Sunday, July 7, 2013

Building Capitol

One of the many things I discovered while doing research for The Modern Hobby Guide was that the 1948-49 Topps Golden Coin set was issued with, in addition to a coin for each president through Harry Truman, one depicting the U.S. Capitol. Thanks to (who else) BFF O'the Archive Jeff Shepherd, who sent me one, I can now show what this coin looked like, although there is a twist:

The front is quite well rendered, just like the Presidents but the back has a surprise or two:

Firstly, there is a type as the coin reads "Restored for use or Congress in 1817" when the "or"should be an "of" but the bigger surprise is the Osborne Register company indicia at the bottom (under "Washington").  So far as I am aware, the Osborne Register company information was not on any of the President coins in 1948 but instead was added in 1953 when the board game Meet The Presidents was issued. That game was originally a Topps for Toys product in 1949 but a Selchow & Righter property in 1953. 

What this does is make me wonder if there was also a 1952 release of Golden Coin.  Such a thing seems possible to me for two reasons:

1) The "2 Coins in Every Pack" kicker stapled to the front of some 1948-49 style boxes:

Topps experienced returns of Golden Coin in 1949 so this could have been a way to move the product four years later, when the next election was occurring.

2) A variant Harry Truman coin, without or with glasses.  Jeff S. confirms the no glasses version came along with a folder album while the coins with glasses came from the 1949 Topps for Toys Meet The Presidents game. 


I own a folder album as well and my Truman also is sans glasses and has no Osborne indicia:

It would seem then that the Truman with glasses was an update.

And what of the "bright border' coins found in cello overwraps that are in a slightly different style than the 48's, although I am not sure these are confirmed as a Topps product.  I am still trying to cipher these.

One thing's for sure, Golden Coin is one tricky issue (or three) to get a grip on!


Eric C. Loy said...

Was the word on the back of the coin supposed to be "of" or "for"??

Jim from Downingtown said...

I had the Meet the Presidents game (mid-1960s version), but I think I tossed it a few years ago when we moved.

It never occurred to me to keep the coins (although I think they were cheap aluminum /white metal coins).


Anonymous said...

I have a U.S. Capital coin with the same images on the front and back except for two differences:
(1) on the front of mine the words "U.S. CAPITOL" are at the top of the coin instead of under the steps of the Capital Building.
(2) The typo "or" is corrected to "of". Do you suppose this was a reissue like the Harry Truman with glasses?

toppcat said...

Hey Anonymous-I would very much like to see scans of your US Capitol coin! I have to think it belongs with the four-eyed Truman, perhaps we can get some clues from yours.

Unknown said...

I also have the same coin as anonymous, it appears to be an old copper coin

toppcat said...

If you have a scan, that would be great

VinaDevita said...

I have one. Does this coin have value?

toppcat said...

Value is minimal-maybe $4 or $5