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Commems Collection Medals: 1932 William Penn 250th Anniversary

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 Posted 05/23/2022  08:11 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The 1932 William Penn medal shown was struck to commemorate the 250th anniversary of William Penn's first trip to North America. It was a "business trip" for Penn, as he traveled to America (from England) to oversee the large grant (~40,000 square miles) of land west of New Jersey that was given to him by King Charles II as repayment of a loan made to the King by Penn's late father - Admiral Sir William Penn. The younger William proposed the province be called "Sylvania," meaning "forest lands" or "of the forest." When signing the Charter for the Province in 1681, King Charles II formally named it "Pennsylvania" in honor of Admiral Sir William.

The younger Penn is remembered for his efforts to establish democratic principles in the Province of Pennsylvania. Among these were freedom of religion, trial by jury, public elections and freedom from unjust imprisonment. Such principles would later be included in the US Constitution/Bill of Rights. As a Quaker, Penn had first-hand experience with religious persecution in England.

The medal was commissioned by the William Penn Commemorative Committee of Philadelphia, PA. It was available in three versions: a bronze 3" medal that sold for $5.00, a bronze 1-1/2" medal that sold for $0.25 and a sterling silver 1-1/2" medal that had a price of $1.00. In today's market, the silver version of the medal appears with the lowest frequency and commands the highest price - often 3X to 5X (or more) the price of a same-sized and same condition bronze.

The obverse of the medal presents a three-quarer, right-facing bust portrait of William Penn. "AETIS 22" and "1666" flank the portrait. "AETIS 22" translates into English as "AGE 22." This ties into the fact that the portrait presented on the medal is based on a painting of Penn at the age of 22 in 1666.

William Penn (Age 22), Right-Facing, Half-length Portrait, Facing Right

(Image Credit Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain.)

The medal's reverse design depicts the scene of Penn and local chiefs of the Lenni Lenape, the indigenous Native Americans, formalizing the land treaty/purchase that had been previously transacted by King Charles.

The medal was designed by Julio Kilenyi and all versions were struck by Whitehead & Hoag of Newark, NJ.

1932 William Penn Commemorative Medal, Sterling Silver

(It is important to note that the silver version of the medal has "STERLING" struck into it on its reverse, near the rim at about the 8 o'clock position (difficult to see on the image). If you are offered an example that is said to be silver, make sure it has "STERLING" stamped into it - I have seen bronze examples that were given a "silver wash" in an attempt to mislead collectors.)

My example weighs 30 grams. As the medal is sterling silver (0.925 fine), the weight converts to an actual silver weight (ASW) of 27.75 grams, or ~0.89 troy ounces.

For other of my post about commemorative medals and coins, see: Commems Collection.

Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 05/23/2022  08:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
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