1925 Confederate Half Dollar

As a part of the federal government's efforts to help the Memorial Committee create a memorial to honor the men who fought for the Confederacy, President Calvin Coolidge signed the1924 Stone Mountain Memorial Coinage Act. The Act provided for the minting of 5 million Confederate Half Dollars by the federal government, to be sold to the Memorial Association at face value. The Association planned to sell the coins for $1 apiece, making 100% profit, or 2.5 million dollars (although only about 2.3 million coins were ever struck).

Gutzon Borglum, the carving's first chief sculptor, designed the coin for the government, working and reworking his design until he satisfied the federal mint. The head side of the coin depicted Lee and Jackson in their famous last meeting at Chancellorsville, before Jackson was shot down by a misdirected corps from South Carolina. The tail side of the coin depicts an American eagle in the foreground, with the message, "Memorial to the Valor of the Soldier of the South" in bold print. Jefferson Davis, the third member of the carving's central group, appears nowhere on the coin. Perhaps Borglum left Davis off for spatial considerations, or perhaps he was responding sensitively to the public's disenchantment with the Confederate president and attempting to make the coins as sellable as possible.

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