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Monaca's Gold Medal

If you are a military medal collector life can be full of surprises. For example, for most of the world the First World War started in 1914 but the US didn’t jump in until 1917. Those were the good old days when we didn’t rush into things like we do in today’s fast paced world. Anyway because of this when I see a military service medal with the war dates 1914-1918 I assume it is a foreign medal. When I saw this medal on eBay with the war dates 1914-18 my first thought was that it was Canadian. The listing said it was from Monaca PA so what could PA be…Province of Alberta? No it’s not. Surprise, Monaca is a city in Pennsylvania. One look at the military emblems on the front of this medal and I knew it was American. The town is not listed in the Small and Planck WWI medals books which really got my interest going, but it is listed in a later supplement to the Planck book which was another minor negative surprise. I was not alone in my desire to own this undoubtedly rare medal which was no surprise so I had to snipe it to make it mine. I fired off my check and waited. Service from the seller was fast and the package arrived shortly. When I opened the package I got a surprise of heart stopping proportions. Out came a nice little gold jewelers box containing a key chain fob advertising some bank in Aliquippa, PA! A phone call to the seller and I quickly found out to my surprise that the name Monaca is not pronounced like the girls name. Once they figured out what I was talking about I was transferred to their eBay auction person. That nice lady was so surprised that she spent the better part of her Sunday trying to solve the medal mystery and much to my surprise on Monday I got the call that the medal had been found and was really on it’s way. One hears a lot of horror stories about eBay but to my surprise this is definitely not one of them.