Another engraved piece was discussed by Bill Hyder on his blog on the American Numismatic Association web site November 17, 2015.
It's a souvenir of the 1896 Presidential campaign, where candidate William Jennings Bryan fought over hard money issues. "Bryan
dollars" were medals issued to illustrate the comparative size and ratio of precious metals under the proposed free coinage laws.
I came across a Bryan Dollar labelled as "damaged" because someone had engraved its reverse. True, this particular type of
Bryan Dollar is relatively common and is not an expensive piece given its condition. True, it has been engraved. True, it has "bag
marks" from silver dollars bouncing against it, but I find that kind of ironic given it is an anti-silver piece.
So, is the engraving damage? No, engraved Bryan Dollars can be more valuable than a plain Bryan Dollar. But, it needs a story.
O.N. Frenzel and his older brother John started as teenage "gofers" in the Merchants' Bank of Indianapolis. Both worked
their way up. John eventually became president and Otto became vice-president and cashier. Otto later became president, but that was after
John and Otto were hard currency Democrats. When Bryan became the party nominee for president, hard money Democrats met in convention in
Indianapolis in September 1896 as the National Democratic Party. They nominated their own candidates and John became treasurer of the
party. Otto spoke at hard money forums. This piece of Bryan money engraved was issued shortly after the convention, so it is not directly
related to the convention activities. But, Otto obviously used the political pieces associated with the Republican Party to promote the
message of the National Democratic Party.
Damaged? No. Interesting when associated with its history? Yes.
To read the complete article, see:
DAMAGED BRYAN DOLLARS
For more information on Bryan dollars, see: BRYAN DOLLARS 1896,
Wayne Homren, Editor
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