The E Pluribus Unum Collection Part 3, a featured collection of Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ November 2021 Showcase Auction, presents rarities from many genres. Among Indian Peace medals will be found a silver 1857 James Buchanan medal with the Fillmore-Pierce reverse. It is unclear when this was struck or for whom, but the handling marks clearly indicate that it has some age to it. It was likely produced for a collector in the late 19th century.
Mint records published by Robert Julian include some intriguing entries. In 1864 and 1865, there are reports of 10 bronzes being struck. Either entry could represent impressions from this reverse and mark an occasion where an extra was produced in silver. Records were not precisely maintained, and there are cases where the records state only that Peace medals were produced, without mention of a president. This happened in 1895/96, where seven Peace medals were struck in silver, perhaps featuring a variety of presidents. We do know for a fact that this medal is a great rarity in silver. It is the only example we are aware of in private hands, and the only one confirmed of a weight standard close to what would be appropriate for the 1850s or 1860s. Two others purported to be silver impressions are in the Crane Collection in Denver, but we have a weight for one that is much different than this piece and corresponds to that expected of a bronze impression. One Crane example is pierced, while the other has a suspension loop affixed to the edge (not unlike some silver restrikes of the oval series from the Dr. William Bridge Collection.)
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