On Monday, March 5, 2012, the United States Mint released collectible gold and silver Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins following an official launch ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland.
Authorized by the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act, or Public Law 111-232, the U.S. Mint released four commemorative coins and a two-coin proof set. Specific product types include a proof and uncirculated silver dollar, a proof and uncirculated $5 gold coin, and a two-coin set which contains one proof of each denomination. (Jump to coin prices or order details.)
The commemorative coins pay tribute to the bicentennial writing of the national anthem by Francis Scott Key after the bombardment of Fort McHenry in September 1814 during the War of 1812. Key was so moved by the flag still flying that he wrote a poem he named "The Defence of Fort McHenry," thinking it should be sung to the tune of the popular British melody "To Anacreon in Heaven."
Having already been renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner," President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 ordered the song to be played at military ceremonies. On March 3, 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a resolution passed by Congress that officially designated it as the U.S. National Anthem.
Specifications and Designs for 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Coins
Designs of the uncirculated and proof commemorative coins are emblematic of the War of 1812 with particular detail accorded to the Battle for Baltimore as seen by Francis Scott Key.
For the $5 gold coins, their obverse or "heads side" side design was created by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Joseph Menna. The scene depicts a naval battle from the War of 1812. An American sailing ship is shown in the foreground with a damaged and fleeing British ship in the background.
The reverse or "tails side" side design of the $5 gold commemoratives was crafted by Richard Masters and also sculpted by Joseph Menna. The image depicts the first words of the Star-Spangled Banner anthem, O say can you see, in the handwriting of Francis Scott Key’s. The words are against a backdrop of 15 stars and 15 stripes which represents the Star-Spangled Banner flag.
For the silver dollars, their obverse depicts Lady Liberty waving the 15-star, 15-stripe Star-Spangled Banner flag with Fort McHenry in the background. The artwork was created by Joel Iskowitz with the sculpting by Phebe Hemphill. Designed by William C. Burgard III and sculpted by Don Everhart, the silver dollar reverses feature a waving modern American flag.
Each of the collector coins has common obverse inscriptions of IN GOD WE TRUST, LIBERTY and 2012. Their reverses include inscriptions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM and a denomination of FIVE DOLLARS or ONE DOLLAR.
Both types of commemorative coins are composed from a precious metal which amounts to:
- 0.733 troy silver ounces for the dollars as each contains 90% silver, and
- 0.2419 troy gold ounces for the $5 coins as each is composed from 90% gold
Every silver dollar is 1.50 inches in diameter, has a weight of 26.730 grams and an obverse mint mark of "P" to denote its production at the United States Mint facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each $5 gold coin is 0.850 inches in diameter, has a weight of 8.359 grams and an obverse mint mark of "W" indicating its production at the United States Mint facility in West Point, New York.
For a limited introduction period lasting from March 5 to April 5, collector uncirculated and proof silver dollars, companion $5 gold coins and a two-coin proof set are available at discounted prices that equate to $5 per product. The U.S. Mint has provided the following pricing schedule:
|Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins||Mintages||Debut Price||Price Adjustments||Regular Price|
|Proof $5 Coin||100,000 Max||$529.30||Weekly||+$5|
|Uncirculated $5 Coin||$519.30||+$5|
|Two-Coin Proof Set (Proof $5 Gold and Proof $1 Silver)||$579.30||+$5|
|Proof Silver Dollar||500,000 Max||$49.95||Unlikely||$54.95|
|Uncirculated Silver Dollar||$44.95||$49.95|
Because precious metals fluctuate and the U.S. Mint will not sell numismatic coins below their melt values, it is possible that coin prices could change from their debut and regular prices. Unless there is a significant movement in silver, likely around the $5-8 per ounce area, silver dollar prices should remain unchanged.
As gold is more expensive, the U.S. Mint has published a commemorative gold coin pricing grid which could result in up to weekly adjustments depending upon market direction. The Mint implemented this system after it had to suspend sales of last year’s commemoratives when gold prices rose sharply and were volatile.
Orders for the commemorative coins and proof set may be placed from the U.S. Mint via its website (direct link) or by calling at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
There are no per household limits in place for any of the individual coins but the Mint does have a 50 unit limit for the two-coin proof set. Expect to pay shipping and handling of $4.95 on all domestic orders.
The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act requires that the U.S. Mint include surcharges for each coin sold. Sales price listed above, therefore, include $10 for each silver dollar and $35 for each gold coin.
Collected funds will be forward to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission (http://starspangled200.org) to support the "bicentennial activities, educational outreach activities, and preservation and improvements to the War of 1812 sites and related structures.
These latest coins are the final commemoratives released by the United States Mint this year. The first belong to the 2012 Infantry Soldier Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Program. The Infantry Soldier Silver Dollars were released on February 16, 2012 and are available in proof and uncirculated qualities.