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Society of Medalists Medals

Looking for something new and interesting in numismatics? Something quite rare and in gem condition? And inexpensive?

Your quest stops with the Society of Medalists medals. Made in bronze (mostly) and silver, typically with a mintage of only a few hundred, these sell in the marketplace today for about $125 to $300, some a bit more, but not much.

These were issued at the rate of two per year by the Society of Medalists. Famous artists and sculptors were invited to create motifs of their choice—a radical departure from the usual route of a patron or organization dictating the design. Most are about 72 mm diameter. Here we have James Earle Fraser, remembered for his 1913 Indian Head/ Buffalo nickel creating a medal with western motifs. Elsewhere in the series there are medals from many sculptors who are remembered for their commemorative coin designs.

A leaflet issued with the medal (most leaflets have disappeared) gives Fraser’s biography and other information. A great new book by David Thomason Alexander, American Art Medals 1909-1995, available on like with some looking around or from the publisher, the American Numismatic Society, also on the Internet.

There are over 120 medals in a complete collection of Society of Medalists medals in bronze, collectible for, say, less than $20,000 for everything. Check it out and enjoy!

Best wishes,

Dave Bowers

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