Grading Service: PCGS
SKU: 140436
Cert Number: 41893418

In 1840, the English language experienced a true beginning when the term “OK” sprouted into common vernacular for the first time. . For years I have personally wondered where the term “OK” came from since it was obviously an abbreviation but I had no idea what it stood for. Upon researching this 1840-O Seated Liberty I finally found my answer. Many scholars have argued about the phrases origins for nearly two-centuries, author and historian Arthur Metcalf pinpoints its origins to the Boston Morning Post in 1839 and it popularization in 1840. Based on Metcalf’s research, young educated elitist in the mid-nineteenth century got a kick out of misspelled words or phrases that they would then turn into abbreviations. An example of this joke is K.G. which was a frequently used term during the era, which stood for “Know Go” which of course was the improper way to spell “no go.” It is obvious this joke is a sort of you-had-to-be-there type of thing because it has certainly lost its humor since, but by 1840 it was not uncommon to see abbreviations across society. Even newspapers participated in this “joke,” especially writers who frequented sarcasm within their writing. One particular author, Charles Gordon Greene, parodied and attacked other newsprints in his pieces for the Boston Morning Post. On March 23, 1839 another one of Greene’s throwaway pieces which took jabs at the Providence Newspaper appeared in the paper. This one, however, ended with the sentence: “O.K. all correct” in which O.K. stood for, “oll korrect” which was the misspelled version of “all correct.” His attempt was no folly and soon this fun jab appeared all across East Coast newspapers. However it was not until the election of 1840 that the funny-phrase truly took off. As a major opponent to previous President Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, created memorable slogans like “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” that highlighted his past battle victories and showcased his vice president. Van Buren knew he what he was up against with the massively popular Whig party and decided to jump onto the slogan band wagon which he knew would spark a memorable impression. Van Buren utilized the popularized O.K. but gave it to his autogenous nickname “Old Kinderhook” which stemmed from his hometown of Kinderhook, New York. Soon, Democrats across the U.S. created O.K. Clubs to promote their candidate and his new nickname morphed into a double-meaning: “O.K. is all correct.” Unfortunately O.K. was not all correct for the nation as William Harrison swept the presidency by 234 to 60 electoral votes. Perhaps the real victor here however is the now commonly used phrase OK because after 1840 it had fully perpetuated English slang and appeared several more times throughout history.

**Source: PCGS Price Guide. Although we try to be as accurate as possible on the listed population, third party pricing and coin information, information constantly changes. We suggest you verify all information.