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Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio   |   The August 2018 ANA Auction   |   22 August 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Session 2, Lot 92

Estimate: 1'000 USD   |   Starting price: 1 USD Price realized: 552 USD
Commemorative Medals

1882 Great Seal Centennial Medal. Silver. 62.6 mm. Julian CM-20. About Uncirculated, Damaged.
Struck with the smooth prooflike fields of the original issue, and exceedingly scarce so, especially in silver. The dark pearl gray finish appears to have been cleaned at one time, but is now re-toning with extensive swaths of multicolored iridescence on both sides. This medal was originally struck in recognition of the centennial of the adoption of the Great Seal of the United States in 1782. Though the Mint Director at the time was against the idea of this piece being created, Superintendent Snowden obtained approval from the Secretary of the Treasury and the project moved forward rapidly. The dies were cut by Charles E. Barber in 1882, and the medals were available to the public by early September of the same year. One silver and 45 bronze medals were reportedly struck in 1882, with additional pieces produced to fill orders in later years. Somewhere between 1890 and 1905 the surfaces of Mint medal dies were sandblasted in order to produce a more "modern" matte appearance on medals struck from them. The surfaces of this piece are entirely smooth, and show no evidence of sandblasting. The reverse of this example has a circular depression cut into the bottom of the sun rays to the left side of the pyramid, and there is a moderate dig in the tenth level of the pyramid. Less noticeable are several edge bumps and nicks, again visible primarily from the reverse.

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