The United States Mint today, February 25, 2011, released the 2011 Medal of Honor Gold and Silver Commemorative Coins. They are available in collector proof and uncirculated qualities at introductory prices ranging from $49.95 to $449.95. The issues are the final series of commemorative coins to be released in 2011.
The commemoratives, which recognize and celebrate the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, are available in two denominations. The "Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009," (Public Law 111-91), authorizes up to 100,000 $5 gold pieces and a maximum of 500,000 silver dollars. The United States Mint has implemented the following pricing schedule for each:
|$5 Gold Proof||$449.95||$454.95|
|$5 Gold Uncirculated||$439.95||$444.95|
|Silver Dollar Proof||$54.95||$59.95|
|Silver Dollar Uncirculated||$49.95||$54.95|
The regular prices will go into affect after 5:00 p.m. ET on March 28, 2011.
Less than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded since 1861. As stated in Public Law 111-91, the medal is given to those who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their life above and beyond the call of duty while:
- engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
- engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
- serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Specifications and Designs
The $5 gold coin is composed of 90 percent gold and 10 percent alloy. It is 0.850 inches in diameter, has a weight of 8.359 grams and a mint mark of "W" for the proof and "P" for the uncirculated. The mint marks denote whether the coin was produced in West Point or Philadelphia.
The obverse or heads side of the $5 gold coin recalls the history of the medal by its depiction of the very first 1861 Navy Medal of Honor as authorized by Congress in 1861. It was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Minerva, the mythical Roman goddess of wisdom and war, is depicted on the reverse of the $5 gold coin. Minerva was shown on the original Army and Navy Medals of Honors. The design, by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz, has Minerva holding a shield representing the Army and Navy in her right hand and the Union flag in her left hand. She is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. The engraver was Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The silver dollar is composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. It is 1.500 inches in diameter, has a weight of 26.730 grams and a mint mark of "P" for the proof and "S" for the uncirculated. The mint marks denote whether the coin was produced in Philadelphia or San Francisco.
The silver dollar obverse depicts the three current Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honors. Each medal is attached to a common ribbon containing a field of stars. The obverse was designed and engraved by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.
The silver dollar reverse features a modern-day infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety while under enemy fire. It symbolizes 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.
$5 Gold or Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Order Information
Buyers can order the coins through the United States Mint website (http://catalog.usmint.gov/) or by phone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Surcharges of $35 per gold coin and $10 per silver dollar will be collected by the United States Mint with proceeds forwarded to the Secretary to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to help finance the educational, scholarship and outreach programs of the Foundation.
The first series of commemorative released by the United States Mint were the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins. The coins are available in proof and uncirculated. Denominations include a 50c clad, silver dollar and $5 gold coin.