“1781” Libertas Americana Medal, Paris Mint Restrike of Gold. 45.86 mm. 64.0 grams. No. 083. Superb Gem Proof Deep Cameo. An exquisite modern restrike (created circa 2001), as made and virtually pristine. Housed in the original blue velvet box with accompanying certificate as issued by the Paris Mint. These medals contain 64 gm of .920 fine gold, have a diameter 45.86 mm, and were limited in mintage to 500 pieces of which this specimen is number 83. The extraordinary high relief design portrayed to bold effect is considered by many as the most beautiful of any in existence. These were created privately in collaboration with the French government using the same design as the original dies with the well-known bust of Liberty facing left, cap and pole behind her, LIBERTAS AMERICANA above, 4 JUIL. 1776 in exergue. The reverse design same as the original medals, an allegory in which an infant (America) is protected from an attacking lion (Great Britain) by a female warrior (France), NON SINE DIIS ANIMOSUS INFANS at rim, 17/19 OCT. 1777/1781 in exergue referring to the victories at Yorktown and Saratoga.
This large medal is an uncertified Gem proof that contains over two ounces of gold but always carries a collector premium. It is in a plastic capsule with white plastic ring insert that prevents viewing of the edge. For those who wish to determine the year of striking more closely than we are able, the following on the paperwork provides a possible clue: “The signature of Françoise SALIOU Mintmaster of [Paris Mint], certifies the heritage and authenticity of this medal which has been expertly restruck by the French Mint.” In original “Monnaie de Paris” packaging.
Interestingly, a similarly described specimen, this one #327 of 500, realized $3,995 in a Heritage February 2015 Long Beach auction sale.