1850 Millard Fillmore Peace Medal with Photo
Appraised Value: $8,000 - $12,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (2:59)
Director, American Indian and Ethnographic Art
WOMAN: I am a descendant of the man that was given the Peace Medal. He's my great-great-grandfather. He had two wives, 21 children and he gave it to one of his children, who then gave it to her daughter, which was my grandmother, and then she gave it to my father, who in turn gave it to me.
APPRAISER: Great, so it's been in your family a long time.
GUEST: We're not sure, but we think that it was probably presented to him in 1852.
APPRAISER: 1852, that's quite a while.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a Millard Fillmore Peace Medal, and it was struck in 1850. They did two size medals and they did two types of medals: a silver medal and a bronzed copper medal. The silver medals are chief's grade, they called them, and these medals, they'd been making presidential peace medals since Washington. This is the name of the mint here, probably minted in Washington, although they think some of them were minted in New York also. And there you have the date 1850 underneath it. This side represents Millard Fillmore, and if I flip it over... the other side represents a settler showing the Native American the benefits of civilization. These became very coveted items with the American Indians. Especially the silver ones were considered heirlooms and often passed down in families. We see quite a few of them on Antiques Roadshow, but I have to say 99 out of 100 of them are not authentic.
APPRAISER: It's really nice when you can get one like this and you know the history of it. And you got a wonderful photograph of your father here wearing the same Peace Medal. I understand you loaned it to a museum at one time?
GUEST: It was my father's wishes that everyone in the Grand Rapids area get to enjoy it for a time. And it was loaned to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
APPRAISER: Oh, that's nice.
GUEST: He was just so proud to be a descendant of such a man.
APPRAISER: I'm sure you're very proud to be a descendant of his.
APRAISER: Yeah, well, it's a great object. Have you ever had anybody tell you the value or have it appraised at all?
GUEST: I've heard such a wide range. Somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000.
APPRAISER: It's in incredible condition. It's really a beautiful example. I think I would be conservative and at auction I think it would probably bring between $8,000 and $12,000.
APPRAISER: But it's a wonderful piece to have in your family with a great history.
GUEST: Oh, it's worth so much more. Absolutely. To me, to me. Yes, I'm very proud.
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