Today on local Facebook groups, this coin was posted with no context and no information. As things are slowish this time of year, I tried to play detective and figure out the history of the coin.

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The story I was told is that it was created to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Oneonta. Google was little help. I hiked down to the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, and they had no record of Her Majesty visiting Oneonta in 1976, nor were they familiar with the coin.

Tim Powers via Facebook
Tim Powers via Facebook

The Queen did visit New York City in 1976, but there's no evidence that she made it here. Per Spectrum News: "Nineteen years later, the queen would return to the city on July 9, 1976 for the bicentennial of the United States, 200 years after Americans gained their independence from England. Upon her arrival to Battery Park in Manhattan, she was greeted by Gov. Hugh Carey and was presented with a bouquet by Mayor Abe Beame’s granddaughter. During her visit, she was seen greeting New Yorkers outside of Bloomingdale’s, where she spent an afternoon shopping. The next day she walked from the Federal Building up Wall Street to New York’s Trinity Church with Mayor Beame, where she was greeted by thousands of spectators. It was at Trinity Church that she collected 279 peppercorns in back rent. Trinity Church was given its charter in 1697 by Elizabeth’s ancestor William III."

Was the coin minted just to commemorate the American bicentennial? Was it widely available here in Oneonta? If you know anything, please drop us a line and help solve this mystery!

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