Liberty National Memorial Shrines Series

Copyright © 2004 By D. Wayne Johnson, Editor

THE GROUP proposing this medal series, the New York City National Shrines Advisory Board -- for four national shrines in lower Manhattan -- obtained legislation for these medals to be struck at the U.S. Mint. However, these medals were needed in such quick time that their striking was divided between the Philadelphia Mint and Medallic Art Company. The medals were all dated 1965.

Chief Engraver at the U.S. Mint, Frank Gasparro (1909-2001) created an obverse design of the Statue of Liberty and his model served as common design for all four medals. He also created the first two reverse models in the series, Federal Hall and the Museum of Immigration.

He assigned the remaining two reverses to other engravers on the engraving staff at the U.S. Mint: Richard Fowler modeled Castle Clinton and Edgar Zell Steever modeled Ellis Island.

The Philadelphia Mint made dies from these models for all four medals in the series and struck coin relief 1 5/16-inch (33mm) medals in silver for public sale. The Mint also struck four medal sets in gold; these were mounted in presentation cases and bestowed to: (1) President Lyndon Johnson, now in his presidential library in Austin Texas, (2) the President of France, (3) the Smithsonian Institution, now in the National Numismatic Collection, and (4) U.S. Mint Director Donna Pope (this set is now in a private collection in North Carolina).

The models were then sent to Medallic Art Company which made dies and struck 2½-inch (64mm) medals in high-relief bronze.

Collector's Guide

Federal Hall

Date: 1965
Reverse Artist: Frank Gasparro
Ref: MACo 65-24-1, Turner 12, Gabriel G7-13

Museum of Immigration

Date: 1965
Reverse Artist: Frank Gasparro
Ref: MACo 65-24-2, Turner 13, Gabriel G7-14

Castle Clinton

Date: 1965
Reverse Artist: Richard Fowler
Ref: MACo 65-24-3, Turner 14, Gabriel G7-15

Ellis Island

Date: 1965
Reverse Artist: Edgar Zell Sreever
Ref: MACo 65-24-4, Turner 15, Gabriel G7-16

Printable Version

A printable formatted version of the MCA Liberty National Memorial Shrines Series Collector's Guide (pdf) is available.


{1965} Anonymous Leaflet texts.

{1968} Turner (Howard L.). Commemorative Medals Struck at the United States Mint. The Numismatist 81:7 (July 1968) pp 858-859, 862 illus.

{1983} Gabriel (John J.). Exonumia of Liberty; Enlighten the World. Bellmore. NY: Bellmore Books (1983) looseleaf [199 pages, pages misnumbered: 23-25 follows 202].

{2002} Provost (David G., editor). Memorial Fund Honoring Gasparro Created. The MCA Advisory 4:2,3 (Spring-Summer 2002) p 1-2. Obverse and reverse Federal Hall Medal illustrated.