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A medal for your thoughts

Just how popular are medals produced by the U.S. Mint?

In the last four decades or so in which I have been active, they always have seemed to be the Cinderellas, though in the case of medals, they never went to a ball or met a handsome collector to rescue them.

Years ago I ordered a group of the standard copper Presidential medals for an article. The 1-5/16th-inch medals are all nice looking. The Mint’s workmanship is first-rate.

But in the back of my mind there is always a voice telling me, “These are not coins. These are not coins. Move along to the real thing.”

The medals ended up in a drawer somewhere. I couldn’t tell you where they are now or how long it might take me to find them.

I know there will always be medals in the hobby. Some are interesting. Some catch on as the John Wayne medal did in 1978. But as a group, they just don’t seem to resonate, do they?

Why am I writing this today? Well, I recently did a story about a muled medal where an Abigail Adams obverse was paired with a Louisa Adams reverse in the First Spouse series.

Interesting? Yes, but that voice in the back of my mind still says, “These are not coins.”

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2 Responses to A medal for your thoughts

  1. I have always had similar feelings about medals. I just wrote a post on Mint News Blog about the surprising prices being paid for First Spouse Bronze Medals.


    Maybe making bronze medals of expensive gold coins is a winning concept. Has the US Mint ever tried this before the First Spouse series?

  2. The Yankee says:

    I have a different approach to medals. I started buying the First Spouse medals for 2 reasons:
    1) I can’t afford the Gold ones &
    2) I think they’re well done.

    My theory, though the Spouse Medals aren’t coins, is that quite possibly after my Presidential collection is complete that the Spouse Medals will be a nice "addition" to the set, which in turn could increase the overall value of that set. Granted it’s just a theory, but time may tell. Also in the case of most medals, I don’t believe there’s ever been a complete series dedicated to just one subject, like with the spouses, nor have they been as closely connected to other real coins or a series of coins. The medals have always just kind of been off to the side, so to speak.

    Granted this is only theory, I can’t help but believe that $150 bucks, over 10 years time, for 40 Medals is a great risk & who knows? My theory may even pan out!

    ~The Yankee~

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