George Washington Medal
The United States Mint's Presidential Medals date back to the earliest days of the Republic. Medals were presented to American Indian chiefs and other important leaders at events like treaty signings. Bronze (mixed copper and zinc) replica presidential medals are available for sale to the public through the United States Mint's online catalog. Lewis and Clark, on their expedition to the Pacific coast between 1804 and 1806, carried a supply of these "Indian Peace Medals." They presented these medals, bearing the portrait of then-president Thomas Jefferson, to important chiefs. The peace medal tradition continued into the middle of that century. The peace medal series became the Presidential medal series after President Andrew Johnson left office in 1869. The obverse of the medal features a portrait of George Washington with the inscription "GEORGE WASHINGTON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1789" centered along the border of the medal. The reverse of the medal features the "PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP" symbol with two hands clasped in token of amity; on the cuff of the left wrist three stripes with buttons, each button carrying the American eagle; the other wrist is bare; above the hands, crossed, the pipe of peace and the tomahawk.