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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.




Coin Challenge - Trident for January 2012








Let's take a look at the coin. First, here is the coin in its certified holder:

1935 Hudson half dollar in MS-64 certified holder from NGC

Why do we block the certified number? We don't want counterfeiters to use the number for nefarious purposes.

Now, let's view a close-up to see Neptune and his trident in the overall coin design:

1935 Hudson half dollar showing neptune mounted on a whale with his trident held high


Neptune with his trident rides the whale facing backwards. To Neptune's right, a mermaid blows into a shell. 

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 Hudson.

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.

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