Cherokee Nation of 1839
Cherokee Nation of 1839 / United Cherokee Nation (Tahlequah, Oklahoma): The Cherokee Coin Called "Adela", pronounced phonetically as "ah-day-la" which means money in the Cherokee language. It is 99.9% silver and weighing one troy ounce. The the star represents the seven clans of the Cherokee People, the words written in the Cherokee syllabary between the points are the seven clans of the Cherokee. The portrait on the coin is of John Ross. This Cherokee coin was designed by a Cherokee, the presently seated Chief of the United Cherokee Nation, Robin Mayes, who is the great-great-grandson of Chief John Ross. 

Mr. Robin Mayes, who was the Co-Chair of the “Cherokee Nation of 1839” (they also operated the “1839 Constitution Defense Fund”), which was established on April 15, 2000. It was renamed as the United Cherokee Nation (UCN) in 2001. There is an abundance of controversy surrounding this coin, because the issuing body has been accused of being one of more than 200 so-called “bogus” groups around the country which claim to have Cherokee ties. Many such groups are dismissed as bogus by Federally-recognised organisations such as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO), The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Oklahoma (UKB), or the Eastern Band of Cherokee (EBC) of North Carolina. The UCN appears to be comprised of legitimate, card-carrying (CDIB) Native-Americans, but they initiated this project without formal authorization. Thus, there is pending litigation between Mr. Mayes (the UCN's Principal Chief), other defendants, and the federally recognized Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. It seems that this official entity does not want to relinquish or share any of its power; nor does it want the sub-group (or any other opponents) to use the name “Cherokee Nation”, the image of the 19th century seal, or to distribute car tags/license plates and tribal membership cards. They are also “effectively” blocking the availability of these commemorative silver coins for the UCN's non-profit political fund-raising purposes. So besides the coins that had already made it into the marketplace, this coin is purportedly not supposed to be for sale any longer. In spite of all this, Mr. John Cornsilk (johnc@cornsilks.com), who was the principal salesman in the coin's marketing program, has tracked down a limited supply of coins that were sold before the legal dispute began, and these can therefore be re-sold; but at a higher price than the original $40 donation to the Defense Fund. 

Domination: 1 Adeela
Obverse: Chief John Ross
Reverse: Cherokee Nation Seal
Year: 2000
Medal: .999 Silver
Designer: Chief Robin Mayes
Diameter: 39 mm
Edge: Reeded, edge-numbered
 

The apparent English "D" on the coin's obverse is actually a character from the Cherokee syllabary and is the first character in the word Adela pronounced "ah", in the center of the character D is 1 signifying the coin's denomination - 1 Adela; the Arabic numeral "1" was used because there is no single character representing "one" ("sa-wu" in Cherokee). The word "Adela" itself - pronounced ah-day-la - means "money". The remainder of the script is translatable as the closest approximation to "Cherokee Nation" in the Cherokee language.

The arc behind Ross's head, signifies the rising sun, and the bird signifies a phoenix reborn - both of which symbolise the UCN's aim of reviving of the Cherokee Nation Government with in the bounds of the 1839 Constitution of the Cherokee. The Cherokee name for the bird is "coowescoowee", which means the great white bird. Coowescoowee was also Chief John Ross's Cherokee name.

The reverse of the coin has a likeness of the original 1839 Cherokee Nation Seal (also used as a the Seal of the UCN), which differs from the one used by Federally-recognised Cherokee groups, insofar as it has a wreath of oak leaves rather than laurel. The uppermost point of the seal's 7-pointed star represents the "Creator", while the two downward points represent the perpetuation of creation.

 
I purchased my 1 Adela, 2000 dated coin from Oded Paz. You can read about and view the coin on Mr. John Cornsilk's website at: http://www.cornsilks.com/cherokeecoin.html & http://www.cornsilks.com/coins.htm
 

 
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