John Jay Knox (1828-1892) was a 19th-century banker, author, and politician who served as president of the National Bank of the Republic and helped prepare the Coinage Act of 1873 that famously stopped the production of silver dollars. Heritage Auctions is now offering pieces originally collected by Knox in a Showcase Auction of the John Jay Knox Crime of 1873 Collection on September 25 at 9 pm CT (10 pm ET).
The John Jay Knox Collection varies in its scope but emphasizes U.S. patterns and medals, including a pleasing 1867 assay medal, which had been in the family since Knox’s death. The purpose of theUnited States Assay Commission was to test the purity and weight of coinage to make sure it met government standards. The assay medal was typically presented to commission participants to recognize their work, and they often became treasure family keepsakes. The medal offered here has been well taken care of and remains in the original case of issue! U.S. Mint Chief Engraver James Barton Longacre designed this silver medal, which shows delightful toning in shades of rich ocean-blue, sun-gold, rose-red, and powder-blue.
Other highlights of the John Jay Knox Collection in the Showcase Auction include:
- 1866 5C Rays PR66+ Cameo NGC
- 1850 Three Cent Silver Struck in Silver, Judd-125 Original, R.4, PR63 NGC
- 1869 One Cent Struck in Nickel, Judd-666, R.5, PR67 Cameo NGC
- 1873 Trade Dollar Struck in Silver, Judd-1293, R.4, PR60 NGC
- 1862-Dated Indian Peace Medal, Abraham Lincoln, Second Reverse, King-520, Julian IP-38, Cunningham-22-020Bz, Uncertified. Bronze, 76 mm. By Salathiel Ellis and Joseph Willson.
- 1869 U.S. Assay Commission Medal, JK-AC-6a, R.6, Uncertified. Silver, 33 mm. By William Barber.
- 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes, U.S. Assay Commission Medal, JK-AC-24Aa, R.5, Uncertified. Silver, 33 mm. By George T. Morgan and Charles Barber.
- Two Handwritten Letters to John Jay Knox From Philadelphia Mint Superintendent A. Louden Snowden, dated March 1885.
To bid on these coins or for more information, please visit Coins.HA.com.