clad business strikes and some 1972 Cu-Ni clad business strike coins. The first two were discovered in 2007 and authenticated by ICG. At the time, no reference was made to any unusual packaging, and since then no other pieces have been found. It’s still unknown whether the Nixon Presentation Dollar and the two prior coins were struck from the same die pairing.
One possible sign that they weren’t comes from the Ike Group’s determination that this new specimen doesn’t share the same DDO as the first two, but instead reveals the diagnostics of the collectible doubled die variety referred to in the Cherrypicker’s Guide as FS-103.
The great thing about a coin like this is that it poses a multitude of questions. Even the most expert numismatists operate under the assumption that they haven’t seen it all. The study of any coin is, in some respects, an exercise in forensics. In this instance, the only concrete facts we have to go on are an unusual case and an unusual coin. To figure out exactly what this coin is and when it was distributed gets to the core of what numismatics is all about. It’s a process that will occupy the Ike Group for the next several months.
Neat item! Be sure to read the complete article online.
To read the complete article, see:
Nixon Presentation Ike Dollar Discovered
THE BOOK BAZARRE
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Wayne Homren, Editor
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