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Description

Iconic Libertas Americana Medal
Struck in Bronzed Copper, MS62

1781 Libertas Americana Medal in Bronzed Copper MS62 NGC. CAC. Betts-615. The iconic Libertas Americana medal indelibly captures the moment when France and the fledgling United States cast their lots together against Great Britain. The medal, conceived and financed by the great American statesman Benjamin Franklin, was executed by the inimitable French master medal stylist Augustin Dupré. The originals were struck in gold, silver, and bronzed copper; this is one of the last.
Although the medal is usually mentioned with the 1781 date, along with 1777 on the reverse (symbolizing the victories over Burgoyne and Cornwallis at Yorktown and Saratoga, respectively), it bears mentioning that the obverse bears the iconic 4. JUIL. 1776 date, marking its similarity in that regard to the popular Continental dollars which read 1776. This serves to further increase the medals' already broad appeal.
John Adams in 2007 presented a census in which he accounts for only 22 silver and 37 bronze examples today, a fraction of the numbers mentioned in Franklin's papers. This example shows the obverse rim break beneath the 4 in the date which is present on all known examples. A few miscellaneous field marks account for the grade. The appealing surfaces are a glossy mahogany-brown. A wonderful Mint State example of one of America's most historic medals. Listed on page 86 of the 2012 Guide Book.
Seller is donating 100% of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating 100% of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.


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Auction Dates
January, 2012
3rd-8th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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