Late last year I was in the National Library and came across what I think might be the only detailed account of the presentation of the medals. It is certainly the only account of Rostron's "speech to the troops", and mentions the various grades of metals involved in the medal presentation.
Here it is, makes a good read -
The Titanic Inquiry The Presentation to Carpathia Heroes Full Details (From our correspondent, Queenstown, Saturday.)
The Cunard liner Caronia arrived today from New York, bringing full particulars of the presentation to Captain Arthur H. Rostron of a massive silver cup and a gold medal recently in America, also presentations to each member of the crew of the Cunard liner Carpathia, who rescued a great number of lives from the ill-fated steamer Titanic. The medals and cup were bought with a fund subscribed by those who were taken out of the Titanic's boats. In addition to the medals given, each of them will receive an extra month's pay from the Cunard Line. The presentation was made in the Carpathia's saloon when she arrived from the Mediterranean by a committee, of which Frederick K. Seward of New York was the chairman. The other members of the committee were Mrs J.J. Brown, Lieutenant Steffansen of the Swedish Army, and N. O. Spedan, Carl Behr, J.G. Frauenthal, and George A. Harder. Captain Rostron and his officers were in their dress uniforms, the former wearing the sword he is entitled to wear as a member of the Royal Navy Reserve. The others, stokers and pantrymen, however, came up for medals dressed in the clothes which they wear on duty. The scene brought a mist before the eyes of many, and when Captain Rostron delivered a brief speech in answer to an address by Mr Seward, more than one person present seemed on the verge of tears. After the way of good seamen, Captain Rostron disclaimed the chief credit for the work in saving those who were left helpless on a lonely sea when the Titanic went to the bottom. "Without an eager and brave crew," said Captain Rostron, "I feel there would have been no rescue at all; and while I thank for the committee for the cup and their praise of me and my officers, I want to thank every man and woman in my crew for their gallant and fine conduct under most difficult conditions. I am humbly proud of every man and woman in this ship's company." It had been arranged that those who were to get bronze medals were to receive them after the gold and silver medals had been given to the officers, but at the conclusion of Captain Rostron's speech, the survivors committee decided that every medal on the table should be bestowed at once. Accordingly, the men and women from on deck and below were formed in lines and received their medals. Some of the firemen took their medals in hands so grimy as to seem hardly the hands of white men. But the smiles they wore made their black faces as luminous as suns. Captain Rostron and his officers hurried from the saloon as soon as the last medal was bestowed, giving as an excuse that they had work to do and very little time in which to do it.
Cork Free Press, June 10, 1912, p.6. (spelling as in original)
George Behe has one or two of the Carpathia medals. I was lucky to be able to see and hold one of them at a get-together we had here in Texas a few years ago. If you want to contact me privately, I can put you in touch with him.
There is one important factor in the price on that medal to be considered, the lot included a stunning 18ct gold pocket watch with the inscription "Presented to J. Richardson as a mark of appreciation for conspicuous service rendered RMS Titanic 15th April 1912". The lot comprised of this watch, the medal, photos and other paperwork. The watch alone was worth around £8000-£10000, so in all made for quite a reasonably priced medal in the purchase really!!
I am putting together the press release for the sale at the minute, so will post that when completed. We dont list the full prices realised on the website but I would be happy to look up a couple of numbers for you, just drop me an email with the details.
Indeed I did hear about the Liverpool auction, were you there?