Washington Pieces

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Ron Guth: This category includes a mishmosh of coins, medals, and tokens made by a variety of minters, both governmental and private. Some were made here in America; some were made overseas; some, we still don't know exactly where they were made. What we do know is that Americans had an intense fascination with George Washington. An almost cult-like status developed around the man who won the American Revolution.

In the late 1700's, few real coin collectors existed in America. However, there were thousands of people who wanted a memento or souvenir related to Washington. These items satisfied that demand. Some, such as the 1783 UNITY STATES and the 1793 Ship Halfpennies are relatively common; others such as the Roman Head and any of the Getz pieces are very rare.

For a fuller treatment of the subject, see "Medallic Portraits of Washington, 2nd ed." by Russell Rulau and George Fuld.