Obama Presidential Medal Designs Unveiled

by Mike Unser on June 28, 2016 · 9 comments

Along with coins, the United States Mint has produced Presidential medals since the early days of the nation. Designs for medals honoring President Obama are now one step closer to production.

Obama Presidential Medal Design Candidates

Candidate designs for the President Obama Presidential Medals (Terms One and Two)

Presidents who served two terms are often honored with one medal highlighting each term. Design candidates for the two Obama Presidential medals were reviewed by Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on June 16 and then by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on June 27. Both panels recommended the same designs.

Six candidates went under review. They included two obverse and one reverse design for Obama’s first-term medal and one obverse and two reverse designs for the president’s second-term medal.

For the first medal, the panels preferred design #1 for the obverse, which shows a larger portrait of President Obama. Inscribed to the left is BARACK OBAMA. The reverse design offers the excerpt from President Obama’s first inaugural address: OUR DESTINY IS NOT WRITTEN FOR US. IT IS WRITTEN BY US.

Obama Presidential Medal Designs, First Term

Recommended designs for the first-term medal

Additional elements include the Presidential seal, the inauguration date of JANUARY 20, 2009, a signature and 50 surrounding starts.

The second-term medal design features a left-facing portrait of the president and BARACK OBAMA centered at the top. The panels recommended the simpler reverse design #2, which shows the excerpt from President Obama’s second inaugural address: THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL WORD IN OUR DEMOCRACY IS THE WORD "WE."

Obama Presidential Medal Designs, SecondTerm

Recommended designs for the second-term medal

Other elements include an image of the White House, the inauguration date of JANUARY 20, 2013, a signature, the words the words WE THE PEOPLE, WE SHALL OVERCOME and YES WE CAN, and 50 surrounding starts.

The U.S. Mint will eventually strike bronze duplicates of the two Obama Presidential medals and sell them to collectors. Options will include 3-inch medals and smaller 1.3125-inch medals at prices of $39.95 and $6.95 each.

Jefferson, Roosevelt and Regan bronze medals

The above photos show bronze medals honoring Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. These and others are available today from the U.S. Mint.

Bronze medals for past presidents are available from the U.S. Mint’s website, right here, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lbrewer42 June 29, 2016 at 11:57 am

Great… so the Benghazi Butcher gets pout onto an official US medal. Its a record, the first bon-US born person to be in the White House is honored on a medal. But don;pt forget the communist sickle and hammer.

RonK. June 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Lbrewer42, you are so correct! The Mint will lose $$$ on this joke
of a coin!

RonK. June 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Correction… medal, Thank God not a coin!!

Lbrewer42 June 29, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Hey… a way to turn this around! When the mint loses money on these and puts them on a bargain basement sale, then someone should buy them all, counterstamp them with a sickle & hammer/Benghazi Butcher/Traitor to the US etc. and sell them on ebay for a large profit.

art June 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Cant wait to get one!

Seth Riesling June 29, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Can’t wait to add these 2 US Mint presidential series bronze medals to my collection even though they are not the official inauguration medals for Obama’s two terms . I have both of the official Obama inauguration medals which were not struck by the US Mint (struck by a private Mint in USA at request of Obama’s official inauguration committees which has been the case for all recent presidents). Don’t confuse these in this article with the official inauguration medals. There are a number of books that tell the difference & history of them.

-NumisDudeTX

SalivateMetal June 30, 2016 at 10:32 am

As much as I loathe the current president’s policies and for the first time ever, I have little respect for a sitting president, the medals themselves are well designed and at least by the artwork bear a striking resemblance of Obama.

Robert June 30, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Seth, you are quite correct. The presidential medals the U.S. Mint produces have a long and rich history dating back to George Washington. First, they were considered as peace medals, I believe, the most famous of which is the Thomas Jefferson medal. Copies of these were given to Lewis & Clark to pass along to Native American tribes they encountered on their expedition. Since Abraham Lincoln’s terms, they have been struck with the same purpose as they are now… to acknowledge and commemorate our presidents. I love these designs!

Seth Riesling June 30, 2016 at 5:14 pm

Robert –

You are totally on point. And those early US Mint Peace medals, even in bronze, bring a small fortune at auctions! Early US Mint medals in gold & silver were given to VIPs of the time, including visiting royalty & heads of state. I don’t know why in recent years the US Mint hasn’t bid on producing the official inaugural presidential medals, except possibly due to their full schedule of production with an average of more than 200 products available in any given year recently. The top private Mints have picked up the slack & do a great job usually. I really like these two Obama designs that will be struck by the US Mint.

Happy collecting!

-NumisDudeTX

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