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France re-remembers San Francisco earthquake

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To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great San Francisco earthquake and fire, Monnaie de Paris has re-released a large medal originally struck in 1906 to express the sympathy and admiration of the French people toward their American counterparts.

This art nouveau-style medal is rich in beauty and symbolism, and features allegorical figures on both sides.

The high-relief medal, nearly four inches in diameter, is an official restrike of the original 1906 San Francisco medal, struck from the original dies.

Talisman Coins has received permission from the Paris Mint to issue an extremely limited edition with a mintage of only 10 vermeil (silver dore) and 99 bronze-dore examples. They are solid silver and bronze, respectively, and coated with a thick layer of gold, in this case 24-karat (pure) gold. More gold is used in this process than in typical electroplating (which is only a few molecules deep), so the layer of gold is thicker and the finish richer than standard gold-plating.

The medal is available from Talisman Coins, the official distributor for Monnaie de Paris in North America. The bronze-dore medal is priced at $99.95; the silver-dore version costs $399.95.

To place an order, call Talisman Coins at (888) 552-2646; see Web site, www.talismancoins.com; e-mail talismaninfo@charter.net; fax (314) 968-3801; or write to 9051 Watson Road, Suite 103, St. Louis, MO 63126.

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