From the Mind of Thomas Jefferson: A Gift for America's Early Ally
In the history of the United States, there has been no stronger alliance than that between America and France. This relationship stretches back to the origins of our country during the Revolutionary War, when France’s aid played a crucial role in America gaining independence from the tyrannical rule of Britain.
There is no greater symbol of that alliance than the “To Peace and Commerce” Medal, which was originally struck in 1792. The original design was created by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson before being passed off to the legendary artist Augustin Dupre who sculpted the work. This iconic medal was given as a gift to French diplomats to celebrate the loyal relationship between America and France.
In total, only 2 gold medals and 8 bronze medals of this design were produced in 1792. The two gold examples were given to Marquis de la Luzerne and Count de Moustier, who both served as French ministers to the United States.
The obverse of this iconic medal is one of the only depictions of the original Great Seal of the United States of America as described in 1782 by our Founding Fathers. As we are used to seeing, this coin shows our glorious American Eagle holding an olive branch of peace and a bundle of arrows in its talons. What separates this rendition from all others, however, is the thirteen stars breaking through the clouds and descending towards the eagle from above.
On the reverse, a Native American princess representing America gestures a cornucopia towards the Roman God Mercury to symbolize the strength of our bond with France.
About 80 years after its first production, Dupre’s original proof for this medal was used by Charles E. Barber to create new dies that could strike the iconic piece. These reproductions were made in 1876 to celebrate the centennial of American independence.
And in 2022, to celebrate the eternal bond between America and France, the Monnaie de Paris struck an incredibly limited run of the legendary “To Peace and Commerce” Medal in 2 ounces of silver, 1 ounce of gold, and ¼ ounce of gold.
As the only numismatic work of Thomas Jefferson’s lifetime, the “To Peace and Commerce” Medal design is among the most significant to be produced in American history, and any collector would be lucky to have one in their collection. Make sure to check out our stock of 2022 ¼ ounce “To Peace and Commerce” medals before they’re gone!