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    Description

    (1781) Libertas Americana Medal
    Reflective MS65 Brown
    Betts-615, Among the Few Finest Survivors

    (1781) Medal Libertas Americana Copper MS65 Brown NGC. Betts-615, Loubat-14. It was at the direction of the Continental Congress that Benjamin Franklin was granted authority to procure the medals voted by that governing body. As ambassador to France, Franklin was keenly aware of the role played by France in the War for Independence -- a role that, Franklin felt, was underappreciated in the United States. He soon turned his attention to a medal that ostensibly celebrated the American victories at Yorktown and Saratoga, but in fact it was a medal with a larger purpose. It was an affirmation of American Liberty -- designed and manufactured in France, with a distinctly French flair. The medal would flatter the French (whose support was badly needed in America), and appeal to dignitaries throughout Europe and the new world.

    The Libertas Americana medal was struck in gold, silver, and bronzed copper. An additional piece is known in white metal. The gold pieces were gifted to King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie-Antoinette. The fate of those medals is unknown today. Somewhere between 20 and 30 silver medals still exist, and the 2018 Guide Book (page 92) estimates 100 to 125 copper pieces survive. This is an extraordinary Gem copper example, with glossy chestnut- and chocolate-brown surfaces. Attractive blue toning outlines the raised elements, which sit on smooth, reflective fields. Scattered small areas of die rust exist, as minted. Census: 2 in 65 Brown, 0 finer (3/18).

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# DRPN, PCGS# 151815)


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    25th-29th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 729

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