101375 | UNITED STATES. Satirical cast type metal "Bryan Dollar."

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    101375  |  UNITED STATES. Satirical cast type metal "Bryan Dollar." Issued 1896 as a campaign souvenir for the McKinley–Bryan presidential race (90mm, 195.00 g, 12h). By L. H. Moise in San Francisco.

     

    Mimicking a "Morgan" dollar, but with "16 TO 1 – NIT" on the reverse in place of the denomination. Edge: Casting seam; CAMPAIGN SOUVENIR.

     

    Zerbe 62; Schornstein 702. Choice Mint State. Glossy and brilliant light gray surfaces; some die marks are quite evident upon the reverse, along with a few typical casting pits. Rather exceptional for the type.

     

    The debate between the gold standard and the free and unlimited coinage of silver played out in large part during the 1896 presidential campaigns of William McKinley, the Republican, and William Jennings Bryan, the Democrat. Known for his famous "Cross of Gold" speech, Bryan was mocked and derided for his stance on bimetallism by those in Republican and business circles. As such, a number of campaign items were produced during the campaign expressing this derision, with many poking fun at bimetallism's feasibility through oversized "silver" dollars such as this, with the "NIT" on the reverse standing for "not in trust." For more information on this fascinating period and its numismatic connection, check out "The Cross of Gold: William Jennings Bryan, Bimetallism, and Gilded Age Economic Equality," by Helena Kagan in ANS, vol. 19, no. 3, 2020, pp. 28-41, and specifically, p. 38, fig. 19 for a similar example of this type.

     

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