US Coins

Market Analysis: Warren Harding’s inaugural medal

Presidential inaugural medals remain very popular with both numismatists and political history collectors, as seen when several examples from the Roaring Twenties performed well at Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Nov. 13 Baltimore Expo auction. 

Among the most coveted in the series is the medal for the March 4, 1921, inauguration of President Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. 

Harding died 2 years, 151 days into this term, and Coolidge succeeded to the presidency (his inaugural medal is second rarest).

Graded Specimen 63 by Professional Coin Grading Service, the catalog calls the Harding medal “the holy grail of the Presidential Inaugural series.” 

Around 10 that were struck in silver by R. Harris & Co. of Washington, D.C., under the patronage of Washington Post publisher Edward “Ned” McLean, survive today. The offered silver medal, measuring 69 millimeters in diameter, sold for $31,200 in Baltimore. 

Even bronze examples are great rarities, with Stack’s Bowers offering one in its March 2011 Baltimore sale for $17,250.

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