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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 3, January 20, 2008, Article 13

ADAMS ACADEMY U.S. MINT MEDAL DISCOVERY

Coin World had a great article about the U.S. Mint Adams
Academy medal found on eBay by anonymous collector "jonathanb",
who happens to be an E-Sylum subscriber.  Here's how he
described his find in a post on the Collector's Universe
forum December 19, 2007.  -Editor]

A medal for the Adams Academy is the alphabetically-first
school medal listed by Julian as struck at the US Mint prior
to 1892. He describes it as follows:

 SC-1
 Adams Academy
 Starting in 1876, the mint usually struck one gold
 Adams Academy medal each year for Henry Mitchell.
 The last was produced in 1892. A letter from
 Superintendent James Pollock to Mitchell, of
 September 11, 1876, mentioned that the relief was
 very bold on the obverse die. In the second quarter
 of 1889 four bronze medals were struck but not
 reported in the annual list of medals struck.

...and that's it. Most of the other medals described by
Julian were actually described, with obverse and reverse
designs and full legends, diameter, and so on. Many of
them are pictured. This has nothing.

The 1986 Price Guide to Julian, produced by Rich Hartzog,
has pictures for many of the medals that were unpictured
in the original book. There is no picture for SC-1 in the
price guide either. For selected medals, the price guide
also lists a count of auction appearances located by Carl
Carlson. There are no auction records listed.

As far as I can tell, the mint records say that some medals
were struck, but nobody had found one even to know what they
looked like. The paper money folks have a term for this, SENC
(Surviving Example Not Confirmed), for cases where they know
that a note was issued by a particular bank but where nobody
has located a copy.

I'm very happy (very happy! very happy!) to report that
Julian SC-1 is now CONFIRMED!

To read the original post at Collector's Universe, see:
Full Story
 ), and Jonathanb adds: "It's a neat piece.  There could be 15 more,
but do they still exist?  Stuff gets lost permanently over
time, and gold stuff gets melted.  I sort of expected that
someone would pop up and say "What's the big deal?  I have
three of them!" but I haven't heard anything.

"It's too bad that there haven't been any updates to the
Julian reference since it was published 30 years ago.  It
seems that there's no update planned.  I've been going through
auction records for U.S. Mint medals trying to figure out
which ones are truly rare and which ones aren't.  It's difficult
to figure out what's known and what isn't.  I thought that this
was a new discovery when I bid on it, but it could just as
easily have turned out not to be.  I was lucky in several
different directions."

And speaking of eBay bargains, jonathanb adds this note about
the deluxe leatherbound copy of Dave Bowers' 'A California
Gold Rush History' in the Stack's Americana sale that I mentioned
last week:  "Based on the timing I suspect that this copy is
one that was snagged on eBay last year for a grand total of
$150 (plus shipping, darn).  The last copy that Stack's sold
went for nearly $6,000, including premium.  It'll be interesting
to see what this one brings.  Could be a tidy profit for the
consigner, if I'm right."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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