This case study involved a very interesting custom coin and an equally as compelling story.
On December 23, 2010, we completed a case study that was initiated by Dennis Schurr who came to us earlier that year with a request to create a commemorative service medal for the “Flags Over Hatteras” event celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Civil War engagements on the Outer Banks. These coins were given out during their Blue-Gray reunion to the descendants of the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry, known also as the Hawkins Zouaves, which was one of the first regiments that departed the state to help quell the rebellion in the south. This regiment would play a major role in the first Union Victory at the Battle of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark in August of 1861.
Last month, Mr. Schurr came back to us to restrike his 2010 coin in satin gold for an upcoming special event celebrating the return of a Civil War-era Tiffany and Company presentation sword that mysteriously vanished from Brown University in the 1970s. This event will take place at the Annmary Brown Memorial in Providence, R.I. on November 7, 2013.
“The honored guests will be all the plaintiff parties that were involved in this Federal case. It took a long time and a great deal of effort to recover this treasured artifact. I am delighted that it is back in the hands of its rightful caretakers,” said Schurr.
The imagery on the front face of the commemorative service medal includes the Hawkin’s Zouaves’ motto at the top, “Toujours Pret” (always ready). In the center, stands their national colors, surrounded by “IX” (left), “N.Y.”(right), along with “VOLS” and “HAWKINS ZOUAVES” (bottom). On the reverse is the mythical Victory Flying holding a palm branch and placing a wreath on a Zouave’s head as he stands on the remnants of war holding the colors.
Schurr goes on to say, “In May 1863, fifty prominent citizens of New York presented the Tiffany-crafted sword to Colonel Rush Hawkins to commemorate his gallantry and service to his country during the first two years of the Civil War.” The guard of the sword bears Hawkins’ initials and the scabbard, his name. The regiment’s battles and engagements are also inscribed on the sword.
“I came back to the Monterey Company,” says Schurr, “because they had previously met all my needs that far exceeded my expectations. They have a knowledgeable sales staff, a wide selection of metals and finishes, and, most importantly, they have the very best die makers. The finished product is paramount. You can see and feel the labor of love that goes into the striking of this coin.”
“What a magnificent token of remembrance this medal will be for those who will attend the Nov. 7 event. The medals will not be presented in a Tiffany blue bag—rather a specially designed red one emblazoned with Brown University’s emblem—but in my opinion the recipients will be receiving a coin of Tiffany quality.”