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Numismatic Items

U.S. Coins Designed By Marika Somogyi

U.S. Coins Designed By Marika Somogyi

“If I were a sculptor …”

– The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR)

Marika Somogyi, the sculptor of the 1987 Sherlock Holmes medal, has created designs for two United States commemorative coins. The first was the obverse of the 1991 Mount Rushmore silver dollar. Her second design is the obverse of the 2001 United States Capitol Visitor Center silver dollar.

Let’s take a look at these two coins…..

1991 Mt Rushmore Dollar

The 1991 Mount Rushmore Silver Dollar was issued for the golden anniversary of the national monument. Surcharges raised from the commemorative coin program (half dollar, silver dollar and gold $5) went to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Society and the US Treasury.

The obverse design of the silver dollar contains a view of Mount Rushmore. The mountainside carving by Gutzon Borglum features busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. At the bottom of the coin are two laurel wreaths with a ribbon containing the motto “In God We Trust”.  Somogyi’s design was modeled by Chester Young Martin. The reverse of the coin features a design by Frank Gasparro, a former Chief Engraver for the U.S. Mint. Gasparro designed the reverse of the Lincoln Memorial cents that circulated for 50 years, starting in 1959 and can still be found in pocket change today.

2,500,000 dollars were authorized to be struck. The Philadelphia Mint struck the uncirculated version and 133,139 coins were sold. The San Francisco Mint struck the proof versions and 738,419 coins were sold.

2001 Capitol Visitor Center $1Somogyi designed the obverse of the 2001 U.S. Capitol Visitor Center silver dollar, which features the original Capitol building of 1800 and the current Capitol of 2001. John Mercanti, then Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, modeled Somogyi’s design and also created the design for the coin’s reverse.

500,000 of the silver dollars were authorized and all were struck by the Philadelphia Mint. Only 35,380 of the uncirculated versions were sold, while the proof version sold 143,793 coins.

2001 Capitol Visitor Center Coins (with a Sherlockian angle)

2001 Capitol Visitor Center Coins (with a Sherlockian angle)

“… in spite of the efforts of the United States government …”  – The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips (FIVE) The United States Mint struck a three coin series (half dollar, silver dollar and gold $5) in 2001 to help raise funds for the construction of the United States Capitol Visitor Center, which had broken ground… Continue Reading

Select Medallic Art of Alex Shagin

Select Medallic Art of Alex Shagin

“… a skillful sculptor and had earned an honest living …” – The Adventure of The Six Napoleons (SIXN) Alex Shagin, now a freelance medallic artist based in southern California, cast medals featuring Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle in the early 1990s. Let’s take a look at some other of his medallic works. A 78mm bronze casting of… Continue Reading

Emphemera of Shagin’s Medals of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

Emphemera of Shagin’s Medals of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle

“Here is an advertisement which will interest you …” – The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb (ENGR) Edward C. Rochette, the 5th Garrideb, and his wife Maryann started a small business selling Holmesian gifts in 1990. The business was called Sherlock, Stock & Barrel Company. Pictured above was their first advertising flyer that was sent to folks… Continue Reading

Shagin Recognized for Medallic Achievements (1990)

Shagin Recognized for Medallic Achievements (1990)

“If I were a sculptor …” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) The American Numismatic Association bestowed its Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture this year (1990) on Alex Shagin of Los Angeles, California. He was presented with an engraved, 14kt-gold medal donated by the Franklin Mint of Franklin Center, Pennsylvania. Born… Continue Reading

Numismatist Profile – Alex Shagin (2011)

Numismatist Profile – Alex Shagin (2011)

“Without art, a coin collection is just another form of bookkeeping.”  – Alex Shagin Alex Shagin’s life has always been about artistic freedom and enduring coins. It’s been a long, but rewarding challenge for this defender of classical medal design. Born in Russia near Leningrad, on January 21, 1947, Alexander George Shagin is the only… Continue Reading

Alex Shagin’s 1991 Portrait Medal of Arthur Conan Doyle

Alex Shagin’s 1991 Portrait Medal of Arthur Conan Doyle

“… it bore some resemblance …” – The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (WIST)       In 1991, Alex Shagin, a former head engraver with the Leningrad Mint, cast a medal featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, which was marketed by Sherlock, Stock & Barrel, a firm owned by Edward C. Rochette, the 4th Garrideb of our scion.… Continue Reading

Alex Shagin’s 1990 Portrait Medal of Sherlock Holmes

Alex Shagin’s 1990 Portrait Medal of Sherlock Holmes

“… it was a perfect facsimile.” – The Adventure of The Empty House (EMPT)            From the George S. Cuhaj (the 14th Garrideb, aka Cardinal Tosca) Collection Alex Shagin, a former head engraver with the Leningrad Mint, was commissioned in 1990 to sculpt a medal featuring Sherlock Holmes. Cast in both silver and… Continue Reading

A NYPD Challenge Coin with Snoopy as Sherlock Hound

A NYPD Challenge Coin with Snoopy as Sherlock Hound

“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” – The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN)     A new Sherlockian themed challenge coin has recently appeared for sale on some major online auction websites, this time featuring Snoopy dressed as Sherlock Holmes. This challenge coin, as well as several others recently appearing, feature… Continue Reading