Earlier today, Jan. 17, President Obama received bronze medals for each of his two terms in office. Replicas of them are now available to the public.
During a ceremony in the Oval Office, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Deputy Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin and U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson presented the medals.
"The medals presented to President Obama ensure that a long-standing tradition of honoring our presidents remains unbroken," Jeppson said. "Designed, sculpted and struck by the men and women of the U.S. Mint, the medals institutionalize his legacy in a tangible and historical form alongside those leaders who preceded him."
In addition to coins, the U.S. Mint has produced Presidential medals since the early days of the nation.
Design candidates for the two Obama Presidential medals were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts on June 16, 2016 and then by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee on June 27, 2016. The two panels recommended the same designs, and each was adopted for the official versions.
Both medals feature the president’s portrait on their obverse (heads side) and portions of memorable speeches delivered during his presidency on their reverse (tails side).
The reverse of the first term medal offers the excerpt from President Obama’s first inaugural address: OUR DESTINY IS NOT WRITTEN FOR US. IT IS WRITTEN BY US. Additional elements include the Presidential seal, the inauguration date of JANUARY 20, 2009, a signature and 50 surrounding stars.
The second-term medal reverse shows the excerpt from President Obama’s second inaugural address: THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL WORD IN OUR DEMOCRACY IS THE WORD "WE." Completing the design are an image of the White House, the inauguration date of JANUARY 20, 2013, a signature, the words WE THE PEOPLE, WE SHALL OVERCOME and YES WE CAN, and 50 surrounding stars.
U.S. Mint Sculptor Engraver Don Everhart sculpted the reverse of the first term medal and designed and sculpted both the obverse and reverse of the medal honoring the president’s second term. U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill sculpted the obverse of the first term medal. The two artists also participated in the ceremony, along with Elisa Basnight, Chief of Staff of the Mint.
The U.S. Mint is selling replicas of the medals and those of past presidents right here. Options include 3-inch medals and smaller 1.3125-inch medals at prices of $39.95 and $6.95 each.