State of Preservation: Franklin Mint Issues (silver medal in postal covers)

Many of the Franklin Mint issues have been mishandled by so-called dealers. One example is the medals encased in postal covers. These dealers (and collectors) focus on the medal and discard the postal cover. When this happens the degradation time-clock starts:

  1. The medal becomes unknown to non-specialist. Many key identification information from the COA is lost forever (set it came from, year issued, metal content, etc…).
  2. Environmental exposure begins to the medal’s surface. For an example, the Captain Cook medal was issued in 1977 and 38 years have now elapsed.
  3. Risk of mishandling begins to the medal’s surface. Again, using the Captain Cook example, I would prefer to own the original encapsulated medal rather than a loose piece.

One of the things I’ve been determining is a attrition rate formula to determine the “acceptable collectible supply” for the Franklin Mint issues.

For silver medals postal cover scenarios an example after 38 years after issue:

  • 20% smelting loss.
  • 20% mishandling loss.
  • 50% Remain intact in complete set by Franklin Mint collectors.

In this example only 10% of the mintage intact in original postal cover will be available to Hawaiian collectors.

Using this percentage “example formula”, the Captain Cook medal mintage of 2216 FMR-E03 results with only 221 specimens to Hawaiiana collectors. Again, this is just my theory to determine availability for Hawaiiana collectors.

The topic of determining price for the Captain Cook medal is subjective. Most use the M&R guidebook (which is now 24 years old). Then there is the lack of information (mintage and source set)) in the M&R guidebook. So how did M&R set the price?

In this Captain Cook example, its listed as 2M-79 with no mintage or source set identified. The source set somewhat helps to identify the demand for the individual medal based on the Franklin Mint collector’s demand for the set. The Great Explorer Medals was sold world-wide (not only in the US) making it also hard to locate.

The 10% mintage population rule seems to work for me in collecting intact specimens in original Franklin Mint packaging.

When was the last time you saw a 2M-79 Mint in Package for sale?

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