"TO PEACE AND COMMERCE"
Diplomatic Medal of 1792
2 5/8 inches in diameter
Symbolized by an Indian princess, America holds a cornucopia and welcomes Mercury (aka, Hermes), the god of science and commerce to the United States.
Date: "IVJUL.MDCCLXXVI" (July 4, 1776)
On the reverse side is one of the most accurate versions of the Great Seal ever created: correctly showing the rays of light "breaking through a cloud," as specified in the official 1782 description of the Great Seal.
Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson conceived and helped design this medal as a gift to foreign diplomats "on their taking leave of us." The famous French sculptor and engraver Augustin Dupré created the die from which two gold and eight bronze medals were struck.
In 1792, the gold medals were presented to the Marquis de la Luzerne and to the Count de Moustier, who had served as Ministers from France to the United States. After that, however, this medal was no longer used as an official diplomatic gift.
Eighty years later, none of the original medals could be found, but Dupré's son still had his father's original lead proof. He loaned it to the U.S. Mint at Philadelphia where Charles E. Barber engraved new dies. The 1792 Diplomatic Medal was recreated in time for America's Centennial celebration in 1876.
See Revolution-Era drawings of peace.
Visit the Temple of Peace.