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Eva (Bertrand) Adams


Born in Wonder, Nevada. Graduate with B.A. from the University of Nevada. She received an M.A. from Columbia University in 1936. Employed as a school teacher in Las Vegas and assistant dean of women at the University of Nevada 1937 to 1940. She received an LL.B. from the Washington College of Law at American University in 1950 and was admitted to the Nevada bar in 1950.

She served as administrative assistant to Senator Pat McCarran 1940 to 1954, for Senator Ernest Brown in 1954, and for Senator Alan Bible 1954 to 1961.

Appointed 27th Director of the Mint by President Kennedy and reappointed by President Johnson. She served from October 1961 to September 1969. On May 19, 1966, she received the Exceptional Service Award from the Treasury Department.

The Adams era included several changes important to numismatics. Mint production was increased to reduce the shortage of circulating coins. In an attempt to reduce hoarding by coin collectors, mint marks were eliminated. Proof set production was discontinued from 1965 to 1967. Special mint sets were issued during these years.

The Kennedy Half Dollar was authorized, designed and produced in a few months after his assassination. Rising costs of silver led to the elimination of this precious metal from circulating coinage. Copper nickel clad coinage was introduced in 1965.

A new Philadelphia Mint was constructed at 16th and Spring Garden Streets. Groundbreaking was September 17, 1965; the cornerstone was laid September 18, 1968; the facility opened August 14, 1969. Adams' term ended the following month. From 1969 to 1978 she was assistant to the chairman of Mutual of Omaha and a lobbyist in Washington.

In 1970 she was named a director of the Medallic Art Company of New York City. She served on the ANA board of governors 1971 to 1975. In 1974 she received the NLG "Clemy" Award. She received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1984. In 1986 she was elected to the ANA Hall of Fame. She died in Reno, Nevada. Adams never married. The Numismatist listed P. M. (Pearl Mae) Williams as her "longtime friend and companion."

Adams appears on two mint medals (first term USM 318; second term USM 319) with obverse dies by Frank Gasparro and reverse dies by Michael Iacocca.

Adams appears on the Assay Commission Medal for 1967 (AC-111). The obverse was reduced from the regular Adams medal (USM-318). The reverse was by Michael Iacocca.

bio: NUM 104 Nov 1991 page 1717; WWA 86; WWAW 86 obit: CW 9/11/91; NN 9/10/91; NYT 8/27/91; NUM 104 Nov 1991 page 1823

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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