Found Item: A Space Age Coin?

More coins and history in a new book, Days of Our Coins Volume I.

It’s always interesting to find other types of collectibles in a coin collection. In this case, it’s a space age coin.

Well, not really, considering the coin is really a medal, and it’s from the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962!

Century 21 Exposition Seattle World's Fair 1962 Space Age Medal Booklet front

The front of the booklet includes:

The World’s First United States Space Age COIN
Official Seattle World’s Fair Issue

Exclusive Distributors
Northwest Historical Medals, Inc.

Below their name was the address for Northwest Medals, which was located in Walla Walla Washington at that time.

Century 21 Exposition Seattle World's Fair 1962 Space Age Medal Booklet inside

Inside the booklet, they included a decription of the Space Age “coin.”

A New Concept in Medallic Art

The modernistic deep flowing lines found in the space age medal depicts the futuramic styling which brings to a collector the panoramic beauty to be expected in the numismatic field of the future. The warm personal emotional feeling found in the Space Age Medal is best exemplified by Mr. Tsutakawa’s words:

“The spirit of Century 21 is the adventure of man reaching out into space unknown away from his domicile of centuries past. The obverse design depicts the home of the Century 21 Exposition in Seattle, Washington where great minds assemble to show the people of the world their scientific achievements and future plans. The reverse design is an image of the little known outer space, with all its vastness, richness and complexity of rhythm and motion of the stars and moons and their planets which man hopes to penetrate by perfection of science and technology.”

George Tsutakawa
Designer and Sculptor

On the right side of the booklet, a protective plastic bag holds the medal and is stapled to the paper. Around the medal is:

Made at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia
by authorization of
United States Congress

This is the Official Medal
of the Seattle World’s Fair

United States SPACE AGE
Commemorative MEDAL

The back of the booklet does not include any further detail, just the back portion of the staple.

Century 21 Exposition Seattle World's Fair 1962 Space Age Medal Booklet back

The obverse of the medal shows the Space Needle, iconic of Seattle, Washington. Around the edge, the inscription states, “Century 21 Exposition Seattle Washington USA.” The date, “1962,” shows beneath the logo for the exposition.

Century 21 Exposition Seattle World's Fair 1962 Space Age Medal obverse

Around the reverse of the medal are the words, “Commemorative Medal Space Age World’s Fair United States.”

Century 21 Exposition Seattle World's Fair 1962 Space Age Medal reverse

Of course, the internet offers more information with a brief search or two or three…

First, the North West Medals found on the web today is located in Canada, and based on their About Us section, hasn’t been around long enough to be the same company.

Second, this forum post, 1962 Worlds fair and 1 million dollars, adds more background about the medals and the three gentlemen who formed Northwest Historical Medals to do business with the Seattle World’s Fair.

These same gentlemen were instrumental in bringing $1,000,000 dollars to the World’s Fair for a display.

You can find a picture of the 1 million dollars in their wire cage at the University of Washington Library site. They also provide a variety of collections from the Century 21 Exposition.  In particular, this 1962 World’s Fair promotional booklet gives more insight into the exposition.

It’s certainly entertaining and educational to take a few moments back in time to learn more about the found objects – this time, the Space Age coin.

More coins and history in a new book, Days of Our Coins Volume I.

5 thoughts on “Found Item: A Space Age Coin?”

  1. I have over 100 of these medals still in the bag. Any idea as to where I could convert them into some cash?

  2. You could try a coin show to see if any of the coin dealers also collect medals. However, that’s probably not the best place to get the best value for your bag.

    There are people who specialize in collecting medals. And, there are even medals shows very similar to coin shows.

    To receive the best value for your collection, try finding a dealer of medals or even an individual who collects the medals.

    Be careful, though. People always want to offer the least amount they can.

    Researching the medals dealers’ web sites and the medals sales on eBay will give you an idea of what your medals are worth at retail prices before you attempt to sell them.

    Since we do not deal in these medals – just found this one in an incoming collection, we are not a good source of current value.

    Good luck with your bag.

  3. We just happened upon one of these medals and have no idea how to sell it! we would really like some insight on how much it might be worth, it seems to be in really good condition. we hope to hear back from you soon!

  4. In a quick internet search, it appears the value ranges from $8 to $15.

    HOWEVER, the value could be more or less depending on the nicety of both the medal and its accompanying papers. Also, the value depends on finding the right buyer.

    For example, someone not really interested in the item would pay much less than someone who collects “space age” or “World’s Fair” or “Seattle” memorabilia.

    Enjoy your find and good luck!

Comments are closed.