PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V6 2003 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE




The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 51, November 30, 2003, Article 16

NUMISMATIC TERM OF THE WEEK: 'LIST MEDAL'

  Dick Johnson writes: "Your quotation of Chief Engraver
  Gilroy Roberts in his phone conversations with Director of
  the Mint Eva Adams in regards to selecting Kennedy?s portrait
  for the half dollar in last week?s E-Sylum included the term
  ?list medal.?  In my research I have learned that mint officials
  and numismatists had used the term ?list medal? for those
  medals struck by the Philadelphia Mint and offered for sale
  to the public for virtually the entire 20th century.

  I tried to trace the term back into the 19th century without
  much luck, however. A few U.S. branch mints struck medals
  for their opening (and some recent minimedals), but all U.S.
  government medals are struck by the Philadelphia Mint. All
  these medals are ?National Medals? (a term defined in the
  U.S. Code really making it official). But not all National
  Medals are List Medals -- not all were offered for sale to
  the public.

  Of the 573 (National) medals listed by Bob Julian in his
  monumental book, ?Medals of the United States Mint, The
  First Century, 1792-1892,? only 123 are List Medals.
  [Nota bene:  I constantly admire this book and Julian?s effort
  ? I rank it second only to ?Breen?s Encyclopedia of Colonial
  and U.S. Coins? as the most well-researched and important
  American numismatic books ? ever!]

  Some of these mint medals were award medals, as you might
  expect. However, some of these National Medals were also
  Private Medals. We believe the first medals struck by the
  fledgling Philadelphia Mint in 1792 was for Ricketts Circus;
  this was a private medal. The Philadelphia Mint struck school
  medals, expo medals and even a wedding medal.  These
  were Private Medals ? not List Medals. [Reason for these
  was that the equipment for striking large medals did not
  exist in America outside the mint. Such medals had to be
  struck at the Philadelphia Mint, or in Europe.]

  Washington medals struck by the Philadelphia Mint began
  selling prior to the Civil War, with Lincoln medals shortly after.
  Thus the mint began offering medals for sale to the public with
  a little more push. Thus the concept of list medals may exist
  back to 1861 [Julian concurs]. But the term is derived from
  offering these medals for sale ? from a List.

  I obtained my first U.S. Mint Medal Lists after World War II
  when I started buying proof sets from the mint and asked
  what else they had for sale. These were mimeographed sheets
  of short size (not 8  x 11, but a half-inch shorter both ways
  ? this size saved the government money ? isn?t that a hoot?).
  I have lost these sheets over the years (as probably most
  everyone else because of their ephemeral nature).

  However, I would like to ask E-Sylum readers to search their
  files for any of these U.S. Mint sheets offering List Medals for
  sale. I would like to learn of the earliest. Does such a 19th
  century list exist? (You can date them by the last presidential
  medal offered.)  How did the Mint publicize these offerings
  back as far as the 1860s?"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
coinbooks.org Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren@coinlibrary.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V6 2003 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster