Coin Challenge Answers - Trident
Do you know which coin contains the image of the trident? Before you go further, here is another small
hint. The Roman mythological god of the sea, Neptune, carried a trident.
Let's take a look at the coin. First, here is the coin in its certified holder:
Why do we block the certified number? We don't want counterfeiters to use the number for nefarious
Now, let's view a close-up to see Neptune and his trident in the overall coin design:
Neptune with his trident rides the whale facing backwards. To Neptune's right, a mermaid blows into
The coin is the 1935 Hudson half dollar minted to commemorate the city's sesquicentennial
celebration in 1935. The coin contained 90% silver and 10% copper.
The congressional legislation for the 1935 Hudson, New York commemorative half dollar became
Public Law 74-48 on May 2, 1935.
Struck in Philadelphia, the US Mint described Chester Beach's coin design as:
"The obverse of the coin bears the seal of the city of Hudson. Inscriptions: City of Hudson,
N.Y., Et Decus Et Pretium Recti, E Pluribus Unum, and 1785–1935."
Both the US Mint and the NGC grading service show Hudson's seal of the city as the obverse, however
the 2012 Redbook identifies it as the reverse. You get to decide which you prefer - obverse or reverse.
The hints for the coin were somewhat obscure - on purpose, but they do pertain to the city of
Hints: Whaling made the area prosperous
Kerosene generated an economic downturn
Even though Hudson, NY is several miles inland, the early Dutch settlers thrived from a seafaring
economy, for example, whale oil. When kerosene began being used in lamps instead of the whale oil, the area saw a
significant loss to their prosperity.
Hint: The area profited from vice with a large red light district and many bars
Fast forward a few years and the area preyed on people's vices. Fifty or so bars thrived in the
city along with gambling and a large red light district. During his term, Governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey,
played an instrumental role in breaking the vice rings of the Hudson area. The book, Diamond Street: The Story of
the Little Town with the Big Red Light District by Bruce Edward Hall tells of the shadier side of Hudson.
Regarding the seal of Hudson, in the 1862 book by Stephen B. Miller (Historical Sketches of Hudson, Embracing the Settlement of
the City, City Government, Business Enterprises, Churches, Press, Schools, Libraries, Etc.), the city's seal
was purchased in 1785 – the first year of the city – by Nathaniel Greene, Seth Jenkins, John Bay, Ezra Reed,
Stephen Paddock, Benjamin Folger, Dirck Delamater, John Ten Broeck and Peter Hogeboom. They each contributed
eleven shillings and four pence. Mr. Miller stated, "This seal is still in use, never having been changed." But,
that was 1862.
Now, a few Google searches haven't found an official, up-to-date image of the Seal of Hudson, New
York. It would be interesting to know if the seal purchased in 1785, the image of the seal on the 1935 Hudson
Sesquicentennial coin and the official seal today are similar or different.
In our book, Days of Our Coins, the image of the
Hudson, NY silver commemorative half dollar coin is featured on September 19 with its related historical
significance on that date.