1776 Libertas Americana Silver Medal NGC MS62
1776 Medal Libertas Americana Silver NGC MS62. Only 30 to 35 known. The Libertas Americana medal is one of the most famous and cherished of all the medals relating to American history, and it was chosen as number one of 100 Greatest American Medals And Tokens by Jaeger and Bowers. According to the historical record, the brainchild for the medal and its designs was Benjamin Franklin. In a March 1782 letter to Robert Livingston, U.S. Secretary for Foreign Affairs Franklin wrote: “This puts me in mind of a medal I have a mind to strike…representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe speckled by a few “fleurs-de-lis.” (quoted in Joseph Loubat’s The Medallic History of the United States of America). Clearly, the final design is a bit more aggressive than Franklin’s suggestion. The obverse of the medal shows the head of Liberty facing right with flowing hair, and a freedman’s cap atop a pole in the background. This model served as the inspiration for some of the U.S. pattern coinage of 1792 and for the first U.S. half cents struck in 1793.