In addition to U.S. coinage, the United States Mint strikes Congressional Gold Medals, military medals, Presidential medals, First Spouse medals and others that commemorate major historical events and sites.
My interest in medals was kindled after seeing some very old ones when visiting the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia. That’s where they’re all made.
Memorial Day got me thinking about some of the military medals I’ve acquired in the last few months. The three newest are duplicates of Congressional Gold Medals recently awarded to American Fighter Aces, the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders and the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers.
After striking Congressional Gold Medals, the U.S. Mint is charged by law with making and selling bronze replicas for collectors. They’re available in 3-inch and 1.5-inch formats. If you’ve never held one of the Mint’s larger medals in your hand, I’d recommend trying to find the opportunity. They do cost more than the smaller versions ($39.95 vs. $6.95) but their higher relief and stronger detail make them much more appealing.
I’ve included some photos of the mentioned military medals to give you an idea of their quality.
Photos of American Fighter Aces 3-Inch Bronze Medal
Photos of Doolittle Tokyo Raiders 3-Inch Bronze Medal
Photos of 65th Infantry Regiment "Borinqueneers" 3-Inch Bronze Medal
Photos of 1.5-Inch Bronze Military Medals
Here are photos of the same medals in the 1.5-inch size.