A friend at work got this coin from somewhere (she doesn’t remember
where). I have never seen one like this, but I am guessing it is an
Inauguration coin. It is heavier than a Morgan dollar and thicker too,
but not quite as large.
This appears to be one of several versions of the U.S. Mint’s John
F. Kennedy inaugural medal. Current versions are composed of brass (90
percent copper, 10 percent zinc, what the Mint calls “bronze”).
The obverse of the Kennedy inaugural medal was designed by Mint
Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts; Frank Gasparro, then an assistant
engraver, designed the reverse. After Kennedy’s assassination in
Dallas in 1963, Roberts’ obverse portrait of Kennedy on the medal was
adapted for use on the Kennedy half dollar.
Over the years, the Mint has offered a diverse assortment of
medals, featuring not only U.S. presidents but famous athletes, actors
and humanitarians, among others. Some are struck under the Mint’s own
authority, such as the issues in the Presidential medal series. Others
are categorized as “bronze duplicates” of congressional gold medals,
specifically authorized in the legislation authorizing the gold medals
presented to individuals and groups. Beginning in 2007, as ordered by
Congress, the Mint began striking another category of medal — bronze
duplicate medals of a coinage series, for the First Spouse gold $10
bullion coins, which duplicate the obverse and reverse designs of the
coins (but not the coinage legends).
The diameters of the Mint medals typically range from 1.3125
inches to 1.5 inches to 3 inches. As this Kennedy medal is described
as slightly smaller in diameter than a Morgan dollar (which is 1.5
inches in diameter), it would be one of the 1.3125-inch pieces.
The Mint currently offers 1.3125-inch replica inaugural medals for
a few of the more recent presidents for $5.50 each, plus shipping and
handling. The 3-inch versions are priced at $42.
According the Mint’s online catalog (http://catalog.usmint.gov), the Kennedy replica
medal is not available for separate sale at this time, but can be
purchased as part of a 10-medal set for $55.
There seems to be very little premium for these in the secondary
market, with pieces reselling for less than the Mint’s price for newly
struck pieces. One example of the 1.3125-inch Kennedy Inaugural
replica medal recently sold for $0.99 on eBay; another sold for $3.99.
The 3-inch medal was bringing prices of about $10 to $15 each on eBay.
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