Undated (ca. 1778-1783) Carlos III Al Merito Medal. Large Size. Bronzed Copper. 54.5 mm. 3.8 mm to 4.0 mm thick. 62.1 grams. Betts-Unlisted, Tayman-Lopez-Liechty Obverse Type #1. By T. Prieto. Plain Edge. Choice Mint State.Rich, glossy brown patina shows no major imperfections in the surface, a short dark line, perhaps residue of an old ink mark, below III on obverse serves to hallmark this piece for future pedigree research. An exciting new discovery in the field of Spanish Indian Peace medals, a specialty that has blossomed with the publication of Tomas Prietos AL MERITO Spanish Indian Peace Medals by Tayman, Lopez and Liechty in Peace Medals: Negotiating Peace in Early America and Steve Coxs article The Rare Spanish Carlos III, Al Merito Medals, a Chronology 1764 to 1783 in the July 2010 issue of The MCA Advisory. In these publications it is laid out that the Large Size Al Merito Medals of Carlos III in silver were used exclusively as Indian Peace Medals in Spanish Louisiana, authorized in 1776 and first struck in 1778 in response to some Native Americans displeasure at the Small Size (approximately 39mm) Al Merito medals, which were significantly smaller than those previously given by the French. The Small Size medals were initially created as a Spanish military award and later repurposed as Indian Peace Medals, and both sizes were in use through Carlos IIIs death in 1783. Though both the Small Size and Large Size Medals are similar in that they both portray a right-facing bust of King Carlos III and both were executed by top medalist Tomas Francisco Prieto in Madrid, their chief differences are in the addition of flowing locks at the nape of the kings neck to the later-produced Large Size medal, the addition of the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck, the aging of the portrait, and differing shapes of the truncation. Just 3 in silver and 2 in bronze are known of the Small Size medals, the 2 bronzes being from different obverse dies, and unique as such. As reported by Cox, medals of the larger size were first struck in April 1778, and that As with the first edition small medals, there were also Bronze medals struck without suspension rings, and given out to persons involved in the minting. The present bronze example must have been one of these presentation medals, and is the only one from this obverse die known in private hands. The only other example of Obverse Type #1 is reported in Tayman-Lopez-Liechtys article as in the Museo Arqueloxico de Ourense in Spain, and the image of this piece in their article shows a slightly mishandled medal. The other two bronzes are also in Spanish museums and are from the slightly different Obverse Type #2, which was created as a result of the failure of the obverse die. As no known specimens of the Obverse Type #1 are known among the 9 silver specimens in public and private collections, it is assumed that the Type #1 die failed early; the obverse of the current medal belies no obvious signs of failure, though small unevennesses in the upper left field above the ribbon tie and near Carlos chin may be the initial stages of failure. Here is the only privately held example of this Type #1 Carlos III Al Merito Indian Peace Medal design, one that is otherwise unknown in awarded silver form and represents an important link in the continuous chain of medals awarded to Native Americans from the French in the mid 18th century thorugh the fading of the practice by the United States in the late 19th century as it decimated the Native American populations by that time.