What can you tell me about this Wells Fargo medal?
The piece in question appears to be a medal commissioned by the
Wells Fargo & Co. for its semicentennial in 1902.
According to So-Called Dollars by Harold E. Hibler and
Charles V. Kappen, the silver medal was presented “on or about” March
18, 1902. It was given to employees who had been with the company for
one year or more.
Neither the designer nor striker of the 40-millimeter diameter
medal is known. So-Called Dollars classifies the medal as
Mr. Link’s medal appears to be in Uncirculated condition, with
moderate spotting and light, even toning. It has no edge inscription.
It is encased within its original presentation case, which Hibler and
Kappen describe as a “dark maroon leatherette jeweler’s box,” lined
with blue velvet and satin.
So-Called Dollars gives the medal a rarity rating of R-5
(76 to 200 pieces known) separate from its original presentation case.
A Wells Fargo medal with its original presentation case is much
scarcer, given a rarity rating of R-7 (11 to 20 pieces known).
The So-Called Dollars price supplement published in
February 2008 gives the Wells Fargo medal a value of $200 to $400 in
circulated condition and $400 to $1,000 in Uncirculated condition.
Three medals, none in their original presentation cases, sold at a
Heritage auction Sept. 27, 2007. One, graded Mint State 65 by
Numismatic Guaranty Corp., sold for $1,265. A second, graded MS-64 by
NGC, sold for $862.50. A third, an About Uncirculated Details piece —
improperly cleaned and possessing rim damage — sold for $345.
Another example, described as being in AU condition, bearing a
name inscribed on its edge and having its case, sold for $1,035 at a
May 21, 2008, Stack’s auction. Another piece, described as MS-64 or
better and with its case, sold for $2,185 in a Sept. 30, 2010, Stack’s auction.
As the medal is scarcer in its original presentation case, Mr.
Link will need to think carefully about whether or not to have it
encapsulated, but it is recommended that he have it authenticated as
genuine by an expert.
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