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1/2 oz U.S. Arts Medallion

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  • Title: 1/2 oz U.S. Arts Medallion
  • Purity: .900
  • Metal: Gold
  • Weight: 1/2 oz

Full Description

In 1980, the U.S. Mint began producing these 1/2-ounce U.S. Arts Gold Medallions to compete with the then-popular South African Gold Krugerrand and the new Canadian Maple Leaf gold bullion coins. The weight is one-half troy ounce, and the purity is .90 Fine Gold. Although this is a medallion commemorating great American artists rather than a traditional gold coin, the U.S. Arts Medallion helped the U.S. Mint enter the global gold bullion market. These medallions all had limited mintages, the lowest being the 1984 John Steinbeck at 32,572. Besides the initial relative rarity, many of these medallions became even rarer as a large number of them were sent to the melting pot. They are an amazing addition to any precious metals collection and a great way to diversify an investment portfolio.


The obverse of these commemorative medallions features a different American artist for each year they were minted. The 1980 design is a portrait of Marian Anderson; 1981 is Willa Cather; 1982 is Frank Lloyd Wright; 1983 is Alexander Calder; 1984 is John Steinbeck. Also on the front are the name of the artist and the initials of the designer of the medallion.


The back of each year’s medallion depicts an image closely related to the artist featured. For example, the 1/2-ounce Frank Lloyd Wright medallion reverse design shows a modern building like Wright designed. Inscriptions vary for each year.

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