This medal was chosen to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prestigious Society of Medalists series. The medal's obverse bears miniature designs of Laura Gardin Fraser's first SOM issue and the then last issue in the series: Boris Buzan's 80th medal in the series. Superimposed, a large 40th; around THE SOCIETY OF MEDALISTS / ANNIVERSARY ISSUE 1930-1970; signed JHH © 1970. The reverse bears contrasting relief and intaglio Athenian owls with olive sprig, crescent and Greek letters ΑΘΕ; around, within border of circles representing all medals in the series, PERPETUATING THE ART OF MEDALLIC SCULPTURE.
Julian Hoke Harris won the contest for the special anniversary issue in the same year that he designed the 81st regular issue in the series. It was apparently a competition with a number of strong participants: Tom Allen, Hal Reed, Elbert Weinberg, and Sten Jacobsson all submitted designs which unfortunately have not been retained. Julian Harris wrote about his design:
"Its unusual shape and motif, symbolic of the Society's efforts for 40 years in the field of medallic art, will make a distinctive addition to your medal collection."
The Medallic Art Company struck 657 copies of this medal in bronze and 125 in silver.