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Inauguration medal

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An acquaintance of mine has inherited a medal from an uncle, who was a roman catholic bishop in an african country.


When he became bishop, in 1959, he received a medal from the pope, John 23rd, as well as a letter and his own coat of arms.


My acquaintance, who is named after his uncle, receiced this medal and the letter and th original coat of arms.


He wonders what the value of such a medal would be. He's not interested in selling, he's just curious.


Since these will probably be pretty rare items, I think they can be valuable, if there are collectors.


It's a pretty large medal, 50 mm diameter, silver, proof. I have no accurate scale to determine the weight of the medal.

The obverse shows the effigy of pope John 23rd, the obverse text says:




The reverse shows the papal coat of arms, and the text:




Under the bust at the obverse, a name is found, in small print: GIAMPAOLI, presumably the obverse designer.


The medal is toned and shows several fine scratches, caused by unknowingly handling it.


It comes in a nice red wooden box, with velvet and satin inside. The top of th ebox shows the papal coat of arms, in gold print.

The box measures 10.8 x 10.8 x 2.3 cm.



Anyone of the medal collectors here who knows more about these medals?

Do they appear in catalogs?

Is there a value known for this kind of medals?













click the images for larger photographs

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I would venture to guess, because of the association with John XXIII the value would be a bit higher. This is for two reasons, he was a very popular Pope who instituted Vatican II, and he had a rather short reign, only 5-6 years. With the original paperwork and the family history it makes it all the more desirable.


In valuing such an item though, the market would be scarce, not many of these make it to collectors. It is a bit of a case where the relative scarcity of the item makes it a bit hard to determine a real value, it is something so subjective. Depends on how much one wants it, and for what reason.

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Don't know much about such medals - in fact very little - but it sure looks interesting, especially the details of the portrait. Here is (what I think is) a similar one:

"GIOVANNI XXIII 1958 Oboedientia et Pax - FS 50 ARG 336,00"



FS is probably short for fondo specchio (proof), 50 is the diameter in mm, ARG is short for silver, and the last part is the price in euro ...



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In auction "Münz Zentrum Rheinland" No.136 (18 - 20 April 2007) about 250 medals on the different popes have been offered. The medal in question was not included.

Therefore it could be that a price of about 300 to 350 EURO is adaquate.

The coin dealer Müller ("Münz Zentrum Rheinland") has his homepage:


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