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Best Medal Series Struck by the US Mint for use by a POTUS

DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 15, 2021 10:13AM in U.S. Coin Forum

The discussion title may seem confused, but its true...President Eisenhower awarded/gifted "his" medals. They were NOT available for sale from the US Mint. To make matters more confused, these medals did not require an enacted Federal law, for the medals themselves, to authorize the US Mint to begin their manufacture.

Best Medal Series Struck by the US Mint for use by a POTUS

President Eisenhower was prolific in awarding/gifting a series of custom-made medals manufactured by the US Mint. In all, there are 20 known types of President Eisenhower appreciation medals. The most US Mint medals struck for use by any POTUS. In comparison, President John F. Kennedy had only one type of appreciation medal manufactured by the US Mint.

In this image, it should be noted that the Class 4 medal was struck as a uniface with the reverse used as an engraving pad.

Majority of the medals were fully funded by the White House Office; however, several medals were partially funded by the Department of State. In all, the combine mintage of the 20 known types is 9,858 and was struck in the years 1958 through 1960. The rarest of these medals was struck in 18K gold, of which only 3 were made. 2 of the 20 medal types was designed by Gilroy Roberts. 1 of the 20 medal types was the combine work of Gilroy Roberts (obverse) and Frank Gasparro (reverse), and 17 of 20 medal types was designed by Frank Gasparro.

In this image, President Eisenhower's three goodwill tours are identified along with the medals that were awarded/gifted.

What is remarkable is that this entire series of medals was not officially known to collectors until 2014 when a part-time numismatic researcher published his findings in a book. The President Eisenhower appreciation medals were separated into 4 distinct classes, based on their obverse design.

This researcher has generated a net-circulating-population (number available to collectors) and is based on US Mint mintages, less the US Treasury destruction inventory, and less the National Archives’ artifact inventory. However, many of the silver medals that have been observed on the market have been damaged through improper cleaning or acid testing. There are examples of these medals being made into wearable jewelry. Others may have been destroyed for its silver content. It can be said that certain medal types were first issued OCONUS. Lastly, the undocumented status of these medals for over a half-century took its toll on the researcher's net-circulating-population numbers.

This is President Eisenhower's 1960 "Summer White House" (Newport R.I.) appreciation medal (categorized as a Class 2 medal). Based on the researcher's periodical and other research findings:

To be continued...


  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is President Eisenhower's 1960 South Korea appreciation medal. Net-circulating-mintage 225. Second rarest of the Class 2 medals. Class 2 medals have a smooth edge. They are the same dimension and fineness as a US Morgan or Peace silver dollar.

    Postal covers and stamps were created by the visited country to commemorate President Eisenhower's visit. Other ephemera were made welcoming the President. This medal was awarded/gifted while the President was in South Korea. One had to earn the gratitude of President Eisenhower to receive one. No US Mint sales for this medal!

    These medals were a logistic nightmare as the US Mint in Philadelphia manufactured the medals, then they were transported to the White House by an expected arrival date. The medals (multiple medals for the Far East goodwill tour) had to be on an aircraft supporting the presidential trip or on Air Force One prior to departure.

    Unused medals were returned to the US and held by the White House Office. Prior to the end of President Eisenhower's 2nd term, the medals held by the White House Office were transported to the US Treasury for destruction. These medals were inventoried prior to leaving the White House and arrival at the US Treasury. White House and US Treasury officials witness the destruction of the unused medals.

    National Archive documents reflect the destruction inventory and the signature of the witnesses. It is believed that no unissued medal was to be issued after the President left office and the destruction was to recoup the value of the precious metal for the White House Office. The destruction also increased the rarity for those receiving one.

    Medals in the possession of the President or located after the President left office were turned over to the National Archives, where they are held in high regard as presidential artifacts.

    To be continued...

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,250 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do the Indian Peace Medals struck for Thomas Jefferson to be given out by Lewis and Clark count?

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • MsMorrisineMsMorrisine Posts: 31,831 ✭✭✭✭✭

    do you have an engraved bronze?

    Current maintainer of Stone's Master List of Favorite Websites // My BST transactions
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2021 6:24PM

    @CaptHenway said:
    Do the Indian Peace Medals struck for Thomas Jefferson to be given out by Lewis and Clark count?

    Agree. This is what I was thinking of too.

    Both great series. Can we have more than one best series?

  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2021 3:09AM

    Understanding the reasoning behind President Eisenhower's use of multiple types of appreciation medals can be traced to a 1958 event that stands out like a sore thumb.

    In 1958 President Eisenhower donated his entire coin collection (and mementos) to the Smithsonian Institution. Yes he did!

    Is the 1958 coin collection donation and the 1958 start of the appreciation medal series a coincidence?

    Ike's coin collection should be seen as an accumulation of numismatic gifts personally received by him over the years. In all, 189 items were donated.

    I previously documented this:

    Ike enjoyed receiving numismatic gifts from individuals around the world. He in-turn awarded/gifted multiple types of appreciation medals around the world. Today, his legacy can be held in your hands in the form of one of his medals.

    Larger images of the display.

    A reverse view of the donation letter (note the DE initials to acknowledge reading the letter).

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 16, 2021 8:26AM

    Here is a set of the gold medals that includes the one with his image on it.


    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Class 1 presentation set of which only 91 are known to be awarded (based on National Archive records). A completed presentation set consists of the Class 1 medal (reverse dated 1959), embossed card with Eisenhower's signature, and an embossed envelope.

  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Entomb partial presentation set (no envelope) that once belonged to a high ranking military aide of President Eisenhower sits in my office.

  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not an POTUS appreciation medal. But rather a POTUS commemorative medal manufactured by the US Mint for President Johnson. I do not own this medal. This is part of the auction write-up

  • DrDarrylDrDarryl Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Analysis of the Hawaii POTUS sGm reveals:

    1. Original mintage was 400 medals.
    2. President Eisenhower end of 2nd term destruction by Treasury Department was 105 medals.
    3. 28 medals are known to held by the National Archives.
    4. The total available to collectors is 267.
    5. Current auction record price is $2,640 (Lot 8246, Stack's & Bowers, November 2019 Baltimore (this is the MS 63 medal below).
    6. Current TPG census is 6.

    NGC is the only TPG to grade and encapsulate this medal series (there are 8 medals with the 38.1 mm diameter, aka as Class 2 medals). This medal is also listed as 2M-94 in the book Hawaiian Money 2nd edition, Medcalf & Russell, 1991. This should allow TPGs to grade this medal as a "Hawaii medal".

    Unfortunately, there are 7 other medals in this medal series that bear the same obverse (dual torches, with text "WITH APPRECIATION FROM", and facsimile incuse Dwight D. Eisenhower signature). The 2M-94 Medcalf & Russell designation is a misnomer, which only provides a Hawaii perspective and not the entire Class 2 POTUS sGm series of 8 medals (or designated as a US Mint medal series). I advocating a change to list the POTUS sGm medals are a US Mint medal series based on my two written books. This includes those listed in regional catalogs (Hawaii (Medcalf & Russel 2M-94) and Philippines (Basso 898)). The Basso identifier is from his 2nd edition book: Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728 - 1974, Aldo P. Basso, 1975).

    The obverse text "WITH APPRECIATION FROM" and Dwight D. Eisenhower facsimile signature, identifies the owner of the medal. These design elements provide evidence that this medal is not a commemorative medal, but a working informal POTUS award medal. There is numerous research evidence to back this claim.

    Current NGC census is 6 (4 of the 6 are in my research collection (pedigree label), which includes the MS-67 medal (label not shown)):

    From lowest to highest graded:


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