Speaking of David Rittenhouse, Paul Gilkes has an article in the July 15, 2013 issue of Coin World about a medal for U.S. Mint employees modeled after one by William Barber picturing the Mint's first director. In the image below, the new medals are shown on the top, with Barber's medal below.
To reward excellence within the ranks of the United States Mint, the nation’s coin producer recognizes achievements with the presentation of the Rittenhouse Medal of Excellence.
The medal replicates the designs that first appeared on Chief Engraver William Barber’s 1871 medal depicting David Rittenhouse, who served from 1792 to 1795 as the first director of the Mint.
For 2013, the U.S. Mint recognized 33 Mint employees June 12 with what is now the bureau’s highest honor, for sustaining “a superior record of performance that significantly furthered and ultimately improved the bureau’s programs, operations and services.”
Since the 2008 inception of the silver Rittenhouse Medal of Excellence, 156 such medals have been awarded.
The Rittenhouse silver award medals are struck at the Philadelphia Mint three times on a Gräbener GMP 360 press with dies oriented to strike with vertical motion.
The striking pressure for each of the three strikes is 202 metric tons.
Barber’s original Rittenhouse medals were produced at the Philadelphia Mint in 45-millimeter “bronze” and silver versions, and dated 1871. The new award medals are also dated 1871. It is unclear today why the original medals were made, though it is likely they were produced for sales to collectors, like many other Mint products of the late 19th century.
To read the complete article, see:
U.S. Mint employee award named for first Mint director
Wayne Homren, Editor
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