Louisiana Gold 1/2
Louisiana Gold 1/4
Louisiana Gold tokens are dated 1904 and are denominated 1/4 or 1/2.
The design features a fleur-de-lis on the obverse, a well-known symbol for Louisiana.
The Z initial at the base of the fleur-de-lis is the initial of the issuer, Farran Zerbe.
The tokens were sold at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904.
Zerbe sold the pieces alongside 1903 U.S. commemorative gold dollars bearing either William McKinley or Thomas Jefferson.
The tokens were a commercial success, and influenced many subsequent Western souvenir gold issues.
First mention of the tokens in The Numismatist was in the August 1904 issue.
During the 1909 ANA election campaign, New York numismatic auctioneer Thomas Elder issued a token that mocked the Louisiana Gold series.
In the August 1919 issue, Zerbe stated that his Louisiana and Oregon 1/4 and 1/2 Gold tokens were made in Chicago.
According to the Dave Morice article, The Missouri Mule, "[Jay] Roe analyzed the [1904 LPE tokens] by X-ray fluorescence, which showed them to be composed of 14-karat gold with variable amounts of silver and copper."
According to the Mike Locke article, The Coin That Never Was, F.H. Noble & Co. of Chicago produced the 1904 Louisiana and 1905 Oregon tokens.