Warren G. Harding (1921)


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: Profile of President Warren G. Harding / “Inauguration March Fourth 1921”

Reverse: Female Figure with Fasces / “President Warren Gamaliel Harding” / “Vice President Calvin Coolidge” / “1921” / “1925”

Edgemark: N/A

Size: 70mm

Designer: Darrell Crain

Medallist: R. Harris and Company

Mintage: 3 (Gold) / ~10 (Silver) / ~60 (Bronze)

  • The 1921 Medal was not sanctioned by the Inaugural Committee and is not considered an “official” inaugural medal.
  • In the wake of a national depression following the First World War, President Harding eliminated many inaugural traditions, including the striking of an official inaugural medal.
  • The Inaugural Committee was instructed to discontinue major planning operations in January 1921, cancelling the traditional ball and parade.
  • An unofficial inaugural medal was struck by the R. Harris and Company in limited quantities and is considered to be the stand-in for an official 1921 Medal.
  • It is estimated that no more than 3 gold, 10 silver and 60 bronze examples exist today.
  • Commentators have speculated that the Inaugural Committee contracted with R. Harris and Company to produce the medals before being disbanded.  The extant medals are likely the result of a transaction that never came to full fruition.
  • The female figure on the reverse represents the campaign slogan “America First.”
  • Although the 1921 Medal is dated 1921-1925, President Harding did not serve his full term, suffering a fatal heart attack in 1923.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s