DrDarryl's Blog

24 Apr 2021

I Like Ikes: The Original Ikes

Exonumia | DrDarryl

Back in 2013, as a part-time numismatic researcher I discovered several medal types that the US Mint manufactured for use by President Dwight D. Eisenhower during the years 1958 through 1961. It was an incredible discovery! I was the first to organize, catalog, and named this medal series. This medal series consists of twenty medal types (14 manufactured by the US Mint and 6 engravings added post-manufacture to those with a blank reverse). One can say that I did the unthinkable, I discovered an entire US Mint medal series that was unknown to the general public for over a half-century. Click-> Original Ikes Webpage

The formal name I assigned to this US Mint medal series was: President of the United States special Government medal series or POTUS sGm series. These medals were manufactured by the US Mint under its manufacturing function to provide medals to US Government agencies, in this case here, The White House Office. The White House Office performed post-manufacture engraving on those medal types with a blank reverse.

All twenty medal types are "original Ikes". I separated the twenty medal types into four Classes. Class 1 silver medals are the size of a US silver half dollar and have a common obverse. The Class 1 silver medals was categorized for grouping with the so called half dollar series. The Class 2 silver medals are the size of a US silver dollar and have a common obverse. The Class 2 silver medals was categorized for grouping with so called dollar series. The Class 3 medals are also the size of a US silver dollar and share a common design that was struck in gold and silver.The Class 3 gold/silver medals was categorized for grouping with so called dollar series.The Class 4 bronze medals are 76.1 mm that share a common obverse and an engravable reverse.

I'm extremely fond of the Class 2 POTUS sGms since they are silver dollar size and pre-date the first Eisenhower dollars ("Ikes") by 11 years.Interestingly, Frank Gasparro was the designer for both the "original silver dollar size Ikes" and the Eisenhower dollars.The Class 2 medals were my first purchases (when I could find them). There actually eight Class 2 medals. The rarest is the Japan reverse (86 known to exist). If you remember your US history, President Eisenhower cancelled his stop to Japan during his Far East goodwill tour due to rioting and the Japanese Government could not guaranty his safety.

I obtained the rare Class 2 Japan from the collection of GeneralRobert L.Schulz in which his "original Ikes" were set inacrylic(see image). The images below are my Class 2 POTUS sGm collection.

Of the eight Class 2 medals, 2 were previously cataloged in regional Hawaii and Philippines numismatic guidebooks. However, only images and a physical descriptions were provided. In order to research the Class 2 to medals (actually all "original Ikes", I had to seek out primary information (no previously published information in numismatic guidebooks). My primary information came from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The most interesting aspect for all the "original Ikes" is that Ike himself awarded/gifted the "original Ikes! Today, I consider the "original Ikes" as presidential numismatic artifacts.

Click-> 2020 NNP Symposium Presentation



Level 5

We still like Ike! What a cool set.


Level 5

Awesome medal collection. Great work to be proud of. Thanks for sharing some very interesting medals and history. Amazing medals.


Level 6

Nicely done Doc. I enjoyed those Portal seminars. Thanks.

Long Beard

Level 5

Wow! Never heard of them, much less saw one. Impeccable research.


Level 6

Great work! Beautiful collection! Thanks for sharing with us. ; )


Level 7

Thanks for sharing. Nice collection We can't buy these correct? Or can we


Level 5

Good work on your research and knowledge! I really enjoyed this historical read. Cant wait for the next one! Thanks for helping me learn a lot of new things! -NM

It's Mokie

Level 6

A collection with great historical significance, thank you for sharing.


Level 5

Great article Dr. Darryl ! This is certainly worth posting. Thanks for sharing !

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