|The Great Chicago Fire burnt a large portion of the city to the ground October 8-10, 1871. I grew up in the Chicago area so I learned a great deal of the history how this great fire, although quite tragic and a major disaster, was one of the reasons for Chicago's greatness in the years after the fire. The City of Chicago really did rise like a phoenix from the flames.
Following the fire, the bell from the Chicago Court House which had burnt down was melted and turned into various relics which were sold off as souvenirs. An early photo of a police officer with the melted bell after the fire is shown below. I have seen miniature bells that were produced as well as medals which were struck by the U.S. Mint. A total of only 500 medals, designed by William Barber, were struck the following year in 1872 by the United States Mint using the actual metal from the Chicago Court House bell. The medal is approximately 51mm in diameter and is listed as CM-13 in the Julian reference. This example of the 1872 Chicago Fire Court House Bell Medal has been graded MS64BN by NGC. Although there are some minor marks and imperfections on this example, it is by far the nicest example I have seen. The color of the piece is very even and it is free of spots and/or discolorations. The piece also has a wonderful overall look with slightly prooflike fields and an overall flashy appearance compared to the typical example. To date, NGC has graded only a few examples of this historic medal and this is the only piece that has been graded MS64 with no examples grading higher. An amazing top pop example of this popular early U.S. Mint medal and a great piece of Chicago history.
Because of the difficulty in capturing the overall look of the coin in a single image, I have also included a short high-definition video of the coin towards the bottom of this listing in an attempt to give you a better idea of what this coin will look like in hand. Please note that you may need to adjust the video quality to 1080p and may need to increase the size of the video to full screen in order to see the coin in maximum detail.