This sterling silver medal is from the Longines Symphonette Great American Events Medal Series. It shows four of our founding fathers drafting the Declaration of Independence. The document famously states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The medal shows four people in colonial outfits sitting and standing around a table, but the committee that wrote the declaration included 5 (so I’m curious about who was left out). Those five were John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Roger Sherman of Connecticut and Robert R. Livingston of New York. It seems like Sherman and Livingston get the short end of the history stick. So, Livingston, I presume?
The reverse is covered in boring font, apparently written by someone who was unaware that their caps lock key was on. It reads “The Declaration of Independence * Adopted by Congress on July 4th, 1776 Announced out birth as a nation with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Below that, there’s a dyspeptic eagle at 6:00 on the medal.
Identification code: unknown
Mint Mark: n/a
Mintage: 5,000 (this one is from set P #4,224, which is stamped on the edge)
Country of origin: United States of America
Composition: Sterling Silver (92.5% silver)
Size: 39 mm – it is slightly larger than a Morgan silver dollar, but this is not a coin.
Weight: 34 grams (1.109 ounces of ASW)
Other details: Longines is a watchmaker that sponsored a classical orchestra radio show in the 1940s called the Longines Symphonette. There were several different collections of silver medals made in the 1970’s to cross-promote the radio show and the Longines watch brand – this collection was produced along with Wittnauer Precious Metals Guild.
This medal comes from the Great American Triumphs series of 60 medals. These were sold in complete sets, or in little red boxes that held two medals each. The boxes were labeled “The Wittnauer Precious Metal Guild / Symphonette Square, Larchmont, N.Y. 10538 / Makers of Fine Medallic Art”.
These medals were produced in 92.5% silver and 99.99% silver. The edge of each medal is labeled with the composition (inscribed after “Longines Symphonette”). This one is labeled “Sterling”.
I recently purchased 48 of these medals, but have compiled a list of the full set with links to the medals that I own:
1811-1825: Overland Trail (one that I do not have)
1819-1892: Walt Whitman (one that I do not have)
1846: Fifty-Four Forty or Fight (one that I do not have)
1851: “Go West, Young Man” (one that I do not have)
(undated: 1961-1909): Frederic Remington (one that I do not have)
1863: The Flight of the Nez Perce (one that I do not have)
1876: Little Big Horn (one that I do not have – and, well, I guess it was a ‘Great American Triumph’ for the Native Americans)
1879-1955: Albert Einstein (one that I do not have)
1895-1972: J. Edgar Hoover (one that I do not have)
1898-1961: Ernest Hemingway (one that I do not have)
(undated: 1899): Log Float (one that I do not have)
1927: Lindbergh Flies the Atlantic (one that I do not have)
1929-1968: Reverend Martin Luther King (one that I do not have)
1945: V.J. Day (one that I do not have)
1961: Kennedy’s Inauguration (one that I do not have)
1976: 2 Centuries of Liberty, Peace, and Progress (one that I do not have)
Estimated Value: Approximately $45-55 with silver at $42/ounce