US Coins

Market Analysis: California agricultural medal

Two handsome silver medals awarded to Ellwood Cooper for his California olive oil were among many offered. An engraved 1880 award medal sold for $1,560, while another, dated 1883, sold for $216.

Images courtesy of Stack's Bowers.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 25 sessions included an interesting group, a consignment of medals awarded to California rancher and “America’s Olive Oil King” Ellwood Cooper.

The entrepreneur purchased 2,000 acres in California in 1870, planting 400 acres of trees, including 7,000 olive trees. He believed his Goleta olive oil ranked among the best in the world and proved this by entering his products into expositions to promote his business. Two of these medals awarded early in the company’s history were among those in the collection.

A silver 1880 Southern California Horticultural Society “Best Olive Oil” award medal measuring 44 millimeters in diameter sold for $1,560. The next lot, an 1883 San Francisco Mechanics Institute medal measuring 49 millimeters, awarded for California olive oil, sold for $216.

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