GSA home

Log In | GSA Community | GSA Store | Join GSA | Donate | Contact Us

GSA home

| GSA Community | GSA Store | Donate | Contact Us

About GSA

Career Resources

Connected Community

Divisions &
Associated Societies

Education & Outreach

GSA Foundation

GSA International




Public Policy



Find Your Science at GSA

Uncertain Future for GSA Gold Medals

GSA Gold Medals
GSA Gold Medals.
Left to right: Penrose, Donath, Day.
[ more about these awards ]
What can you do to help?
Please make a donation to the Penrose Medal, Day Medal, or Medals & Awards funds through the GSA Foundation Web site.

The three highest awards the Geological Society of America presents each year are the Penrose, Day, and Donath (Young Scientist Award) Medals. All three medals are 2.25 inches in diameter and have traditionally been made of 14-karat solid gold. We are now challenged by the fact that the price of gold has far-outstripped the ability of the Penrose and Day medal funds to provide the financial resources to fully cover the costs of producing those medals. At the time of this writing, each gold medal costs about US$6,000.

Fred Donath continues to fully support the cost of the gold Donath Medal, but to maintain the tradition of presenting the Penrose and Day 14-karat-gold medals every year, an endowment of more than US$150,000 for each medal is needed. Currently, there is only about US$30,000 between the two funds.

The Day bequest specifies the gold content and size of the medal. Legal opinion states that we cannot change the bequest.

The Penrose bequest allows the freedom to change the composition and size of the medal. For Denver 2010, GSA Council has approved changing the Penrose Medal to a gold-plated silver medal. The Day and Donath medals will remain solid gold.

What choices does the Society have in order to continue presenting these prestigious medals?


Thank you
Jean Bahr
Jean Bahr
2009-2010 GSA President
Jack Hess
Jack Hess
GSA Executive Director