William McKinley (1897)


A detailed guide to the Medals can be found here — The Book.  Also, the Medals are discussed on this Coin World podcast and this Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium presentation.

Obverse: Three-Quarter Profile of President William McKinley and Vice President Garret Hobart / Wreath Naming Each State as of 1897 Less the Thirteen Colonies (32)

Reverse: Eagle Clasping Olive Branch and Arrows / Ribbon Naming the Thirteen Colonies

Edgemark: None

Badge: Capitol Building (upper) / Crossed Flags and “Inauguration March 4, 1897” (lower)

Ribbon: American Flag on Yellow Background / Committee Designation

Size: 44mm

Designer: Staff

Medallist: Joseph K. Davison Company

Mintage: 3 (Gold) / 43 (Silver-plated or Gold-plated) / 3,000 (Bronze)

  • The Official 1897 Badge was the last of its kind before the Inaugural Committee transitioned to commissioning standalone medals.
  • The 1897 Badge features a yellow silk ribbon emblazoned with the American flag and, in many examples, the original recipient’s committee assignment (e.g. “Floor” or “Reception” or “Finance”).
  • This Badge features a portrait of both the president and the vice president on its obverse.  This style is not taken up again until the Official 1957 Medal and then only upon a president’s second inauguration.
  • The obverse lists each of the states, less the Thirteen Colonies, in the order they were admitted to the Union.
  • The reverse features a list of the Thirteen Colonies in the order that they adopted the Constitution.
  • Debate exists among collectors with respect to the number and variety of silver-plated or gold-plated badges.  Likewise, it is assumed that 3,000 bronze badges were produced based on the work of subsequent inaugural committees.  The actual number is unknown.

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