James Monroe was the Fifth President of the United States. He is remembered for the policy of the United States that twenty years after his death became known as the “Monroe Doctrine.” This policy had two primary parts: it put European powers on notice that expansion in North and South America would be regarded as hostile by the United States and that the U.S. would not interfere with existing European colonies in the hemisphere.
Prior to becoming President he served in various Virginia State and Federal Government posts and helped in the negotiation for the Louisiana Purchase. He served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. As President he negotiated with Spain to establish a border with their North American colony, thereby acquiring territory that spans from present-day Oregon to Florida.
The obverse of the medal depicts James Monroe with the inscriptions “JAMES MONROE,” “PRESIDENT OF THE U.S,” and “A.D. 1817.”
The common reverse of the Presidential Silver Medal series features two hands grasped in a handshake beneath the crossed Peace Pipe and the Tomahawk. The hands represent the United States and the Native American Nations. The inscription reads “PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP.”
The medals in the series are struck to order on 1 oz. .999 fine silver planchets measuring 1.6 inches.
Historically, Presidents would give medals to Native American tribes and other nations when signing treaties and at other occasions. The history of these medals go back to the Colonial period. The medals were used to solidify good relations with other nations.
The original medals were not a duty of the US Mint. Production of the medals was contracted out to employees of the Mint with the understanding that they would use Mint equipment after hours for this vital diplomatic service.
The U.S. Mint began issuing the Presidential Medals in silver in 2018.
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