US Coins

Market Analysis: 1952 Assay Commission medal brings $3,960

Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro’s work on designing the 1952 Assay Commission medal won high praise. This MS-67 example sold for $3,960.

All images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The 1952 Assay Commission medal is a rarity in the series and Stack’s Bowers’ offering on March 18 at its Baltimore Expo auction (which was relocated to the firm’s Southern California headquarters) was significant. The Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Mint State 67 medal measuring 51 millimeters in diameter realized $3,960.

Its obverse depicts a standing woman in classical drapery holding a cornucopia and flanked by a seated man and woman. Writing in their standard reference book on the topic, Medals of the United States Assay Commission 1860–1977, R.W. Julian and Ernest E. Keusch observe, “The obverse for 1952, by Gilroy Roberts, has been acclaimed for its outstanding adaptation of a classical theme,” and along with Frank Gasparro’s reverse interpreting a 1914 painting depicting the first Philadelphia Mint, “show what the engravers were capable of if given latitude and the proper amount of time.”

The engraved edge of the offered medal indicates that Florence K. Murray, a Rhode Island state senator from 1949 to 1956 who was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1952, was the initial recipient, and the original presentation box accompanied the lot.

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