United States Assay Commission medals are a popular collectible and
mementos of a tradition that spanned from 1797 to 1977. The Assay
Commission’s role was to provide a check on the purity of gold and
silver coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint and the participants in
later years included many of the top numismatists of the day. The
commission was eliminated as a cost-cutting measure by President
Carter in 1976, but the medals remain to document the commission and
often serve as beautiful examples of medallic art.
Here is one of three Assay Commission medals we're profiling in this
week's Market Analysis:
1945 Assay Commission medal, MS-66
Perhaps the most popular of the Assay Commission medals is the 1945
medal that adapts the portrait of Liberty from the famed Libertas
Americana medal by Augustin Dupre on the obverse. The reverse depicts
the Great Seal of the United States.
The Libertas Americana design is important as a predecessor to the
first designs from the U.S. Mint, most directly influencing the 1793
Liberty Cap, Left half cent.
At Stack’s Bowers 2016 Baltimore auction, one of the finest known
bronze examples graded Mint State 66 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. sold
for a huge $11,162.50, against a reserve of $2,600. The rare World War
II issue is missing from many collections of Assay Commission medals,
largely due to its great crossover appeal with mainstream U.S. coin collectors.
Keep reading this Market Analysis:
1967 Assay Commission medal portrays Mint Director
Theodore Roosevelt's 'Renaissance' includes Assay
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