Ronald Reagan (1981)


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: Portrait of President Ronald Reagan / “Ronald Reagan”

Reverse: View of the Capitol Building with Great Seal / “40th President of the United States of America” / “January 20, 1981” / “First Inaugural on the West Front”

Edgemark: “(c) Medallic Art Co. — Danbury, CT — Bronze

Size: 70mm

Designer: Edward J. Fraughton

Medallist: Medallic Art Company

Mintage: (Gold) / (Silver) / (Bronze)

  • The Inaugural Committee unanimously selected Edward J. Fraughton to design and MACO to mint the Official 1981 Medal.
  • One month following his election, President-Elect Reagan sat for his portrait over the period of three days.
  • Reagan consented to have a life mask made to assist in designing the medal.  Fraughton applied the mask to Reagan’s face in the kitchen of Reagan’s home in Pacific Palisades.  When Fraughton removed the mask, Reagan quipped, “Boys, there’s one take on this and that’s it.”
  • The reverse depicts the West Front of the Capitol at the suggestion of Senator Mark Hatfield, the Chairman of the Inaugural Committee.  Reagan’s 1981 inaugural was the first to occur at this location.

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