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Olevian Numismatic Rarities

Early 20th Century American 5- Coin Type Set // Relics of Bygone Era Series // Wood Presentation Box

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Product Description

This classic 5-coin set features some of the most famous designs to ever grace United States coinage during the first half of the 20th century. Each set includes one Indian Head cent, Buffalo nickel, Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter, and Walking Liberty half dollar minted between 1900 and 1947. They span an era that witnessed two World Wars, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the entirety of Prohibition. More than 70 to 120 years after their last mintage, these coins continue to be among the most beloved coins in American history. The coins for this special offer were hand-selected by professional numismatists after screening thousands of collectible coins for quality and eye-appeal. Each coin is housed in an airtight capsule and the set is presented in a luxurious, plush-lined wood box with embossed metallic gold lettering, piano-black finish, and certificate of authenticity. The coins are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine and will match the quality of the ones shown.

In the first half of the 18th century, one cent coins were large, clunky copper pieces nearly the size of a modern half dollar. By 1856, the cost of producing these copper coins rose so high that the U.S. mint was forced to significantly reduce the size of the one cent coin. On May 25th, 1857 the mint debuted a new small diameter cent, the Flying Eagle cent, which was the same size as our modern-day Lincoln cent. However, due to difficulties in production and issues with strike quality, this new cent was quickly abandoned and replaced by the Indian Head cent, which was minted through 1909. The obverse of the Indian Head cent features Lady Liberty wearing a Native American war bonnet— regarded by the public at the time as a decidedly unusual headdress for a female figure of otherwise neoclassical Greek form. The reverse originally featured an olive wreath, which was later changed to a wreath of oak and other leaves with a shield at the apex. Indian cents remained in circulation through the 1940s until increasing value and interest among coin collectors rendered them scarce by 1950.

As part of a drive to beautify our nation’s coinage, President Taft commissioned artist James Earle Fraser to redesign the 5-cent piece. The result was the Indian Head or “Buffalo” nickel—an American icon that became one of the most widely collected coins of the 20th century. The new nickel embodied the spirit of the Old West, with an obverse design featuring an authentic composite portrait of three Native American subjects and an American Bison on the reverse. Unlike most prior U.S. coins that possessed abundant and smooth background fields, the Buffalo nickel was boldly filled with design elements stretching to all edges and set on an irregular background in bas-relief. Production continued until the design was replaced by the Jefferson nickel in 1938. Today, the Buffalo nickel is vanishingly scarce in circulation but lives on strongly in the hearts and cabinets of coin collectors and enthusiasts.

Properly known as the “Winged Liberty” dime in the Mint’s official description, this popular coin features a stunning example of a youthful Lady Liberty on the obverse wearing a winged Phrygian cap to symbolize freedom of thought. However, this was publicly confused almost immediately after its release in October of 1916 with a likeness of the Roman God Mercury, and thus this coin’s enduring colloquial name was born. The reverse features the fasces carried by Roman magisterial lictors and symbolizes power and justice, as well as strength in numbers, and is accompanied by an olive branch of peace. The Mercury dime and its contemporaries included in this set collectively spanned an era that witnessed two World Wars, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the entirety of Prohibition. It continues to be one of the most beloved coins in American history, more than 70 years after its last mintage in 1947.

Much like the Mercury dime, the Standing Liberty quarter is a quintessential example of the “Renaissance” of American coinage. Released at the height of World War I, the obverse shows Lady Liberty facing right (towards the “Eastern” war), bearing an olive branch in her outstretched right arm and a shield in her left— representing a desire for peace but a distinct readiness for war. The reverse features an eagle in flight that is reminiscent of earlier classical U.S. coinage. Interestingly, this coin underwent a few design changes during its short 15-year production. Most notably, the original 1916 design featuring Lady Liberty with an exposed right breast was covered in chainmail armor by mid-1917. The precise reason for this abrupt modification is not entirely clear, but prevailing hypotheses include prudish public outcry over the exposed breast, requests by the United States Treasury, and symbolic incongruence— if Lady Liberty was ready for war, should she not be dressed for such occasion? Production continued through 1930, but no coins were issued in 1931 due to an unfortunate lack of need during the Great Depression. The design was replaced in 1932 by the Washington Quarter, which continues to grace our nation’s coinage today, albeit with modification.

The Walking Liberty half dollar is yet another enduring classic engraved by Adolph A. Weinman, the designer of the Mercury dime. This graceful coin features Lady Liberty adorned in an American flag and striding towards the rising sun with her right arm outstretched, carrying branches of laurel and oak. The reverse features a powerful perched eagle with open wings and a sapling of Mountain Pine, symbolic of America. The design was exceptionally detailed compared to previous coins, which lead to persistent problems with sharpness of strike and production quality— accelerating its replacement by the Franklin half dollar in 1948. The lasting beauty of this unique design was immortalized in 1986 when the U.S. Mint chose to adopt the Walking Liberty obverse for the American Silver Eagle bullion coin, which has become one of the most widely distributed silver bullion coins in the world. Today, many Walking Liberty half dollar issues are scare in high grades and completion of an entire collection of these coins in uncirculated condition remains a formidable challenge for collectors and investors alike.

Product Details
  • Measurements
    8"L x 6"W x 2"H
  • OriginUnited States

Coin 1:
— Type: Indian Head Cent (1859-1909)
— Variety: Copper (1864-1909)
— Designer: James B. Longacre
— Weight: 3.11 grams
— Diameter: 19 mm
— Composition: 0.950 copper, 0.50 tin and zinc
— Obverse Design: Lady Liberty with feathered headdress, facing left
— Obverse Inscription: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / DATE
— Reverse Design: Oak wreath and shield
— Reverse Inscription: ONE CENT

Coin 2:
— Type: Buffalo Nickel (1913-1938)
— Designer: James Earle Fraser
— Weight: 5 grams
— Diameter: 21.2 mm
— Composition: 0.750 copper, 0.250 nickel
— Obverse Design: Bust of Indian Chief
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / DATE
— Reverse Design: American Bison

Coin 3:
— Type: Mercury Dime (1916-1947)
— Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
— Weight: 2.50 grams
— Diameter: 17.9 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.07234 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Liberty with winged cap
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / IN GOD WE TRUST / DATE
— Reverse Design: Fasces with axe / Olive branch

Coin 4:
— Type: Standing Liberty Quarter (1916-1930)
— Designer: Herman A. MacNeil
— Weight: 6.25 grams
— Diameter: 24.3 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.18084 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Lady liberty, facing right, with shield and olive branch, in wall gate
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / IN GOD WE TRVST / DATE
— Reverse Design: EAGLE IN FLIGHT

Coin 5:
— Type: Walking Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)
— Designer: Adolph A. Weinman
— Weight: 12.5 grams
— Diameter: 30.6 mm
— Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
— Net silver weight: 0.36169 oz pure silver
— Obverse Design: Liberty wearing an American flag dress with outstretched arm and carrying branches of laurel and oak / Mountain with rising sun in distance
— Obverse Inscription: LIBERTY / IN GOD WE TRUST / DATE
— Reverse Design: Perched eagle with open wings carrying sapling of Mountain Pine

Please Note: The item(s) you receive will match the quality of the one shown, but may vary slightly due to the nature of original historical artifacts.

Shipping Information
  • Shipping Availability
    United States
  • Shipping Policy
    Standard Ground Shipping
  • Ship In
    3-4 weeks
  • Return Policy
    Final sale, not eligible for return or cancellation

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