As a reward for contributions of $500 or more to its " ANA
Target 2001" campaign to raise funds for renovations to its headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO, the American Numismatic Association ( ANA
) offered silver medals featuring a portrait of its founder - Dr. George Francis Heath.
Health was born in Warsaw, NY on September 20, 1850. During his life, he was a postmaster, pharmacy business owner, physician/surgeon, mayor and civic promoter. He began printing a four-page leaflet that he named "The Numismatist" in 1888. The small publication was a personal project of Heath's, in which he promoted coin collecting, provided notes on numismatic topics of personal interest and offered coins for sale. Heath was a co-founder of the ANA
in 1891; his "The Numismatist" publication was adopted as the official publication of the new organization and continues in such role today (much expanded over the years and now titled simply Numismatist
). Heath died on June 16, 1908 in Monroe, MI. (Heath was a multi-term Mayor of Monroe.)
The medal features a left-facing portrait of Dr. Heath on its obverse; the obverse is free of inscriptions. In contrast, the reverse is all inscriptions, with "DR. / GEORGE F. HEATH / 1850-1908 / ANA
FOUNDER / * * * / MEDAL DESIGN BY / Charles E. Barber
" on a textured field. The Heath portrait is taken from a galvano created by Barber in the early 1900s.
The medal was struck for the ANA
by the Medalcraft Mint in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Medalcraft traces its roots to 1948 when it was launched as West Shore Manufacturing Company by Orlo Christensen and Gordon Thorson in Kewaunee, WI. The company regularly expanded its operations over the years, and continues today (under different ownership) to be a leading private mint that delivers stock and custom medals to schools, businesses, law enforcement, the military, foundations, political organizations and many others.
The medal is 38mm (1.5") in diameter. A bronze version of the medal was also available for direct sale at the time; it had an issue price of $25 (plus $5 shipping/handling). The medal was delivered in an Air-Tite capsule (as shown) that was inserted in a plush tray contained in a faux leather clam shell case.