Collectors of precious metals tend to focus most of their attention on coins, bullion rounds, and bars. Unfortunately, this means that they often miss a fascinating niche known as “commemorative medals.” These medals may be struck by government or private mints and commemorate essential people, places, events, and more. They often have unique design elements or other unique appeals. For example, there are medals that honor presidents, space exploration, and even stunning designs by giants of numismatics that never made it onto coins.
The United States Mint strikes medals on a regular basis. They tend to appeal to students of American history. Silver Presidential Medals are among the most popular of these options. The recent series, which began in 2018, features portraits of the respective President being honored, along with the year they took office and their ordinal place in the line of succession. Some of these medals bear a historic Peace and Liberty design on their reverse that celebrates peace with Native American tribes.
Another recent medal from the United States Mint marked the centennial anniversary of the American Legion in 2019. This medal was released along with a commemorative silver coin. The American Legion Medal is a tribute to the veterans’ organization that is sure to have broad appeal to those who have served, their family members, and others who have been helped by its various programs.
The United States Mint isn’t alone in producing medals that appeal to specific segments of collectors. Private Mints in the United States and abroad also contribute pieces that discerning collectors will not want to miss. These can be anything from small mintage releases with designs that never made it to the public before to those that incorporate elements that aren’t found anywhere else.
In recent years, ModernCoinMart has teamed up with the Smithsonian to offer our customers medals with designs that were never struck on coins. Examples of recent medals that the Smithsonian authorized include the 1878-2020 Morgan Gold Eagle and the 1794-2019 America’s First Silver Dollar.
Another excellent example of such patriotically-themed medals is the Robbins Medal, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The mission landed a man on the moon for the first time. Struck at Sunshine Minting, these medals include the design of the original mission patch. Perhaps most significantly, the medals were antiqued with a solution that included purified alloy that was flown in space on an Apollo mission.