|Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club|
WBCC Newsmail 313, Volume 7, August 10, 2002
Dear WBCC Members and Non WBCC Members,
I really hope you enjoy reading this weeks WBCC Newsmail !!
1. A new WBCC Member ... by Martin Peeters, WBCC Focal Point
We have a new WBCC member. Let me introduce him to you:
Name: John Tucker (WBCC member #274), USA
2. WBCC Certificate of Membership ... by Martin Peeters, WBCC Focal Point
Now available the official WBCC "Certificate of membership" for each WBCC members. The certificate is printed on white paper, 210 x 299 mm, and it will be laminated. It is available for each member for 5$ including postage cost. So if you are interested in your own WBCC membership certificate, please E-mail me: Martin Peeters.
3. Bi-metallics from Russia and Mintmarks ... by Michael Ayrapetov, USA
More news about the new Bi-metallic 2001 from Russia of Yuri Gagarin and the
4. Bi-metallicI Forks Texas Token ... by Larry Friemel, USA
At last months Long Beach (California) Coin and Collectable Show, I found two bimetal tokens that I did not have. One of these tokens was an unusually large token, about the size of today's Silver Strike gaming tokens, with a legend identifying it as the III Forks from Dallas, Texas. I found it interesting not only for it's western theme but also because it was dated 1838.
The dealer that I purchased it from said he had no specific information about it, but went on to venture a hypothesis. He suggested it might have been something handed out by a wealthy Texas rancher to some important guests at the house warming of his new ranch, i.e., the III Forks. The token was interesting enough, the story pleasing and the price not so expensive -- that I purchased it even though I had my doubts about the story. The main reason for my suspicion was the fact that it was stamped .999 fine silver. I seemed to remember reading somewhere that marking tokens like this only began around the early 1980s.
A few days later, I scanned an image of the token and e-mailed it to several people I though might be able to shed some light on the subject. I then pulled up my own web browser and did a little research on Dallas, Texas in the 1830s time frame. Here is a little summary of what I quickly found when I plugged '1830 Dallas History' into my Google search engine...
Texas made a dramatic break from Mexico in 1836. The period of 1836 to 1846 included the siege and battle of the Alamo (6 March 1836) and the Texans' victory at San Jacinto, which leaded to their freedom from Mexico. The formation of The Republic of Texas in 1836 - created an entire country separate from the United States. The period ends as Texas achieves statehood in 1845, and the US goes to war with Mexico (1846-48). Also during this period a huge dispute was going on over the Three Forks region of the Trinity river, with its beautiful forests, rolling green hills and grassy plains. Three Forks, named for the confluence of the three main forks of the Trinity River, was a huge block of land in North Texas that today is larger than thirty-six individual US states in population, and nine states in geographical area.
In 1839, John Neely Bryan, first visited the place that today is Dallas, Texas. He had come to the three forks area of the Trinity to survey a spot for a trading post to server both Indians and settlers. The site he chose was the easiest place to cross the Trinity, and also near where the Preston Trail was planned. About 22 miles to the northwest, there was a community called Bird's Fort. He invited those who had settled there to come and settle in his proposed town. John Beeman arrived in April of 1842 and planted the first corn. Other families soon followed. Members of the Peters Colony settled nearby, and Peter's Colony agents bragged on the new town, now called Dallas, attracting even more settlers. For a while in history, Bryan was everything to the community: postmaster, storeowner, and his home was the courthouse.
Having gotten a quick snapshot Texas around 1938, I then input the phrase " THE EYE OF THE MASTER FATTENS THE CALF" which was inscribed on the back of the token. After trying several of the various suggested sites, I was finally rewarded with an article referring to it as an old (late 1800s) Texas Stockman's belief and saying.
Well, from this quick research, I now knew the significance of the III forks. I now had the feeling that the token had either been produced for a ranch, stockyard or restaurant because of the legend, and I had further doubts of any big ranch house warming occurring in this region for many years after the date on this token.
While, I had been exploring Texas history, one of my internet inquiries came back saying, "Check out the web pages for the III Forks restaurant in Dallas!". Following her suggestion, I pulled up their web site and sure enough the photo of the restaurant was proof enough to suggest she had hit 'pay dirt'. The image of the resturant's dome matched perfectly the dome on the token. Scanning this site further, one finds in their advertisement that " THREE FORKS -- You're in for a high-end Texas dining experience at this distinctive steak and seafood house that features a 24-karat gold-leaf dome visible from the North Dallas Tollway. The two-story restaurant -- filled with polished wood floors, gleaming chandeliers, fireplaces, stained glass, leather couches, and rich fabrics -- is a monument to eating well. Eight of its 11 dining rooms are available for gatherings of eight to 300; private groups receive complimentary use of the glass-enclosed courtyard. Situated on five acres." And best of all, there was an email address.
I proceeded to contact the restaurant via the listed email address. I sent along the little story that I got from the dealer when I purchased the token and a scan of it, asking for their help in identifying it. At this point I was really hoping they had no knowledge of it, as obviously, one from 1838 would be significantly more interesting than one from a modern day restaurant. However, that wish was not to be granted as Mr. Rich Stein, Proprietor of the III Forks restaurant was kind enough to reply to my email. Here is what he told me...
"The coin you have is a good luck piece distributed by this restaurant. Our gift certificates are minted coins of various denomination: $20, $50, $100, and $250. The smaller denomination coins are just like the coin you have, only the value has been added; Dallas, Texas replaced with 'For Merchandise Only'; and 'Luck Helps' replaced by the denomination. The $100 piece is larger and golden, the $250 is also large, but silver with gold highlights. My guesstimate on production is only that, a guess, but I bet we have produced coins in the tens of thousands. We are a very large restaurant, with a large clientele and following. We sell thousands of these gift certificates. I couldn't really tell you a total on volume, I just don't know. I do know that many people; when confronted with the option of paying for their meal or turning in their coin, opt to keep their coin. It was never planned to work that way, but it is just fine with me!
The coins have been so successful for us, that we have minted the good luck piece which you have as a gift token, (no pun intended), for our extraordinary and very frequent patrons. I imagine the cost of the piece to be about $20, just to mint them, but I am told that they carry great luck. I have seen several famous athletes hold them up on ESPN and toast to their authenticity. The quotes on the coin are lifted from Texas history, as you have already guessed. Our founder, Dales Wamstad, conceived of the whole idea. He is responsible for their success, as well as, the historical information he was able to dig up when we first minted them.
The year 1838 was used; because, as legend has it, there was a III Forks Trading Post on this very same property in 1838, and we opened this magnificent restaurant in 1998 -- 160 years later. With this we were inferring the re-opening and re-incarnation of that original location. You see, III Forks, was the original name of Dallas, before it was called Dallas, when it was a stopping point on the Chisholm Trail and named for the three forks of the Trinity River."
In the course of several days using the internet to search out key facts and to contact other collectors, I was able to find not only the source of my token but also bridge a gap from today to the historical 'old west'. It may not be from 1838, but it's creator certainly has a sense of flair. If you are interested in one, they will be happy to sell you one and if you are in the neighborhood (Dallas, that is) I can vouch for their fine food as I have since gone there during an extended business stop over through the Dallas airport.
If you look into the WBCC New Images section you see a couple of scans of the $50 token and the goodluck piece which are very similar.
5. Bi-metallics in Ebay ... by Jose Luis Ramirez, Spain
I saw some unusual Bi-metallic offered on Ebay. These you don't see often
* HUGE GERMANY BIMETAL SILVER/GOLD ECU COIN
6. The WBCC Bi-metallic Quiz Game #313 ... by Jack Hepler, USA
The fourth United Nations World Conference on Women was held in Beijing,
China, September 1995 with the theme; "Action for Equality, Development and
Peace". Which country issued a Bi-metallic coin to commemorate this event?
Answer to Bi-metallic Quiz Game question #312.
7. New Bi- or Tri-metallic Images ... by Rod Sell, Australia
The new Bi and Tri-metallic images shown at: New Images.
8. WBCC Auction 46 ... by Rod Sell, WBCC Auction Provider
9. My Bi-metallic offers ... by Joel Anderson, USA
Please read my offer of Bi-metallic coins and tokens:
"See you", next week,
The Worldwide Bi-metallic Collectors Club (WBCC) was established September 14, 1996 and is the very first Worldwide Collectors Club using the Internet. Goal of the WBCC is exchange Bi-metallics and exchange knowledge about Bi-metallics
WBCC Websmaster, JD White, USA.
WBCC Auction Provider, Rod Sell, Australia.
WBCC DoCu-Centre: Frans Dubois, Netherlands.
WBCC Public Relations: Cliff Anderson,USA.
WBCC Research Centre: Paul Baker, UK.
WBCC Developement Centre: Jack Hepler, USA.
WBCC Focal Point: ANA Convention 2001, Ray Lockwood, USA.
WBCC Focal Point: Martin Peeters, Netherlands
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* Imprensa Nacional - Casa da Moeda, S.A (The Portuguese Mint) and Schuler Presses, Germany.