US Coins

Fillmore Presidential medal sales start Aug. 15

The Matte Finish Millard Fillmore Presidential silver medal is being struck without Mint mark at the San Francisco Mint.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Sales by the United States Mint for the Millard Fillmore Presidential 1-ounce .999 fine silver medal are scheduled to begin at noon Eastern Time Aug. 15.

The Matte Finish medal is offered at $65 each without household-order restrictions or mintage limits.

The silver Presidential medal is part of the U.S. Mint’s ongoing medal catalog. The medals are also part of the Mint’s enrollment program options.

The Fillmore medal measures 1.598 inches or 40.6 millimeters in diameter, the same as the silver American Eagle, and has a plain edge.

Unlike the first 12 silver Presidential medals issued from production at the Philadelphia Mint, the Fillmore medal is being executed without Mint mark at the San Francisco Mint.

The obverse portrait of Fillmore, the nation’s 13th president, is the work of 19th century sculptor Salathiel Ellis. The reverse design was produced by Ellis’s contemporary, sculptor Joseph Willson.

Willson’s reverse was the first to depart from U.S. Mint Engraver John Reich’s PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP motif, introduced in 1797 on the Indian peace medal of President John Adams and employed last on the 1846 medal recognizing Fillmore’s predecessor in the White House, Zachary Taylor.

Last of his party

Fillmore, a member of the Whig Party, was the last chief executive not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican party.

Fillmore became vice president after Zachary Taylor was elected president in the election of 1848, and he became the 13th president in July 1850 after Taylor’s death. He was defeated in his bid for the Whig nomination in the election of 1852 and was never elected president.

The original 1850 Fillmore medals are found pierced, with a metal loop inserted through the hole at the top, to permit an Indian chief to whom the medal was presented to wear it suspended around his neck.

The original silver Indian peace medals were issued in two diameters — 63 millimeters and 76 millimeters — depending on the tribal status of the medal’s recipient.

For much of the 19th century, the U.S. government used special medals to curry favor with and to recognize the leaders of various Indian tribes. The medals typically bore the sitting president’s portrait and one of several different reverse designs descriptive of friendly relations between Native Americans and the white population. They were produced by the federal Mint in several sizes.

The original medals are avidly collected today.

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