1945 Assay Commission medal series' most popular
- Published: Apr 27, 2016, 11 AM
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.
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