This fine silver proof quality medal is a limited edition re-strike of one of the most sought after designs ever created by noted German satirical medalist Karl Goetz. The medal was originally issued in 1909 for the centennial of Darwin’s birth, and original 1909 strikes are extremely rare. This ultra high relief medal has been re-struck from the original dies produced in 1909, which have been enhanced to include a frosted cameo proof finish.
Unlike most coins, this piece is a Piedfort, or double thickness coin, with a weight of two full ounces of pure .9999 fine silver. Mintage of this medal with a proof finish is limited to just 3,000 pieces.
The obverse design features a three-quarters bust left of Charles Robert Darwin. The reverse features a satirical image of a monkey gazing quizzically at a human skull. The background includes a rising sun, birds and a bumble bee. The column is inscribed PHYTOPHYSIOLOGIE ENTOMOLOGIE ZOOLOGIE / K GOETZ. The medal is also double dated in Roman numerals MDCCCIX-MCMIX (1809-1909).
About Karl Goetz
The satirical pieces of Karl Goetz are probably the most highly sought of twentieth-century medals. Goetz produced a series of works by applying the style of modernist cartoon art popular in posters and the humor of earlier satirical medals.
About Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is best known for his work as a naturalist, developing a theory of evolution to explain biological change. Naturalists at the time generally believed that all species either came into being at the start of the world, or were created over the course of natural history, and remained much the same throughout time. Darwin, however, noticed similarities among species all over the globe, along with variations based on specific locations, leading him to believe that they had gradually evolved from common ancestors. He believed that species survived through a process called "natural selection." The species that successfully adapted to meet the changing requirements of their natural habitat thrived, while those that failed to evolve died off.