We will begin with what is reported to be the first medal issued
to commemorate the building of the Statue of Liberty Enlightening
the World. This was issued in 1876 when the Statue was
presented to the United States people by the people of
France. It was manufactured by the Monnaie de Paris, also
known today as the Paris Mint.
In his seminal work on this subject, John J. Gabriel produced a
catalog in 1982 which he titled, "Exonumia Of Liberty Enlightening
The World." His entries are recognized in the
numismatic world by "G" numbers. Thus the very first entry in
his work is known as GO-1.
The "G" refers, of course, to Gabriel, the "O" designates the
medal as before 1900, and the 1 is obviously medal number one. In
similar fashion, my catalog will itemize medals according to his
basic plan, but will be marked "L," thus this medal will become
known in this future publication as LO-1.
1876 United States Centennial Medal
Obverse: Statue of Liberty on a six sided
base, inside Fort Wood's eleven sided bastion walls; the Hudson
River, and the New Jersey and New York shores are in the
background, on a slightly raised panel, with visitors, ships, and
sailboats in the river; above: COMMEMORATIVE • MONUME // NT •
OF • AMERICAN • INDEPENDENCE; thirty-eight six-pointed stars
circle below the legend; in the exergue: A. BARTHOLDI.
STATUAIRE, (this is the French word for Sculptor); a dotted border
surrounds the inside of the rim.
Reverse: IN / REMEMBRANCE / OF •
THE • OLD • FRIENDSHIP / BETWEEN / THE • UNITED • STATES • AND •
FRANCE / BY / PUBLIC • SUBSCRIPTION / AMONGST • THE • CITIZENS / OF
/ BOOTH (sic.) • NATIONS / 1776 • 1876; a dotted border surrounds
the inside of the rim.
Edge: Paris Mint Mark / Bronze (Bee
mark in use from 1860 to 1879).
Designer: Ernest Paulin Tasset.
Maker: Paris Mint.
Bronze (2 inches)
G0-01 From John J. Gabriel's seminal catalog titled
"Exonumia Of Liberty Enlightening The
World," published in December 1982, by Bellmore Books,
Box 411, Belmore NY.