US Coins

Vintage Norse gold medal realizes $32,900: Market Analysis

Below is the first of three segments from Steve Roach, highlighting some diverse sales the Long Beach Expo earlier this month:

Heritage’s auctions held at the Long Beach Coin, Currency, Stamp and Sports Collectibles Expo on Feb. 4 and 5, along with an online session on Feb. 7, realized $8.27 million as of Feb. 8. Two of the top lots were consigned by Texas Rangers co-owner Bob Simpson. Leading was a 1943-S Lincoln cent struck on a bronze planchet, graded About Uncirculated 58 by Professional Coin Grading Service, that brought $282,000 and Simpson’s impressive nine-piece 1856 Proof set, which sold for nearly $200,000.

The Coin:
1925 Norse American Centennial gold medal, Proof 66 CAC

The Price:

The Story:
In 1925 the Philadelphia Mint struck medals to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Norwegian immigrants to New York. Initially, Rep. Ole Juulson Kvale of Minnesota hoped for a commemorative coin, but he had to be satiated by a medal, and it has long been collected alongside the classic era 1892 to 1954 commemorative coins.

The octagonal medal has a robust Viking design by James Earle Fraser that has proven popular with collectors. The design is most often found on thin silver and thick silver medals that are a bit smaller than a half dollar. The most desirable of the Norse medals are the 47 gold medals, which are slightly smaller than the silver medals; while 100 were struck, sales did not meet expectations and 53 were melted.

This one, among the finest known, is graded Proof 66 by PCGS and has a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker. It sold for $32,900 on Feb. 4.

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