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Indian Peace Medals to Cross the Auction Block

Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be featuring a large collection of Indian Peace Medals at the August ANA World’s Fair of Money this August.

No one is quite sure when the practice started, but the giving of medals of a token of peace to Native American chiefs was a habit of assorted European Powers from at least the 18th century.  It seems politicians in Washington, D.C. also took it up with enthusiasm.  Medals were presented to the chiefs on their visits to the national Capitol and on important occasions such as the signing of a treaty.  Federal officials also distributed medals when traveling through Indian territories.

One of the highlights from this offering includes an 1801 Thomas Jefferson small-size Indian Peace medal (Julian IP-4, Prucha-39), weighing 728.1 grains and measuring 54.4 mm. This design ranks #3 in the book The 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens. Stack’s Bowers Galleries previously sold a Choice Extremely Fine specimen in September 2009 for $138,000.  These stunning Jefferson Peace medals were distributed by Lewis and Clark during their journey from St. Louis to the Pacific and back. They expect this medal to realize well over $100,000.

1801 Thomas Jefferson small-size Indian Peace medal. (Image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers)

Another popular selection will be a James A. Garfield Indian Peace medal (IP-44, Prucha-55) graded About Uncirculated. This popular oval type is a New Discovery of the rarest medal of the series. Twenty-five silver Garfield medals were struck and presented to the Yankton Sioux, Western Shoshonis, and Mescalero Agencies. This particular medal was presented to the Yankton Sioux. In 2011, Stack’s Bowers reported a previous sale on a Julian IP-44 James A. Garfield Piece Medal of $12,650 in 2011.

James A. Garfield Indian Peace medal. (Image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers)

An 1809 James Madison large-size silver medal (IP-5, Prucha-40). This Very Fine medal was holed for suspension and shows considerable surface marks. It is interesting to note that many of these medals were marked with the recipient’s names as a sign of pride. Fewer than 15 are known and this example was a new discovery when it was previously sold in 2012 for $29,900.

1809 James Madison large-size silver peace medal. (Image courtesy of Stack’s Bowers)

In their August 2019 ANA sale, they will offer 17 Indian Peace medals ranging in value from $900 to $100,000+. Stack’s Bowers Galleries has a long history of selling quality Indian Peace medals. Visit www.stacksbowers.com for more information.

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