CoinWeek News Report….
Numismatic researcher Darryl A. Gomez has published a book detailing an overlooked United States Mint medal series produced and distributed during the Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy administrations. Titled, Authoritative Numismatic Reference: Presidential Medal of Appreciation Awards 1958-1963, Gomez’s new book expands on his 2014 self-published book that concentrated on the Medal of Appreciation Awards issued during the Eisenhower administration. Gomez claims that this volume is the first to catalog the entire 22-issue series.
These medals were struck by the United States Mint and issued in limited numbers, typically in the course of American diplomatic missions overseas. Gomez sites the lack of widespread knowledge of the series to a an intra-governmental policy of non-disclosure. However, records donated in 2011 to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum contained numerous documents pertaining to a series of “special Government medals” that were ordered by officials working for the President at the White House.
Gomez identifies the medals as Presidential Medals of Appreciation, even though, to his knowledge, the government never designated an official name to any of the medals or to the series.
Some notable facts from Authoritative Numismatic Reference: Presidential Medal of AppreciationTM Awards 1958 – 1963:
- All medals were designed and manufacture by the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. Gilroy Roberts and Frank Gasparro were the designers of the Presidential Medal of Appreciation Medals.
- On June 10, 1960, the Haggerty incident (United State Marine helicopter rescued White House Press Secretary due to riots in the newly signed United States and Japan defense treaty). Protection of the upcoming visit of the President could not be guaranteed and subsequently President Eisenhower made a last minute decision to cancel his visit to the nation of Japan. Majority (410 of the 500 original struck) of the Japan medals (Gomez DDE-C2-04) were returned to the United States and destroyed by the United States Mint.
- On May 1, 1960, a United States U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union airspace. This cold war event resulted in collapse of the Paris Summit and the destruction of three gold medals (Gomez identifier DDE-C3-01) was to be awarded to the attending Heads of State after a successful conference. The medals were never awarded and returned to the United States for destruction by the United States Mint.
- The Presidential Medal of Appreciation Medals were awarded in 26 countries. These countries include: Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America (numerous States), Uruguay, and Vatican City State. The medals were awarded by President Eisenhower or President Kennedy during their presidential visits during their tenure in office.
- The 1960 Eisenhower State of Hawai’i Visit Award Medal (Gomez DDE-C2-07) was awarded during President Eisenhower visit to the State of Hawai’i during the period of June 20 – 25, 1960. Gomez DDE-C2-07 is the first United States Mint product to bear the State of Hawai’i as a design element (not to be confused with the Kingdom of Hawai’i issues).
Authoritative Numismatic Reference: Presidential Medal of Appreciation Awards 1958-1963 is available at amazon.com for $44.95.