Without advance fanfare, the official presidential inaugural medal for President Barack Obama’s second term went on sale Jan. 3, with two of the options offered at unprecedented prices.
The medals and other presidential inaugural memorabilia were posted online for sale at store.2013pic.org by the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013.
The die-struck bronze, silver and gold medals are being produced by Medalcraft Mint in Green Bay, Wis.
Medalcraft Mint produced the inaugural medals for President Obama’s first term.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee and Medalcraft Mint made no official announcement concerning the selection of designs before the medals were offered for sale.
According to Medalcraft Mint, proposed designs were submitted in November to the Presidential Inaugural Committee and designs selected just before the opening of sales at store.2013pic.org.
According to the website, the 2013 bronze medal is being offered at $50 each.
The silver medal is priced at $1,250, which is more than three times the price charged for the 2009 Obama silver medal.
The 2009 silver medal was offered for $400, while the 2009 bronze medal was offered for $60.
The 2013 gold medal is available only in a three-piece set, which is offered at a price of $7,500 per set. The three-piece set for the 2009 medals was offered for $3,000.
According to Medalcraft Mint, the bronze medal is 2.75 inches in diameter and 0.25 inch thick, with a premium antique finish. The silver medal is 2.75 inches in diameter and 0.22 inches thick, and made of .999 fine silver. The gold medal is 1.25 inches in diameter and 0.125 inch thick, and composed of .625 fine gold (14 karats).
All three medals are edge-inscribed, incuse, with MEDALCRAFT MINT, GREEN BAY, WI, with BRONZE, .999FS or 14KT added depending on the version.
The medals are being struck to order, with no set mintage limit.
In keeping with tradition, the second official presidential inaugural medal includes a portrait of the vice president along with that of the president. The official presidential inaugural medal from 2009 features a portrait of President Obama alone.
The obverse of the 2013 official presidential inaugural medal features conjoined portraits facing left of President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Inscribed above is SECOND INAUGURATION and below the portraits, the date 2013.
The obverse was designed and sculptured by Brooklyn, N.Y., sculptor Peer Hansen, who was commissioned by Medalcraft Mint to submit proposed designs.
The reverse design — created by an internal design team at Medalcraft Mint — features a rendition of the United States Capitol at center.
To the left, in three lines is inscribed PRESIDENT / BARACK / OBAMA, and to the right, in three lines, VICE PRESIDENT / JOSEPH R. / BIDEN JR.
Mint presidential medals
The official presidential inaugural medal is issued on behalf of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. More often than not, in recent decades, the medals have been produced by a private mint, but a number of earlier issues were executed by the U.S. Mint under contract to the inaugural committees.
Separate from the official presidential inaugural medal are the presidential medals struck and issued by the U.S. Mint after each president takes office.
No U.S. Mint presidential medal was ever produced for President Obama’s first term in office. Mint spokesman Michael White said Jan. 3 that there was no indication whether a 2013 presidential medal would be struck either. ■