Description: Following the decisive victories at Saratoga and Yorktown, Benjamin Franklin wrote to the United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs Robert Livingston, "This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a mind to strike ... representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe specked by a few 'fleurs-de-lis.'" That concept of Benjamin Franklin's vision of Liberty -- the beautiful Libertas Americana Medal struck in 1783 – struck a chord with the people and nations of the world, and ultimately became the inspiration for the flowing hair Liberty coinage of the First U.S. Mint, as well as an extended series of related tokens and restrike medals.
Immediately after their striking, announcements of the Medals began spreading across the globe, appearing first in the London Magazine in March 1783. More announcements followed in the Gentlemen’s Magazine in March 1783, the New Annual Register in April 1783, and the first published image of the Medal (albeit incorrect) appeared in the Hibernian Magazine in December 1783. The first accurate image of the Libertas Americana Medal was published the following year, in the Historisch Genealogischer Calender.
The influence of Franklin's vision has continued ever since -- seen in the first coins of the U.S. Mint, like the 1792 Disme, and echoed in the patriotic tokens of the centennial era and the dramatic restrikes of the bicentennial and beyond.
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