George Washington & John Adams Presidential Silver Medals Released (Updated)

by Mike Unser on August 16, 2018 · 1 comment

The United States Mint released today a pair of Presidential medals, the first in a new silver series, featuring George Washington and John Adams.

US Mint Product Images for George Washington Presidential Silver Medal

U.S. Mint product images for the George Washington Presidential Silver Medal

Sizes of the medals will look familiar as they are struck on the same planchets that are used for American Silver Eagles, with each featuring a composition in 1 ounce of .999 fine silver. Unlike the Silver Eagles, the medals have a plain edge.

Presidential Silver Medal Specifications

Finish: Matte
Composition: 99.9% Silver
Weight: 1.000 troy oz. (31.103 grams)
Diameter: 1.598 inches (40.60 mm)
Edge: Plain
Mint Mark: None*

 

*The medals may be produced across multiple production facilities and will not have a mint mark.

Medal Designs & Prices

Portraits of the nation’s first two presidents highlight both medal obverses.

The one for the George Washington Presidential Silver Medal shows Washington’s effigy along with inscriptions "GEORGE WASHINGTON," "PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" and "1789."

US Mint Product Images for John Adams Presidential Silver Medal

U.S. Mint product images for the John Adams Presidential Silver Medal

Obverses of the John Adams Presidential Silver Medal carries Adams’ portrait along with surrounding inscriptions of "JOHN ADAMS," "PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" and "A.D. 1797."

Reverses are the same on each medal. They include the inscription "PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP," symbolized by two hands clasped in a token of amity and a peace pipe and the tomahawk crossed over each other. On the cuff of the left wrist are three stripes with buttons, with each button carrying the American eagle.

Some collectors will recognize the artwork on both medals. The U.S. Mint has produced bronze medals with these same designs for many years.

George Washington and John Adams Presidential Bronze Medals - Obverses

The U.S. Mint also strikes Presidential bronze medals. This CoinNews photo shows the obverses of George Washington and John Adams Presidential Bronze Medals.


George Washington and John Adams Presidential Bronze Medals - Reverses

This photo shows the same medals but with their reverses shown

The Presidential Silver Medals series complements and shares designs of the Presidential medals in bronze, and Presidential Medals began as the Peace Medals series, the U.S. Mint notes. Presidents gave medals as a sign of peace with Native American tribes.

"The current Presidential Medals series features peace medal designs until the Ulysses S. Grant medal, with some exceptions," the Mint describes. "The presidential medal designs differ from the original peace medal designs for George Washington, John Adams, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln."

Pricing for Presidential Silver Medals is $39.95 apiece. As a comparison, George Washington Presidential Bronze Medals are currently $39.95 for the 3-inch edition and $6.95 for the 1 5⁄16 version.

Ordering and Upcoming Releases

Orders are accepted by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) or by visiting the U.S. Mint’s online catalog for Presidential Medals. The medals have no sales deadline or mintage limits.

Each medal is encapsulated, and arrives packaged in a clamshell case with a standardized Certificate of Authenticity.

The series picks up again in 2019 and continues beyond until completed. The U.S. Mint will release them at a quarterly rate for a total of four per year.

Update (Aug. 17 at 9:54 a.m. ET): First-day sales of the George Washington medal hit 5,466 while those for the John Adams medal reached 4,506.

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Many assume there will be 45 of these silver Presidential medals issued during the new program, but long-time collectors of the bronze U.S. Mint Presidential medals realize there could be many more. Starting with Nixon, every President elected to a second term also had a second Presidential medal issued (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama). When will the U.S. Mint state the number of medals expected to fulfill this new silver medal program?