Scarce, High-Grade So-Called Dollar Offered in April TAMS Sale

Stirred to action by the far-reaching influence of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and eager to restore life to a city negatively affected by the decade’s economic depression, community leaders and businessmen from Omaha, Nebraska, decided to hold their own international exposition: the 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, held at the northern edge of the city, near the Missouri River. Supervising architects C. Howard Walker and Thomas R. Kimball highlighted the popular Classical and Renaissance-style architectural movements of the time; merchants and industry-people worked to highlight the products, resources, and commercial interests of the states and territories west of the Mississippi. During the five months it was open, more than 2.6 million people attended the over 4,000 exhibits. These included then-President William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan, who had lost the presidential election to McKinley two years prior.

Bidders in our April 17, 2024 Tokens and Medals Collectors Choice Online Auction will have the opportunity to claim a piece of this midwestern exposition’s history when lot 72177 crosses the block. The 1898 Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition Official Medal (HK-281) was struck in silver and is designated Rarity-5, meaning that only between 75 and 200 examples are thought to exist. This example is graded MS-65 by NGC; of the 59 grading events registered for this so-called dollar by both major TPGs, there are only two higher (both NGC MS-66).

According to Jeff Shevlin’s consummate description of HK-281 on, the Exposition’s official medal was issued to “celebrate the expansion west of the Mississippi for the past 50 years, since the discovery of gold in California in 1848.” In Shevlin’s words, the medal’s obverse is meant to depict “a composite picture of the most beautiful women in the Trans-Mississippi portion of the country.” The reverse design, which was proposed by supervising architect T.R. Kimball, was inspired by the popular story/myth of The Wild Huntsman. The medal was designed by Emil Fuchs (who also prepared the models) and was struck in the U.S. Mint Exhibit at the Exposition from dies made at the Philadelphia Mint. For a chance to own this medal and bid on 51 other so-called dollar lots, don’t miss our April 17 Tokens and Medals CCO Auction!

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