The United States Mint announced designs Tuesday, Oct. 10, for the five silver medals that will be issued in conjunction with the commemorative 2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar.
Designs for the silver dollar were unveiled one day earlier, on Monday, Oct. 9. It honors the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in the First World War. The companion silver medals pay homage to branches of the U.S. Armed Forces that were active in World War I — the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Service, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard.
These medals will not be available individually, the U.S. Mint said. Instead, each will be paired with a World War I Centennial Silver Dollar and offered as a special set.
The five medals and dollar will share major specifications, including a mint mark denoting where they are produced, a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, a diameter of 1.500 inches and a weight of 26.730 grams. In one difference, the dollar will have a reeded edge while the medal edges will be smooth. Also, the silver medals will be issued in collector proof quality only while the silver dollar will be available in qualities of proof and uncirculated.
Below are U.S. Mint images, design descriptions, and the striking minting facility for each medal.
World War I Centennial Army Silver Medal – West Point Mint
The Army medal design depicts a soldier cutting through German barbed wire, while a second soldier aims a rifle amid a shattered landscape of broken trees and cratered earth. A shell explodes in the distance.
The medal’s reverse design features the United States Army emblem, which was also in use during World War I, with the inscriptions "OVER THERE!," "CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I," "2018," and "UNITED STATES ARMY."
The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Emily Damstra and sculpted by now retired United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, who also designed and sculpted the reverse.
World War I Centennial Marine Corps Silver Medal – San Francisco Mint
The Marine Corps medal’s obverse design depicts the aftermath of the Battle of Belleau Wood. One Marine stands guard as the other kneels to pay respect to the fallen. The inscription quotes a report to the American Expeditionary Forces: "WOODS NOW U.S. MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY."
The medal’s reverse design features the World War I-era version of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem with the inscriptions "CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I," "2018," "OVER THERE!," and "BATTLE OF BELLEAU WOOD."
The obverse was designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
World War I Centennial Navy Silver Medal – Philadelphia Mint
The obverse design of the Navy medal depicts a U.S. Navy destroyer on escort duty after deploying a depth charge in defense of a convoy. Above the destroyer, kite balloons provide Navy personnel a platform to spot submarines and other dangers. The inscription "OVER THERE!" appears at the bottom of the design.
The medal’s reverse design features an Officer’s Cap Device* used in World War I. Inscriptions are "UNITED STATES NAVY," "2018," and "CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I." (*Note: An official, uniform seal of the United States Navy had not been adopted at the time of World War I.)
The obverse was designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso, while the reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
World War I Centennial Air Service Silver Medal – Denver Mint
The obverse of the Air Service medal design depicts the iconic SPAD XIII, a World War I fighter flown by many Americans and valued for its speed, strength, and firepower, viewed from the top and side. The inscription "SPAD XIII" identifies the aircraft.
The medal’s reverse design features the Military Aviator Insignia with the inscriptions "CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I," "2018," "OVER THERE!," "AIR SERVICE," and "AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES."
This obverse was designed by AIP Designer Ronald D. Sanders and sculpted by Joseph Menna, who also designed and sculpted the reverse.
World War I Centennial Coast Guard Silver Medal – Philadelphia Mint
The obverse of the Coast Guard medal depicts a lifeboat from the Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Seneca heading out in heavy seas toward the torpedoed steamship Wellington.
The reverse design features the World War I-era Coast Guard emblem, with the inscriptions "CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I," "2018," and "OVER THERE!"
Both the obverse and reverse of the Coast Guard medal were designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.