1969 Golden Spike US Mint Bullion Silver Railroad Medal

This medal is in XF45 or better condition. Aside from a minor rim ding, it is in great shape. It’s also huge and heavy – it contains more than 5 ounces of 99.9% pure silver, which makes it worth quite a bit just as a bullion investment.

On the obverse, it shows a railroad spike with the flat end up and to the left, the point down to the right. The legend around the rim reads “Golden Spike Centennial Celebration Commission, The Oceans United By Railway”. The spike is driven through a block labeled “1869 – 1969”. Above and to the right of the block is the writing “Sacramento” and below is “Promontory Omaha”.

Medal - 1969 Golden Spike Silver Centennial US Mint Obverse

Medal - 1969 Golden Spike Silver Centennial US Mint Obverse

On the reverse,this medal shows two train engines meeting head-on with lines suggesting the Rocky Mountains in the background. The legend around the rim reads “The Central Pacific And Union Pacific Railroads Linking The Nation, Promontory Summit, Utah”. Below the trains is the quotation “…The Pacific Railway Is Completed. May 10, 1869.” The two trains are the Union Pacific #119 and Central Pacific #60 (AKA the Jupiter) locomotives.

Medal - 1969 Golden Spike Silver Centennial US Mint Reverse

Medal - 1969 Golden Spike Silver Centennial US Mint Reverse

Identification code: (unknown)

Date: 1969

Mint Mark: P (to the left of the spike for Philadelphia)

Mintage: unknown (but fairly large)

Country of origin: United States

Composition: 99.9% silver (0.999 silver is the same standard that American Silver Eagles and other silver bullion coins are minted to). Another site lists the medal in 90% silver, but I think that’s a listing error.

Size: 64.5 mm

Weight: 147g / 5.15 oz of 99.9 percent pure silver.

Other details: Even though you can go to Promontory Summit and see the meeting place of the two trains, it’s a total put-on. There are reproductions of the two trains there (both were scrapped around 1901) and the train tracks no longer run through that area. There is a 1.5 mile stretch of rebuilt track, administered by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Spike National Historic Site (since 1957).

Also, did you know that there were really 4 different precious metal spikes used for the ceremony? There were 4 flashy spikes used that day (plus a 5th duplicate of the famous golden spike). The spikes include a big gold spike, a smaller gold one, a silver spike, and an iron spike laced with gold & silver. I wonder where they are now – surely they weren’t left in the railroad ties?

You might also be interested in the Longines Medal commemorating the completion of the Trans-continental Railroad.

Estimated Value: $170-180 with silver at $36/oz

6 responses to “1969 Golden Spike US Mint Bullion Silver Railroad Medal

  1. Hi, I have the 1869/1969 silver railroad commorative medallion pictured above. It is in mint condition. It is very heavy so I know that it is real silver. It is in a red velvet case with information about the golden spike. Could you give me an idea of how much it might be worth? Thank You, Susan

  2. The price depends largely on the silver market. I would estimate the value at 5 to 6 x the spot price of an ounce of silver.

    If your medal is in exceptional condition, you might want to consider getting it slabbed and graded by NGC, PCGS, or ANACs. Medals in top grades can carry a hefty premium over their melt value. But, it can be costly to go this route ($20-40 or so) and there’s no guarantee it will boost the value.

    -Yours,
    George

  3. mine is in a red box. others ore in a blue box

  4. Interesting. I wonder what the difference is? Perhaps one color box for the silver, and one for the bronze versions of the medal?

  5. a rare treasur I owned for 45 years I was forced to sellit due to economic reasons I regret doiong so greatly as was a gift from a good friend when I was a young man

  6. The silver today can sell anywhere from $50 to $250. You see this on ebay frequently. The bronze, surprisingly, can run anywhere from $10 to $100…just depends on the phase of the moon on ebay. The small silver is commodity – 99cents to a few dozen bucks. There is no small silver.

    the silver is officially .900 fine and weighs around 2312.2 grains, but they all vary in weight due to the planchet differences (impossible to get them all alike.) The bronze weighs 1908.69 grains in large, and 261.6 grains in small.

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