SIDNEY – A limited number of Sidney Bicentennial silver coins are being minted and will be available in time for Christmas giving, Bicentennial Committee Co-Chair Mike Barhorst recently announced.
The .999 fine silver coins are being minted by Osborne Coinage, of Cincinnati. The initial order for 250 coins was confirmed just before Thanksgiving.
The coins were designed by Mary Beth Monnier, president of Creative Marketing Strategies, with input from the Bicentennial Committee.
“We wanted to utilize the graphics from the bicentennial logo in the coin design, at least as much as you can fit on a 1.54 inch coin,” Shelby County Commissioner and Bicentennial Co-Chair Bob Guillozet said.
“The obverse of the coin contains the year of Sidney’s founding (1820) and the words ‘County Seat for Shelby County,’” Guillozet explained. “In addition, it shows the tower of the Shelby County Courthouse.”
“The reverse side of the coin shows an image of the Big Four Bridge. In addition, the number 200 is below the bridge along with the words ‘Gateway to the Miami Valley,’” Guillozet continued. “Mary Beth did a great job of taking our ideas and creating a coin that will still have meaning a century from now!”
“Certainly we appreciated her patience as she worked with us,” Guillozet said. “I think she produced more than a dozen different versions for each side before we finally finalized the design.”
“When we decided to create a similar coin for Shelby County’s celebration, we received sample coins from several private mints,” Barhorst noted. “After looking at the samples, we selected Osborne Coinage and were certainly not disappointed with the final product. We didn’t even discuss looking at other options this time. Having seen the proof coins earlier today, I know that I speak for Bob (Guillozet) when I say that we were more than pleased.”
Osborne Coinage is the oldest private mint in America. Headquartered in Cincinnati, the company traces its roots to 1835. In addition to producing coins for a host of events over the years, Osborne produced coins for nine presidential campaigns, including those of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
During World War II, the Office of Price Commission asked Osborne to make food ration tokens. With more than 1,000 skilled employees working 24 hour shifts, the company manufactured 5 billion red and blue fiber tokens, as many as 80 million a day, to make change for ration stamps, thus saving coinage metals for the war effort.
Sidney’s bicentennial celebration will begin the evening of Feb. 22, at the conclusion of the Bicentennial Ball. The ball will be held at the Shelby County Courthouse.
“We trace Sidney’s beginning to Feb. 12, when the Shelby County commissioners first met in Sidney,” Barhorst said. “They met in the log home of Abraham Cannon, as the construction of the first court house would not be completed for another couple of years.”
“A listing of bicentennial events will be included on the city of Sidney’s calendar, which will be available in late December,” Barhorst said. “That calendar will be mailed to residents this year. A limited number of additional calendars will be available for pick up at City Hall.”
The initial run of coins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Order forms are available online (www.shelbycountybicentennial.com), at Sidney City Hall, the Shelby County Historical Society, Mutual Federal Savings Bank and at Peoples Federal Savings and Loan. The coins are $50 each. Display cases are available for an additional $5.