I presented this mystery medal a couple of weeks ago. This medal has been a mystery to me since I bought it from the Shorewood Coin Shop in Shorewood Wisconsin about twenty years ago, long before the resources of the internet were available to us. This gold medal of multi-piece construction has a brooch is engraved with the word “RECRUITING” and engraved in the center of the medal in the three lines is “47 // I // N.G.” I assumed that the number 47 is a regimental number. I also assumed that the “N. G.” stands for National Guard. Since the term national guard is used my assumption was that this piece was issued after the civil war. Now I know that there was a recruiting drive going on during the Spanish-American War era. The kicker is the letter “I’ which I again assumed to be an abbreviation for the state of issue. A state with 47 regiments during that time period would have had to be a large population state. Illinois, Indiana and Iowa came to mind as being large enough to field that number of regiments but not Idaho. I was able to eliminate the states of Illinois and Iowa and my friend Erick, a collector and researcher of Indiana military history was able to eliminate Indiana as a state of issue. Therefore the letter “I” must stand for infantry! So which state had a 47th infantry regiment in it’s national guard at the time of the Spanish-American War? Only New York as far as I could find using the internet search engines. As a collector of Wisconsin and Illinois medals this comes as a mixed blessing. After holding this medal for many years in the hope that it would some day fit in my collection I find that hope dashed. But on the bright side I now have a valuable gold medal to sell which will add dollars to my medal acquisition fund. Think positive.
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- Letters to the Editor (February 7, 2017) ‘Average’ collector values history, geography in coins Reading Dave Harper’s editorial and the Viewpoint of the Jan. 3 issue I’m responding to both giving my collection preferences and my general agreement with the Viewpoint column. I collected coins as a child with my father and probably stopped in high school and didn’t start again until I ...
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