1860s (U.S. Mint-Julian) Lincoln Gold Medalet Struck on 1861 Half Eagle. Extremely RARE
Similar to Baker-245 and Lincoln side of Julian-PR-30 & Julian PR-39. 1860s production, for two excellent reasons: First, the Lincoln medalet obverse is struck over what was apparently a Mint State 1861 gold eagle, which would have been easily located in the 1860s, but not so in the 1900s. Second, and more important, the die used is quite similar, if not identical to, the Lincoln die(s?) used to produce Julian-PR-30 & PR-39 , the Washington and Lincoln Mint medalet, measuring 19 mm. Robert W. Julian comments concerning the medalet that it was struck both inside and outside the Mint by various persons, possibly including several different die varieties. Mint engraver Anthony C. Paquet, who prepared the PR-30 die, left the employ of the Mint at about the time those pieces were struck, although most of them were struck for then-Chief Coiner John G. Butler or former Chief Coiner Lewis Broomall. Julian: "As the records are somewhat vague for this issue and the dies used, it is possible that several die varieties exist. Extant records show that the Lincoln die (or dies) used was ascribed variously to Paquet, Broomall, or Butler as the owner. Large numbers of these medals were struck between September, 1864, and October, 1866. The Lincoln die was also used privately outside the mint after 1866."
While this piece lacks the initial P on the neck truncation for designer Paquet, if he or others were responsible for striking outside-Mint pieces, it is not at all a stretch of the imagination that he would have removed his initial. Neither is it much of a stretch to suggest that this piece could have been an inside-Mint job, as the late 1850s and 1860s are well known for the many numismatic shenanigans created during the era. The tragedy of the Lincoln assassination in April 1865 may have spurred the usual (if repugnant) reaction among the more mercenary members of the numismatic community.