Mutt finds an unusual Nummismatic Medal at the Fort Lauderdale Coin Club Meeting

Obv: Unsigned copy in the style of Euainetos, from SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I. 405-367 BC. Dekadrachm, Charioteer driving fast quadriga left, holding kentron in right hand, reins in left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with wreath; heavy exergue line below / brestplate, kneecap guards, and helmet.

Rev: Greek Temple in the style of the Parthian / inscription between top columns, on left, 430- 370 B.C. / EUAENETOS…….. / PASSING CENTURIES / HAVE RUINED THE WORLD / YOU KNOW …. / BUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL / COINS REMAIN FOREVER / PROOF OF YOUR SUPERB / NUMISMATIC ARTISTRY/ small reverse copy of original coin shown on obverse: Wreathed head of Arethusa left, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; surrounded by four dolphins, pellet below chin.  / R. SHABEL, Small inscription vertical on left © 1963 / COIN MEDALS / T. JOHNSON


75.8 mm copper clad bronze

This medal is one ebgraved by Robert Shabel of Tovio Johnson's Coin Designer Medal Series of six medals produced by Metal Arts Company of Rochester N.Y. honoring coin designers;

The Greeks, Charles E. Barber, Victor D. Brenner, George T. Morgan,

and Christian Gobrecht.

Johnson, primarily a commemorative dealer, advertised these medals heavily during the height of the medal craze, 1961-63.

Not everyone was happy with the T. Johnson medals, “As, who could forget the late Toivo Johnson’s grotesque series purporting to honor great American coin designers and engravers by appropriating their existing medallic art for commercial purposes. These helped the fizzles that burst the 1960’s medal bubble and delayed any solid growth of medal collecting for years to come.”

 “Veterans of era when sales outlets such as the lamented Gimbals’ department store recall that sales of large Bronze medals were relatively brisk at first, with demand for the Silver medals lagging behind. The small-diameter Bronze medals proved virtually unsalable, and thousands remained on the hands of the distributor for several years after. Confronted with the bulky store of remainders of the Silver issues, managers were heard to promise, "When Silver gets to $6 an ounce, we’ll be rid of these damn things!’’ Undoubtedly a large number of the Silver medals did end up at busy refineries during the great Silver boom of the late 1970’s.”

Before that, The Bridgeport Centennial half dollars rolls were being sold in the 1950s by Toivo Johnson, a dealer in commemoratives and a prolific advertiser in the Numismatic Scrapbook. He did business by mail from East Holden, Maine.

When we see stories about silver going to $6.00, it's hard to realize we have just seen silver pass $22.0 an ounce and drop back to the $16-17 range.

That's why MEDALS are more fun for me.