Benjamin Banneker US Postage Stamp 1980

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Benjamin Bannekar Postage Stamp 1980

 

On February 15, 1980 Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught astronomer and mathematician and publisher of Farmers Almanacs in the 1790’s was honored on a 15 cent US Postage Stamp. I want to also note that he was one of three people considered for the reverse of the Washington DC 2009 coin. (As you know if you have been reading this blog the placement was given to Duke Ellington.

This stamp was designed by stamp artist Jerry Pinkney. The print run was 160,000,000.

Read more about Benjamin Banneker by clicking this link.

A self-taught mathematician and astronomer, Benjamin Banneker was probably the most accomplished African American of America’s colonial period.

In 1753, he constructed the first wooden striking clock made in America. His studies and calculations in astronomy allowed him to successfully predict a solar eclipse in 1789 and to publish farmer’s almanacs in the 1790s.

In 1791 he helped design and survey the city of Washington, D.C. This stamp was issued February 15, 1980.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Postage Stamps

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Martin Luther King Postage Stamp for 15 cents

There were two Martin Luther King Jr. Stamps released as part of the Black Heritage Stamp Series. The first one is a 15-cent stamp and was issued on January 13, 1979. The second stamp is a 33-cent stamp was issued on September 17, 1999.

The artist who designed the stamps is Jerry Pickney.

 

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Postage Stamp Released in 1933

 

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Do You Know Who Was The First African American to Appear on a US Postage Stamp?

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If you guessed that Booker T. Washington was the first African American to appear on a US Postage Stamp you are absolutely right! Actually Booker T. Washington had a lot of “firsts”. I found out just tonight that he was the first African American to be invited to the White House.

But on April 7, 1940 The US Post Office actually issued a stamp honoring Booker T. Washington as part of a Famous Americans Series. It was, indeed, the very first stamp to honer an African American. The stamp was for 10 cents.

You can read more about the Booker T. Washington stamp from 1940 by clicking this link.

A 10 cent stamp was a high price during that time. Most people could easily afford to buy the lower price stamp which was three cents at the time. As a result, it received some criticism because it was not affordable by many of the African American community.

 

 

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Harriet Tubman Was the First African American to be Honored as Part of The Black Heritage Stamp Series

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Harriet Tubman 13 cent US Postage Stamp 1978

Harriet Tubman 13 cent US Postage Stamp 1978

Harriet Tubman was the first African American to be honored as part of the Black Heritage Stamp Series. She is also the first African American Woman to be honored on a U.S postage stamp. Please note that I said the Black Heritage Series. Prior to this  the first African American ever honored on a U. S. postage stamp was Booker T. Washington in 1940 as a part of the “Famous Americans Series.”

The words Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad are synonymous. As a conductor for the Underground Railroad she placed herself in danger by helping hundreds of slave escape to freedom.

The US Postage stamps commemorating her are a 13 cent stamp issued in February 1, 1978 and a 32 cent stamp issued on June 29, 1995.

Harriet Tubman 32 cent Postage Stamp 1995

Harriet Tubman 32 cent Postage Stamp 1995

 

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Who are the Artists That Painted and Designed the Rosa Parks Stamp?

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African American Artist Thomas Blackshear II created the original painting for the Rosa Parks stamp. The stamp was designed by art director Derry Noyes.

Read more about Thomas Blackshear 11 by clicking this  link.

Read more about the Art Director for the US Postal Service Derry Noyles by clicking this link.

 

 

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Hettie Anderson An African American Model for the Famous St. Gaudens $20 Gold Coin

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The most beautiful coin in U.S. history is the design that appeared on the $20 Gold Double Eagle from 1907 to 1933. It is the design of Augustus St. Gaudens. His model was an  African-American artist’s model named Hettie Anderson who actually posed for the “Liberty” design. The design on the reverse of the St. Gaudens $20 gold coin. It depicts a majestic eagle in flight, with the sun below and its rays extending upward.

Hettie Anderson was from Columbia, South Carolina. Read more about the coin and HettieAnderson by clicking this link.

See a picture of the coin currently on sale online.

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Rosa Parks Commemorative Stamp Was Released This Month as Part of Black Heritage Series

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Rosa Parks Stamp US Commemorative

The Rosa Parks Commemorative Stamp was released this month. This stamp is part of the Black Heritage Series which started in 1978. The first stamp released in 1978 in this series was for Harriet Tubman. You can read more about the celebration honoring Rosa Parks by the Postal Service by clicking  this link.

Each fall the honoree for the next stamp is announced. Usually the stamp is available by the  Postal Service for at least a year. That means just like coins you can usually get them directly from the US Mint or the US Postal Service. If your local Post Office does not have the stamp you can order them online from the Mint.So, with that in mind you can order your Rosa Parks Stamps and First Day Covers ( an envelope with the stamp and image) by clicking this link.

 

 

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Rare Louis Armstrong 1 oz and Marion Anderson Gold 1/2 Oz. Gold Medallions

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Legislation was passed to produce a 5 year series of 1 oz. and 1/2 gold medallions that  would honor American Artists. Marion Anderson and Louis Armstrong were part of this program which began in 1980. These are not legal tender. No where do they say United States of America.

There were 218,624 of the Marion Anderson’s medallion created. And there were 409,098 of the Louis Armstrong 1.0z gold medallions created. Note that these medallions were 90% gold and 10% copper. Many of them were not purchased for collectible value but for bullion value. Hence, many have been melted for the gold content.

Today, because of their rarity, they have collector value as well as bullion value. So if you have one that is a good thing.

See a picture of the Marion Anderson medal by clicking on this link.

You can see a sale of the Louis Armstrong medal and the picture of the coin on both sides by clicking this link.

 

1980 and 1981 Medallions

 

The 1980 and 1981 concepts and designs had several flaws:

 

• They were not given a face value to make them legal tender, hence they are medallions and not coins.

• Nowhere on the pieces did it say United States of America.

• The edges were smooth instead of reeded as was done for almost all gold and silver U.S. coins.

• None of them state their gold content. The 1980 issues were shipped in Styrofoam trays, where the gold content was stated on the plastic that covered the Styrofoam. In order to remove the medallions from this packaging, buyers had to discard the information on the gold content.

 

The Mint removed order limits later in 1980. Thereafter, a number of major bullion firms made huge purchases of medallions on days when the price of gold rose substantially. These trading houses informed Bradford that a high percentage of these bulk purchases were melted.

 

In 1986, Bradford estimated that 15 percent of the 1980 issues and 10 percent of the 1981 issues were melted. Today, we think the net meltage is conservatively 20 percent for 1980 and 15 percent for 1981.

 

 

 

218, 624 medallions were made in 1980.

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Ed Dwight, African American Sculptor, Air Force Test Pilot,Trained Astronaut, Systems Engineer, Real Estate Developer and Sculptor Designed the Reverse of the Black Patriot Coin

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An amazing man Ed Dwight, the first African American to be trained as an astronaut, designed the Black Patriots Memorial, including the image on the coin’s reverse side of the Black Patriot Commemorative Coin. He had many careers and his passion for capturing the history of African Americans in sculptor reminds me of Issac Scott Hathaway, the designer of the  the Booker T. Washington and Carver Coins.

Ed Dwight, has created more than 55 monuments and memorials honoring African Americans.

Read more about the life and work of Ed Dwight by clicking this link.

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Crispus Attucks Commemorative Silver Dollar 1998-The First Black Patriot to Die in the Revolutionary War

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Black Patriots Coin 1998 Ultra Cameo -Obverse Crispus Attucks

When most people think of the men who fought for the United States’ freedom, many are unaware  that the first patriot to die was an African American man named Crispus Attucks. He was killed by the British in the Boston Massacre of 1770.

Many may not also know that more than 5,000 African Americans fought in the Revolutionary War. In Virginia, dozens froze, starved and died; the 1st Rhode Island Regiment was made up entirely of 250 African Americans. There was one instance where the British General Cornwallis was completely fooled by double agent James Armistead, the African American man who stood by General Lafayette’s side when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.

The Crispus Attucks Commemorative Silver Dollar was authorized to honor the black Revolutionary War patriots and the 275th anniversary of the birth of the first black Revolutionary War patriot, Crispus Attucks. There were only 28,575 minted for t he Uncirculated Mint State coins and 110,428 minted for the Proof coin.

The obverse shows a portrait of Crispus Attucks and was designed by US Mint designer John Merchanti. The reverse was designed by Ed Dwight. It shows a Black Patriot family. I will be doing a separate post on him.  The reverse shows the proposed Black Patriots Memorial. Note that I said “proposed”. Since 1998 this is still a working idea that needs to be approved for implementation. Read a current article about the proposed Black Patriots Memorial. A portion of the sale of these coins are supposed to go toward the Memorial.

Black Patriots Coin 1998 Ultra Cameo

Black Patriots Coin 1998 Ultra Cameo-Reverse Proposed Memorial

 

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