James K. Polk Presidential Silver Medal Released

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The United States Mint today started selling the James Knox Polk Presidential Silver Medal. This release honoring the 11th President of the United States continues the Mint’s program of silver medals dedicated to the former chief executives. The silver series dates to 2018.

Product images James Polk Presidential Silver Medal
The James K. Polk Presidential Silver Medal arrives encapsulated and within a display case that is accompanied by a U.S. Mint Certificate of Authenticity

Each medal is composed of 1 ounce of 99.9% pure silver and has a diameter of 1.598 inches, the same specifications as American Silver Eagles (which is no accident since they are struck using the same blank planchets). Presidential silver medals have a matte finish giving them an appearance like that of uncirculated coins.

The series itself has ties to the much older bronze peace medals produced by the U.S. Mint in past centuries during each President’s term in office. These original medals were given as a sign of peace with Native American tribes, when signing peace treaties with other nations, or for other celebrations. This new silver medal harkens back to the Polk bronze medals of the past with similar imagery.

James K. Polk served as the U.S. president from March 4, 1845, through March 4, 1849. He is best remembered for the expansion of U.S. lands during his presidency including the annexation of the Republic of Texas, the settlement of the disputed Oregon territory with Great Britain, and the Mexico cession of nearly all of the American Southwest following the Mexican-American War. Polk left office after four years following through on his promise to serve one term.

Presidential Medal Program

Silver medals from the series are issued in the order in which individuals served in office and have so far depicted the following Commander-in-Chiefs:

Demand for these medals is decently solid. To date, sales for each has ranged from nearly 12,372 for the immediate previous release honoring John Tyler to 31,011 for the earliest issue celebrating George Washington.

Martin Van Buren Presidential Silver Medal
A CoinNews photo of an earlier released U.S. Mint Martin Van Buren Presidential Silver Medal

James K. Polk Silver Medal Designs and Specifications

A likeness of the 11th U.S. President James Polk is offered on the obverse (heads side) of each medal. The left-facing portrait of the former president is the work of 19th century artist John Gadsby Chapman who is probably most noted for his painting Baptism of Pocahontas which is in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

The U.S. Mint also strikes Presidential bronze medals. This CoinNews photo shows the obverse of a James K. Polk Bronze Medal. This is the same design as on the obverse of the James K. Polk Presidential Silver Medal.
The U.S. Mint also strikes Presidential bronze medals. This CoinNews photo shows the obverse of a James K. Polk Bronze Medal. This is the same design as on the obverse of the James K. Polk Presidential Silver Medal.

Inscriptions on the obverse read "JAMES K POLK," "PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.," and "1845."

This photo is of the same bronze medal but with its reverse shown. The design also appears on the new silver medal’s reverse.
This photo is of the same bronze medal but with its reverse shown. The design also appears on the new silver medal’s reverse.

Appearing on the medal’s reverse is the inscription of "PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP," which is symbolized by two hands grasping in friendship. One is shown with a cuff of three stripes and a button while the other is bare.

Presidential Silver Medal Specifications

Denomination: N/A
Finish: Matte
Composition: 99.9% Silver
Weight: 31.103 grams
Diameter: 1.598 inches
Edge: Plain
Mint and Mint Mark: N/A
Privy Mark: None
Design: Obverse Designer: John Gadsby Chapman
Reverse Designer: John Reich
Struck Under Authority of: 31 U.S.C. § 5111(a)(2)

 

Ordering

Priced at $65, the James K. Polk Presidential Silver Medal may be purchased from the U.S. Mint via its online page dedicated to silver medals.

The series has no mintage limits or ending sales dates.

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