President Signs US Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act

by Mike Unser on April 5, 2012 · 8 comments

United States Marshals Service Star Badge

United States Marshals Service Star Badge

President Obama signed the United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act into law on Monday, April 2, 2012.

The Act, now Public Law 112-104, sets the parameters for the United States Mint to produce up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000 clad half dollars in calendar year 2015. These coins will be struck in collector proof and uncirculated qualities, bringing the total types of coins to six.

As outlined by the law, coin designs will be emblematic of the 225 years of achievements of the U.S. Marshals Service, America’s first Federal law enforcement agency. This includes inscriptions of the 225th anniversary dates of 1789 and 2014. Designs elements will incorporate an image of the U.S. Marshals Service Star on the obverse (heads side) of the $5 gold coin and silver dollar.

Modern commemoratives produced by the U.S. Mint require coin surcharges. Public Law 112-104 dictates surcharge amounts of $35 per $5 gold coin, $10 for each silver dollar, and $3 per clad half dollar. The first $5 million in profits will assist the U.S. Marshals Museum for the preservation, maintenance, and display of artifacts and documents. Remaining amounts will be split in thirds, with proceeds sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Law Enforcement Museum, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

In a brief account of the Act’s timeline, it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Steve Womack [R-AR3] on March 2, 2011. Numbered H.R. 886, the bill easily passed in the House on December 15, 2011. The Senate gave its approval on March 15, 2012 to a slightly amended version. That amended bill passed in the House on March 21, 2012.

"Today marked the end of a long road for the City of Fort Smith and the U.S. Marshals Museum. With its passage, this coin will forever serve as a symbol and constant reminder of the character and tradition of one of America’s greatest institutions," Rep. Womack said following its passage. "I thank my colleague Rep. Mike Ross for his help in the House as well as Senators Boozman and Pryor for their efforts in the Senate."

For reference, the text of Public Law 112-104 follows:

Text of Public Law 112-104

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the Nation’s first Federal law enforcement agency, the United States Marshals Service.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘United States Marshals Service 225th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act’.


SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress hereby finds as follows:
      (1) The United States Marshals, the first Federal law enforcement officers in America, were established under section 27 of the Act of Congress entitled ‘Chapter XX – An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States’ and enacted on September 24, 1789 (commonly referred to as the ‘Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789’), during the 1st Session of the 1st Congress, and signed into law by the 1st President of the United States, George Washington.
      (2) George Washington had carefully considered the appointments to the Judicial Branch long before the enactment of the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789, and nominated the first 11 United States Marshals on September 24, and the remaining two Marshals on September 25, 1789. The Senate confirmed all 13 on September 26, 1789, 2 days after the Judiciary Act was signed into law.
      (3) In 1969, by order of the Department of Justice, the United States Marshals Service was created, and achieved Bureau status in 1974. The United States Marshals Service has had major significance in the history of the United States, and has directly contributed to the safety and preservation of this Nation, by serving as an instrument of civil authority used by all 3 branches of the United States Government.
      (4) One of the original 13 United States Marshals, Robert Forsyth of Georgia, a 40 -year -old veteran of the Revolutionary War, was the first civilian official of the United States Government, and the first of many United States Marshals and deputies, to be killed in the line of duty when he was shot on January 11, 1794, while trying to serve civil process.
      (5) The United States Marshals Service Commemorative Coin will be the first commemorative coin to honor the United States Marshals Service.
      (6) The United States should pay tribute to the Nation’s oldest Federal law enforcement agency, the United States Marshals Service, by minting and issuing commemorative coins, as provided in this Act.
      (7) A commemorative coin will bring national and international attention to the lasting legacy of this Nation’s oldest Federal law enforcement agency.
      (8) The proceeds from a surcharge on the sale of such commemorative coins will assist the financing of national museums and charitable organizations.


SEC. 3. COIN SPECIFICATIONS.

    (a) Denominations – In commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marshals Service, the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Secretary’) shall mint and issue the following coins:
      (1) $5 GOLD COINS – Not more than 100,000 $5 gold coins, which shall —
        (A) weigh 8.359 grams;
        (B) have a diameter of 0.850 inches; and
        (C) contain 90 percent gold and 10 percent alloy.
      (2) $1 SILVER COINS – Not more than 500,000 $1 coins, which shall —
        (A) weigh 26.73 grams;
        (B) have a diameter of 1.500 inches; and
        (C) contain 90 percent silver and 10 percent alloy.
      (3) HALF DOLLAR CLAD COINS – Not more than 750,000 half dollar coins, which shall —
        (A) weigh 11.34 grams;
        (B) have a diameter of 1.205 inches; and
        (C) be minted to the specifications for half dollar coins contained in section 5112(b) of title 31 United States Code.
    (b) Legal Tender – The coins minted under this Act shall be legal tender, as provided in section 5103 of title 31, United States Code.
    (c) Numismatic Items – For purposes of section 5134 of title 31, United States Code, all coins minted under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.


SEC. 4. DESIGN OF COINS.

    (a) Design Requirements –
      (1) IN GENERAL – The design of the coins minted under this Act shall be emblematic of the 225 years of exemplary and unparalleled achievements of the United States Marshals Service.
      (2) DESIGNATION AND INSCRIPTIONS – On each coin minted under this Act there shall be —
        (A) a designation of the value of the coin;
        (B) an inscription of —
          (i) the mint date ‘2015’; and
          (ii) the years 1789 and 2014; and
        (C) inscriptions of the words ‘Liberty’, ‘In God We Trust’, ‘United States of America’, and ‘E Pluribus Unum’, and such other inscriptions as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate for the designs of the coins.
      (3) COIN IMAGES –
        (A) $5 GOLD COINS –
          (i) OBVERSE – The obverse of the $5 coins issued under this Act shall bear an image of the United States Marshals Service Star (also known as ‘America’s Star’).
          (ii) REVERSE – The reverse of the $5 coins issued under this Act shall bear a design emblematic of the sacrifice and service of the men and women of the United States Marshals Service who lost their lives in the line of duty and include the Marshals Service motto ‘Justice, Integrity, Service’.
        (B) $1 SILVER COINS –
          (i) OBVERSE – The obverse of the $1 coins issued under this Act shall bear an image of the United States Marshals Service Star (also known as ‘America’s Star’).
          (ii) REVERSE – The reverse of the $1 silver coins issued under this Act shall bear an image emblematic of the United States Marshals legendary status in America’s cultural landscape. The image should depict Marshals as the lawmen of our frontiers, including their geographic, political, or cultural history, and shall include the Marshals Service motto ‘Justice, Integrity, Service’.
        (C) HALF DOLLAR CLAD COINS –
          (i) OBVERSE – The obverse of the half dollar clad coins issued under this Act shall bear an image emblematic of the United States Marshals Service and its history.
          (ii) REVERSE – The reverse of the half dollar clad coins issued under this Act shall bear an image consistent with the role that the United States Marshals played in a changing nation, as they were involved in some of the most pivotal social issues in American history. The image should show the ties that the Marshals have to the United States Constitution, with themes including —
            (I) the Whiskey Rebellion and the rule of law;

            (II) slavery and the legacy of inequality; and

            (III) the struggle between labor and capital.
      (4) REALISTIC AND HISTORICALLY ACCURATE DEPICTIONS – The images for the designs of coins issued under this Act shall be selected on the basis of the realism and historical accuracy of the images and on the extent to which the images are reminiscent of the dramatic and beautiful artwork on coins of the so -called ‘Golden Age of Coinage’ in the United States, at the beginning of the 20th Century, with the participation of such noted sculptors and medallic artists as James Earle Fraser, Augustus Saint -Gaudens, Victor David Brenner, Adolph A. Weinman, Charles E. Barber, and George T. Morgan.
    (b) Selection – The design for the coins minted under this Act shall be —
      (1) selected by the Secretary, after consultation with the Director of the United States Marshals Service and the Commission of Fine Arts; and
      (2) reviewed by the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee.


SEC. 5. ISSUANCE OF COINS.

    (a) Quality of Coins – Coins minted under this Act shall be issued in proof quality and uncirculated quality.
    (b) Mint Facility – Only 1 facility of the United States Mint may be used to strike any particular combination of denomination and quality of the coins minted under this Act.
    (c) Commencement of Issuance – The Secretary may issue coins, to the public, minted under this Act beginning on or after January 1, 2015, except for a limited number to be issued prior to such date to the Director of the United States Marshals Service and employees of the Service for display and presentation during the 225th Anniversary celebration.
    (d) Termination of Minting Authority – No coins may be minted under this Act after December 31, 2015.


SEC. 6. SALE OF COINS.

    (a) Sale Price – The coins issued under this Act shall be sold by the Secretary at a price equal to the sum of —
      (1) the face value of the coins;
      (2) the surcharge provided in section 7(a) with respect to such coins; and
      (3) the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping).
    (b) Prepaid Orders –
      (1) IN GENERAL – The Secretary shall accept prepaid orders for the coins minted under this Act before the issuance of such coins.
      (2) DISCOUNT – Sale prices with respect to prepaid orders under paragraph (1) shall be at a reasonable discount.


SEC. 7. SURCHARGES.

    (a) In General – All sales of coins minted under this Act shall include a surcharge as follows:
      (1) A surcharge of $35 per coin for the $5 gold coin.
      (2) A surcharge of $10 per coin for the $1 silver coin.
      (3) A surcharge of $3 per coin for the half dollar coin.
    (b) Distribution – Subject to section 5134(f) of title 31, United States Code, the Secretary shall promptly distribute all surcharges received from the sale of coins issued under this Act as follows:
      (1) The first $5,000,000 available for distribution under this section, to the U.S. Marshals Museum, Inc., also known as the United States Marshals Museum, for the preservation, maintenance, and display of artifacts and documents.
      (2) Of amounts available for distribution after the payment under paragraph (1) —
        (A) One third shall be distributed to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, to be used for finding missing children and combating child sexual exploitation.
        (B) One third shall be distributed to the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, to be used —
          (i) to provide financial assistance for —
            (I) surviving family members of Federal law enforcement members killed in the line of duty;
            (II) Federal law enforcement members who have become disabled; and
            (III) Federal law enforcement employees and their families in select instances, such as severe trauma or financial loss, where no other source of assistance is available;
          (ii) to provide scholarships to students pursuing a career in the law enforcement field; and
          (iii) to provide selective grants to charitable organizations.
        (C) One third shall be distributed to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, to support the construction of the National Law Enforcement Museum and the preservation and display of its artifacts.
    (c) Audits – All organizations, associations, and funds shall be subject to the audit requirements of section 5134(f)(2) of title 31, United States Code, with regard to the amounts received under subsection (b).
    (d) Limitation – Notwithstanding subsection (a), no surcharge may be included with respect to this issuance under this Act of any coin during a calendar year if, as of the time of such issuance, the issuance of such coin would result in the number of commemorative coin programs issued during such year to exceed the annual 2 commemorative coin program issuance limitation under section 5112(m)(1) of title 31, United States Code (as in effect on the date of the enactment of this Act). The Secretary of the Treasury may issue guidance to carry out this subsection.


SEC. 8. FINANCIAL ASSURANCES.

    The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that —
      (1) minting and issuing coins under this Act will not result in any net cost to the United States Government;
      (2) no funds, including applicable surcharges, shall be disbursed to any recipient designated in section 7 until the total cost of designing and issuing all of the coins authorized by this Act (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping) is recovered by the United States Treasury, consistent with sections 5112(m) and 5134(f) of title 31, United States Code.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian April 5, 2012 at 7:44 am

I like the inclusion of this text in the law:

(4) REALISTIC AND HISTORICALLY ACCURATE DEPICTIONS – The images for the designs of coins issued under this Act shall be selected on the basis of the realism and historical accuracy of the images and on the extent to which the images are reminiscent of the dramatic and beautiful artwork on coins of the so -called ‘Golden Age of Coinage’ in the United States, at the beginning of the 20th Century, with the participation of such noted sculptors and medallic artists as James Earle Fraser, Augustus Saint -Gaudens, Victor David Brenner, Adolph A. Weinman, Charles E. Barber, and George T. Morgan.

Is that new language as far as commemorative coin legislation is concerned?

george glazener April 5, 2012 at 8:18 am

And of course, every American will be mandated by law to purchase one of these products or face a fine. Something about the commerce clause, I believe it’s called..??

Don’t want to comply? Well, the newly expanded IRS will just hunt you down or take it out of your checking acct automatically. It’s really the only fair way to sell coins after all.

jim April 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

I believe it is. Apparently even the lawmakers are getting tired of the dumb designs the mint has been coming up with lately. It’s too bad that the mint can’t hire people with classy ideas and some imagination and instead has to be told to imitate designers of 100 yrs ago. Of course there’s little one can do when the design is already dictated to have “America’s Star” on it already. I think using a full sized star in deep cameo on the silver $1 coin would look really terrific, and not bad on the $5 gold coin too.

Brian April 5, 2012 at 10:51 am

I wonder if we’ll end up with “star” coins in both 2013 and 2015. I believe next year is slated to showcase the 5-star general commemorative coins. I can’t imagine the CFA / CCAC would select designs featuring a star in 2013, knowing that two years later the commems are mandated to feature a star as well – at least I’m hoping they’ll keep that in mind during the selection process.

I’m not sure this is the venue for venting your quibbles about the national healthcare policy george.

Jim – I agree it is too bad the lawmakers had to step in to mandate creativity! I’m very interested to see what kind of designs those considerations will produce.

jim April 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

I would expect the 2013 coins will have 5 stars and they will also be standalone stars, with a raised center point, and the “America’s Star” has the circle around it. I think both are attractive stars and I wouldn’t mind seeing one so soon after the other. The “America’s Star” lends itself very nicely to frosting (mirror finish the empty areas) so I’m looking forward to the mint not screwing it up.

Too bad we couldn’t get some original tattered looking stars and stripes above Fort McHenry on the star spangled banner gold coins.

RonnieBGood April 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm

From an investor / collector standpoint the fact that there will be Six Versions of this coin make it less attractive.

I agree that the Mint is paying Less attention to what Appeals to the Collecting Community. A person or three in the approval of the design process…

The coins that stand out over time are unique in their Design, Beauty and Quality.

Alan April 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

But… It’s three different “price points”, so no matter how much money you’re willing to spend, we’ve got a product that will appeal to you! 😛

Eugene DeTonnancourt February 15, 2015 at 11:21 pm

The 3 coin set is very nice.

Leave a Comment