1 oz Silver Route 66 Highway Shield Series - Illinois - Gemini Giant
Looking to stack some silver that has some nostalgia and Americana attached to it? Then look no further! These Route 66 Silver Shields Series will take you on a trip through 8 states from Illinois to California. Whether you've traveled along Rt. 66 yourself, or have just heard stories and watched television shows, they're sure to add some history and American culture to your collection.
This Illinois Gemini Giant release is the first in a series of eight. Subsequent releases will represent stops along the famous highway, known as Main Street of America. They will include tourist attractions in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, and end with the last state on the route, California.
Each piece is 1 troy ounce of .999 fine silver and is fitted in a custom shaped capsule. The reverse features the classic Route 66 Road Sign design, while the obverse holds a view of a tree lined open road and the head of Gemini Giant. Inscriptions include ILLINOIS and GEMINI GIANT.
He stands tall wearing a space helmet that looks more like a welding mask than a modern day astronaut's dome shaped helmet. In his hands, he holds a silver rocket with LAUNCHING PAD lettered on the side. The Launching Pad Drive-In Restaurant is one of the most iconic eateries at the start of Route 66 (from east to west) and is Gemini Giant's home in Wilmington, IL. Purchased and displayed in 1965 by the original restaurant owner, the giant was named after the Gemini Space Program which concluded in 1966. At this time (April 2018), the restaurant is closed. However, the current owners are working on renovating and raising funds to reopen the drive-in in the future.
This giant is not the only one you may see along Route 66. They are known as Muffler Men and were popular ways to advertise shops, restaurants, gas stations, roadside mechanics, motels, etc in the 1960s. Produced from fiberglass, they weigh over 500 pounds and are generally fashioned to relate to the business. Some are dressed as Indians, Pirates, or Paul Bunyan and some are holding giant hot dogs, mufflers, or axes!