A very rare example of the Type 1 variety of Ron's Numismatic Arts Medal. Ron created this type 1 variety in 1988 as a fund raiser to restore the 16th Century Water powered mint in Segovia Spain as a museum of minting technology. The design includes a few recognizable landmarks of Segovia such as the Alcazar castle and the Roman aqueduct that runs through Segovia. The figure represents the Goddess Fortuna wading in the Eresma river below the castle. The legend in the exergue reads, “SHE FINDS A RARE TREASURE AND PONDERS IT’S PAST” The treasure meaning the Royal Mint built by King Phillip II of Spain, one of the first mechanized mints that was built in the Renaissance period. The mint utilized unique technology from Halle, Austria that struck coins by running them through engraved rolling mills that were powered by water wheels. In Segovia, the river Eresma proved ideal for water wheels, and the mint still stands, now fully restored as a mint museum among other functions.
Very few of the type one examples were produced and when his focus switched from the museum in Spain to a privately owned U.S. version of a working mint museum, Ron altered the dies so it could be used as a fundraiser for the Gallery Mint museum. For the type II variety, He not only changed the wording to “Gallery Mint Museum” but extensively re cut both dies and all the edge dies in an attempt to achieve a higher relief.
His concept was to create a medal with three equal sides. Large 5 ounce blanks were first cast and trimmed before re-heating to red hot and striking in a four piece collar. And like a cast medal, there was some hand finishing involved to clean up the seams between the collar sections.
The edge has eight panels. The first is a banner that is blank on this piece but was intended to be a place for a number to be stamped and a fineness stamp. The next panels illustrate the coining process by showing cherubs performing all the steps in coin manufacturing, starting with mining, then casting into ingots, then rolling into strip, then cutting blanks, then weighing and adjusting blanks. Then upsetting and/ or applying lettered edge to planchets and the last panel shows striking in a screw press.
This is one of less than ten examples of this variety made by a very young and under-tooled hand engraver. A true labor of love.
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