U.S. Frigate Constellation 1st Navy Ship Commemerative Coin

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Angel2626, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. Angel2626

    Angel2626 New Member

    My grandmother was left this coin in an inheritance. We really do not know anything about it and I have had trouble finding anything out about it. I know that it has been passed around the family. The coin came from my grandfathers aunt and it was passed to her by her great uncle I think. Anyone know anything about it or know where I might look?
    Thanks, Angel

    PS. The link below is a coin I found on ebay that is the same one my grandmother has with the exception of hers being numbered to 532.

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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Welcome to the forum, and I do remember these when they were struck.
    At the time the main mast was removed for replacement (due to rot).
    As I remember, there was a large amount of brass that was removed for repair & replacement, and these medals were struck as a fund raiser to help cover the cost of repairs to the ship.
    Best guess, I believe that they were produced in the thousands.
    But, I do not remember the original cost.
  4. Angel2626

    Angel2626 New Member

    I have seen numerous coins just like my

    grandmothers online while I have been looking for them, however there is one big difference. My GM's is numbered. The number appears on the back of the coin and is "532", could that possibly make a difference?
    Thanks for your help, Angel
  5. Pocket Change

    Pocket Change Coin Collector

    I'm not any kind of expert on this, but I know that a lot of times, e-bay is about the best place to get information - especially for unusual items.

    Have you tried sending a message to the e-bay seller. I know the user says they don't know much about it, but where did they get it? Etc. Maybe there would be a lead. In addition, I'm sure another one will be showing up there soon too.

    Of course, there are also plenty of experts here to help!
  6. De Orc

    De Orc Well-Known Member

    Welcome Angela I have to say I dont know the value of the medal that you have but i do know that a numberd version is usualy worth more, I have a couple of similar item comemeratin Lord Nelson's famouse HMS Victory :D
  7. Angel2626

    Angel2626 New Member


    I have been able to find out a little bit of history of the coins today. Apparently, they were cast as some sort of "fund raiser" for the restoration of the USS Constitution (AKA Old Ironsides).
    The ship that is on the coin originally set sail in 1797 (which is where the date comes from) and was docked permanently in 1854 in Norfolk, Va. At that time the ship was torn apart. At a much later time parts of the hull were used in the making of these coins, I believe this was in 1934.
    I really don't think it will be worth much at all but I must say I am curious to know why her coin has a number and others I have seen do not.
    Thanks Ya'll!
  8. De Orc

    De Orc Well-Known Member

    Quite possibly there has been more than one issue! as I say I have 2 of the Victory both produced by different organisations at different times, is there any chance that you could put up a scan or pic of it :smile
  9. Angel2626

    Angel2626 New Member

    Yes I can but it will have to be later.

    my GM has the coin and I will have to go to her house and get it. I will post it whenever I can get my hands on it. Thanks for the input!
  10. mrkwyatt

    mrkwyatt Junior Member

    I have a us navy coin that my grandfather gave to me and it was made with metal from the fastners of the uss constitution i wonder if this coin has anything to do with what your chatting about and how much it might be worth and like this coin i cant find any info on it anywhere.
  11. abe

    abe LaminatedLincolnCollector

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  12. abe

    abe LaminatedLincolnCollector

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  13. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER" Supporter

    Thats a great looking coin!!
  14. Ahab

    Ahab Member

    It was not "torn apart", but refitted and is the oldest American comissioned fighting ship still in exsistance.:rolleyes:
  15. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    The Constellation was relocated to Baltimore many years ago. I bought my Constellation medallion (medallion #394) from the the ship's gift store around 1976.
    I believe they sold two versions one bronze and the other base metal. I believe these medallions have been reissued many times over rhe years.
    When I bought it I was told it was good for lifetime free admission to the ship.
    Another dirty lie. I tried to use it about two years ago but they wouldn't recognize it for free admission.
  16. purple88

    purple88 Active Member

    I too have one of these coins and they've sold recently for as high as $50 on eBay. I have also run across some retailers asking upwards of $100. The bulk have sold for $15-$30 on eBay but price does seem to be increasing. My coin is pictured below and doesn;t have any additional numbering on it like the poster's above. I am trying to find out how many were created.

    The latest from wikipedia:

    "In 1853 Constellation was struck and broken up for scrap at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. At the same time, the keel was laid for what became known as the second USS Constellation. In the later half of the 20th century, the 1854 version was thought to be the 1797 version as the city of Baltimore promoted the ship as the original and some naval historians believed the Baltimore ship to be the rebuilt original. The paper "Fouled Anchors: The Constellation Question Answered", by Dana M. Wegner, et al., published by the Navy's David Taylor Research Center in 1991, concludes that they are different ships. The conclusive proof came during the renovation of the ship in Baltimore concluding in 1999 in which all evidence pointed to the construction of an entirely new sloop-of-war from the 1850s era and not the 1797 ship. While there is no indication in the US Naval Registry from the time period of a complete destruction or for an appropriation for an entirely new ship, the yard log and account books from Gosport record in detail the breakup of the old ship and the building of the new, all under the Navy's "General Increase" or lump-sum construction and repair budget. A supposed notation that the original ship was remodeled instead, using the original building materials to construct an entirely new sloop-of-war, was one of several "Constellation" documents determined by the FBI to be forgeries."
    US_Frigate_Constellation_coin_obverse_01.JPG US_Frigate_Constellation_coin_obverse_02.JPG US_Frigate_Constellation_coin_inverse_01.JPG US_Frigate_Constellation_coin_inverse_02.JPG
  17. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM Well-Known Member

    I have one of these as well. I have seen several sell in the $5-$15 range, but some do sell for considerably more.

    None of the ones I've seen were numbered though. Where is the number punched on yours?
  18. Mike heacock

    Mike heacock New Member

    It was actually a coin that was in magazines and newspapers that cost as little as a dollar donation to help the rebuilding and restoration of the boat. It actually offered a lifetime entrance to view the boat anytime free of charge.
  19. midas1

    midas1 Exalted Member

    "It actually offered a lifetime entrance to view the boat anytime free of charge."

    See my response: midas1,Feb 10, 2010
  20. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    I am surprised that coin board users are calling this thing a 'coin'.

    It is a medallion.
    midas1 likes this.
  21. Ethan

    Ethan Collector of Kennedy's

    I have this one, what a beauty in person...value around $40+..
    midas1 likes this.
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