Inaugural committee pulls medals from sale

After hiatus, silver Obama medal available again
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Published : 02/12/13
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The three official 2013 presidential inaugural medals for President Barack Obama were pulled from sale Feb. 1 on the Store2013pic.org website, but the silver version went back on sale several days later.

In addition, at least one artist whose designs were not adopted for the official presidential inaugural medal has commissioned medals of her design to be struck by the same private mint that is producing the official medal.

On Feb. 1, official bronze and silver medals and the three-piece sets, which include a gold version, were removed from sale from the inaugural website without explanation. Coin World called the toll-free customer service line for the Store2013pic.org website and was informed by the salesperson the medals were removed from sale because the inaugural committee had sold out its available inventory.

The salesperson offered no explanation why more medals weren’t simply ordered, since Medalcraft Mint Inc. in Green Bay, Wis., was still striking the official presidential inaugural medals for secondary market sale.

However, the silver medal reappeared for sale at the website sometime on Feb. 7 or 8.

Financial Innovations LLC in Cranston, R.I., operates the website Store2013pic.org, which offers presidential inaugural memorabilia approved by the Obama Presidential Inaugural Committee. Mark S. Weiner, president of Financial Innovations LLC, could not be reached Feb. 7 for comment about why the official medals were taken off sale.

The 2.75-inch bronze medals were being offered for $50 each; the 2.75-inch, .999 fine silver medal, weighing between 6.5 and 7 troy ounces, sold for $1,250; and the three-medal set, which includes a 1.25-inch, 14-karat gold medal containing approximately one troy ounce of gold, was priced at $7,500.

The official Obama presidential inaugural medal obverse was designed by Brooklyn, N.Y., sculptor Peer Hansen, who was commissioned by Medalcraft Mint Inc. to submit designs. The obverse of the 2013 official presidential inaugural medal features conjoined portraits facing left of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The reverse design — created by an internal design team at Medalcraft Mint — features a rendition of the United States Capitol at center.

Sales continue elsewhere

H. Joseph Levine of Presidential Coin & Antique Co., Clifton, Va. (www.inauguralmedals.com/inaugurals/levine/sales.html), is continuing to offer for sale all three product options for the official medal, saying he has been successful with sales of the silver medal and three-piece sets despite the retail price.

Levine has been offering official presidential inaugural medals and other medals for four decades. Visit his website for specific pricing information. Levine said orders placed with him for the official silver medal and the three-piece set are being shipped directly from Medalcraft to customers who order them.

Unofficial medal available

Pennsylvania sculptor Amy Kann (www.amykann.com/), who also submitted medal designs commissioned by Medalcraft, but whose designs were not selected for the official medal, is having the private mint strike her designs. The Kann medals are offered in bronze, silver-plated bronze, gold-plated bronze, and .999 fine silver versions. All of Kann’s medals will be 2.75 inches in diameter, according to the artist, and the silver version will be similar in weight in silver to the official presidential inaugural medals.

Kann’s obverse features conjoined busts of Obama and Biden facing right. The reverse depicts a rendition of the Statue of Liberty.

The costs associated with producing the Kann medals were initially underwritten by Kickstarter.com, which is reimbursed by a percentage from subsequent sales. Details of the venture can be found at www.kickstarter.com/projects/amykann/obama-2013-inauguration-medal.

Kann said she is offering her bronze Obama/Biden medal for $40, the silver-plated bronze for $95, the gold-plated bronze for $125 and the .999 fine silver for $800.

Levine also purchased a quantity of Kann’s medals for resale, she said. Kann said she will also have her medals available through other online outlets. ■

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