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    Description

    Libertas Americana Medal, MS64 Brown
    Betts-615, Original Dies
    Famous Symbol of American Liberty

    (1781) Medal Libertas Americana Medal MS64 Brown NGC. Betts-615, Loubat-14. It is safe to say that most British loyalists were not pleased by either the design or the intent of Benjamin Franklin's Libertas Americana medal, which extolled the role France played in the American War of Independence while chiding the British for their humiliating defeats at Yorktown and Saratoga. There was no mistaking the symbolic imagery of Minerva (France) protecting the infant Hercules (America) from a rampaging lion (England), while the precocious infant strangled a pair of serpents (Burgoyne and Cornwallis).

    Meanwhile, dignitaries in France and America could not have been more delighted with the message and the impressive artistry of the medal. Based on a sketch by Esprit-Antoine Gibelin and engraved by Augustin Dupré, the medal was struck at the Paris Mint circa 1781. Page 102 of the 2019 Guide Book estimates that no more than 100 to 125 original bronze medals survive, plus two dozen or slightly more silver pieces. This near-Gem bronze example exhibits even, chocolate-brown surfaces with nearly unmarked, well-preserved, and partially reflective surfaces. A small die defect at the border below the 4 in the date of the obverse exergue confirms this piece as an original strike. Traces of die rust, as struck, are diagnostic of the original medals. The Libertas Americana medal ranks #1 by a wide margin in Jaeger and Bowers' 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens.
    Ex: Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society. (NGC ID# CXPN, PCGS# 151815)


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

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2018
    7th-10th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
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    Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (softcover)
    A powerful and intimidating dealer of the 1960s, backed by important colleagues, was accused of selling fraudulent gold coins and ingots to unsuspecting numismatists. Who would go up against a man like that and, over the course of decades, prove the fraud? Who would expose a widely respected scholar as a thief, then doggedly pursue recovery of coins that the scholar had stolen from an embarrassed numismatic organization, all over the objections of influential collectors who had bought coins with clouded titles? Eric P. Newman would - and did. Reserve your copy today.
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