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Long Beard's Blog

10 Apr 2022

When Presentation Mattered

Coins-United States | Long Beard

Well, it's that time of year-spring. The chores of owning a home and property, along with weekly grime of 9-5, require more time than hours in the day for writing weekly blogs. So not wishing to shirk my passion for such I thought I'd squeeze in a short one on a recent purchase and some thoughts of the subject. Enjoy!




I have long held that if one is patient enough a particular coin or coins may be had for close to or below issue should you miss the initial opportunity for a variety of reasons. The 1999 Dolley Madison commemorative pictured is one such example, overlooked by myself when it was offered by the United States Mint. Not only the subject matter, Dolley Madison, appeals to me but the fact that it was designed by Tiffany & Company. Which seemed an appropriate undertaking by those behind it's creation. Which adds to my thoughts on this beautiful two-coin set. The packaging. It seems that the mint has cheated the collector in ways to cut costs at the expense of how such masterpieces are presented. This set, as were all of those during the early years of modern commemoratives, came in top quality velvet lined hard cases like one would expect for fine jewelry. The cases making the coins much more presentable and appealing to even none collectors who might view them. The same can not be said of most products from the mint today.




But I digress. The former First Lady to the fourth President of The United States, James Madison, was an extraordinary and remarkable woman. While it is well known to many that she saved the painting of Washington from the White House as it was set to torch by the British on August 28, 1814 (in actuality it was the servants, most likely slaves under her direction), there are many other acts which set Dolley apart and enshrine her to history. In politics, image is everything. None as much as entertaining important individuals or foreign dignitaries. In the years before she'd become the First Lady, her presence in Washington was well known within social circles. Not only beautiful, but elegant and intelligent. So much so that President Thomas Jefferson, a widower and unmarried, frequently called upon her to be the First Lady for such occasions as they arose. This and her weekly social gatherings contributed largely to her husband's popularity which would ultimately see him being elected after Jefferson. In her official role as First Lady little had changed. Where her life becomes interesting, not to mention vitally important even in despair, is in her later years. Having retired to Montpelier in 1817 after President Madison's term to run their plantation hardship began to fall upon the Madison's. Her son (from her first marriage, a widow) had weakened the couples finances through his extravagant exploits. By 1830, the young Todd found himself in debtors' prison in Philadelphia. To pay off his debt, the Madison's sold a portion of their land and mortgaged the remaining half. Six years later, on June 28, 1836 she was a widow for the second time. Barely able to keep the plantation afloat, in the fall of 1837 she began organizing and copying her husband's papers over the coming year. Congress had authorized payment of $55,000 for those papers, publishing seven volumes known as the Madison Papers. It was also at this time which she moved back to Washington to a house on Lafayette Square leaving Payne to run the plantation. His alcoholism, however, quickly rendered him unable to properly maintain the property. Unable to find a buyer for the few remaining papers she had been working on, she sold the plantation and enslaved servants to pay his debts once more. Dolley Madison would die in 1849 at the age of 81, interred at Montpelier next to her husband James.

Comments

Mal_ANA_YN

Level 5

Great blog. My grandpa has this set.

It's Mokie

Level 6

I have always liked the Dolley Madison Dollar, a very attractive design, thanks for sharing your insights, you're always a great read.

Kepi

Level 6

I like the Dolly Madison design! Enjoyed the blog and photos! ; )

Long Beard

Level 5

Thanks! Part of what was mentioned about the quality of materials in packaging, it's tough to keep lint from the fabric as evident in the close up. Between this and angling them just right to avoid my mug in the reflective fields.

"SUN"

Level 6

One o my favorite comem

Longstrider

Level 6

An amazing lady. She well deserves this commemorative. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Long Beard

Level 5

I finally picked this one up for just under the original issue price. Yes she was. For an un-explainable reason this is on my top five list of the modern commemoratives.

coinsbygary

Level 5

Very informative! Furthermore, the Dolly Madison silver dollar design is one of my all-time favorites!

Long Beard

Level 5

Probably number three on my list of the moderns.

Mike

Level 7

They had great presentation to 2013. That set is the way they should do it today. They were a great couple. . Always a good read. I enjoy everything you write. And I appreciate a good blog like this. Thanks for your work. I have enjoyed them.

AC coin$

Level 6

Nice blog , great coin collection .

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