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Medal: US American Institute Silver and Bronze  1838 to 1930
Medal: US American Institute Silver and Bronze 1838 to 1930

According to Wikipedia, the American Institute of the City of New York was a civic organization that existed from 1838 to 1930 and awarded medals of recognition to inventors, scientists, and agriculturalists in gold, silver, and bronze. The medal of our inquirer Kade was awarded John Lewis who invented air suspension systems, or air springs. The American Institute was chartered on 2 May 1829 and was eventually merged with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) during the 1980s.

These medals, then, are interesting pieces of Americana and are sought today as collectibles. You can find them at prestigious auctions. The one in our picture comes from Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati. CoinQuest thanks Cowan's Auctions for use of their photo. It's a nice one, and the inscription is intriguing: Awarded to Roswell C. Colt for the best Ayrshire bull calf. Ayrshire is a county in Scotland famous for its dairy cattle.

These are large medals, about 50 mm in diameter. The silver ones contain about 60 grams of the precious metal, although I have been unable with certainty to determine if they are pure silver. Typical auction prices for American Institute medals run like this:

COPPER
worn: $20 US dollars approximate value
average circulated: $70
well preserved: $100

SILVER
worn: $50 US dollars approximate value
average circulated: $130
well preserved: $250

To qualify for these prices, an American Institute medal must be free of all problems such as scratches, stains, cleanings, corrosion, nicks, gouges, and the like.

Coin: 13099 , Genre: Medals
Requested by: Kade, Wed, 21-Nov-2012 03:51:34 GMT
Answered by: Chris, Wed, 18-Sep-2013 13:19:48 GMT
Reviewed by Chris - Appraisal OK, Fri, 07-Nov-2014 05:04:09 GMT
Requester description: 1847 Coin states 'American Institute' on the front side. On the front bottom it says 'New York' and below that 'R.Lovett' On the back it says 'Awarded to John Lewis for a rail-road-respiratory air spring 1847'
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Sun, 11-Dec-2016 07:55:23 GMT, unknown: 11265607