US Coins

Inside Coin World: Adolph A. Weinman's models

A Wallace Stevens researcher has confirmed what the Stevens family claimed years ago: Elsie Stevens was the model for the portraits on the Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions and Alfred A. Knopf Inc.

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Who modeled for the Winged Liberty Head dime?

The identity of the model used by Adolph A. Weinman when he was designing the Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar has always been controversial. Now a scholar of poet Wallace Stevens has uncovered family correspondence that confirms what the family has claimed for years — that Elsie Stevens, wife of the poet, was the model for the portrait. While her claim has long been known in numismatic circles, some researchers have cast doubt on the claim.

In an article appearing in The Wallace Stevens Journal and in a shortened version appearing in the Dec. 31 issue of Coin World, John N. Serio details his research into the subject. Correspondence between Weinman and the Stevens family, and comparisons of the designs to her features, confirms that Elsie was the model for the portrait on the dime and the face of Liberty on the half dollar.

Serio also believes that the evidence is strong that Audrey Munson, who is called “America’s first supermodel,” served as the model for the Walking Liberty figure's body.

To learn more, read his article found exclusively in the print and digital editions of Coin World.

Designs of the Times: Collecting Capped Bust half dimes

Brad Karoleff is one of the nation’s leading experts on Bust coinage and is a tireless promoter of the series. For collectors who have not yet ventured into this broad series that encompasses several designs and multiple denominations, he has a suggestion for where to start — Capped Bust half dimes.

For collectors seeking a basic date set, only nine different coins will be needed, Brad writes. A basic set with registry set varieties totals 14 pieces, and a “Red Book” set totals just 16 coins. 

To get more advice on collecting Capped Bust half dimes, read his column in the Dec. 31 issue of Coin World.

Collectors’ Clearinghouse: Mule coin struck with defaced dies

Egypt has long been a source for unusual errors, including pieces that seem to have been deliberately produced. In his “Collectors’ Clearinghouse” column for the Dec. 31 issue of Coin World, Mike examines a mule error that is stranger than the “typical” mule.

He profiles a 50-piastre coin of the 2007 to 2015 design struck from two reverse dies. However, the faces of the dies are anything but normal. One had been canceled and the other had been both canceled and defaced. Furthermore, the piece was struck twice.

To see photographs of the coin and to learn why the coin is so unusual, read Mike’s column, found only in the digital and print issues of Coin World.

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