This giant medal comes from the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Medals of this size are often called “table medals” – at about 2 inches in diameter, you wouldn’t have wanted to carry this around in your pocket. Instead, it would sit on your coffee table or hang on your wall as a conversation piece and a chance to gloat about where you traveled.
On the obverse of this medal, there are four allegorical figures putting offerings on a stone plinth. The figures seem to represent (from the left), Europe (in a toga and Hellenistic visor) Asia (in flowing robes), South America (with Incan jewelry) and North America (with a feathered headdress). The plinth is engraved with the scales of justice, and an olive tree is shown in the background, spreading branches of peace over the proceedings.
The reverse of the medal is a bit more prosaic. It has a simple legend: “St. Louis 1904 America Welcomes The World”. As long as you’re not from Africa, Australia, or Antarctica, apparently.
Identification code: Hendershott-30-280
Mint Mark: Cornucopia (Paris Mint)
Country of origin: France – I believe this was minted by De Paulis
Composition: appears to be copper or bronze
Size: 50mm in diameter
Other details: St. Louis also hosted the Olympics in 1904, in one of the few instances where the World’s Fair and Olympics took place in the same city in the same year. This medal was likely available at both events.
Estimated value: $70-150. This is a thinly traded medal due to its rarity. Some examples include this one in a $100 auction lot, this one in an NGC MS-65 capsule, and one that sold for $75 on eBay in similar condition. Oddly enough, one also came up for “free” on a social networking auction site.