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The E-Sylum: Volume 21, Number 4, January 27, 2019, Article 32

DENNIS TUCKER ON THE NEW U.S. MINT MEDAL PROGRAMS

I had a couple items of U.S. Mint news in last week's issue, but hadn't included anything on their new medal program. Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) member Dennis Tucker published a Coin Update article January 16, 2018 on the topic. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

Medal collectors—you’re in for some treats! As a longtime collector and student of medallic art, I’m excited about two new programs announced in today’s meeting (Tuesday, January 16, 2018) of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). Ann Bailey, the Mint’s program manager for numismatics and bullion, discussed a new series of silver Presidential medals and an upcoming program of military-service medals.

Historical Presidential Medals in .999 Fine Silver

The silver Presidential medals will be similar to recent issues (reissues, really, because they use historical Mint medal designs) in various “Coin and Chronicles” sets, but

the program will include all Presidential medals, and they’ll be minted in Proof, rather than regular-strike format. The Mint will strike these medals on standard American Silver Eagle planchets (.999 fine, measuring 40.6 mm, slightly larger than a silver dollar), starting with two medals in 2018 and then issuing four more per year until completion.

They’ll be sold as what used to be called “list” medals (national medals published in the Mint’s annual product list)—on sale in perpetuity, as permanent items in the Mint catalog, with no ordering limits, time windows, or other such restrictions.

U.S. Military Service Medals in .999 Fine Silver

Another new program currently in the works will include .999 fine silver medals for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard, with the possibility of including the National Guard (Army and/or Air Force). These medals will focus on celebrating the military branches themselves, as opposed to particular wars, battles, or anniversaries. (Good news for the U.S. Air Force, for example, which won’t celebrate its centennial—and therefore probably won’t see an official legal-tender commemorative coin—until the year 2047.)

As with the planned Presidential medals, these will be minted on standard American Silver Eagle planchets, 40.6 mm in diameter and composed of .999 pure silver. They’ll be issued without dates and without mintmarks. Like the silver Presidential medals, they’ll become part of the Mint’s “list”—permanently featured in its catalog, issued in perpetuity, with no ordering limits. Everyone who wants one will be able to get one, directly from the United States Mint, without paying a markup to an aftermarket distributor.

Dennis is the author of American Gold and Silver: U.S. Mint Collector and Investor Coins and Medals, Bicentennial to Date. Here's his take on what this means for the medal collector. -Editor

This upcoming new medal program will give collectors an opportunity to acquire outstanding classic American artwork by some of the Mint’s most talented engravers. The fact that they’ll be minted in pure silver, and in Proof format, practically guarantees the program’s success. Watch for the inevitable best-sellers: the Mount Rushmore presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and T. Roosevelt) and Franklin D. Roosevelt, with more recent chief executives such as Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, Obama, and others undoubtedly appealing to many fans.

If you’re a medal collector, I hope you’re as excited and pleased as I am with the United States Mint and its recent innovations in this field of our hobby. The Mint is showing long-term commitment to interesting and popularly themed medal programs, some using classic designs from among our nation’s archives, and others stepping into modern territory with the work of living artists. Kudos to the Mint. We await your work!

I would be interested to see some of these medals in silver - I think they'll be quite attractive. But I wonder about the unlimited mintages, which would eliminate the possibility of rarities in the series. For a different take on the program, see Don Scarinci's view in the next article in this issue. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Medal collectors: A treasure chest of new silver issues is coming from the United States Mint (http://news.coinupdate.com/medal-collectors-a-treasure-chest-of-new-silver-issues-is-coming-from-the-united-states-mint/)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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