After several weeks of being stumped, we have an evaluation of Jessica's piece. She sent us this picture. Isn't it a gorgeous item?
To find a value, we got as far as identifying it as a gold Shooting Medal from the Ninth German Federal Shooting Festival of 1887 in Frankfurt. As such, Jessica's 'coin' is not really a coin, but a medal awarded in a shooting competition. Such pieces are called exonumia, and we enlisted the services of Rich Hartzog of exonumia.com. Here is Rich's reply to our inquiry:
I don't have any books on German shooting medals, sorry. A lovely piece. However, it suffers the same problem as do all gold medals, a high intrinsic value. Consequently the number of collectors decreases greatly. And, selling it brings up the same problem. If the gold melt value is $500, the seller needs to realize more than that, or it would be easier to melt it. If consigned to auction, it has to bring $625 or more, at a 20% commission, to net the melt value. While I've never had any gold SM to sell in my auctions, I'd be doubtful it would bring 20% over melt in my sales. Obviously the best venue would be a German auction house that has had success in the past, in selling such SM. I regret I have nobody I can recommend. There are a very few dealers would pay full melt or a bit over, just for the beauty, and then attempt to make 10-20%. Jonathan Kern comes to mind. I have no collectors for it, sorry.
There is one specialist in Swiss SM in the USA that I know: NumiSwiss. You might contact him.
By melt value Rich means the value of the gold content alone. With coins it is usually easy to find gold content from minting records and catalogs which record minting records. For medals, the task is more troublesome. You cannot assume that a piece is 100 percent gold, even though it may look that way.
Best of luck, Jessica. And thanks for a terrific inquiry!