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15 Nov 2016

What are special Government medals?

Medals | DrDarryl

The images in this blog are from the Annual Report of the Director of the Mint from the years 1957 through 1962. The Bureau of the Mint provided a function to manufacture special Government medals (sGm). The other functions of the Bureau of the Mint was to manufacture coinage for commerce and national commemorative medals (NCM). 1957 image - NCM (term historical) and sGm are mentioned1958 image - NCM (term historical) and sGm are mentioned1959 image - NCM (term historical) and sGm are mentioned1960 image - NCM (term historical) and sGm are mentioned1961 image - NCM (term historical) and sGm are mentioned1962 image - A change in terms. Medals of national character (NCM) and special medals for United States Government agencies (sGm).These images provides evidence that the Bureau of the Mint had three functions in the manufacture realm:1. Manufacture coins for commerce (domestic and foreign)2. Manufacture national medals3. Manufacture special Government medals General numismatic information has been readily available for coins of commerce and national medals. Special Government medals are without general numismatic information and this is due to its unacknowledged status by the Bureau of the Mint. Do you know why sGm have an unacknowledged status?sGm are a product of a joint inter-agency effort (acquiring US Government agency and the Bureau of the Mint). The Bureau of the Mint enforces confidentiality of this joint inter-agency effort, hence no releasing of information to the public.

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12 Nov 2016

USS CONSTITUTION

Medals | Mike Burn

Hi! I'm writing this quickly to those who get the Numismatic News. On page one there is a picture of this famous and great ship. What she did for this country is nothing short of phenomenal. However the article is misleading. They say the copper came from the 219 year old ship. That's not true. I ordered it and included was a small booklet. In there it tells you this copper came from a restoration done in the 1970' s' s for a visit from Queen Elizabeth. So it's not original. I called them up and told them this was deception. Nothing else. Just to raise funds. So if you wish to donate funds that's fine. If you still want the medal that's fine it is beautiful. I will never tell anyone what to order or not. But if I could I would send it back on principal. They should of told the truth. I also intend to let MR. Harper know what they did. Please this is just my opinion. And how I feel. I just believe you should know the truth before you order it. That ship helped us like no other. Anything from her I consider valuable. However sell what you state. I would encourage you to buy it if you like it. After all when I saw the picture it kind of sold me. When I received it and read what they did I was upset. The money is going for a good cause. If you like it please order it. But know the truth first.

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21 Oct 2016

COIN THOUGHTS #9 from "SUN"

Medals | "SUN"

I use "Coin Thoughts" for the title of my blogs, even tho this is about a medal, I use the title to cover all aspects of numismatics. I found this medal on the internet and it caught my interest. One thing that caught my eye was the lettering on the medal. It is similar as what was used on the Morgan Dollar, which was first minted the year before this medal. At the bottom of Ulysses Grant's bust is a small incused "M" which stands for George Morgan, the designer of the medal and dollar. The medal is about 25mm made of brass. The inscription reads" Struck and Distributed in The Municipal Parade/ By the Employees of the U. S. Mint/ Phila. Dec. 16,1879. After President Grant left office in 1877, he and his wife took a trip around the world that lasted over 2 years. After visiting China and Japan, the Grants sailed to San Francisco, arriving in September of 1879. They went on to visit Yellowstone National Park (which became the first national park in the United States under the Grant's administration). Grant was a very popular figure in the United States. This medal celebrates his return to Philadelphia Dec. 16, 1879. At this time there was talk of Grant running for another term of President. He was eventually defeated by James A. Garfield at the 1880 Republican Convention.

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08 Oct 2016

Please help me Identify these Tokens/Medals!!!

Medals | Young Numismetals Collector

Hello! I have some tokens/ medals that need identification. Please let me know the country of origin, what it is called, why it was made, the value, and other information. The pieces in question are shown in the video. Thanks for your help!

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08 Oct 2016

Please help me Identify these Tokens/Medals!!!

Medals | Young Numismetals Collector

Please let me know the country of origin, what it's called, why it was made, the value, and other information. The pieces in question are shown in the video. Please help me out.Thanks so much!!!

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06 Sep 2016

The Final Piece in a Long and Distinguished Career

Medals | coinsbygary

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University elected candidates to the hall based on their significant contributions to America. Some of hall’s honorees were people of renown in the discipline of the arts. Elected to the Hall of Fame in its inaugural year (1900), Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) who with other famous paintings is credited with painting the portraits of the first six presidents of the United States. [1][2] Today Gilbert Stuart is remembered either consciously or unconsciously every time a one dollar bill is used in commerce. This is because his incomplete “Athenaeum” portrait of George Washington appears on the face of the one dollar bill. Gilbert Stuart’s name also appears in the annals of numismatic legend. In a story that cannot be substantiated, it is said that his sketch of Philadelphia socialite Ann Willing Bingham was the basis for the obverse of the Draped Bust Dollar. [3][4] A bronze portrait bust of Gilbert Stuart done by Laura Gardin Fraser for the Hall of Fame was unveiled on May 20, 1922. The accompanying 1968 dated medal was completed by Karl Gruppe after the death of Mrs. Fraser. Karl Gruppe finished the obverse model of Gilbert Stuart started by Mrs. Fraser and designed the reverse featuring a young Gilbert Stuart working on his famous “Athenaeum” head of George Washington. [5] In spite of the quality and volume of her life work concluding with the Mary Lyon and Gilbert Stuart medals, Laura Gardin Fraser did not always receive the recognition she deserved. She would always live in the shadow of her husband made famous by the Buffalo Nickel and “The End of the Trail” sculpture. Even in her death, some 13 years after her husband’s death, her most notable epitaph was that she was the widow of James Earle Fraser. [6] Yet the many awards Mrs. Fraser received during her life from among her peers give witness to her as a leading sculptor of her time. In the private confines of their studios things were different for James and Laura. There, they considered each other as equals. Both Frasers gave each other the freedom to express themselves through their art without interference or undue influence from the other. Still the Frasers were very aware of how the public perceived them. Whenever Laura finished a commission, James and Laura had a standing bet as to how long it would take for someone to comment, “Bet Mr. Fraser helped you with this one.” One time Laura in fun snapped back at a wealthy patron, “Just who is this James Earle Fraser I keep hearing about?” [7] Today in 2016, 50 years after the death of Laura Gardin Fraser, I believe that time has righted many of the wrongs done to Mrs. Fraser as evidenced by the 1999 Washington Half-Eagle commemorative. I also think that in correcting those wrongs, history takes nothing away from James Earle Fraser. This then is exactly how I think both Frasers would have wanted it. James and Laura loved each other very much and only wanted the best for each other. They both had a full and wonderful life together doing what they loved to do best. To them it was all about the sculpted art! 1 Wikipedia; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_Fame_for_Great_Americans 2 Gilbert Stuart the Complete Works; http://www.gilbert-stuart.org/ 3 History of the United States Mint and its Coinage by David W. Lange, pg. 38 4 The US Mint and Coinage by Don Taxay, pg. 106 5 The accompanying COA to the Gilbert Stuart medal 6 The Meadowlark Gallery; http://www.meadowlarkgallery.com/FraserLaura.htm 7 The End of the Trail, the Odyssey of a Statue by Dean Krakel; chap. 4

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04 Sep 2016

Coin Thoughts #5 from "SUN"

Medals | "SUN"

Several years ago I visited an art museum that had an exhibited called "Portraits and Peace Medals." The origin of Indian Peace Medals is obscure, but probably had French, Spanish, and British beginnings.

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27 Aug 2016

The NYU Hall of Fame for Great Americans Medals

Medals | coinsbygary

The New York University Hall of Fame for Great Americans is a 630 foot outdoor colonnade featuring the sculpted busts of 98 out of the 102 honorees elected into it. The Hall of Fame was conceived by Dr. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, (Chancellor of New York University from 1891 to 1910) and was formally dedicated on May 30, 1901. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans currently stands on the campus of the Bronx Community College. (New York University closed due to financial difficulties in 1973). [1] [2] The first of its kind in America, the inspiration for the hall is explained by the following paragraph copied directly from the Mary Lyon Medal COA: The spirit of The Hall of Fame is reflected in the following lines from the Old Testament: “Let us now praise famous men, by whom the Lord hath wrought great glory....All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of their times...” Carved in stone on the pediments of The Hall of Fame are the words: “By wealth of thought, or else by mighty deed, They served mankind in noble character. In worldwide good they live forevermore.” Mary Lyon (1797-1849) served as an educator and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1905. A pioneer in higher education for women, Mary Lyon opened the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now College). The original curriculum included mathematics, English, science, philosophy and Latin. Under her guidance and with her constant labor, the school gained a national reputation for its enlightened curriculum and high academic standards, a reputation maintained to this day. [3] The practice of issuing accompanying medals for the Hall of Fame honorees came about through a coalition between New York University, the National Sculpture Society to oversee and approve the designs, the Medallic Art Company to manufacture the medals, and the Coin and Currency Institute to market them. A full page add in the October 1962 issue of “The Numismatist” introduced the 1 3/4 inch medals for sale in either silver or bronze. Issued at a rate of about one or two per month, the issue price of the silver medal was $14 while the bronze medal sold for $3. The program which began in 1962 ended in 1974 with 96 medals created by 42 sculptors. In addition to the smaller silver and bronze medals, there were also larger 3 inch bronze medals available for purchase. The success of the Hall of Fame medal program was due in part to the art director at the Medallic Art Company, Julius Lauth. Julius knew which sculptors identified with the theme of each medal and as a result the commission for the medals was first offered to the sculptor who had completed the bronze bust on the colonnade. Therefore, since Laura Gardin Fraser did the bust of Mary Lyon in 1927, she got the commission for the accompanying medal. Mrs. Fraser completed the sketches for the Mary Lyon Medal and had them approved by the by the art committee before her death on August 14, 1966. [3] [4] [5] At Mrs. Fraser’s death, Julius Lauth assigned sculptor Karl Gruppe to finish the models for the Mary Lyon medal based on the sketches done by Mrs. Fraser. Karl Gruppe, an associate of Laura Gardin Fraser in her Art Students League days was chosen to complete the medal because his artistic style was similar to that of Mrs. Fraser’s. [4] The following is a description taken from the 1967 dated Mary Lyon Medal COA: “The obverse is a fine classical profile portrait of Miss Lyon; the reverse is a typical scene depicting her continuing role as an educator, and is a capsule story of her dedicated life”. Over her long career as a sculptor, I find it interesting that Laura Gardin Fraser was equally capable of designing medals that were feminine in nature as is the Mary Lyon medal and masculine as is the obverse of the Oregon Trail commemorative. Of certainty, Laura Gardin Fraser was a truly remarkable sculptor. 1 Bronx Community College, http://www.bcc.cuny.edu/halloffame/ 2 Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall_of_Fame_for_Great_Americans 3 Mary Lyon Medal COA 4 Medalblog, Hall of Fame Series - The Most Successful Medal Program by D. Wayne Johnson, December 3, 2012 5 Hall of Fame at New York University Medal Series by D. Wayne Johnson 2004, Medal Collectors of America; http://www.medalcollectors.org/Guides/HFGA/HFGA.html

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18 Aug 2016

The 1952 West Point USMA Sesquincentenial Medal

Medals | coinsbygary

Over her long and distinguished career Laura Gardin Fraser had a very cordial relationship with the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Both Frasers loved America and the Armed Forces of the United States. Many of their military related commissions not only included medallic art, but also full size sculptures and smaller bronzes. There are three significant works Mrs. Fraser completed for The United States Military Academy. The first is a 1952 bronze medal commemorating the sesquicentennial of the USMA. Struck by the Medallic Art Corporation, this medal was presented to the parents of the cadets who entered the academy that year. A small insert reads, “A memento of the United States Military Academy to the parents or guardians of the cadets who entered the Military Academy in the Sesquicentennial Year”. The medal’s obverse displays the flaming torch of leadership, the sword of valor, and a laurel wreath representing victory. The reverse emphasizes the United States Military Academy Coat of Arms set underneath a rising sun. Across the face of the Union Shield is a sword and the helmet of Pallas Athena. Athena is associated with the arts of war and her helmet represents wisdom and learning. Perched atop the shield is a bald eagle clutching a bundle of 13 arrows and a scroll. The scroll bears the academy’s motto, “Duty, Honor, Country” and the words, “West Point, MDCCCII (1802) USMA. In front of the eagle’s right wing is an oak branch signifying strength and on the left an olive branch signifying peace. [1] [2] Laura Gardin Fraser’s next work for the United States Military Academy was the 1957 Sylvanus Thayer medal. This medal exhibits a profile bust of Sylvanus Thayer on its obverse and the coat of arms on the reverse. The Sylvanus Thayer medal is awarded annually by the USMA Association of Graduates to an outstanding citizen who in service to America exemplifies the USMA values of duty, honor, and country. Sylvanus Thayer known as the “father of the Military Academy” served as the United States Military Academy’s Superintendent from 1817 until 1833. Under his leadership the USMA became a pioneering engineering school whose graduates were largely responsible for the construction of the nations initial rail lines, bridges, harbors, and roads. [3] [4] Laura Gardin Fraser once said that, “A sculptors life is measured in large chunks of time.” Three 9x4 bronze relief panels chronicling almost five centuries of American history represents one of those large chunks of time in Mrs. Fraser’s life. The following is quoted in an interview with Dean Krakel concerning the aforementioned panels, “I began this project making little vignettes of historical figures in clay. We seem to know so little about American history, and so having begun this in 1935, I began to accumulate an interesting collection. I started doing events from history and animals purely American like—the skunk. Then I started sorting and organizing my figures in chronological order, placing them on large tablets. These became like the leaves of a book. This essentially is how I started the project. For a long time I thought I was doing them for love of my country, as no one or institution seemed interested.” Eventually, the United States Military Academy took an interest in Mrs. Fraser’s panels and they were cast into bronze. Then finally in 1964 after nearly 30 years, they were unveiled at the dedication of the Academy’s new library in the portico of the library’s entrance. The first panel begins with the exploration of Leif Ericson and extends all the way through to the Declaration of Independence and Revolutionary War. The second panel includes westward expansion, the development of American political parties, and the Mexican, Civil, and Indian Wars. Panel three illustrates industrial development, modern inventions, labor unions, the depression, the World Wars, and the atomic bomb. [5] 1 The United States Military Academy West Point, http://www.usma.edu/news/sitepages/coat %20of%20arms%20and%20motto.aspx 2 Medal Commemorates West Point Sesquicentennial by Fred Reed 10/4/99, http:// www.pcgs.com/News/Medal-Commemorates-West-Point-Sesquicentennial 3 The United States Military Academy West Point, http://www.usma.edu/wphistory/SitePages/ Home.aspx 4 Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvanus_Thayer_Award 5 End of the Trail, The Odyssey of a Statue by Dean Krakel

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07 Aug 2016

The 1928 Lindbergh Medal

Medals | coinsbygary

On May 4, 1928, the Congress of the United States passed a joint resolution authorizing the striking of a gold medal to be presented to Charles A Lindbergh. This medal was to commemorate him for the first non-stop transatlantic flight between New York and Paris on May 20-21, 1927. In a ceremony held on August 15, 1930, President Hoover presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Charles A. Lindbergh. The resolution also provided for the striking of no more than 10 million bronze medals to be sold to the public at no cost to the treasury. Moreover, a commission was established to manage the sales. The profits from the medals were to be used for purchasing the Lindbergh homestead in Little Falls, Minnesota ($250,000) and for the construction and equipping of a Lindberg museum in St. Louis, Missouri ($250,000). Any profits exceeding the budgeted $500,000 were to be spent on aviation research. The sale of these medals continued into the 1970’s. My medal is one of the later medals as determined by the different methods of mint packaging over the years. [1] The following excerpt is copied from a notice in the January 1929 issue of The Numismatist announcing Laura Gardin Fraser as the designer of the Lindbergh gold medal; “A profile sketch of Col. Charles Lindbergh will be drawn by a woman artist chosen to design the medal, authorized by Congress, commemorating his transatlantic flight. When the young American flyer, who is known as the most photographed man in America, could not produce a suitable portrait of himself in profile, tentative sketches were submitted by artists. Mrs. Laura Gardin Fraser of Westport, Connecticut, has announced that her sketch met with approval and that Colonel Lindbergh will sit for his portrait at her New York studio. When designed the medal will have on one side a profile of the Colonel with his flying headgear on. The other side will represent an allegorical figure flying through space. The American flag will serve as part of the background while the rest of the background will be made up of stars emblematic of Colonel Lindbergh's flight through night as well as day. (Note: The picture I use as this medal’s reverse was taken at the Fraser’s New York studio. Though nobody can tell for sure, the hands shown holding the background are believed to be those of Laura Gardin Fraser.) [2] Along with Charles A. Lindbergh, the Fraser’s brushed shoulders with, or counted as friends, some of the most influential Americans of their time. Early in their marriage James was a fan and personal friend of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and if he was in New York, he seldom missed a Yankee home game. James Earle Fraser learned more from Augustus St. Gardens than just art, he also learned to play golf. At the Fraser home in West Port, Connecticut, James liked to drive golf balls from their 1.5 story, 30 x 60 foot studio. Memorable to Laura was Jimmy at their studio with Admiral King, Admiral Halsey, General Marshall and General Arnold all laughing and taking their turns hitting golf balls. [3] One of the Fraser’s closest friend was poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. Edwin was a frequent house guest of the Frasers and they often dined out together and spent their evenings playing poker. Once Laura, as described in “The End of the Trail”, cleaned out both Jimmy and Edwin with a royal flush. Another time the Fraser’s received an invitation to Thomas Edison’s home for lunch with others of his luncheon guests. Over lunch, Mr. Edison simply sat and dreamed away as his guests ate and talked. Laura sculpted a relief portrait of her close friend, Mrs. E.H. Harriman the wife of railroad magnate E.H. Harriman. A profile bust of Mrs. Harriman designed on a plaque won Laura the Saltus Medal of the National Academy of design in 1928. A sampling of the other names the Frasers met or were friends are names like Roosevelt, Ford, Byrd, and Hershey. [4] 1. The Numismatist, April 1928, pg. 234-235 2. James Earle Fraser & Laura Gardin Fraser Studio Papers, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Box 6/Folder 4 3. End of the Trail, the Odyssey of a Statue by Dean Krakel, pg. 51-52 4. End of the Trail, the Odyssey of a Statue by Dean Krakel, Chapter 3

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