2003 Wildlife Refuge Centennial Duck

This medal is part of a 4 piece set. This example is slabbed by PCGS and graded PR69DCAM. I’ve put a censorship block over the serial number on my piece, as I don’t want copies of mine flowing out of the Asian forging factories.

The obverse shows Teddy Roosevelt with his hands in his pockets in outdoorsman garb standing on a rocky outcrop that takes up the left third of the medal. The wrap around legend from 10:00 to 2:00 reads “National Wildlife Refuge System”. The right third of the medal (opposite Roosevelt) reads “Celebrating a / CENTURY / of Conservation / 1903-2003 / / Theodore / Roosevelt”.

Medal - 2003 - Wildlife Refuge Centennial - Duck Obverse

Medal – 2003 – Wildlife Refuge Centennial – Duck Obverse

On the reverse, two Canvasback Ducks are shown taking flights from an estuary. The legend around the rim runs from 9:30 to 2:00 (that is, slightly lower on the left side) and reads “CANVASBACK DUCK”. The duck in the foreground has it’s wings spread and it’s body tilted more than 45 degrees toward the viewer. The duck in the background has both wings raised almost to touching over it’s body, which is parallel to the water. There is a trio of trees behind the birds, sitting on the horizon. The horizon located about 20% up from the bottom of the medal.

Medal - 2003 - Wildlife Refuge Centennial - Duck Reverse

Medal – 2003 – Wildlife Refuge Centennial – Duck Reverse

Identification code: I’m not sure how these are cataloged (if you know, feel free to add that in the comments section below)

Date: 2003

Mint Mark: n/a (All were minted in Philadelphia)

Mintage: 25,000

Country of origin: USA

Composition: 90% silver, 10% “alloy” (presumably copper)

Size: 1.5 inches / 38.10 mm

Weight: 26.73 grams (0.77344 oz ASW)

Other details: These were the first products of the US mint to be made as laser frosted proofs, and they have amazing contrast between the reflective fields and the snowy detailed zones. The Wildlife Centennial Medals have no denomination, but they are the same size, composition, and melt value as Peace Dollars and Morgan Dollars.

The 4 varieties in the series were the Eagle, Canvasback Duck, Elk, & Salmon. Only the Eagle was also made in Bronze. At issue, the Bronze medals cost $4.50 each & the silver medals cost $29.50.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of these medals was earmarked to benefit the National Wildlife Refuge System. The National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medals, were released through the Mint’s subscription program in June 2003. This was the first silver commemorative medal series ever offered by the US Mint.

PCGS apparently defines the obverse & reverse opposite of how I would label them:

Medal - 2003 - Wildlife Refuge Centennial - Duck Obverse in slab

Medal – 2003 – Wildlife Refuge Centennial – Duck Obverse in slab

Medal - 2003 - Wildlife Refuge Centennial - Duck Reverse in slab

Medal – 2003 – Wildlife Refuge Centennial – Duck Reverse in slab

Estimated Value: ~$45 with silver at ~$20/oz

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