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NNP Blog

Apr 12 2018

Newman Portal Search: Harding Inaugural Medal

This week a Newman Portal user searched on “Harding Inaugural Medal.”  This is one of the rarest pieces in the inaugural series.  Neil MacNeil’s The President’s Medal (1977) records a census of two or possibly three in gold, four in silver, and “possibly less than 60” bronze pieces. Newman Portal uncovers only a small number of auction appearances, including two bronze examples in Stack’s Rich Uhrich sale (2/2008, lots 3626 and 3627, realized $29,900 and $14,950 respectively). The MCA Advisory (July 2007) notes a silver example in the 77th sale of Presidential Coin and Antique that sold for $40,825. Joe Levine illustrated the silver piece on the catalog cover, and regaled readers with the tale of a pair of these rare medals:

“This is one of only seven known silver Harding medals, two of which reside in institutional collections. It is an old friend! We first saw this medal over thirty years ago when, in response to our Washington Post ad seeking Harding Inaugural medals, we were summoned to the office of a prominent D C. real estate developer. He had told us that he possessed two Harding medals (which we just knew were going to prove to be U.S. Mint medals!) Imagine our surprise when we were shown not just two Harding medals, but two Harding Inaugural medals in silver! The two medals were owned by the family of Samuel J. Prescott, a Washington, D.C. banker and real estate developer who also was the chair of the D.C. Republican Party. Unfortunately, our offer for the pair was refused….”

Link to MCA Advisory (July 2007) on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/512293?page=11
Link to Presidential Coin and Antique Sale #77: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=511514&AuctionId=511929&page=110
Link to Stack’s sale of the Rich Uhrich Collection: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/auctionlots?AucCoId=3&AuctionId=516996&page=361


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