So-Called Dollars


Medal struck for dedication of Breakwater; issuer and designer unknown but struck by Los Angeles Rubber Stamp Co. (later LA. Stamp and Stationery Co., which went out of business in the 1960s). Actually, two dedicatory ceremonies held, marking both beginning and completion of project, March 25, 1933, and Aug. 5, 1934, respectively.

Breakwater financed by $690,000 municipal bond issue. First crib, sunk March 25, 1933 "amid dedication ceremonies...promptly broke in two." City "panicked"; abandoned plans for concrete-crib breakwater; finally, rock-mound type constructed of lightweight Catalina stone; completed July 6, 1934. Final dedication program included Pacific Coast and Southern California regattas (major yachting events) and nine days of boat races. Some label Breakwater "a fiasco from start to finish"; say it "is completely insufficient and unsightly...has reshaped the beaches badly by causing uneven deposit of is now a crumbling wreck."

Some medals have no figure after L.A.R.S. on reverse; most bear figure 1 to 14, significance of which unknown to authors. Six obverse die varieties known have no relationship to figures.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Brecher

Obv. Aerial view of breakwater, pier and yacht basin; single small star each side; above Souvenir Breakwater 1933; below Santa Monica, Calif.; beaded border.
Rev. Full female figure on beach, amusement park in background; below Ocean Park / microscopic L.A.R.S. Co.; around Souvenir from California's Playground; beaded border.

HK-680 Silver; Sterling on rev., below Ocean Park. 38mm.
HK-681 Copper.
HK-682 Bronze.
HK-683 Brass.
HK-684 Brass with bronze center. Center portion measures 24mm.
HK-685 Bronze with aluminum center.
HK-685a. Brass with aluminum center.
HK-685b. Aluminum with brass center.
HK-686 Nickel.
HK-687 Aluminum.

HK-679 to HK-679b