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Medals all Around

By Tom Michael

Presidential Coin & Antique Company released its 155th mini fixed-price list on Sept. 17. If you are at all familiar with Joe Levine’s mini fixed-price lists, then you know that they always offer something special for the experienced medal collector. In this list, Joe has grouped together four Indian Peace Medals. Each is the bronzed copper strike, so the prices are very reasonable, compared to the highly expensive silver examples. It’s unusual to see four of these offered at the same time and a beautiful opportunity for the beginning collector or specialist to start or expand a collection in early American Medals, westward development, or presidential medals.

James Monroe Peace medal obv

There are plenty of varieties of most Indian Peace medals, so interested parties would be wise to consult one of the classic references covering this subject. I’d recommend Indian Peace Medals Issued in the United States 1789-1889 by Bauman L. Belden and Indian Peace Medals in American History by Francis P. Prucha. Both books cover the subject of American issues well and are reasonably priced due to reprinting. However, I think anyone can admire the beauty and classic design the Indian Peace Medal exhibits from the work of our late 19th century United States Mint, just by looking at the medals themselves.

The four offered in Levine’s list include a Thomas Jefferson strike using the 1886 replacement dies, two die varieties of the James Madison medal (that display a really lovely bust of Madison,) and an example of the James Monroe Indian Peace Medal featuring a bust engraved by the talented Moritz Fürst.

Both the American Numismatic Society and the Smithsonian Institution house large collections of Indian Peace Medals, so if you find them interesting and want to learn more, I’d suggest arranging a visit.

Presidential Coin & Antique Company is the business of H. Joseph Levine and is located at Post Office Box 277, Clifton, Va. 20124. To purchase medals you can call or email Joe at 571-321-2121 and respectively. You can also email him to get on his email list for future listings.