Sharp and pleasing pearl gray with generous overtones of deeper gray, gold and pale blue. Hairlines on the surface, but as this piece was clearly not awarded as originally intended it is devoid of the large marks often seen on issued silver Indian Peace Medals of this size. The fine piercing at 12 o'clock typically seen on awarded examples has been neatly plugged, though perhaps not by the most skilled hand and certainly not with an alloy consistent with the quality of the medal itself, as the plug has a decidedly brassy tone. Evidence of four impressions from the dies is seen in the legend, most easily detected at UNITED STATES, but visible to a lesser extent elsewhere. Light roughness, as made, is seen at the highest area of the relief and is suggestive of a cast planchet. Similar in this respect to one example in the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection (Part XVI:151). The reverse of this medal has been carefully planed smooth, leaving only a dished rim of comfortable thickness around the entire circumference. The purpose of this is unknown, but we assume that it was intended to have been engraved with some presentation inscription, most likely unrelated to the original intended purpose of the struck medal. However, it is also possible that this piece was intended for a presentation of a medallic portrait of Pierce in silver, for which the original reverse motifs were undesired. The smoothing of the reverse is expertly accomplished on a lathe, and seems to have been done prior to this example’s release, perhaps at the Mint or even by the maker, Salathiel Ellis, in New York. There is no trace of the original reverse design remaining, and though considerable metal has been removed to this end, the weight remains substantial. The five examples in the Ford Collection ranged in weight from 2,178.2 grains to 2,569.7 grains. While the specific circumstances behind this piece’s existence in its present form will likely remain unknown, it remains a highly attractive example of the obverse and a most curious specimen. Just 120 first size Franklin Pierce medals were struck, and 23 of these were melted after Pierce left office. Housed in a fitted case, with plush purple velvet and satin interior, probably dating to the first quarter of the 20th century. The case is handled on the exterior, but extremely clean on the inside with good hinges and a functional clasp. A fascinating of piece of medallic Presidential Americana.