US Coins

1907 Assay medal part of U.S. coins 'Renaissance'

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:

The medal:

1907 Assay Commission Medal, Specimen 64

The price:


The story:

Assay commissioners were traditionally given a medal commemorating their participation and all of the Assay Commission medals were struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

The 1907 Assay Commission medal was a rectangular plaquette featuring a half-length bust of Theodore Roosevelt wearing a business suit, facing left. The designs — the obverse by Charles Barber and reverse by George Morgan — were also used on the 1906 and 1908 Assay Commission medals.

This silver example is graded Specimen 64 by Professional Coin Grading Service and sold for $3,525 on March 31, exceeding its reserve of $900. Stack’s Bowers reports that just 40 were struck, although Medals of the United States Assay Commission 1860-1977 by R.W. Julian and Ernest E. Keusch, state that number may be slightly higher. Its appeal goes beyond Assay Commission medals and it is often collected by high-end Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle collectors as part of Roosevelt’s “Renaissance” of U.S. coins in the early 20th century.  

Keep reading this Market Analysis:

Assay Commission medal with Libertas Americana design series' most popular

1967 Assay Commission medal portrays Mint Director Eva Adams

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