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1776 Washington Before Boston

 
 
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United States
17 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2011  3:27 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Gordon to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
This 1776 Washington Before Boston medal is in great condition. In my search for info I've discovered there were a number of varieties/remakes. It appears to be of some silver composition and has been cleaned. I need help
for identification and determining the value. Appreciate any ideas you may have. -Gordon




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United States
564 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2011  5:59 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brg5658 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It looks like the version issued by the US Mint as the "America's First Medals". I can't remember the date these were issued, but it was in Pewter I believe. I recently purchased one for around $10.
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United States
17 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2011  7:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gordon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks BRG. I'll check with the mint. The edge looks gray like a pewter. I think you are right.
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United States
17 Posts
 Posted 11/02/2011  11:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gordon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
BRG

I thoroughly checked the US Mint and there was no mention of this medal or topic in their history. Would you have an invoice/record that might show your source?
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United States
564 Posts
 Posted 11/03/2011  12:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brg5658 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Below is the original press release from early 1974. I'm also including a picture of my example of the "Washington Before Boston" medal in the original Mint Display/Packaging. I hope this helps to clarify.






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 1974

U.S. MINT TO RESTRIKE AMERICA'S FIRST MEDALS

Mrs. Mary Brooks, Director of the Mint, presented Mrs. Richard Nixon today the first strikes of the ten piece America's First Medals series being produced as part of the U.S. Mint's coins and medals observance of the Bicentennial of the American Revolution.

The presentation of the pewter reproductions of the first medals voted by the Continental Congress took place at the White House. The medals, originally struck in gold and silver, were awarded in recognition of the bold commanders and successful Revolutionary War battles that won for a new nation its freedom from foreign domination.

The Bicentennial medals package included a reprint of a booklet entitled "Medals Commemorating Battles of the American Revolution," authored by Vladimir and Elvira Clain-Stefanelli of the National Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

The 43-page illustrated booklet explains the tradition of bestowing medals upon our nation's heroes and the history surrounding the first medals granted by the Founding Fathers and designed by the foremost medalists of the day.

Benjamin Franklin, then our Ambassador to France, took a personal interest in the design and engraving of many of the Revolutionary War commemorative medallions produced in Paris.

An 11th medal, considered to be one of the most beautiful medallic expressions of liberty ever struck, was also commissioned by Benjamin Franklin but he failed to win official Congressional approval of it. Called the Libertas Americana medal, the U.S. Mint, in 1976, hopes to reproduce this capstone piece and make it a part of the ten piece America's First Medals series.

The Bicentennial series of pewter reproductions, 1-1/2" in diameter, will take until July 4, 1976 to complete. In 1976, reprints of the Smithsonian booklet will also be sent to purchasers of the medals.

The first two medals are being offered as a unit at $10.00 and may be ordered during April and May, 1974 from the Bureau of the Mint, 55 Mint Street, San Francisco, California 94175. They are:

WASHINGTON BEFORE BOSTON, the first medal authorized by the Continental Congress. It was originally struck in gold for presentation to General George Washington for the liberation of Boston from the British in 1776.

GENERAL HORATIO GATES is honored on the second medal, first struck in gold and awarded in commemoration of the Battles of Bennington, Fort Stanwix and Saratoga in 1777, which defeated British plans to occupy the Hudson Valley and isolate New England.

The other historic medals, available at later dates, memorialize the brilliant tactical successes at the Battle of Cowpens, the daring assaults on Stony Point, Eutaw Springs, Paulus Hook and the most celebrated battle in U.S. Naval history off the coast of Great Britain.

Persons wishing to be apprised of current and future release dates of America's First Medals may write to the U. S. Mint to be placed on its mailing list. Persons already on the list will automatically receive notification."

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 Posted 11/03/2011  12:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add brg5658 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As a note your medal is likely not cleaned as you originally noted. Almost every example of this Washington medal that I have seen has strong die polishing marks on it. That is the way this particular issue came from the mint. I will admit it does look like "cleaning" but do not despair, as it is as it was intended to look.

On an aside, this re-issue of these American Revolution medals is one of the most beautiful sets of medals the US Mint has done (in my opinion). They can be had for VERY little money, and they are absolutely stunning pieces. I hope this information helps you.
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United States
17 Posts
 Posted 11/03/2011  3:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Gordon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
BRG

Very helpful. You made my day. You have answered all my questions and more. The note about cleaning will be especially helpful in my search for eight others. I have the Battle of Cowpens and the assault on Stoney Point. These are in better condition . I share your opinion that these coins are of "most beautiful" status. Thank you.
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United States
33 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2016  3:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add AndrewDS to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Has anyone seen the 2015 Paris restrike of the 'Washington Before Boston' gold and silver 1 oz coins? Done using the original dies and much better done than most of the earlier restrikes. And first time I believe the coin has been restruck in gold since the one original in 1789-1790. Only 1790 gold and 5000 silver were struck by the Paris Mint and reached the US market in Dec 2015 to celebrate the 225th year of the original coin. Very little chatter about these coins. I've only seen one for sale: a silver coin on e-Bay.
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1499 Posts
 Posted 03/12/2016  5:35 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add billjones to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This piece was probably the first medal in a series of pieces, called "America's First Medals," that the U.S. Mint issued during the Bicentennial period. The medals were made of pewter and "antiqued" with something that looks like black shoe polish to me. For the first medals, which I believe were Washington and Horatio Gates, the application was concentrated around the letters, and lacking in artistic merit in my opinion. Later the mint people got better at applying the darkener, and the medals are more attractive.

I bought a complete set of these medals on the secondary market many years after they were issued. I paid $15 for the 11 medals that were housed in a cardboard case. There was also a wonderful booklet that was written by Vladimir and Elvira Clain-Stefanelli that came with the set. The latest price I've for the set, which was few years ago was $30.

These medals are called the Comitia Americana (American Committee or Congress) series. The Continental Congress awarded the original medals to heroes of the American Revolutionary War. The French (Paris) Mint made all but one of them. Most of the medals were made of gold. A few of teh original pieces were struck in silver. It's a great series to collect in copper, and I did that about 20 years ago.

Here is an example of the original Washington Before Boston medal in bronze. Washington was awarded a gold medal, and it is now in the Boston Public Library holdings. This medal in my collection was struck from the original die pair that was used to strike the medal that was made for Washington. There have been many copies made of this medal from numerous sets of dies.

I could go on and on about these medals, but that would go beyond the scope of what we are doing here.


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