Thomas Elder Louisiana Gold Parody

The 1909 American Numismatic Association presidential election was the most heated in the first century of that organization's history.

Retiring ANA President Farran Zerbe supported First Vice President Dr. John Henderson as his successor. New York dealer Thomas Elder backed Frank Higgins, current and founding President of the New York Numismatic Club. Higgins faced an uphill battle, since Zerbe was publisher of The Numismatist, the ANA house organ.

Elder attacked Zerbe's reputation with a pair of token varieties, one of which was a venemous parody of Zerbe's 1904 Louisiana Gold 1/2 design:


Elder replaced the fleur-de-lis with a lemon. The Latin legend "Nihil Faciendo" translates as "Nothing Doing". "Pennsylvania Gold" is a reference to Zerbe's home state, also where The Numismatist was published. "1/2 Nerve / Other Half Brass" mocks its low gold alloy.

David Alexander wrote the definitive article on the 1909 Zerbe- Elder feud in the Fall 1995 issue of The Asylum.