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Well worn Copper's Blog

10 May 2021

1956 Franklin Medal by Laura Gardin Frazer

| Well worn Copper

I picked up a copy of "The Medals Of Franklin" (Greenslet & Schenkman) which was published by TAMS in 1993. There is a medal by Laura Gardin Frazer which was struck at the U.S. Mint in 1956 in bronze and silver versions. First: It's a beautiful medal. Second: It's by Laura Gardin Frazer! I haven't seen this medal until now, and am unable to locate an example. Would anyone have any information about it? It reads "Medal of the Congress" on the obverse and "Wise and Good Men are the Strength of a Nation" on the reverse. Mrs. Frazer was a national treasure, and anything touched by her is worth looking into.

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09 May 2021

International Nickel Pattern and an NGC Crossover

| Well worn Copper

A few months ago I purchased a 1964 International Nickel Company private pattern. International Nickel was a private company that made a noteworthy effort to try to secure different alloy compositions from the U.S. Mint during the 1965 change from silver coinage to clad. They went as far to secure the services of former chief engraver Gilroy Roberts, who engraved a highly professional obverse and reverse design for presentation purposes. In the end International Nickel's efforts were in vain, and the mint went with their own cupronickel composition. While these pieces are officially private patterns,they make up part of the pattern story from the 1960's, and are quite affordable compared to official mint struck patterns. This piece was encapsulated by ANACS when purchased and graded MS64. The slab was undersized, and when stored in a NGC storage box, seemed to disappear. I sent it in to NGC for a crossover and when it came back it not only looked better, but they had graded it a MS66! Needless to say, the crossover fee was well worth it. NGC also included Burdette numbers on the slab, while ANACS had listed the old Pollock numbers. Andrew Pollock's pattern book came out int he 1990's, Burdette's book was published in 2019, and is superior as well as a great read. (The title is: Private Pattern and Related Pieces: International Nickel & Gould Incorporated by Roger W. Burdette) All International Nickel pieces are scarce, and expect to pay somewhere between $300-450. Until I someday obtain an official U.S. Mint pattern, this one will do nicely.

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