1853 Franklin Pierce Indian Peace Medal. Medium Size. Silver. 63.2 mm. 79.57 grams. Julian IP-33, Prucha-49. Choice Very Fine.Neatly pierced at 12 oclock for suspension. A very choice example of this rare silver Peace medal, obviously among those awarded and worn. Pleasing medium to dark gray mottling over the obverse, with a more even patina on the reverse. Both sides still retain a bit or reflectivity, with some multicolored iridescence detectable at certain viewing angles. The surfaces are generally smooth and unblemished, with far fewer contact marks and edge nicks than are usually found on presented and worn Peace medals. There are, however, three or four light scratches in the field in front of Pierces forehead, several more on the reverse over and around the settler, and a moderate edge bump at 9 oclock relative on the reverse. Though typically such marks are seen as negative in terms of quality, Indian Peace medals are nearly unique in the respect that such marks can simultaneously increase desirability through their identification of a piece actually worn by a Native American recipient. This is a piece that was used for its intended purpose. It lived the history, so to speak, and bears the marks to prove it.<p>The Pierce medals were issued in two sizes, the large size of 76 mm, and this medium size. The dies for both were accomplished by Salathiel Ellis and Joseph Willson outside of the Mint, and delivered to the institution in late May, 1855. According to Julian, Mint records indicate that 140 examples were originally struck in this size, with 22 of them melted and used for the initial James Buchanan medals. While this suggests that the medal would be readily available with more than 100 pieces presumably distributed, this is far from the case. This issue was represented in the NASCA sale of the Kessler-Spangenberger Collections in 1981, our (Bowers and Merenas) offerings of the David Dreyfuss Collection (1986) and Chris Schenkel Collection (1990) by only a single specimen. Another appeared in our (Bowers and Merenas) Tree Many Feathers sale in November 2001, two were in the Ford Collection, and we have seen five more since, so it would seem that the number known is probably still only about a dozen examples. An important offering!Ex Lehigh County Historical Society Collection.