Intriguing 1925 Norse American Medal, Rare Matte Proof Striking1925 Medal Norse American Gold Medal PR63 Matte NGC. The Norse American medal was proposed by Congressman O. J. Kvale of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Authorized by Congress on March 2, 1925, these medals commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first organized arrival of Norse immigrants in the United States. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the sloop Restaurationen, these Scandinavians had arrived in Orleans County, New York on October 9, 1825. Kvale petitioned for a medal instead of a coin because Congress had authorized four Commemorative coins earlier in 1925: the Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial, Fort Vancouver Centennial, California Diamond Jubilee, and Vermont or Battle of Bennington Half Dollars. The controversy surrounding the Huguenot-Walloon Tercentenary Half Dollar of 1924 also helped to convince Congressman Kvale that a proposal for a medal stood a better chance of acceptance by the federal government at that time.
In addition to 33,750 medals on thick silver planchets and 6,000 medals on thin silver planchets, the Philadelphia Mint delivered 100 medals on gold planchets. All of these pieces were probably struck in early May 1925. The gold medals were produced as matte proofs and sold to the public at a price of $20 each. Today, specimens are rare, and advanced collectors traditionally include them in sets of U.S. Commemorative coins. The present survivor is an uncommonly attractive piece for the grade. Both sides are honey-gold in color with an unquestionably matte texture. The scattered, grade-defining contact marks are not individually distracting. Anthony Swiatek wrote a complete history of the Norse American commemorative medals in the June 1982 issue of The Numismatist. (NGC ID# 28NU, PCGS# 9452)
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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