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I added some better references and what information I could find, but I don't have many resources for this issue. This could be a really good article with some more information.-RHM22 (talk) 19:04, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm on it. Hope you are well.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:04, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
I just noticed the excellent work you've done here. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that this is the most thorough history of the Columbian half dollar on the internet.-RHM22 (talk) 05:05, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
I think it is the most updated. A lot of sources have vague statements about how the design came to be, without much detail. Moran is the first guy who seems to have sat down with the National Archives. Thanks on that.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:27, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
"Faced with financial difficulties, organizers of the Columbian Exposition sought federal money to complete construction of the fair." - second paragraph in lede -
shouldn't it start out with something like "The origination of the coin was a result of the financial difficulties face by the organizers of the Columbian Exposition" or in some way relating the coin immediately with the Columbian Exposition's financial difficulties - for the readers sake, since the coin is not mentioned until halfway through the second paragraph
"Fair official James Ellsworth wanted the new coin to be based on a 16th century painting he owned by Lorenzo Lotto, reputedly of Columbus, and pressed for this through the design process." - "pressed for" > pushed for? pressured for?, "through" > throughout?
"A total of five million half dollars were struck, far beyond the actual demand, and half of them were melted" - Does this use of "melted" mean that have ore allocated to make it was not melted in order to mint it? Or that the after the coins were minted, half were melted back to the ore?
They were melted, and the metal was then used for coins (almost certainly dimes, quarters, and half dollars) I've fixed the other things--Wehwalt (talk) 20:56, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Why is this section so long, since it really has nothing to do with the coin, other than being the reason for it being minted. And there is already a whole article World's Columbian Exposition. All this detail seem off topic to me. Perhaps you could pick out any part that actually relates to the coin. e.g. whatever that's in the lede from this section.
I've cut it by half. I think it necessary to establish that there was a huge undertaking going on, thus leading into the shortage of money and also introduce the fair and the company who ran it. If I explained it as it came up, it would distract the reader.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:17, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
In the quote, don't understand this: "Every line was sharply defined, and the strong features of the discoverer of America, which adorn the coin, seemed to look approvingly on the work."
It is saying that the coin was sharply struck, so that all the details were brought out. --Wehwalt (talk) 01:56, 22 September 2012 (UTC)