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


Quick Facts

1949 Harry S. Truman
Official Inaugural Medal

C. Paul Jennewein (1890-1978)

United States Mint

Varieties Struck






OIM 23G51

HST 1949-1




OIM 23S51

HST 1949-2




OIM 23B51

HST 1949-3




  * 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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Harry S. Truman
Thirty-third President of the United States

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Harry S. Truman
Thirty-third 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 # 132
First Term (Discontinued)
3 inch (76mm) "High-Relief" Bronze

Designer (Obverse/Reverse):
John Ray Sinnock

Other Sizes Struck:

Interesting Notes:

Pretender Identification Tip:

U.S. Mint Stock Medal # 132

United States Mint Presidential Series
Stock Medal # 132
Second Term
3 inch (76mm) "High-Relief" Bronze

Designer (Obverse/Reverse):
John Ray Sinnock / Gilroy Roberts

Other Sizes Struck:
Stock Medal # 732
1-5/16 inch "coin-relief" bronze

Interesting Notes: Gilroy Robert's reverse design features a view of the south portico of the White House, after reconstruction, showing the added balcony.

Pretender Identification Tip: The reverse of this medal also includes the dates of both of President Truman's inaugurations. April 12, 1945 when he took the oath of office after President Roosevelt's death and January 20, 1949 when he again took the oath as the newly elected president. Like the medals other of multi-term presidents, Truman's official inaugural medal does not show the date of his previous inauguration.

U.S. Mint Stock Medal # 132

Presidential Art Medals - Truman

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

1949 Harry S. Truman Inaugural

  •  --------- ; Truman Inaugural Medal; The Numismatist, American Numismatic Association, Wichita, Kansas; Volume 62 Number 2, 1949, February, page 122

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ã Copyright David W. Boitnott 2008