US Coins

Artist's rejected designs of New Rochelle half dollar

Commemorative coin collectors often seek other items related to a specific commemorative coin issue like the 1938 New Rochelle half dollar commemorating the city in New York.

Such related items can add to the enjoyment of collecting the actual coins.

counterfeit 1913-S Indian head, Bison on Plains 5-cent coinInside Coin World: Mint mark key to identifying counterfeit: A fake 1913-S Buffalo nickel, foreign coins pulled from Roosevelt dime rolls and 1873 Seated Liberty half dollars are column topics in the March 11, 2019, issue of Coin World.

Anthony Swiatek’s Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States lists some of the related materials for the 1938 New Rochelle half dollar, including original packaging and advertising flyers, noting that at least six plaster models of a rejected New Rochelle design by little-remembered sculptor Lorrilard Wise are known. 

A year and a half ago, Heritage offered a pair of 9-inch plaster casts of Wise’s rejected design that Swiatek describes as depicting “a crouching Native American overlooking a sailing ship in the Hudson River with a sunrise (or sunset?) on the horizon,” with the reverse depicting the seal of the City of New Rochelle.

At the Aug. 4, 2017, American Numismatic Association auction in Denver, the pair, described as being in excellent condition without cracks or chips, sold for $3,525.

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