Coin and Paper Money Collecting/German coin/medal
QUESTION: I found this coin years ago in my Dad's yard. I wasn't able to find any info on it at the time and tucked it away. I just did a search and saw that someone asked you about a similar one which you said was a commemorative medal. However the back of mine is different from both the picture he submitted and the one you attached in your reply. Can you tell me whether this is just another variant of the 100th anniversary medal or if it is something different? An idea of its value would be appreciated as well, if you can provide a guess.
ANSWER: Hi Dan,
Yes this is another variant, there were many different pieces made, in different materials and different designs. He is a major German historical figure. Here is one like yours:
Originally they were gilded bronze, but corrosion from being in the ground ate away the gilding.
Translation from that site:
Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), poet -.. Schiller Museum in Weimar, bust over laurel branch to the right / female figure with a lute beside the Schiller Museum and Birthplace, v M and W. Stuttgard, approximately 50.8 MM, gilding partly exfoliated
It's tough to comment on value as I can't really see the level of surface corrosion on it. The price on that website is a retail price in Germany and in no way translates to how much it may sell for on, say, US ebay auction. If the surface is not visible pitted I would guess around $10 is a practical auction price.
Thanks for the question! =)
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QUESTION: Thank you very much. As I said, I've held on to it for several years (~20) just because it was a curiosity to me. So, if you don't mind answering another question, I have plenty more curiosity about it. :)
Where would someone have obtained one of these? Were they only distributed from a specific location and/or at a specific time; or were they broadly circulated in a region? Was it a popular collectible at some point or was my old house formerly inhabited by a philosophy loving world traveler at some point? I'm curious how a German token of minimal value from the turn of the century made it into a backyard in Michigan.
As for corrosion, the surface looks good to me. I don't see any pitting. I also don't see any color variation like there is in the photo at the link you provided. Was it originally all the bronze color or the reddish color? Mine doesn't have any trace of the red stuff. If the gilding is absent, I suspect that it was removed with heat rather than corrosion. My parents house is built next to the buried foundation of an old farmhouse that used to stand on the property. The former house and barn burned down some time in the 50s I believe. Every spring little bits of stuff came/comes to the surface. Mostly, it's random bits and pieces of broken things; or small items like an old nail.
Sorry for the delay in answering your question.
Medallions like these would have been made to sell at fairs and expositions. Also, they were sometimes packaged together as sets and a tourist could bring such a set back home as a souvenir. Originally the red color is the bronze that the piece is made of. The one I linked it looks red because it did not have a chance to darken with age like on the one you have.
I have found it a fairly common thing to find foreign numismatic and historical items to be found in places where it seems like they wouldn't belong. A lot of German immigrants, for example, brought back pieces of their homeland including coins, medallions and all sorts of items.
Thanks again for the question! :)