Gold medals in auction celebrate Lindbergh’s 1927 flight

Medals issued in conjunction with Orteig $25,000 transatlantic prize fund
By , Coin World Editor-At-Large
Published : 03/31/17
Text Size

This article comes from our April 17, 2017, weekly issue of Coin World. Want to get all of our content, including special magazine exclusives? Subscribe today!

Two gold medals celebrating Charles Lindbergh’s historic 1927 transatlantic flight in his plane the Spirit of St. Louis will be offered at a Sotheby’s decorative art auction in New York on April 26. 

The medals are attached to silk tricolor ribbons and the obverse of each depicts the Spirit of St. Louis flying over choppy seas. Surrounding the design is the legend RAYMOND ORTEIG $25,000 PRIZE FUND and the medals are hand inscribed RAYMOND ORTEIG DONOR and JEAN ORTEIG ASSISTANT TREASURER. The reverse of each states, CAPTAIN CHARLES A. LINDBERGH MAY 20–21, 1927, surrounded by NON-STOP FLIGHT – NEW YORK TO PARIS. 

Connect with Coin World:  

Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on Twitter

The medals, which are offered as a pair, were struck for the donor himself as well as the assistant treasurer, his son Jean. The medals, measuring 1 7/16 inches and struck from 18-karat gold are offered as a pair with an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000. 

Flight innovation

Raymond Orteig (1870 to 1939) was a French-born, New York City hotel owner who created the Orteig Prize to award $25,000 for the first person of any Allied country to fly in one flight in either direction between New York City and Paris. 

Orteig hoped that the award would help in Franco-American relationships and would build on each country’s interest in aviation. He also hoped that the value of the prize itself would increase public interest in aviation and spur technological developments for safer aviation. 


”ThomasHow to spot a counterfeit 1928 China ‘Auto’ dollar: Inside Coin World: We at Coin World report often on fake U.S. coin rarities coming from China, but not so often about fake Chinese coin rarities.


As Orteig wrote in a 1919 letter to the president of the Aero Club of America, “As a stimulus to the courageous aviators, I desire to offer, through the auspices and regulations of the Aero Club of America, a prize of $25,000 to the first aviator of any Allied Country crossing the Atlantic in one flight, from Paris to New York or New York to Paris, all other details in your care.” 

You are signed in as:null
Older Comments (2)