1808 Benjamin Rush Medal. Julian PE-30. Copper, 42.4 mm. EF Details--Graffiti (PCGS).An important early production of the Philadelphia Mint, struck from dies by Moritz Furst. Rich and glossy chocolate brown, smooth and with excellent aesthetic appeal. The fields show scattered light marks and fine scratches on both sides, generally easy to overlook, but a crude P has been carved into the field adjacent to Rushs lapel. A rim bruise is noted on the reverse at the right side of the exergue.<p><p>Perhaps to 10 to 15 copper Benjamin Rush medals exist, but no more than three (and probably fewer) are choice. We have seen holes, graffiti, tooling, corrosion, horrendous rim bruises, and more; such issues are the rule rather than the exception. This suggests a few things. First, specimens were distributed to non-numismatists, likely friends and admirers of Dr. Rush who then carried his portrait medal around with them. Second, these dies were not used to restrike the medal in the era of popular numismatics. The dies were given to the Rush family, and in 1869 they were donated to the Library Company of Philadelphia, where they remain today.<p><p>The best of these we know about is either the example in the ANS or the Dreyfuss example, which also happens to be the latest die state, with a crack through E of BENJAMIN missing from other specimens seen. That piece brought $880 in 1986, the dark ages in terms of medal values. Ford owned two silver strikes of this medal (of a total population of just three, including an example discovered since the 2004 Ford V sale) but never owned a bronze of this variety. Ford did own an example of the Julian PE-31 variety in bronze, a Rush medal with this obverse and a book on altar reverse, cataloged as one of two known. We have never seen another.<p><p>Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the leading physician of his generation, at least in Philadelphia and arguably throughout the early United States. His influence was broad, and his personal network was deep; its actually somewhat surprising this medal is as rare as it is.<p>.PCGS# 886436.<strong>To view supplemental information and all items from the Sydney F. Martin Collection, click<a href="https://stacksbowers.com/sydney-f-martin-collection/"target=’_blank’> here.</a></strong>.From the Sydney F. Martin Collection. Earlier ex Stacks, privately, March 2010.