The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876
The forming of dies in steel to strike medals or money, is generally with the intention of making a great number of the same form.
The engraving those dies in steel is, from the hardness of the substance, very difficult and expensive, but, once engraved, the great number to be easily produced afterward by stamping justifies the expense, it being but small when divided among a number.
Where only one medal of a kind is wanted, it seems an unthrifty way to form dies for it in steel to strike the two sides of it, the whole expense of the dies resting on that medal.
It was by this means that the medal voted by Congress for M. de Fleury cost one hundred guineas, when an engraving of the same figures and inscriptions might have been beautifully done on a plate of silver of the same size for two guineas.
The ancients, when they ordained a medal to record the memory of any laudable action, and do honour to the performer of that action, s