US Coins

Rare silver Lincoln medal in Early American sale

What is identified as the only silver Original Abraham Lincoln presidential medal from the Philadelphia Mint available to collectors is being offered by Early American History Auctions in its online sale closing Dec. 15.

The 76-millimeter medal, identified as Julian PR-12 in Medals of the United States Mint: The First Century 1792-1892 by R.W. Julian, is authenticated and encapsulated by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. as “Genuine.” The auction house describes the medal’s condition as Choice Extremely Fine.

The medal is the featured highlight among the 418 lots in the sale. 

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Struck in 1886 at the Philadelphia Mint as a commemorative piece for Lincoln’s second term as the nation’s chief executive, the medal designated as Original was designed and engraved by U.S. Mint Engraver George T. Morgan. Julian notes that the Original Lincoln medal was produced without Morgan’s name on the truncation of Lincoln’s portrait, but when Morgan was elevated to chief engraver, in 1917 the name was added to tooling for later production.

The medal’s obverse bears a portrait of the 16th president facing right. The reverse exhibits an ornate decorative wreath that wraps around the central inscription INAUGURATED / PRESIDENT/ OF THE / UNITED STATES / MARCH 4, 1861. / SECOND TERM / MARCH 4, 1865. / ASSASSINATED / April 14, 1865.

The medal carries an estimate of $38,000 to $46,000.

Encased postage

Among the remaining lots offered is the finer of two known examples of the F. Buhl & Co. 24-cent encased postage token, EP-162 as attributed by Michael Hodder in The Standard Catalogue of Encased Postage Stamps. A brass encasement advertising hatter and furrier F. Buhl & Co. in Detroit secures a 24-cent George Washington postage stamp.

The only other example known was sold in September 2007 as part of the Frederick Mayer Collection where it was described as Extremely Fine. Early American describes the current piece as slightly better in quality. The current piece has an estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.

Indian peace medal

Another interesting lot, with an estimate of $500 to $600, is a 1757 George II Indian peace medal restrike, Julian IP-49. The 44-millimeter bronze medal is also referred to as the “Treaty of Easton” or “Duffield” Indian peace medal.

The medal was engraved by Edward Duffield of Philadelphia as the first peace medal made in America. It was commissioned and presented by the Friendly Association, a group of Pennsylvania Quakers who attempted to mediate negotiations between Delaware Indians and the Pennsylvania Assembly.

Benjamin Franklin and members of the Friendly Association distributed original medals to Native Americans as tokens of goodwill at the Treaty of Easton in 1757. Originals were struck in bronze and silver.

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