Norse Medal Thick MS67
The Norse-American medal was struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1925, pursuant to an act of the United States Congress. It was issued for the 100th anniversary of the voyage of the ship Restauration, bringing early Norwegian immigrants to the United States.
U.S. Representative from Minnesota Ole Juulson Kvale, a Norse-American, wanted a commemorative for the centennial celebrations of the Restauration journey. Rebuffed by the Treasury Department when he sought the issuance of a special coin, he instead settled for a medal. Sculpted by Buffalo nickel designer James Earle Fraser, the medals recognize those immigrants' Viking heritage, depicting a warrior of that culture on the obverse and his vessel on the reverse. The medals also recall the early Viking explorations of North America.
Once authorized by Congress, they were produced in various metals and sizes, for the most part prior to the celebrations near Minneapolis in June 1925. Only 53 were issued in gold, and they are rare and valuable today; those struck in silver or bronze have appreciated much less in value. They are sometimes collected as part of the U.S. commemorative coin series.
The 1925 Norse-American Medal commemorated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Norwegian ship Restauration in America. The Restauration carried Norwegian immigrants, many of whom settled in Minnesota and became important contributors to society there. Minnesota Congressman, Ole J. Kvale, championed the medals, using his influence as a member of the Congressional Coin, Weights, and Measures Committee. Originally, Kvale envisioned a commemorative half dollar for the celebration, but Congress had already authorized four commemorative coins earlier in the year, and Kvale sought an option that was more likely to be approved -- a commemorative medal.
The Mint only struck 100 Gold 1925 Proof Norse Medals, making them a very scarce issue. At the time they were struck, not many people could afford this Gold Medal back in 1925 at an issue price of about $20 a piece. Therefore, the Mint had to resort to melting 53 pieces that it could not sell, thus, leaving only 47 examples in existence at the time. Today, far less are believed to exist.
The 1925 Norse Medals were produced in order to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the arrival of the Norse immigrants who arrived in New York on October 09, 1825. The obverse of the Gold Medal has two different years, first the year 1825, representing the year in which the Norse immigrants came to America. The second year is 1925, indicating the year that the coins were issued. The reverse of the coin also has the date A.D. 1000, to commemorate the much earlier arrival of the Vikings.