Costa Mesa, CA
– The only known gold medal by Daniel Morgan at Cowpens, the only gold specimen minted at the Philadelphia Mint in 1839, set a new world record for an American historical medal today, selling for nearly a Million Dollars Sold. The medal broke the previous record of $600,000 set by Stack’s Bowers Galleries last year and grossed $960,000, including the 20 percent buyer’s premium.
The unique medal was the result of special authorization from the United States Congress signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1836. The Continental Congress first authorized the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to General Daniel Morgan shortly after his important victory at the 1781 Battle of Cowpens. The gold medal awarded to General Morgan was minted in Paris in 1789 but stolen in 1818 in the first bank robbery in Pittsburgh history. After thieves dumped it in the Ohio River, Morgan’s grandson, Morgan Neville, spent nearly two decades petitioning the US government for a replacement. After corresponding with retired President Thomas Jefferson and others, Neville’s efforts were successful — but he didn’t live to see them come to fruition. The medal was presented to Neville’s son in 1841 and stayed in the family for generations. It was last shown publicly in 1885.
The medal was estimated at between $250,000 and $500,000 prior to today’s auction. After six minutes of bidding, only two bidders remained, both of whom bid by telephone. The highest bidder remains anonymous at this time.
Although the medal was cataloged and authenticated by Stack’s Bowers Galleries, it was also graded and authenticated by the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) of Santa Ana, California, who assigned it a grade of SP63 on the 70-point scale used for coins and related items is used.
“The last time a Congressional gold medal for valor in the Revolutionary War was publicly auctioned was in 1978, when General Anthony Wayne’s medal for the Battle of Stony Point fetched a world record $51,000,” noted Stack’s Bowers Galleries numismatist John Kraljevich. “Not only is this market developing at a record-breaking pace, but competition for the best of the best continues to grow.”
Only six Congressional Gold Medals were awarded and minted for actions in the American Revolution. Four of these are in museum collections: George Washington’s in the Boston Public Library, General Horatio Gates’ in the New York Historical Society, General Nathanael Greene’s in the Rhode Island Historical Society, and General Anthony Wayne’s in the Independence Hall (on loan from the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution). The original medals awarded to Morgan and Captain John Paul Jones are both lost.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the world leader in the sale of rare American historic medals and has held all world records in the field for more than 20 years. The August 2021 sale of the Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to future President William Henry Harrison for bravery at the Battle of the Thames in the War of 1812, set a world record for a medal minted at the United States Mint when it was sold for $600,000. The previous record of $460,000 for the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to future President Zachary Taylor for the Battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican–American War was set by Stack’s Bowers Galleries in 2006. It was preceded by a Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal sold for $115,000 by the company in 2001.
Complete prices achieved for the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Spring 2022 Auction will be available on StacksBowers.com after the auction closes. For more information on this record-breaking gold medal or to consign for a future sale, contact Stack’s Bowers Galleries by email at [email protected] or by phone at 800-566-2580.
About Stacks Bowers Galleries
Stack’s Bowers Galleries conducts live, internet and specialized auctions of rare US and world coins and currency and ancient coins, as well as direct sales through retail and wholesale channels. The company’s nearly 90-year legacy includes cataloging and selling many of the most valuable United States coin and currency collections to ever cross an auction block – the D. Brent Pogue Collection, the John J. Ford, Jr. Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection, The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, The Joel R. Anderson Collection, The Norweb Collection, The Cardinal Collection and The Battle Born Collection to name a few. World coin and currency collections include The Pinnacle Collection, The Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection of World Gold Coins, The Kroisos Collection, The Alicia and Sidney Belzberg Collection, The Wa She Wong Collection, and The Thos. H. Code of Laws.
The company is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with offices in New York, Philadelphia, Wolfeboro, Hong Kong and Paris. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is hosting an annual Global Showcase in August featuring United States Coins and Currency, Ancient Coins and World Coins and Currency at its Costa Mesa Auction Gallery. They are also the official auctioneer for several major numismatic events, including the New York International Numismatic Convention, the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring, Summer and Winter Exhibitions, and the Hong Kong Spring and Autumn Fairs.