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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 36, September 6, 2009, Article 20

QUERY: 1959 GOLD STATEHOOD MEDALS FOR ALASKA & HAWAII

Bob Rhue writes:

I have a longstanding question re the original mintage of the 1959 Alaska & Hawaii official statehood medals struck in Gold:

These large gold medals weigh 218 grams, (7 oz), of 900 fine gold.

I have long wondered if anyone has any solid information on = The number of each of these which were actually struck. I've heard or Read differing numbers over the years, from various sources, that 100 of each were struck; that 100 of each were 'authorized='; that 50 of each Were struck; or that 100 Alaska's were struck and 50 or 75 Hawaii's were struck.

Without question an unknown number of both were melted in the 1979-80 gold run up. And from personal observation over the years the Hawaii piece definitely comes up less often than the Alaska one.

All of these issues struck in gold are serially numbered on the edge somewhere between 1 and 100. That said, if less than 100 were struck of both or of either issue, is there a known or recorded number sequence?

I've read for instance that one of the states' issue is numbered from 1 to 50 and the other from 51 to 100. That theory is categorically not true however, as I have observed issues from both states, numbered both above and below #50. (And there was in a recent Heritage auction a pair - one of each state both serially numbered 26. (In addition to the serial number the edge is also stamped 'Medallic Art Co. NY 900 Fine')

I understand that Dick Johnson was with Medallic Art Co. of New York (MACO), when MACO issued these medals in 1959. Thanks for any clarification that he or anyone else can shed on this matter.

Born in 1958, I'm 51 years old. But any mention of Alaska and Hawaii statehood makes me feel positively ancient, because when I was born, there were only 48 states in the union. Someday I'll relish telling that to my grandchildren, but right now it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Anyhow, Bob poses an interesting question. Can anyone help? -Editor



Wayne Homren, Editor

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