James Buchanan Presidential Silver Medal Released


Honoring the 15th President of the United States, the U.S. Mint today released the 1-ounce, .999 fine James Buchanan Presidential Silver Medal. The price for the new collectible is $75, representing a $10 increase from medals in the series issued last year.

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

Prior to becoming President, James Buchanan created an impressive resume as a soldier, lawyer, diplomat and politician. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, was a U.S. minister to Russia, James K. Polk’s Secretary of State as well as minister to the United Kingdom. As President, however, his performance has often been touted as less than stellar. He only served one term (as he had promised).

U.S. Mint Presidential Medal Programs

Presidential medals have a long history dating back to the earliest days of the nation. The medals were originally struck from bronze and known as Peace Medals, with each carrying a portrait of the latest President and given as a sign of peace to Native American tribes, during treaty ceremonies, and for other purposes.

The current silver medal program honoring that historic series debuted in 2018. It honors the Presidents in the order in which they served and has seen the following releases and sales:

A medal honoring Abraham Lincoln is scheduled for a release this spring, with an Andrew Johnson Medal this summer, and an Ulysses S. Grant Medal this fall.

CoinNews photo Millard Fillmore Presidential Silver Medals - Obverse and Reverse
This CoinNews photo shows the sides of an earlier U.S. Mint released silver medal depicting former U.S. President Millard Fillmore

No mintage limits apply to this series. Past medals are still available for purchase directly from the U.S. Mint.

James Buchanan Silver Medal Designs

Obverses (heads side) of the new medal show a portrait of the former President as designed by Salathiel Ellis. Inscriptions around the likeness read: "James Buchanan," "PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES," and "1857."

CoinNews photo James Buchanan Presidential Bronze Medal - Obverse
The U.S. Mint also strikes Presidential bronze medals. This CoinNews photo shows the obverse of a James Buchanan Bronze Medal. This is the same design as on the obverse of the Franklin Pierce Presidential Silver Medal.

Designed by J. Willson, the medal’s reverse (tails) depicts a farmer, leaning on a plow and conversing with an Indian Chief, with an American flag in the background.

CoinNews photo James Buchanan Presidential Bronze Medal - 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.

Inscriptions above the flag read: "LABOR," "VIRTUE," and "HONOR."

Presidential Silver Medal Specifications

These medals have a matte finish, giving them an appearance like that of uncirculated coin. Additional medal specifications follow.

Denomination: N/A
Finish: Matte
Composition: 99.9% Silver
Silver Weight: 1.000 troy oz.
Diameter: 1.598 in.
Edge: Plain
Mint and Mint Mark: N/A
Privy Mark: None
Design: Obverse Designer: Salathiel Ellis
Reverse Designer: J. Willson
Struck Under Authority of: 31 U.S.C. § 5111(a)(2)

Price and Ordering

The James Buchanan Presidential Silver Medal (along with others in the series) may be purchased from the U.S. Mint’s webpage for silver medals.

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Usually ranked dead last in rankings of US presidents, I wonder if Buchanan’s medal will have the worst sales in the series.

Last edited 9 months ago by SteelyEyed

Not William Howard Taft or Warren Harding? Maybe even Chester Arthur?

Last edited 9 months ago by Antonio

You’re right about that.

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The US Mint IMO, underestimated and does not seemingly understand the importance of mintages? Another anomaly I continue to be baffled by? There isn’t much at the Mint that doesn’t battle me??? Anyhow, these Presidential Silver Medals should have been issued with Mintage limits and it’s not too late to implement them. Moving forward, they should be issued in a range of mintages based on predicted sales of 15,000-21,000 maximum. If they at some point need more money on their wares, slap a privy on them and do a Series 2 Silver Presidential Medals? This Medal series is and will… Read more »


I have no interest in collecting medals/commemoratives other than a few specimens in a type set. The modern Morgan/Peace dollars would be the only exception if they are considered commemoratives.

Just don’t get the point in paying that much of a premium for what to me is just silver bullion.


I’ve been a collector of circulating coins for decades. As I’ve completed most of the sets I had an interest in I’ve started collecting ASE, AGE, Buffalos and of course mint sets to extend my collection. Medals/Commemoratives just never peaked my interest since they are not “coins” or “bullion”. I just fail to ken the attraction of these products as they seem to me to be just products created by the mint to make a profit by creating collectables. They remind me of the products advertised on TV by private mints. Perhaps you can explain to me the attraction of… Read more »


I understand. I just have zero interest in adding them to my collection of “coins”.

I know many folks on here have an interest in these products as well as rolls of coins but I just can’t get excited about them.

I guess I’m just have more of a narrow view of the hobby. When I started collecting buffalo nickels could still be found in circulation and indoor plumbing and TP were a luxury.

Last edited 9 months ago by Roger

Wow! Bring back the two cents! And that’s MY two cents.


veni vidi vici


I don’t understand the Mints interest in producing so many of these medals/commemoratives other than being able to over charge for silver bullion.

If I’m going to pay that much premium I’d rather have a proof ASE.

Last edited 9 months ago by Roger

Alright, here’s my 2 cents and I’ll raise you a 3 cent piece for an “even” nickel! Th US Mints interest in producing commemoratives is fruited or bound by Legislation that has been written and produced by Congress. So no one to blame for commemoratives besides the Lame Ducks in Congress! Regarding comments about commemoratives, medals and bullion, I don’t want to speak for Roger, however I believe he equates all of these as bullion, due to when you go to sell, you would or will be lucky to be tendered an offer greater than going spot price? For an… Read more »


I’m a long time collector of circulating type coins and more recently bullion as my list of desired coins has been depleted. I never buy more than one coin of each variety (unless by accident) and have never sold a coin I’ve collected.

Based on my collecting history, these modern collectibles have no value to me.

To each his/her own I guess.


Or a nickel three cent.


Not necessarily KaiserWilhelm and know this is not a deflection attempt. Although, Congress legislates, regulates, mandates, I can, have and still place, plenty of blame on the US Mint, regularly. It’s not as though those operating and executing the mandates from within the US Mint are, deaf, unintelligent, blind, muted, children? Assuredly none are named “Tommy” nor are they familiar with Pinball, Wizardry, or “Who” is??? They have voices and could have and should have been doing more to interact with Congress, gain a platform, build alliances, rub shoulders, etc, etc to lend a voice to what’s working and what’s… Read more »


I would say they’re compensating for last year’s missed proof S Morgan and Peace dollars.

Dazed and Coinfused

Well the Buchanan one could be an Umpa Loompa in disguise.