Mountaineer Pride runs deep for those inside or outside West Virginia. From our storied past, and our current lifestyle, West Virginians have always been tied to the “hills and hollers” that they call home. Remembering this legacy is an important part of re-imagining the future. The Bronze Look has always celebrated the independent mountain spirit and the fierce loyalty that the Old Blue and Gold maintain. The Bronze Look is continuing to sell a limited quantity of three, distinct, commemorative coins, made purely from silver that reflect the spirit and history of the Mountain State.
The first minted coin, the Sesquicentennial Heritage coin, was created and designed by entrepreneur and WV native, Randolph Evans to celebrate 150th anniversary of the founding of West Virginia. The obverse of the coin is emblazoned with Lady West Virginia, “spreading joy across the landscape of West Virginia,” and celebrates the heritage and determination that will lead West Virginia into the future. Each coin is surrounded by 35 stars, representing West Virginia’s admission to the Union as the 35th state. On the reverse of the coin, the state animal, the black bear comes from hiding behind the state flower, the Rhododendron, framed by the famous Coffindaffer crosses that dot the hillsides, highways and mountain roads of West Virginia.
Minted in 2014, the second commemorative coin released is the Cycle of Coal: Pink Slip coin. For over a century, West Virginia has been no stranger to the ebb and flow or bust and boon of coal mining. Miners have a distinct appreciation and pride with their work, even with the obvious instability of this craft. Many miners went to work only to receive a “pink slip” letting them know that their services would not be needed for the next period. The obverse of the coin reflects a miner, ready with his dinner pail at the entrance of a mine, temporarily closed. Emblazoned with the thirty- five stars, the Pink Slip coin is surely reminiscent of coal mining today and yesterday. The reverse of the coin reflects a modern adaptation of Scrip, the company issued currency paid to many miners in lieu of cash, spendable at the company store.
Completing the trio and minted in 2016 the third in the series of coins represents a unique moment in West Virginia history. Over a century ago, Anna Jarvis, native of Grafton, created and celebrated the first Mother’s Day. With the reflection of a pioneer woman, tending to her infant shows the fierce tenacity of West Virginia mothers. On the reverse of the coin, the black bear again leaves his rumination in the mighty rhododendron and appears before the famous Coffindaffer crosses.
It is important to take the time to celebrate the legacy of the thirty-fifth star and remember the moments that identify the heritage and to celebrate the future of West Virginia. The Commemorative Coin Set is a perfect gift for any West Virginia fan, here or abroad, young or old. Contact the Bronze Look at (304)425-5005 or www.bronzelook.com to reserve your set. These coins are limited edition and are also available at Only One Look in Bluefield and Diamonds ‘N Gold Look in Princeton.