John F. Kennedy (1961)


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 John F. Kennedy / “John Fitzgerald Kennedy” / “Paul Manship (c) 1961”

Reverse: Presidential Seal / “President of the United States of America” / “Inaugurated January 20th 1961”

Edgemark: “Medallic Art Co. N.Y. Bronze”

Size: 70mm

Designer: Paul Manship

Medallist: Medallic Art Company

Mintage: 1 (Gold) / 7,500 (Silver) / 53,331 (Bronze)

  • The 1961 Medal was distributed nationwide through the Coin and Currency Institute of New York in order to meet a growing national demand.
  • The pamphlet accompanying the medal notes that 7,500 silver medals would be struck, along with approximately 20,000 bronze medals.  Instead, an increased demand for inaugural medals resulted in the production of more than 50,000 bronze medals.
  • The 1961 Medal is the second official inaugural medal designed by Paul Manship.  Previously, Manship’s work was featured on Franklin Roosevelt’s first inaugural medal in 1933.
  • Paul Manship met with the President on two separate occasions while designing the medal.  At the request of the President, the reverse of the medal features the Presidential Seal.  This marks the first occasion on which the Presidential Seal appears on an official inaugural medal.
  • Of the 7,500 serially-numbered medals, the first 10 were presented to the President’s cabinet.  Secretary of State Dean Rusk received the first numbered medal.
  • The single mintage, gold version of the medal was presented to the President and is currently on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

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