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Extremely Rare Silver Betts-608, the "Other" Libertas Americana Medal

SOLD

From the Eric P. Newman Collection.

Details

1783 Treaty of Paris (Libertas Americana) medal. Betts-608. Silver, 45 mm. Very Fine. A slightly worn example of this popular and important medal in very rare silver format. After nearly a century in Eric Newman's paper envelope (marked "Very rare" and priced at $7.50), this piece has exemplary dusky medium gray toning with faint highlights of pastel blue and pale gold. Some light marks are seen, akin to a circulated silver coin of this vintage, raising the question of whether this medal saw time as a pocket piece, or whether it was spent as a taler/5 Francs/dollar sometime soon after its mintage. None of the marks are new or visually consequential, the rims are intact, and the overall eye appeal is beautiful.

Known by the misnomer of "the French Libertas Americana medal," this production was actually struck in Nuremberg from dies by Johann Leonhard Oexlein, whose tiny OE monogram is visible at the right end of the obverse exergual line. The obverse legend LIBERTAS AMERICANA was undoubtedly borrowed from the famed Libertas Americana medal by Dupre, which was first seen in Germany in the spring of 1783. On the obverse, seated Louis XVI gestures towards a shield bearing 13 stripes, reminiscent of the reverse of the Bar copper, being hung on a pillar topped with a free hat, which was the way the Dutch (in particular) depicted the Liberty Cap that makes an appearance on the other Libertas Americana medal (and early American coinage). The date is in the emerge. On the reverse, Minerva holds a bundle of the shields of the various European powers who ended up being engaged in the fight over American independence (France, Great Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands), with a shield depicting a Gorgon's head, symbolic of war, on the ground below. The legend COMMVNI CONSENSV translates to "By Common Consent."

White white metal examples are seen with occasional regularity (including one on this site), silver ones are extremely rare. Ford owned just one, acquired from a source other than the Boyd Estate (which means Boyd didn't have one). It brought $9,775 in 2006 (graded About Uncirculated) and $15,275 in 2014 (graded Proof-64 by NGC). A holed and plugged piece brought $1,495 in 2009. These appear to be the only examples sold in recent memory, and this is the only silver Betts-608 I've had in inventory in the last 7 years. Cracked out of a VF-30 NGC slab, this piece is offered with the slab label and with the ancient Eric Newman paper envelope.

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 500015

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

Description

Details

1783 Treaty of Paris (Libertas Americana) medal. Betts-608. Silver, 45 mm. Very Fine. A slightly worn example of this popular and important medal in very rare silver format. After nearly a century in Eric Newman's paper envelope (marked "Very rare" and priced at $7.50), this piece has exemplary dusky medium gray toning with faint highlights of pastel blue and pale gold. Some light marks are seen, akin to a circulated silver coin of this vintage, raising the question of whether this medal saw time as a pocket piece, or whether it was spent as a taler/5 Francs/dollar sometime soon after its mintage. None of the marks are new or visually consequential, the rims are intact, and the overall eye appeal is beautiful.

Known by the misnomer of "the French Libertas Americana medal," this production was actually struck in Nuremberg from dies by Johann Leonhard Oexlein, whose tiny OE monogram is visible at the right end of the obverse exergual line. The obverse legend LIBERTAS AMERICANA was undoubtedly borrowed from the famed Libertas Americana medal by Dupre, which was first seen in Germany in the spring of 1783. On the obverse, seated Louis XVI gestures towards a shield bearing 13 stripes, reminiscent of the reverse of the Bar copper, being hung on a pillar topped with a free hat, which was the way the Dutch (in particular) depicted the Liberty Cap that makes an appearance on the other Libertas Americana medal (and early American coinage). The date is in the emerge. On the reverse, Minerva holds a bundle of the shields of the various European powers who ended up being engaged in the fight over American independence (France, Great Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands), with a shield depicting a Gorgon's head, symbolic of war, on the ground below. The legend COMMVNI CONSENSV translates to "By Common Consent."

White white metal examples are seen with occasional regularity (including one on this site), silver ones are extremely rare. Ford owned just one, acquired from a source other than the Boyd Estate (which means Boyd didn't have one). It brought $9,775 in 2006 (graded About Uncirculated) and $15,275 in 2014 (graded Proof-64 by NGC). A holed and plugged piece brought $1,495 in 2009. These appear to be the only examples sold in recent memory, and this is the only silver Betts-608 I've had in inventory in the last 7 years. Cracked out of a VF-30 NGC slab, this piece is offered with the slab label and with the ancient Eric Newman paper envelope.

Additional

Additional Information

Grading Service RAW
Grade RAW
Designation N/A
Mint Location N/A
Strike Type N/A
Circulated/Uncirc Not Specified
Grade Add On N/A
SKU or Cert # 500015

Related Blog Article(s)

Listed below are blog articles related to this product listing, if applicable:

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John Kraljevich Americana