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Medal: US Reward of Industry Beehive (School Medal)  1880 to 1920
Medal: US Reward of Industry Beehive (School Medal) 1880 to 1920

In its damaged and worn condition, Nye's Reward of Industry medal is worth about zero. In contrast, the pictured, well-preserved example from Heritage Auctions sold retail for a little over $100. My guess it was made around 1900.

Usually one would think of the Mormon Church and the State of Utah (the beehive state) as the source of this interesting piece. However, the catalogers at Heritage conclude that there is no solid connection between this medal and these institutions. In fact, this is one of many popular patterns used to encourage school children to a life of industry and faithfulness. (Hey! I'm all for that.)

The inscriptions read REWARD OF INDUSTRY, LEARN TO LIVE, and REMEMBER THY CREATOR IN THE DAYS OF THY YOUTH. There is a superb collection site with many beautiful medals like this at NeoCollect [press here].

Of course, each medal like this stands on its own merits, and it is difficult to assign catalog values except very, very approximately. Here are some guidelines.

SCHOOL MEDALS BEFORE 1900
worn: $5 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $25
well preserved: $80
fully uncirculated: $150

SCHOOL MEDALS AFTER 1900
worn: $1 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulated: $10
well preserved: $20
fully uncirculated: $50

CoinQuest thanks Heritage Auctions for use of their photo. It is a beautiful and interesting piece for collectors of exonumia.

Coin: 10280 , Genre: Medals
Requested by: Nye, Sun, 05-Feb-2012 05:36:37 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Fri, 20-Sep-2013 14:56:17 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Mon, 01-Aug-2016 23:16:41 GMT
Requester description: The coin has a boy kneeling before a chair praying and on the other side has a rounded beehive sitting on a table. It is very worn and I know its not worth much but I'm curious what it is.
Tags: medal us america reward industry beehive bee school medallion medals medalion badge medallic medaille medallions amero americas american ameria ameri amirica oamerica amerique americana amer americans usa rewards industrie industrial industria wasp hive bees honeybee hornet behive honeycomb boy child kneeling kneel before chair praying pray sitting seat table girls childs boys baby kid girl children keeling kneels knealing prayer siting stool sit sitted sits seated sittin remember creator days day youth insect bug insects bugs

  

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Wed, 18-Jan-2017 12:02:34 GMT, unknown: 12673381