Black Coins And Medals Collection – Coins

Black Coins And Medals Collection – Coins

 

Money money money money, money
Some people got to have it
Some people really need it
Listen to me y’all, do things, do things, do bad things with it
You wanna do things, do things, do things, good things with it
Talk about cash money, money
Talk about cash money – dollar bills, yall
The O’Jays “For The Love of Money”


There are several United States commemorative coins, medals and medallions that celebrate the lives and accomplishments of Black activists, athletes, educators, entertainers, inventors, leaders and patriots as well as seminal events in Black History. These coins, medals and medallions are a part of The Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection.

 

Commemorative Coins

Authorized by Congress and produced by the United States Mint, commemorative coins celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Each coin is crafted to be rich in symbolic history. They represent not only an investment in maintaining our American Past, but also in ensuring our Future.

These coins help raise money for important causes as well as commemorating important aspects of American history.

Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation.

Four Black history icons, two slaves, nine courageous Black children, one Black jazz legend, one piece of groundbreaking Civil Rights legislation and one organization that includes Black girls are honored on commemorative coins.

1946

Booker T. Washington Half Dollar

Commemorates Booker T. Washington, a former slave who became a famous educator, author, orator, advisor to Presidents and founder of the Tuskegee Institute. Booker T. Washington was the first free Black person featured on United States currency.

Between 1946 and 1951, eighteen different coins were struck featuring Booker T. Washington.

The obverse design features the bust of Booker T. Washington in the center of the coin and the date on the left. The inscriptions read: “Booker T. Washington”, “United States of America”, “Half Dollar” and “E. Pluribus Unum”.

The reverse design features the New York University Hall of Fame and a slave cabin. The inscriptions read: “From Slave Cabin to Hall of Fame”, “In God We Trust” and “Franklin County VA”.

The coin was designed by Isaac Scott Hathaway, the first Black person to have a design adopted by the United States Mint.

1951

George Washington Carver / Booker T. Washington Half Dollar

Commemorates George Washington Carver, a former slave who became a famous botanist and inventor. Also commemorates Booker T. Washington.

From 1951 to 1954, a dozen coins were struck to honor George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington together.

The authorizing legislation passed in 1951 called for the melting of all unsold Booker T. Washington Half Dollars and the recoinage into coins bearing conjoined profile portraits of George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington.

The obverse design features a three quarter profile portrait of Booker T. Washington behind the profile portrait of George Washington Carver. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, “In God  We Trust”, “E. Pluribus Unum”, “George Washington Carver” “Liberty” “Booker T. Washington”, “Half Dollar” and “1952”.

The reverse design features a simple map of the United States of America. The inscriptions read: “Freedom and Opportunity for All” and “Americanism”.

This coin was also designed by Isaac Scott Hathaway, the first Black person to have a design adopted by the United States Mint.

1997

Jackie Robinson $5.00 Gold Coin

Commemorates the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. Jackie Robinson was the first athlete and only Black person honored on a United States Gold Commemorative Coin. One hundred thousand gold coins were produced at the West Point Mint. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coins benefited the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which supports educational and leadership programs to encourage, train and motivate minority youth.

The obverse design features Robinson in his later years as a Civil Rights Leader and political activist. The inscription read: “Jackie Robinson”, “1997”, “Liberty” and “In God We Trust”.

The reverse design features  a baseball design. The inscriptions read: “1919-1972” – years of Robinson’s life, “Legacy of Courage”, “United States Of America”, “E. Pluribus Unum” and “Five Dollars”.

Jackie Robinson $5.00 Gold Coin Legacy Set

The United States Mint produced a limited edition of 50,000 Jackie Robinson Legacy Sets, featuring the Proof $5.00 Gold Coin and a specially authorized reproduction of the 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson baseball card.

The Topps “Finest” card — the only baseball card to bear the United States Mint seal — is available only in the Legacy Set, with the Proof $5.00 Gold Coin and a full-color limited edition lapel pin made exclusively for the Mint, which duplicates the 50th Anniversary uniform patch worn by all Major League Baseball players for the 1997 season. And as a free bonus, purchasers of the Legacy Set also received the actual patch being worn by major leaguers.

Jackie Robinson Silver Dollar

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. In 1997 he became the first Black person to be honored on a United States commemorative silver dollar and  gold $5.00 coin. Two hundred thousand silver dollars were produced at the San Francisco Mint. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the coins benefited the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which supports educational and leadership programs to encourage, train and motivate minority youth.

The obverse design features Robinson stealing home plate, as he did in 1955 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The inscriptions read: “Liberty”, “In God We Trust” and “1997”.

The reverse design features the 50th anniversary Jackie Robinson Foundation logo. The inscriptions read: “Rookie of the Year 1947”, “Hall of Fame 1962”, “United States Of America”, “E. Pluribus Unum” and “One Dollar”.

1998

Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar

The Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar commemorates Black Revolutionary Patriots and the 275th anniversary of the birth of Crispus Attucks, the first patriot killed in the infamous Boston Massacre in 1770. A portion of the proceeds from sales of these coins supports the construction of the Black Patriots Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The obverse design features a portrait of Crispus Attucks. The inscriptions read: “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “Crispus Attucks 1723-1770” and “1998”.

The reverse design features a Black patriot family. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, “E. Pluribus Unum” and “One Dollar”.

1999

New Jersey State Quarter

Commemorates General George Washington and members of the Colonial Army crossing the Delaware River to fight the British in Trenton.

The obverse design features a portrait of George Washington. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, Liberty”, “In God We Trust” and “Quarter Dollar”.

The reverse design features General George Washington and members of the Colonial Army crossing the Delaware River, including a Black slave among the patriots helping to row the boat, symbolizing Black patriots who fought in the Revolutionary war. The design was based on 1851 “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting by Emmanuel Leutze. The inscriptions read: “New Jersey”, “1787”, “Crossroads Of The Revolution” and “E. Pluribus Unum”.

New Jersey State Quarter

2003

Missouri State Quarter

Missouri State Quarter was the twenty-fourth coin in the State Quarter series. Missouri’s original Statehood date was August 10, 1821. The three men shown on the reverse side of the coin are Lewis, Clark and York…Clark’s Slave.

The obverse design features a portrait of George Washington. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, Liberty”, “In God We Trust” and “Quarter Dollar”.

The reverse design features Lewis, Clark and York, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in the background. The inscriptions read: “Missouri 1821, “Corps of Discovery”, “1804”, “2004”, “2003” and “E Pluribus Unum”.

2007

Jamestown 400th Anniversary Silver Dollar

Commemorates the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, VA, the first permanent English settlement in America.

The obverse design features “Three Faces of Diversity” of Jamestown including an African woman, Captain John Smith and an American Indian. The inscriptions read: “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “Founding Jamestown” and “1607-2007”.

The reverse design features three ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, which brought the first settlers to Jamestown. The inscriptions read: “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum” and “One Dollar”.

Little Rock Nine Silver Dollar

Commemorates the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School, Arkansas in 1957. Recognizes strength, determination and courage displayed by nine Black high school students in the fall of 1957 who were the first to integrate public schools in Arkansas. In the landmark 1954 decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the United States Supreme Court declared racial segregation in the public schools of the United States of America was unconstitutional. The events in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, were an important step in the country’s quest for racial equality in public education.

The obverse design features nine Black students, accompanied by an armed soldier, walking to school. Nine stars are symbolic of those students who faced violence and the hatred of a segregated society. The inscriptions read: “Liberty”, “Desegregation In Education”, “2007” and “In God We Trust”.

The reverse design features Little Rock Central High School. The inscriptions read: “One Dollar”, “E. Pluribus Unum”, “Little Rock Central High School” and “United States Of America”.

Little Rock Nine Coin

The United States Mint also issued a Little Rock Nine Commemorative Set that featured  the Little Rock Nine commemorative silver dollar and bronze medal. See below for more information on the Little Rock Nine commemorative bronze medal.

Little Rock Nine Commemorative Set

2009

District Of Columbia Quarter

Commemorates native son Duke Ellington, the internationally renowned jazz musician and composer. Throughout his life, he received numerous awards and honors. In 1969, Ellington was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in honor of his ability to carry the message of freedom to all the Nations of the world through his gift of music and understanding.

This was the first release of the 2009 DC & US Territories Quarter Program. This program was a follow up to the popular 50 State Quarters Program.

The obverse design features a portrait of George Washington. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, Liberty”, “In God We Trust” and “Quarter Dollar”.

The reverse design features a depiction of famous jazz musician Duke Ellington, who was born and raised in Washington DC. The inscriptions read: “District of Columbia”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “2009”, “Justice For All” and “Duke Ellington” on the piano.

2013

Girl Scouts Silver Dollar

Commemorates the centennial of Girl Scouts of the USA.

The obverse design features three girls who represent the different ages and diversity of Girl Scouts of the USA and includes a Black girl. The 100th anniversary Trefoil symbol signifies the centennial anniversary. The inscriptions read: “Courage, Confidence, Character”, key elements of the Girl Scouts mission statement, “2013”, “Liberty” and “In God We Trust”.

The reverse design features iconic profiles of Girl Scouts of the USA. The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “$1” and“Girl Scouts”

Girl Scouts Coin

2014

Civil Rights Act Of 1964 Silver Dollar

Commemorates the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act and its contribution to civil rights in America. This law greatly expanded civil rights protections, outlawed racial discrimination and segregation, and served as a model for subsequent anti-discrimination laws. As equality in education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement, $10.00 from each coin sold was donated to the United Negro College Fund to provide scholarships and internships for minority students and operating fund and technology enhancement services for 37 member historically Black colleges and universities.

The obverse design features three people holding hands at a civil rights march. The man is holding a sign that reads “We Shall Overcome.” The design is symbolic of all marches that helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement. The inscriptions read: “Liberty”, “In God We Trust” and “2014”.

The reverse design features three flames intertwined to symbolize freedom of education, freedom to vote, and the freedom to control one’s own destiny. The design was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., who said: “They get the fire hose. They fail to realize that water can only put out physical fire. But water can never drown the fire of freedom.” The inscriptions read:”Civil Rights Act Of 1964”, “Signed Into Law July 2, 1964”, “E. Pluribus Unum”, “One Dollar” and “United States Of America”.

2014-Civil-Rights-Act-of-1964-Proof-Silver-Dollar-US-Mint-1image

 

Concept Coins

1998

Bessie Coleman Brass Concept Coin

Bessie Coleman was a Black and part Cherokee aviation pioneer who obtained her pilot’s license before Amalia Earhart and was renowned for her stunt flying.

The Bessie Coleman Concept Coin was created in 1998 as a recommendation for the new dollar coin. At the time the concept coin was designed, nobody knew when the United States Mint small brass and silver dollars would first be issued. So the design was given a “2001” date. Also, for the first time ever, a woman had just been assigned the duty of Space Shuttle Mission Commander. The early aviation of Bessie Coleman, combined with the modern space shuttle show women’s progress in aviation.

If this coin design had been selected, Bessie Coleman would have been the first Black Woman to be featured solo on United States currency. The Bessie Coleman proposal came in second place behind Sacagawea, the Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee (DCDAC)  choice.

Three different designs were created, both rendered in brass and silver. One design features “Non Dollar” on the reverse. Another design features an oval and “1” on the reverse. Another design features “Peace” on the reverse.

The obverse features a portrait of Bessie Coleman, 13 stars above the horizon which symbolize the future colonization of space. The inscriptions read: “Liberty” and  “2001”.

The reverse design features an eagle soaring across the sun with 50 rays (symbolizing the 50 states). The inscriptions read: “United States Of America”, “E. Pluribus Unum”, “Peace” and ”Non Dollar”.

To see the Commemorative Medals and Medallions in the Museum Of UnCut Funk Collection click here:

http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2011/10/04/black-coins-and-medals-collection-medals-and-medallions/

 

For more information on commemorative coins and medals please read Charles Morgan’s three part article:

African-Americans On US Coins: Representation & Discovery:

http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2011/10/03/african-americans-on-us-coins-representation-discovery-part-1/

African-Americans On US Coins: Modern Commemoratives – Part 2

http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2011/10/03/african-americans-on-us-coins-modern-commemoratives-part-2/

African-Americans On US Coins: Circulating Coins – Part 3

http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2011/10/03/african-americans-on-us-coins-circulating-coins-part-3/

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