Coin collectors generally take pains to preserve and protect coins
for future generations.
An 1880 medal issued by the Austrian Numismatic Society, though, is
the product of a reversal of that policy.
The bronze medal marks the 10th anniversary of the Österreichische
Numismatische Gesellschaft (Austrian Numismatic Society). To celebrate
the decennalia, the group had ancient bronze coins melted down to
provide metal for the medal.
An example of this medal realized $207, including the 15 percent
buyer’s fee (against an estimate of $100) in Classical Numismatic
Group’s e-auction No. 379, which closed July 13.
The obverse of the medal depicts Joseph Hilarius Eckhel, an Austrian
Jesuit priest and numismatist.
The reverse features a seven-line legend citing the 10th anniversary
of the group and date; below is an Athens-style owl (familiar from
ancient coins) flanked by olive branches; in exergue is text
translating to “melted ancient coins provided the bronze.”
The medal was designed by Anton Scharff. It weighs 26.58 grams and
measures 35 millimeters in diameter
The medal was once part of the RBW Collection. According to the
auction house, it is graded Extremely Fine with brown surfaces.