This collection of 83 coins was donated in November of 2000 by an anonymous donor. The individuals on the coins range from psychiatrists and physiologists to philosophers, biologists, and chemists. The wide range of professions demonstrates the diversity of thought that was necessary to create the field of psychology and lead to modern day psychological theories. Many individuals in this coin collection were not psychologists, but rather contributed to the field of psychology by influencing the thoughts of later scientists who in turn used these ideas to form the field of psychology. The collection spans from the earliest coin being minted in 1799 up through the most recent in 2004. The donation letter accompanying the collection reads:

11/9/00

Dear ------,

Please find attached the commemorative medals and coins. I had them appraised for -----. I would appreciate a letter from APA confirming this amount and their receipt. I am happy to make this donation but wish to remain anonymous.

Yours Truly,

-------- P.S. I got my list from Boring’s History of Experimental Psychology. This would explain the relevance of some of the more obscure people.

Boring’s History of Experimental Psychology included information on some of the subjects in the collection, but there were a few who were not listed in this text. Each entry includes an image of the obverse and reverse (when there were images on the reverse) of the coin with a brief biography of the individual, an explanation of why the coin was created, a description of images and writing on the coin, date it was minted (if available), and measurements of the coin.


More Coins by Name

A - D | Lev - N | O - Z

Eckener, Hugo (1924)

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Hugo Eckener was born on August 10, 1868 in Flensburg, Prussia (now Germany). He was the manager of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin during the inter-war years, and was commander of the famous Graf Zeppelin for most of its record-setting flights, including the first airship flight around the world, making him the most successful airship commander in history. As an anti-Nazi, he was eventually blacklisted and side-lined after that regime came into power. He earned a doctorate in what would today be considered experimental psychology. He had intentions of running for president against Hitler, but backed down when another member of the party ran instead. Eckener died on August 14, 1954 in Friedrichshafen, West Germany. The medallion coin was minted to commemorate the event of delivering the airship LZ 126 to the United States. It was made in Germany, measures 1 5/16 inches and is made of silver-plated bronze. The obverse of the coin contains a forward-facing bust of Eckener with his first name to the left of the image and his last name to the right. The obverse of the coin contains an image of the Graf Zeppelin with the date of flight above the image. The lower half of the coin contains dates and locations.

Fabre, Jean Henri (1911)

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Jean Henri Fabre was born on December 22, 1823 in Saint-Leons, France. He was a French entomologist and author. Fabre is considered to be the father of modern entomology for his work in the field. He released a book on the sensations of insects which later influenced Charles Darwin, although Fabre himself rejected the theory of evolution in favor of a saltationist origin of biodiversity. Fabre died on October 11, 1915 in Serignan-du-Comtat, France. The medallion commemorates his achievements in entomology. It is made of bronze, was designed by L. Patriarche, and measures 2 ¾ X 2 inches. The obverse contains an image of Fabre seated at a table examining a plant with a magnifying glass. The reverse depicts an overgrown lawn with several insects in the foreground.

Fermat, Pierre (No Date)

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Fermat was born on August 17, 1601 in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, France. He was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse and an amateur mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to modern calculus. He is best known for Fermat’s Last Theorem. Fermat died on January 12, 1665 in Castres, France. The coin is minted in bronze and was created by the Galerie Metallique des Grands Hommes Francais, in France. The inscription on the reverse is in French and gives the date of birth and death. The obverse shows a profile facing left with his name on either side of the image. The medal was originally struck in 1822, although more were made at a later, undisclosed date. The medal was made in bronze and designed by F. Desboeufs. It measures 1 5/8 inches in diameter and weighs 34.7 grams.

Freud, Sigmund (1983)

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Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Pribor, Czech Republic) on May 6, 1856. He is famous for psychoanalytic theory and dream interpretation, writing several books on the subjects. The commemorative coin was minted at the Heritage Mint, NYC in honor of Freud as the found of the Psychoanalytic Movement. Freud died on September 23, 1939 in London, England. The medallion holds inscriptions in both English and Hebrew, with the number 2355 on the side of the coin. The initials I.G.C.M.C. is inscribed on the side of the coin as well, with Hebrew letters following. The coin was minted by the Israel Psychoanalytic Society commemorating the society’s 50th anniversary. The medal appears to be made of bronze and measures 2 3/8 inches in diameter. The obverse of the coin contains an image of Freud facing-forward with his name in English and in Hebrew along the bottom of the image with his birth and death dates. The reverse contains a large ‘50’ with English beneath reading, “Israel Psychoanalytic Society 1933-1983.’ The same is written above the image, only in Hebrew.

Freud, Sigmund (No Date)

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Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg, Moravia, Austrian Empire (now Pribor, Czech Republic) on May 6, 1856. He is famous for psychoanalytic theory and dream interpretation, writing several books on the subjects. The commemorative coin was minted at the Heritage Mint, NYC in honor of Freud as the found of the Psychoanalytic Movement. Freud died on September 23, 1939 in London, England. The medal is made of bronze, minted by Heritage Mint N.Y.C., issued by Macony, and measures 3 inches in diameter. The obverse contains a left-facing bust of Freud with his name surrounding the image. The reverse contains an owl sitting atop a column with the symbols for male and female on either side. The inscription, “THE FOUNDER OF THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT” is engraved in the center with his name above the phrase.

Galeno (No Date)

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Galeno, also known by the names Aelius Galenus, Claudius Galenus, and Galen of Pergamum, was born in 129 in Pergamum, Mysia, Anatolia (now Bergama, Turkey). He is of Greek origin and became a prominent Roman physician and philosopher. His theories dominated and influenced Western medical science for well over a millennium. Galeno developed many nerve ligation experiments that supported the theory, which is still believed today, that the brain controls all the motions of the muscles by means of the cranial and peripheral nervous system. Galeno died around the year 216. The medallion commemorates his life achievements and the advances in medical science that ensued. It is cast in bronze by Gravarte in Lisbon, Portugal and contains writing in Portuguese on the reverse of the medal. The medal measures 2 ¾ inches in diameter and was designed by Armindo Viseu. The obverse of the coin contains a right-facing bust of Galeno with several male figures in the background. The reverse contains a phrase in Portuguese that reads, “NASCEU EM PERGAMO NA GRECIA FEZ IMPORTANTES DESCOBERTAS EM ANATOMIA E ESCREVEU CERCA DE 500 LIVROS SOBRE MEDICINA.”

George Junior Republic (1895)

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The George Junior Republic was founded by William Reuben George. It is an all-boys institution in western Pennsylvania in the town of Grove City and is one of the nation's largest private non-profit residential treatment facilities. George Junior Republic serves to house, school, and discipline 400 high school-aged boys from troubled backgrounds. The institution uses a behavior/education treatment model and provides mental and emotional abuse/neglect counseling psychological testing, psychiatric evaluation, education, vocational training, recreation and athletics to delinquent youth. Special need programs and drug and alcohol diagnosis/treatment area also provided. The school formed its own republic by having the boys govern themselves, elect leaders, work for wages, and use their own currency system. The coin minted in 1895 was part of the currency system used at the George Junior Republic. Since the coin was issued in 1895 it is most likely made out of tin, with later coins issued in 1900 made from aluminum. The coin measures ¾ inch in diameter. The obverse contains an image of the founder of the school, with the name of the school and the date founded surrounding the image. The reverse contains an image of an ax, the American flag, and an open book with the phrases, “Nothing Without Labor” and “One Cent” surrounding the image.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1932)

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was born on August 28, 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He was a German writer and polymath. Goethe’s works span the fields of poetry, drama, literature, theology, philosophy, pantheism, and science. He was one of the key figures of German literature and the movement of Weimar Classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Goethe’s influential ideas on plant and animal morphology and homology were extended and developed by 19th century naturalists, including Charles Darwin. He had a major effect on German philosophy and impacted the works of Hegel and Schelling. Goethe is considered to be the most important writer in the German language and one of the most important thinkers in Western culture as well. He died on March 22, 1832 in Weimar, Saxe-Weimar. The obverse of the coin contains his name and a profile, with artwork done by Th. G. The side of the coin holds the inscription “Bayer Hauptmunzamt Suber 900f.” The reverse of the coin contains two leaves with the letters “F D H” and the inscription “Fuer Goethes Geburtsstaette” and the dates 1832 and 1932. The coin was minted as a centennial memorial for the death of Goethe and measures 1 7/16 inches in diameter.

Golgi, Camillo (No Date)

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Camillo Golgi was born on July 7, 1843/44 in Corteno, Italy. He was an Italian physician, pathologist, scientist, and Nobel laureate. Golgi spent most of his career studying the central nervous system, and through experimentation with staining, developed a technique to see nerve tissue that took the name Golgi’s method. Golgi died on January 21, 1926 in Pavia, Italy. The reverse of the medal depicts a network of neurons in commemoration of his discovery. The obverse shows a bust of Golgi with his name on either side of the image. The medal appears to be made of silver and measures 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Hartmann, Ernst (1911)

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Hartmann was a German medical doctor and author who studied geophysical phenomenon. For his discovery, he has charged lines throughout the Earth named after him: Hartmann Net or Hartmann lines. The lines consist of naturally occurring charged lines that run North-South and East-West. The charged lines were first described by Hartmann shortly after the Second World War. It has been suggested that both the Curry grids and Hartmann Net are earthing grids for cosmic rays that constantly bombard the Earth, and that they can be distorted by other things, such as geological fault lines and underground mining. It is also possible to have spots where the Curry and Hartmann lines cross, causing further potential problems. The obverse of the coin contains a profile of Hartmann with his name. The creator of the image is H. Taglang and the coin is made of bronze. The edges and reverse of the coin are completely smooth. The medal measures 2 inches in diameter.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich (1967)

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart, Wurttemberg (Germany). He was a German philosopher and one of the creators of German Idealism. Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, and psychology, the state, history, art, religion and philosophy. In particular, he developed a concept of mind or spirit that manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Examples of such contradictions include those between nature and freedom, and between immanence and transcendence. Hegel died on November 14, 1831 in Berlin, Germany. The coin was minted in commemoration of his life’s achievements and cast in bronze. The coin was purchased in 1983. The medal was designed by Rausent and measures 2 5/8 inches in diameter. The obverse displays an image of Hegel with his name on the left side of the coin. The reverse displays a snail shell.

Hippocrates (No Date)

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Hippocrates was born around 460 B.C. in Cos, Greece. Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician and considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the Western father of medicine in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of medicine. He distinguished the field of medicine as separate from philosophy, thus making medicine a profession. Hippocrates is credited with greatly advancing the systematic study of clinical medicine, summing up the medical knowledge of previous schools, and prescribing practices for physicians through the Hippocratic Oath or Corpus and other works. He died around 375 B.C. in Larissa, Thessaly. The medal is inscribed on the reverse in Portuguese along with the dates of his birth and death. The phrase reads, “NASCEU EM COS, NA GRECIA CONSIDERADO NA IDADE MEDIA COMO-O PAI DA MEDICINA. FOI O CRIADOR DO JURAMENTO DEDICO AINDA HOJE USADO.” The medal is number 199 out of 500 created, and was cast in bronze. It was minted by Gravarte in Lisbon, Portugal and designed by Armindo Viseu. The medal measures 2 ¾ inches in diameter.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell (1970)

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Oliver Wendell Holmes was born on August 29, 1809 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Holmes was an American physician, poet, and humorist notable for his medical research and teaching. Holmes died on October 7, 1884 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The coin issued in his honor was for his induction into The Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University. The reverse side shows an image of lady liberty in front of the Supreme Court with the inscription beneath saying, “Justice and Equality for all Mankind.” The obverse contains a left-facing bust of Holmes surrounded by his name and birth and death dates. The coin was minted by the Medallic Art Co. N.Y. in 1970 and designed by Joseph Kiselewski. The medal is made of bronze and measures 1 ¾ inches in diameter.

Horney, Karen (1960)

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Karen Horney was born on September 16, 1885 in Blankenese, Germany. She was a German psychoanalyst and psychologist of Norwegian and Dutch descent. Her theories questioned some traditional Freudian views, particularly his theory of sexuality, as well as the incest orientation of psychoanalysis and its genetic psychology. As such, she is often classified as a Neo-Freudian. Horney was a pioneer in discipline of feminine psychiatry. She also compiled a detailed theory of neurosis from data from her patients. Horney died on December 4, 1952 in New York, New York. The coin is number 601 in the series, created in bronze. The obverse of the coin contains a right-facing bust of Horney, her name, and the dates of her birth and death. The creator of the images if Stanton. The reverse of the coin contains another image of Horney, this time in the foreground with a lecture and desk in the background. The inscription reads, “Teacher, author, psychoanalyst and clinical psychiatrist, student of feminine and cultural psychology.” The coin was commissioned by Abbott Laboratories in the Pathfinders in Psychiatry series by Medallic Art Co. N.Y. The medal is made of bronze, measure 3 inches in diameter, and was designed by Stanton.

Hunter, John (1970)

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John Hunter was born on February 13, 1728 in Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was an anatomist, naturalist, biologist, physician, surgeon and pathologist. Hunter was regarded as one of the most distinguished scientists and surgeons of his day. The Hunterian Society of London was named in his honor. Among his numerous contributions to medical science are study of human teeth, extensive study of inflammation, fine work on gun-wounds, some work on venereal diseases, including possibly inoculating himself with venereal disease in 1767 to carry out further study, an understanding of the nature of digestion, and verifying that fats are absorbed into the lacteals, a type of small intestine lymphatic capillary, and not into the intestinal blood capillaries as was generally accepted, the first complete study of the development of a child, proof that the maternal and fetal blood supplies are separate, and unravelling of one of the major anatomical mysteries of the time – the role of the lymphatic system. Hunter died on October 16, 1793 in London, England. The obverse of the coin has the words “Founder of Scientific Surgery” inscribed along the bottom ridge. The reverse of the coin holds several images and the words “Investigation and Experimentation” inscribed along the top. The medal is made of bronze, minted by Medallic Art Co. in New York, and designed by Abram Belskie. It measures 1 ¾ inches in diameter.

Kepler, Johannes (1971)

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Johannes Kepler was born on December 27, 1571 in Weil der Stadt, Wurttenberg (Germany). Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and a key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution. He is best known for his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler invented an improved version of the refracting telescope and helped to legitimize the telescopic discoveries of Galileo. He died on November 15, 1630 in Regensburg. The medallion was minted on the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s birth and commemorates his discovery of the laws of planetary motion. The obverse contains a left-facing image of Kepler, with his name to the left of the image, his birth and death dates below, the phrase “HARMONICES MUND” to the right, and the inscription “DECOUVREUR DEL HELIOCENTRISME” to the top. The reverse contains an image of a man at the bottom looking up at the heavens, which are represented by swirls and triangular shapes. The medal is made of bronze, designed by S. Ponomarew, and measures 2 11/16 inches in diameter.

Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste (1977)

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Jean Baptiste Pierre Antion de Monet, chevalier de Lamarck was born on August 1, 1744 in Bazentin-le-Petit, Picardy, in France. He was a French soldier, naturalist, academic, and early proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. Lamarck invented the term invertebrates and published a major work on their classification. Lamarck is mainly remembered for his theory of inheritance of acquired characters, called soft inheritance of Lamarckism. Lamarck contributed to evolutionary theory by being the first to create a truly cohesive theory of evolution. He died on December 18, 1829 in Paris, France. The medallion commemorates his contributions to zoology, botany, and evolution. The obverse contains a right-facing bust of Lamarck with his name to the left and his birth and death dates to the right of the image. The reverse shows a male figure surrounded by animals, coral, and sea life. It is cast in bronze, measures 2 11/16 inches in diameter, and was designed by Georges Guiraud.

Laplace, Pierre-Simon, marquis de (1978)

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Laplace was born on March 23, 1749 in Beaumont-en-Auge, Normandy, France. He was a French mathematician and astronomer whose work was pivotal to the development of mathematical astronomy and statistics. He formulated Laplace’s equation, and pioneered the Laplace transform which appears in many branches of mathematical physics – a field in which he took a leading role in forming. Laplace was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the notion of gravitational collapse. He is remembered as one of the greatest scientists of all time and is sometimes referred to as the French Newton. Laplace died on March 5, 1827 in Paris, France. The coin was cast in bronze with the obverse containing his name and a left-facing profile. The artwork for the coin was created by Caunois F. The reverse of the coin contains writing in French, which reads “SYSTEME DU MONDE. NE A BEAUMONTE EN AUGE (CALVADOS), LE 23 MARS 1749,” with the dates and locations of his birth and death. The medal measures 1 5/8 inches in diameter.

Leclerc, Georges-Louis, Comte De Buffon (1982)

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George Louis Leclerc De Buffon was born on September 7, 1707 in Montbard, France. He was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and encyclopedic author. Leclerc’s work as a naturalist influenced several generations in this area, including Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. He died on April 16, 1788 in Paris, France. The medallion commemorates his life and achievements, with notable dates listed on the reverse of the coin in French. The obverse contains a left-facing bust of Leclerc surrounded by his name. The medal was cast in bronze, designed by E. Dubois F., and measures 2 inches in diameter.

Leeuwenhoek, Antoni von (No Date)

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Antoni von Leeuwenhoek was born on October 24, 1632 in Delft, Netherlands. He was a Dutch tradesman and scientist who is commonly known as the “Father of Microbiology” and considered to be the first microbiologist. Leeuwenhoek is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. He was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms using his microscopes. Leeuwenhoek was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries. He died on August 26, 1723 in Delft, Netherlands. The reverse of the medal is inscribed with “First to Observe and Describe Bacteria.” The obverse shows an engraving of Leeuwenhoek surrounded by his name and dates of birth and death. The medal appears to be made of bronze and measures 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm (1976)

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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was born on July 1, 1646 in Leipzig. He was a German philosopher, polymath, and mathematician who wrote primarily in Latin and French. Leibniz invented infinitesimal calculus independently of Newton, and his notation has been in general use since then. He also invented the binary system, the foundation of virtually all modern computer architectures. In psychology, he anticipated the distinction between conscious and unconscious states. Leibniz helped establish psychophysical parallelism as well. In philosophy he is most remembered for optimism, believing that our universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one God could have made. Leibniz died on November 14, 1716 in Hannover, Hanover. The medal was minted in bronze and is in honor of his lifetime achievements in philosophy and mathematics. The medal was purchased on March 22, 1983 and is inscribed on both the obverse and reverse in French. The obverse contains a bust of Leibniz with a phrase to the left of his image. The reverse displays two triangles on top of one other with the phrase, “L’UNITE, L’INEINI, LO MONADE” encircling them. Around the outer edge is his full name and birth and death dates. The designer of the medal was H. Dropsy and it measures 2 5/8 inches in diameter.