World Coins

Heritage offering another Nobel Prize gold medal

German chemist Georg Wittig's 1979 gold Nobel Prize medal for Chemistry along with four other medals awarded him during his career highlight Heritage Auctions’ Oct. 19 sale.

The lot also includes the Paul Karrer gold medal awarded to Wittig in 1973; the Otto Hahn Prize gold medal for Chemistry and Physics in 1967; the Roger Adams gold medal in 1973; and the Adolf von Baeyer gold medal in 1953. All of the medals are accompanied by their original presentation cases.

A 25 percent buyer’s fee will be added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.

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Wittig Nobel gold medal

Wittig was recognized with the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1979 for his 1954 discovery of the “Wittig reaction,”  a process regulating the regrouping of atoms in a molecule.

The 65-millimeter medal is struck in 22-karat gold and weighs 204 grams. The medal is designed by Swedish sculptor and engraver Erik Lindberg.

The obverse features a portrait of Nobel facing left with the dates of his birth and death in Roman numerals. The reverse features female allegorical representations of Science revealing Nature. Wittig's name and the year of the award are engraved on a tablet below.

Paul Karrer gold medal

Cast in 22-karat gold, the Karrer medal was awarded by Universität Zürich. Designed by Swiss sculptor Hermann Hubacher, the medal is 51 millimeters in diameter and weighs 92.7 grams. A portrait of Karrer is on the obverse with Wittig’s name engraver on the reverse.

Karrer was a co-recipient in 1937 of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics

The Hahn gold medal is cast in 14-karat gold, weighs 123 grams and is 57 millimeters in diameter. The medal is considered to be the highest German award for outstanding scientific achievements.

Hahn was a German chemist and pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission.

John Nash Nobel Prize   Sotheby’s to auction John F. Nash Jr. Nobel Prize medal in single-lot sale: Nash’s life pursuing game theory, differential geometry and the study of partial differential equations is chronicled in director Ron Howard’s 2001 Academy-Award-winning film, A Beautiful Mind.

A portrait bust of Hahn facing left appears on the obverse. The reverse features a nude male figure crouched within a molecule model.

Rogers Adams medal

Cast in 10-karat gold, the Adams medal is 76 millimeters in diameter and weighs 258.9 grams. Given by the American Chemical Society, the medal features an obverse portrait of Adams, with the reverse bearing a 12-line inscription and Wittig's name engraved within a wreath of palm branches.

Adolf von Baeyer medal

The 51-millimeter, gold-plated medal weighs 83.3 grams. The obverse features a bust profile portrait of von Baeyer, with a nude male sower on the reverse and the date 1910 below in Roman numerals as MCMX.

The medal was designed by German sculptor Hermann Hahn.

Von Baeyer was a German chemist who synthesized indigo, developed a nomenclature for cyclic compounds, and was the 1905 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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