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The Flipside with Robert R. Van Ryzin

Who Was the American Indian Model?
June 10, 2010

The next issue of Coins magazine (September 2010) will feature an interesting article by Tom LaMare on the Indian Head gold $5 by Bela Lyon Pratt and the supposed American Indian model for it and the $2.50.

As with other such stories, not everyone agrees on the model. Some believe it was Hollow Horn Bear, a Sioux. LaMarre suggests Thundercloud, a Blackfoot.

The Buffalo nickel story also suffers from mixed up tales. I cover that one in my new book, Fascinating Facts, Mysteries and Myths About U.S. Coins. There you'll also find why Black Diamond may not have been the model for the bison on that popular coin's reverse. For info on the book see:

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About the Author
Robert R. Van Ryzin has been a coin collector for 30 years. He has served as editor of Krause Publications Coins and Coin Prices magazines since 1994. He joined the firm in 1986 after obtaining a master of fine arts degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Prior to becoming a magazine editor, he worked on World Coin News as a staff member and later served as managing editor of Numismatic News. Van Ryzin, whose specialty is U.S. coinage history, is also the award-winning author of the book Crime of 1873: The Comstock Connection (Krause Publications, 2001), as well as two earlier titles, Twisted Tails: Sifted Fact, Fantasy and Fiction from U.S. Coin History (Krause Publications, 1995) and Striking Impressions: A Visual Guide to Collecting U.S. Coins (Krause Publications, 1992).

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