So-Called Dollars


Extensive research fails to establish origin of these issues. Some feel they were produced and sold to assist in defraying portion of giant cost of catastrophe but any revenue derived would have been insignificant. More creditable is statement of San Francisco Public Library that "reliable local opinion is that production of such medals probably was a transitory commercial venture with no official connection."

This was most severe earthquake in history of United States; affected area 150 miles both north and south of city, east to Nevada and west to Honolulu. Starting about 5 A.M., April 18, 1906, series of 2 main shocks and 25 additional ones shook San Francisco alone; resulting fires raged 3 days, destroyed 500 city blocks, over 28,000 buildings; almost 500 people killed, 2,500 seriously injured. San Francisco loss estimated at $250,000,000; total $350,000,000. One of "wonders of conflagration" was saving of U.S. Mint Building, "where fire was fiercest," by 250 employees and soldiers.


Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Street and buildings in ruins; below small California Street; above all April 18, 1906; below all San Francisco, Cal.; beaded border.
Rev. Edifice; below Ruins of City Hall; above all, around San Francisco Earthquake & Fire; below all Souvenir; beaded border.

HK-340 Silver, reeded edge. 36mm.
HK-340a Silver-plated.
HK-341 Brass.
HK-342 Aluminum.
HK-342a Bronze.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Edifice; above Cliff House; below edifice San Francisco
Rev. Within open wreath, across Souvenir / San Francisco / Earthquake / & Fire / San Francisco, California

HK-343 Brass, reeded edge. 36mm.

Photos courtesy of John Raymond

Obv. Same as obverse of No. 343 [Cliff House].
Rev. Edifice; above, around, Souvenir; beneath horizontal line below edifice, Post Office; below all, around, San Francisco; beaded border.

HK-343a Gilt Brass, reeded edge. 36mm.

HK-335 to HK-339