The United States Mint on Thursday, February 16, 2012, released the 2012 Infantry Soldier Silver Dollars and the Defenders of Freedom Set.
The commemorative coins recognize the legacy of the U.S. Army Infantry and celebrate the establishment of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
For a limited period, the individual collector silver dollars are available at the introductory prices of $49.95 for the proof and $44.95 for the uncirculated. The United States Mint implemented the following pricing schedule for each:
|Silver Dollar Proof||$49.95||$54.95|
|Silver Dollar Uncirculated||$44.95||$49.95|
*The regular prices will go into effect after 5:00 p.m. ET on March 19, 2012.
Only one denomination is being minted, the dollar, with a limit of up to 350,000 strikes across the uncirculated and proof options, according to the "National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center Commemorative Coin Act of 2008," or Public Law 110-357.
Defenders of Freedom Set
For a few dollars more, the U.S. Mint is also offering a limited edition Defenders of Freedom Set which includes a proof silver dollar within a special folder along with a quote by President John F. Kennedy, the U.S. Army motto, and a small replica dog tag and chain.
The Defenders of Freedom Set is priced at $51.95 with a maximum of 50,000 produced. There is a limit of 100 sets per household during the first week. Afterwards, if any are still available, the U.S. Mint will re-evaluate sales to determine whether the household limit needs to be extended or removed.
Specifications and Designs for Infantry Soldier Silver Dollars
The $1 commemorative coins are composed of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Each is 1.50 inches in diameter, has a weight of 26.730 grams and a mint mark of "W" to denote their production at the United States Mint facility in West Point, NY.
The designs, revealed back in October, were required by law to be emblematic of the courage, pride, sacrifice, sense of duty, and history of the United States Infantry. Following a rigid process of selection by the US Treasury Secretary, and preceded by consultation with the National Infantry Foundation and the Commission of Fine Arts, plus a review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the designs below were chosen.
The obverse or heads side of the silver dollar shows a modern Infantry Soldier as he is charging forward with his head turned as he beckons his troops to follow, thus symbolizing the "Follow Me" motto of the Infantry, the U.S. Mint describes. It was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and engraved by Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The branch insignia of the Infantry, the two crossed rifles, is featured on the reverse of the silver dollar. This insignia has been used since the early days of the Infantry. Its design for the coin was made by AIP Associate Designer Ronald D. Sanders and engraved by Sculptor-Engraver Norman E. Nemeth.
For 236 years, the U.S. Army Infantry has fought for freedom for the nation and its allies. The first 10 companies were formed on June 14, 1775 by the Second Continental Congress, and almost 100 years later, there were around 25 regiments. Since then, the numbering system and organization have changed. Today the number of soldiers in the Infantry is approximately 49,000.
How to Order Infantry Soldier Silver Dollars
Buyers can order the silver dollars and the Defenders of Freedom Set through the United States Mint website at http://catalog.usmint.gov or by phone at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Surcharges of $10 per silver dollar will be collected by the United States Mint with proceeds forwarded to the National Infantry Foundation to help finance an endowment that will provide support and help maintain the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
The museum tells the story of the U.S. Army Infantry and preserves its legacy. It is located at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia. More information is found at http://www.nationalinfantryfoundation.org.
The Infantry Silver Dollars are the first of two commemorative series to be released by the United States Mint this year. The next issues belong to the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Program. These commemorative coins will be available in proof and uncirculated conditions, and the denominations will include a 50c clad, silver dollar and $5 gold coin. Their release date is scheduled for March 5, 2012 but is subject to change.