Medals remain a rich area ripe with opportunity for numismatists.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered a deep selection of bronze medals in
Baltimore as part of its Nov. 8 to 14 auctions presented as the
official auctioneer of the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo. As
information on medals becomes more available to collectors, prices are
creeping up for both classic medals and more modern issues. Here is
one of three that sold in Baltimore, each showcasing a
different facet of the higher-end medal market.
1781-dated bronze Libertas Americana medal, Mint State 64 brown,
with CAC sticker
The 1781-dated Libertas Americana medal remains the most famous
American medal, and its appeal only grows with both medal collectors
and early U.S. coin collectors. It occupies the top spot in Katherine
Jaeger’s and Q. David Bowers’ book The 100 Greatest American Medals
and Tokens, and examples in all grades move up in price each year.
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The 47-millimeter medals were struck in Paris in 1782 to celebrate
peace after America emerged victorious over Britain in the
Revolutionary War. As Stack’s Bowers writes, “The Libertas Americana
medal was to be symbolic of the winning of American liberty, not only
on the battlefields of the New World but also in the courts of Europe,
most particularly that of France.”
Want to be an ‘early bird’? Buy a badge at your
next coin show and gain early bourse access.
Also this week, John Wexler tracks down the rare 1970-S Lincoln,
Doubled Die Obverse #1 cent.
Augustin Dupré‘s Liberty, with her flowing hair and cap, would
directly influence the designs of the first coins produced by the
Philadelphia Mint. An estimated 100 to 125 examples are known, and
this one is especially nice, with rich chestnut brown surfaces. Graded
Mint State 64 brown by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. and given a green
sticker by Certified Acceptance Corp., it sold for $51,600. The lot
after it in the auction, a different example graded About Uncirculated
55 by PCGS, sold for $15,600.