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Louis Armstrong, Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte
Featured on 2003 Louisiana Purchase Coins

France has issued silver and gold proof euro coins to commemorate the 200th anniversary of what has been described as the greatest real estate deal in history. The Louisiana Purchase Treaty was signed treaty on April 30, 1803 and approved by the Senate on October 20th. The 828,000 square miles of land - bought from France at a cost of $15 million (about four cents per acre) - nearly doubled the size of the United States. It contained land from which all or part of fifteen American states were eventually formed: Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Colorado and Montana. It had been French territory from the time that Robert Cavelier de la Salle took possession on April 9, 1682, naming it Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV.

The population in the Louisiana Purchase area, according to the 1810 census was 97,000; today it is estimated at over 36 million. President Thomas Jefferson, together with Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte arranged for the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory. In addition to the likenesses of the American and French leaders, a portrait of Louis Armstrong, one of the most famous residents of New Orleans, is featured on the coins

Louis Armstrong played a key role in the history of Jazz. He was from a very poor family and was sent to reform school when he was twelve after firing a gun in the air on New Year's Eve. At the school he learned to play cornet. After being released at age fourteen, he worked selling papers, unloading boats, and selling coal from a cart. He didn't own an instrument at this time, but continued to listen to bands at clubs. Joe "King" Oliver was his favorite and the older man acted as a father to Louis, even giving him his first real cornet, and instructing him on the instrument. He started playing in 1917 at bars in New Orleans' Storyville section … and the rest is part of America's musical history!

The Louisiana Purchase proof coins are available in an edition of 10,000 silver (1 ½ euro denomination, 22.2 gm., 900 fine) priced at $49, and 1,000 gold (20 euros, 17 gm., .920 fine) at $495. Each coin comes in presentation box with a certificate of authenticity. Orders can be sent to PandaAmerica, 3460 Torrance Blvd., Suite 100, Torrance, CA 90503. Credit card orders can be placed by calling 800-472-6327 or e-mailing info@pandaamerica.com. Add $5.50 per order for shipping.

*We ship orders when payment is received & confirmed.

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