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Longstrider's Blog

06 Feb 2020

LEIF ERICSON 2000 COMMEMORATIVE

Coins-United States | Longstrider


Today I would like to share with everyone a very nice Commemorative set I acquired recently. The coin, in this intense, coins, are the Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Coins issued in 2000 by the US Mint and the Icelandic Mint. The coin set was available from the US Mint from June, 2000 through February 28, 2001.The coins were to mark the millennium since the discovery of the New World by Lief Ericson.

These two coins have been a favorite of mine for some time. They are both the same weight, 26.73 grams, and diameter, 38.10 mm. They are composed of 90% silver and 10% alloy.The US Mint coined 500,000 total while Iceland had an additional 150,000 Silver 1,000 Kronur coins made by our mint. Sadly, as has proved to be the case with most modern commemoratives, only 274,981 coins were sold across all venues. Ten dollars from each coin sold was to be used to benefit the Leifur Ericson Foundation.I am not sure how much or if any money was contributed do to the low sales.

Both coins are in proof finish. The US coin obverse shows a profile of Leif Ericson done in the traditional Icelandic tradition. It was designed by John Mercanti. It is inscribed with LEIF ERICSON across the top. To his left is “ IN GOD WE TRUST” and the initials “JM, while “LIBERTY” is to his right as well as the “P” mint mark. Below is the year “2000” with a Viking type design along the upper coin.

The reverse of the US coin depicts a Viking ship under full sail with Leif at the helm as it sails toward the New World. The design artist was T. James Ferrel. Above this is engraved “ FOUNDER OF THE NEW WORLD”. To the right of the ship is “ONE DOLLAR”. The left says “ E PLURIBUS UNUM” while below is engraved “UNITED STATES of AMERICA”.

Now to the Icelandic coin. The obverse, designed by Icelandic artist Thorstur Magnusson, shows his interpretation of the Stirling Calder statue of Leif Ericson. This statue was given to the Icelandic government by the USA in 1930. To Leif’s left is inscribed “ LEIFUR EIRIKSSON” and below that “1000” and “2000”. To the right is written “SONUR ISLANDS” while across the bottom is ‘FUNDUR NORDUR-AMERIXU”. The artists initials are inside Leif’s cape. I should translate SUNUR ISLANDS is Icelandic for “Son of Iceland”.

The obverse of the coin shows a stylized Icelandic Coat of Arms. It is a representation of the four protector spirts or Landvættir of Iceland: Gammur:the eagle, Dreki:the dragon, Griðungur:the bull, and Bergrisi:a giant. Across the top is “1000 EITT PUSUND KRONUR” and “ISLAND” across the bottom.

I would like to add a personal observation about this set. As I stated I have been searching for a clean example of this set. I say clean as all until this set I saw were suffering with “milk spots”. As you may notice, my set now also has some. This was not the case when it was purchased about one year ago. No idea why. A idea for a new research and a blog by me.? I hope you enjoy this blog and the photos below. Please feel free to comment. Thanks!


SOURCES:

En.numista.com

USMint.gov

Moderncommemoratives.com


Comments

wait, there is a set? I thought there was just 1 coin

coinsbygary

Level 5

I really like this set. As to the spotting, this may not be the milk spots like the SAE coins but environmental which maybe conservable if you sent them to NCS for conservation and subsequent grading. Oddly, I have a silver coin that is graded and in a holder stored in a small safe in my basement that has developed spotting like your coins. Thus, whatever spotted my coin was on its surface but not visible before it was encapsulated. If I understand correctly, the milk spots were from the chemicals used to wash and clean the planchets. Spotting occurred as a result of the planchets not being fully rinsed. The following link may shed some light on the problem. https://www.ngccoin.com/submit/coins-we-grade/white-spots/

"SUN"

Level 6

I think it is nice counties can get together on a project.

The Iceland coin along with the silver dollar make this an interesting set. What's strange is that just 9 years earlier the mint issued the Columbus 500th anniversary coins. Reminds me of the old Abbott & Costello "who's on first"comedy sketch. Another 'sister coin" to collect with U.S. commemoratives is the 1938 Sweden 2 Kroner, which was simultaneously issued with the 1938 Delaware Settlement half dollar.

Mokie

Level 6

My Swedish side made sure I had examples of these coins and the 1925 Norse-American Medal (which should have been a commemorative half but missed the cut). I understand from people in the know that dual projects like the Iceland set, the Australia set, and the Canada set are to be replicated with more frequency in the future. I hope that is the case, I would Love a Japan/U.S. Friendship set. Thanks for shining a light on your beautiful coins.

Kepi

Level 6

It's a really beautiful set! Great photos and blog! It's so wild that these particular coins have a tendency to get milk spots... You should get a government grant to study this dilemma... ; ) haha

Golfer

Level 5

Beautiful set. I have not heard of this set before. Thanks for sharing the story and information. Always learning something new on the ANA site. thanks

user_53367

Level 3

Beautiful set! I love Icelandic coins, and I've been looking to get this set for a while. Unfortunately, I have not got it yet. Great article and pictures! It's unfortunate that they have milk spots!

Mike

Level 7

Beautiful set. I'm trying to figure out were I was in 2001. So the two nations coins were not the first. Iceland and the U.S. As have a park as ships enter the harbour it's call Leif Erikss.on park. You were right on with the history of the day. But today. It's the Nights Templar. And anyone else who can claim it. The more of these type shows you watch get it all wrong. It was the Indians the feast were just guest. They say Leif came down the great lakes winding down from the Hudson . There are so many ways. No matter who discovered it they were all great explorers.Thanks for an informative blog. And the pictures are great. I picked up something today. They also conquered parts of Ireland.

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