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Historical Commentary
Medals Often Mis-represented as Official
Issue Specific Bibliography

 

Quick Facts

1921 Warren G. Harding
Official Inaugural Medal

Designer:
Darrell Clayton Crain (1879-1969)

Medalist:
R. Harris & Company

Varieties Struck

Dusterburg*
Number

MacNeil**
Number

Alloy

Diameter

Mintage

---

WGH 1921-1

Gold

70mm

2 or 3

---

WGH 1921-2

Silver

70mm

6

---

WGH 1921-2

Bronze

70mm

< 60

  * Dusterberg, Richard B.; The Official Inaugural Medals of the Presidents of the United States ; Cincinnati, Ohio; Medallion Press; 1971

** MacNeil, Neil; The President's Medal 1789 - 1977; New York, New York; Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. /Publisher in association with the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian; 1977

Artist & Medalist Bios

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Commentary

Warren Gamaliel Harding
Twenty-ninth President of the United States

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Pretenders

Warren Gamaliel Harding
Twenty-ninth President of the United States

There are many individual medals and presidential medal series, which are quite well done and very collectable in their own right, that are often mistaken for or misattributed as "official" inaugural medals. This phenomenon can be seen readily in the descriptions of many of these medals when they appear in online auctions. The official medal, illustrated above, should match the auction item exactly before warranting a bid at official medal prices. Great, now we know the lot is misattributed but what is it? This section will illustrate some of these medals to help new collectors distinguish between the "official" and "unofficial" and to introduce all collectors to these interesting medals. Hopefully, some will be spared the expensive lessons I have seen so many unaware collectors make in online auctions and others will be inspired to expand their collecting interests to include these medals.



United States Mint Presidential Series
Stock Medal # 128
First Term (Discontinued)
3 inch (76mm) "High-Relief" Bronze

Designer (Obverse/Reverse):
George T. Morgan

Other Sizes Struck:
None

Interesting Notes:

Pretender Identification Tip:


U.S. Mint Stock Medal # 127


United States Mint Presidential Series
Stock Medal # 128
Memorial Reverse
3 inch (76mm) "High-Relief" Bronze

Designer (Obverse/Reverse):
George T. Morgan

Other Sizes Struck:
Stock Medal # 728
1-5/16 inch "coin-relief" bronze

Interesting Notes:

Pretender Identification Tip:


U.S. Mint Stock Medal # 127


U.S. Mint Stock Medal # 128 Cast Counterfeit


United States Mint
Presidential Series
Stock Medal # 128
Cast Counterfeit

Interesting Notes:



Presidential Art Medals - Harding


Presidential Art Medals
"Presidents Series"

Designer (Obverse / Reverse):
Ralph J. Menconi

Varieties Struck:
1-1/4 inch (32mm) "high-relief" Silver
1-1/4 inch (32mm) "high-relief" Bronze
3/4 inch (18.5mm) "high-relief" Silver
3/4 inch (18.5mm) "high-relief" Bronze

In the early 1960s Presidential Art Medals, Inc. of Englewood, Ohio commissioned a series of very high relief art medals to honor the Presidents of the United States. They choose Ralph J. Menconi to design and sculpt the medals and Medallic Art Company to strike them. Menconi's exquisite work on this series earned him the nickname "sculptor of presidents." Interestingly the reverses of the 32mm medals accurately trace the evolution of the Presidential Seal. The smaller 18.5mm mini-medals use a common design with only the dates changing on their reverses.


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Issue Specific Bibliography

1921 Warren G. Harding Inaugural

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Presidential Coin & Antique Company

Coin-n-Medal Collector's Asylum

 

ã Copyright David W. Boitnott 2008