American Arts Commemorative Medallions

Low Premium Gold and Attractive Designs

As demand for gold bullion soared in the late 1970’s, the U.S. Government looked to cash in on this strong demand by offering a gold product to compete with the most popular gold coin in the world, the South Africa Krugerrand. To this end, the U.S. Mint introduced the American Arts Commemorative Medallion Series. Though, well intentioned, the U.S. Mint made several mistakes in the design and distribution of the medallions. Nowhere on the medallion does it state that it is gold or how much gold it contains. The edges of the medallions were not reeded, as is a standard anti-tampering device for most precious metals items. The initial medallions were distributed through the U.S. Postal Service (which is why these medals are sometimes referred to as ‘Postal Gold’) in a very inconvenient manner. For these reasons, sales of the medallions were poor. The Mint made improvements to the series in 1982, including reeding the edges, adjusting the alloy, adding the weight and the word ‘gold’ to the design, and selecting a private distributor to sell them. Unfortunately, these changes came too late to salvage the series. The last medallions were issued in 1984. The U.S. Mint learned from these mistakes and proceeded to successfully produce the American Eagle Gold Coins in 1986.

The U.S. Government’s mistakes on the American Arts Medallion Series have created opportunities for price conscious bullion buyers and collectors alike. The early issues of these medallions (1980-82) trade for low premiums compared to other gold bullion; usually around 2 percent over their gold value. This makes them cheaper than most other forms of physical gold available. The later issues are quite scarce. Though they trade for modest premiums over the gold value, they may turn out to be bargains if collector interest for these Medallions develops in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing American Arts Medallions, please call one of our traders at 800-527-2375 for up to the minute pricing information. For price indications, refer to our Daily Quotes Price Page.

American Arts Commemorative Medallions Specifications:

Size: One Ounce
Denomination: None
Gross Weight: 34.60 grams, 1.11 oz. Troy
Actual Gold Weight: 31.10 grams, 1.00 oz. Troy
Fineness/Composition: .900 Gold, 21.6 Karat
Diameter: 32.0 MM, 1.26 Inches
Thickness: 2.95 MM, .116 Inches
Specific Gravity: 17.16

Size: Half Ounce
Denomination: None
Gross Weight: 17.20 grams, 0.55 oz. Troy
Actual Gold Weight: 15.55 grams, 0.50 oz. Troy
Fineness/Composition: .900 Gold, 21.6 Karat
Diameter: 27.0 MM, 1.063 Inches
Thickness: 2.00 MM, .064 Inches
Specific Gravity: 17.16

American Arts Medallions Featured Artists:

Date One Ounce Half Ounce
1980 Grant Wood Marian Anderson
1981 Mark Twain Willa Cather
1982 Louis Armstrong Frank Lloyd Wright
1983 Robert Frost Alexander Calder
1984 Helen Hayes John Steinbeck

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