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SERIES: (None)
LEVEL: Minor Variety or Die Variety

(1781) Medal Libertas Americana Silver (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS64

PCGS MS63

PCGS MS63
PCGS #:
151000
Diameter:
47.50 millimeters
Designer:
Weight:
Edge:
Mintage:
Metal Content:
Other
Auction Record:
$149,500 • PCGS MS64 • 8-9-2007 • Heritage
Go To Grade
  • 55
  • 61
  • 62
  • 62+
  • 63
  • 63+
  • 64
  • 65
55
80,000
1
55
61
100,000
3
61
62+
145,000
62+
63
160,000
2
63
63+
165,000
63+
64
200,000
1
64
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  

New Netherlands Coin Company 4/1972:615 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/1999:2084 - American Numismatic Rarities 6/2005:3, $115,000

2 MS64 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2007:1537, $149,500

3 MS63 PCGS grade

Heritage 4/2015:4906, $141,000

3 MS63 PCGS grade
5 MS62 PCGS grade

“The Rosenberg Specimen” - Ted L. Craige Collection (purchased in 3/1970) - Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:1, $99,875

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  

New Netherlands Coin Company 4/1972:615 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 5/1999:2084 - American Numismatic Rarities 6/2005:3, $115,000

2 MS64 PCGS grade

Heritage 8/2007:1537, $149,500

3 MS63 PCGS grade

Heritage 4/2015:4906, $141,000

3 MS63 PCGS grade
5 MS62 PCGS grade

“The Rosenberg Specimen” - Ted L. Craige Collection (purchased in 3/1970) - Stack's/Bowers 3/2013:1, $99,875

5 MS62 PCGS grade
5 MS62 PCGS grade
5 MS62 PCGS grade
9 MS61 PCGS grade
9 MS61 PCGS grade

Ron Guth: The Libertas Americana medal is one of the most famous and cherished of all the medals relating to American history.  According to the historical record, the brainchild for the medal and its designs was none other than Benjamin Franklin.  In a March 1782 letter to Robert Livingston, U.S. Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Franklin wrote, "This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a mind to strike ... representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe specked by a few 'fleurs-de-lis." (quoted in Joseph Loubat's The Medallic History of the United States of America).  Clearly, the final design is a bit more aggressive than Franklin's suggestion, but one gets the point nonetheless. 

The obverse of the medal shows a head of Liberty with flowing hair, facing right, a freedman's cap atop a pole in the background.  This model served as the inspiration for some of the U.S. Pattern coinage of 1792 and for the first U.S. Half Cents in 1793.

Silver versions of the Libertas Americana medal are very rare.  Bronze versions are more common but still valuable and highly prized. The finest silver version certified by PCGS is a single PCGS MS64.