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APMEX to sell rare punchboard

The American Precious Metals Exchange of Edmond, Okla., announced that it has been selected to sell a rare, unused Booker T. Washington commemorative coin punchboard.

One of only four known, the board was issued by the Booker T. Washington Memorial Association to be used as a fund-raising tool.

Of the four known Washington punchboards, two of them are unused and still accompanied by the original coins. One of those two punchboards was sold by the late commemorative specialist Helen Carmody to an unnamed buyer.

This specimen is the other unused set that is still accompanied by the original coins. It was the prized possession of the late collector James K. Lusk of Virginia. His heirs contacted Mike Garofalo, a professional numismatist at APMEX and friend of Lusk, to help liquidate his collection and this rare punchboard.

The punchboard contains 10 1946 Booker T. Washington commemorative half dollars, and there are 1,000 unused punches. The board itself is matted and framed under glass.

A player would invest 5 cents and select a punch. A small metal or wooden tool would be used to push the number hidden behind the hole out of the punchboard. The number could correspond to one of the numbers assigned to the 10 commemorative coins or to one of 12 other numbers that would give the player 25 cents in winnings. Once all 1,000 punches were purchased, the association would receive $50.

Since only the obverses of these coins are visible, one cannot determine if any of the coins are mintmarked.

“The coins are beautifully and originally toned from long-term storage in this wonderful punchboard holder,” said Garofalo.

Plans for the liquidation of the item are undecided at this time, the firm says.

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