wdhyder's Blog

17 Nov 2015

Damaged Bryan Dollars

Exonumia | wdhyder

I came across a Bryan Dollar labelled as "damaged" because someone had engraved its reverse. True, this particular type of Bryan Dollar is relatively common and is not an expensive piece given its condition. True, it has been engraved. True, it has "bag marks" from silver dollars bouncing against it, but I find that kind of ironic given it is an anti-silver piece.So, is the engraving damage? No, engraved Bryan Dollars can be more valuable than a plain Bryan Dollar. But, it needs a story.O.N. Frenzel and his older brother John started as teenage "gofers" in the Merchants' Bank of Indianapolis. Both worked their way up. John eventually became president and Otto became vice-president and cashier. Otto later became president, but that was after 1896.John and Otto were hard currency Democrats. When Bryan became the party nominee for president, hard money Democrats met in convention in Indianapolis in September 1896 as the National Democratic Party. They nominated their own candidates and John became treasurer of the party. Otto spoke at hard money forums. This piece of Bryan money engraved was issued shortly after the convention, so it is not directly related to the convention activities. But, Otto obviously used the political pieces associated with the Republican Party to promote the message of the National Democratic Party.Damaged? No. Interesting when associated with its history? Yes.So now I may need to add a national bank note to my collection signed by Otto N. Frenzel. What do you think?

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