National Bicentennial Medal

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by TexasTwister, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. TexasTwister

    TexasTwister Member

    Hello all! I have what appears to be a silver proof National Bicentennial Medal. I am at my wits end trying to determine silver content, etc. The medal was issued by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration (ARBA), presumably in 1976. The ARBA was set up under Federal law 93-179.

    It is definitely proof cameo. It is 1 1/2" in diameter. I didn't weigh it because it is in a mint-issued capsule that I can't get open. ARBA's made reports to Congress which I have found are not available online, either through Google Books or the National Archives website. I was trying to find out when these were minted, in what numbers, and what the ASW was.

    eBay was no help. Sellers there are confused too. Some say the medal is 1 troy ounce of 90% silver. I have seen others claiming that the coin is more than an ounce of sterling silver (.925), that when calculated out, comes to 1 ounce of pure silver. I've visited some of the exonumia sites with mixed results. The U.S. Mint online archives were not any help either. Most of their documents focused on the America’s First Medals series that I believe came out before my medal.

    Online, I've found a scan of the original order form for this medal, primarily in the gold version with some reference to the 1 1/2" silver version without any mention as to purity or silver content.

    Does anyone have any OFFICIAL, U.S. Mint info on how many of these were minted and at what weight and purity? Do you know of a good book on exonumia that would have had this info?

    Many thanks for your replies!

    1976 National Medal 1.jpg 1976 National Medal 2.jpg
     
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  3. rockford

    rockford Member

    I'm a big fan of that medal myself. Much like you, I have heard tons of stories, so much so that I have no idea whats true. There's definitely not a lot of coverage on this release. The one thing i've heard most is that there were 2 versions. 1 like mine pictured below thats gold plated bronze, and another that is 90% silver. However take that with a grain of salt. Some claim there are also 1oz .999 Gold versions. I too am interested in more info on this medal.

    852.jpg
     
  4. rockford

    rockford Member

    Woops, double post.
     
  5. dwhiz

    dwhiz Collector Supporter

    The National Bicentennial medals featuring the Statue of Liberty on the obverse and the Great Seal of the US on the reverse, were available in a variety of metals and sizes. The medals were designed by US Mint Chief Sculptor-Engraver, Frank Gasparro.

    Here's a list of the sizes available, the metal content and the original selling price:

    - 1-1/2" / Bronze / $5.00
    - 1-1/2" / Gold-plated Bronze / $15.00
    - 1-1/2" / Sterling Silver, Proof finish / 0.925 troy ounce of silver / $25.00
    - 3" / Sterling Silver, Antique finish / 7.822 troy ounces of silver / $150.00
    - 29/32" (0.906") / Gold, Proof finish / 0.37 troy ounces of gold / $100.00
    - 1-5/16" / Gold, Proof finish / 1.167 troy ounces of gold / $400.00
    - 3" / Gold, Proof finish / 13.18 troy ounces of gold / $4,000.00
     
  6. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    dwiz:

    Not a bad investment there on the gold pieces.

    The 3" 13.18 oz gold for $4,000 is now worth (@ $1700 gold) = $22,406.
     
  7. yarm

    yarm Junior Member Supporter

  8. TexasTwister

    TexasTwister Member

    Wow! Thanks dwhiz. Now the important part... can you give the source of your info? This has been the most frustrating part of this research so far is nailing down some kind of official info on this issue. Did you get this info out of a book, etc.?


    Many thanks for your reply!
     
  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Yeah not bad. Not great, just five percent per annum with inflation around three percent, but not bad. And of course all of it depended on gold going from around $125 an oz to $1700, an 8% per annum increase. You would have done better passing on the medal and buying Krands. You were paying $4,000 for a medal with about $1,650 worth of gold in it. If you had bought the Krands instead they would be worth $49,000 today.
     
  10. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Active Member

    I had one of the gold ones, the .37toz, and it took me forever to find out what it was also. I'll see if I can dig up the links I found back then.
     
  11. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    [​IMG]
    Another bicentennial orphan
    [​IMG]
     
  12. TexasTwister

    TexasTwister Member

    Thanks, Prime. I appreciate any help you can give me. Hopefully dwhiz will log back in and see my earlier post and give us the scoop...
     
  13. TexasTwister

    TexasTwister Member

    I just sent off an email to the History/Research department at the mint to see if they can provide us with more information on this issue. If I ever get a reply, I'll post it here.
     
    martyb likes this.
  14. martyb

    martyb New Member



    any further info on these coins...my fav are the 1975 revere coins...which I see in all colors some with dates and some without....what is that all about....how do u tell what they are made of?
     
  15. martyb

    martyb New Member

     
  16. martyb

    martyb New Member

    did u ever get a reply from the History/Research department at the mint?
     
  17. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    They're all furloughed........ devil.gif
     
  18. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class User

    I have one of the bronze medals I ordered in 1976, the $5.00 one.

    [​IMG]
    Bicentennial Medal Bronze in plastic case

    I wanted to weigh it but it is encased in plastic and I would have to break it out.

    I found these from the
    "Second Report Pursuant to Public Law 93-179
    of the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration",
    Administrator John W. Warner

    Here at:
    http://www.bookprep.com/read/mdp.39015027058018
    on page 28, which gives sizes, costs, and sales numbers of the medals:
    3" Gold $4000 309
    1 5/16" Gold $400 3,789
    .906" Gold $100 20,378
    3" Silver $150 6,084
    1 1/2" Silver $215 181,392 (the price is probably an error)
    1 1/2" Bronze $5 380,152
    1 1/2" Gold Electroplated $15 34,271

    Nothing is said about weights.

    Well, I cracked it out of it's plastic cage and weighed it, 25.60 grams.

    [​IMG]
    Bicentennial Medal Bronze removed from plastic case

    The medal has streaks, so the plastic apparently didn't protect it very well.

    :)
     
  19. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    I think Dwiz's post #4 has the correct list price.
     
  20. willieboyd2

    willieboyd2 First Class User

    I cleaned my medal off a little bit and it looks like I have the $15 gold-plated version.

    :)
     
  21. afm1982

    afm1982 Miami has the Dolphins...

    Was there ever any follow-up on obtaining definitive references for the information? I recently came across 3 of the medals. I would like to be able to verify the metal content, and be able to determine if two of the coins are the gold-plated bronze versions.

    Please let me know if anyone ever got a hold of good reference materials.
     
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