Full-color images of the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coins have been published by the US Mint in preparation for the scheduled February 25, 2011, release.
The Mint has included images of both coins produced as part of the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program — the $5 Gold Coin and the Silver Dollar, with both the proof and uncirculated versions of each.
When issued, the strikes will mark the second of two commemorative coin series to be released by the US Mint this year. The first was the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins which made their debut on the 31st of January.
Medal of Honor Commemorative Gold Coin Images
The obverse of the $5 Gold Coin recalls the history of the Medal of Honor by showing an image of the original 1861 Navy Medal which was the first to be authorized by Congress. The design was completed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Minerva, the mythical Roman goddess of wisdom and war, who was shown on the original Army and Navy Medals of Honor, is also depicted on the reverse of the gold coin. The design shows Minerva holding a shield representative of those military branches in her right hand with a Union flag held in her left. She is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. It was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso
The US Mint has indicated the $5 gold proof coin will be released at an introductory price of $449.95 before changing to the normal price of $454.95. The uncirculated gold coin will debut at $439.95 and then assume the price of $444.95.
Medal of Honor Commemorative Silver Dollar Images
Shown on the obverse of the silver dollar are the three current Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honor, left to right. Each medal is attached to a common ribbon containing a field of stars. The obverse was designed by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.
A modern-day infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety while under enemy fire is depicted on the reverse of the silver dollar. It portrays the courage and willingness to sacrifice oneself for a fellow soldier. The design was completed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
When issued, the proof silver dollar will sell initially for $54.95 before going up to $59.95. The uncirculated silver dollar will be offered at first for $49.95 and then move up to $54.95.
The coins were authorized by Congress under the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009, Public Law 111-91, which allows up to 100,000 gold coins and 500,000 silver dollars to be issued.
According to the text of the legislation, the purpose of the Act was:
"To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, America’s highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States, to honor the American military men and women who have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, and to promote awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history."
President Barack Obama signed the Act into law on November 6, 2009.