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Our opportunity: Do justice to a contest-winning art design

Medalcraft Mint commemorative medalsCities only get to mark a centennial anniversary of their founding every, well, 100 years. So when Gloucester, Massachusetts, began making preparations to celebrate its quadricentennial (that’s 400 years) coming up in 2023, the non-profit Gloucester Celebration Corporation decided it needed something special to commemorate the occasion.

Gloucester resident Beth Swan was the winner of the juried international competition for her design, titled “Out at Sea.” It depicts the city as seen from the harbor on board a ship returning to its homeport. The reverse features Gloucester’s iconic Man at the Wheel shown against a rising sun.

“The challenge that Medalcraft Mint had was figuring out how to make this winning image really pop. It had to be a ‘wow’ medal,” explains Tom Lance, owner of The Brass Monkey gift shop, a member of the GCC committee, and an experienced numismatist (coin collector). “We went over all the features – the wave, the codfish, we wanted the sun to be radiant, and we wanted to be able to see into the alleys of the city. They worked hard on it and the end result is stunning.”

The medal is the first of several designs the committee will release leading up to a variety set of the full collection in 2023. Each design includes 1½-inch and 3-inch medals in a variety of different metallurgies, including sterling silver.

“The design team at Medalcraft Mint was creative in what they did,” Tom says. “They were able to preserve the integrity of the original design, taking it from a winning concept to something that would look great in medal format. They met the ship date, all 500 commemorative medals came on time and the quality of every one was perfect. Now we’re in the process of working on the second medal.”

For more information or to request a quote for commemorative medals, please go to or call 800-558-6348.

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