Designs given final approval by Treasury Secretary Timothy F.
Geithner for the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner gold $5 half eagle and
silver dollar were unveiled Dec. 14 by the U.S. Mint.
“From the perilous naval engagement in the harbor with the Stars
and Stripes waving above Fort McHenry, to the opening line of our
national anthem dramatically depicted in Francis Scott Key’s
handwriting, these gold and silver coins capture iconic symbols of the
Battle of Baltimore, a critical conflict in the war to preserve our
liberty,” Deputy Mint Director Richard A. Peterson said Dec. 14.
Proof and Uncirculated versions of both coins will be offered to
collectors. No date has been announced for commencement of sales nor
has the Mint released pricing for ordering options.
The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law
111-232) calls for the production and issuance of up to 100,000 gold
half eagles and 500,000 silver dollars to commemorate the bicentennial
of the writing of the U.S. national anthem.
The price of each gold coin will include a $35 surcharge, while
each silver dollar’s price will incorporate a $10 surcharge. After the
U.S. Mint recoups all of its production costs, all remaining
surcharges are authorized to be paid to the Maryland War of 1812
Bicentennial Commission. The commission is to use these funds to
support its bicentennial activities, educational outreach, and
preservation and improvement of the sites and structures related to
the War of 1812.
The enabling act requires that the coins’ designs be emblematic of
the War of 1812, particularly the Battle of Baltimore that formed the
basis for the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The obverse of the gold half eagle is emblematic of the theme “The
Battles at Sea During the War of 1812.” The approved design depicts a
naval battle scene from the War of 1812, with an American sailing ship
in the foreground and a damaged and fleeing British ship in the
background. The obverse was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion
Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculptured by U.S. Mint
Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna.
The half eagle’s reverse design is emblematic of the theme “The
Star-Spangled Banner” (the song). The approved design depicts the
first words of the national anthem, O SAY CAN YOU SEE, in Francis
Scott Key’s handwriting against a backdrop of 15 stars and 15 stripes,
representing the Star-Spangled Banner flag. The reverse was designed
by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculptured by Menna.
The silver dollar’s obverse design is emblematic of the theme “The
Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry.” The design depicts Lady Liberty
waving the 15-star, 15-stripe Star-Spangled Banner flag, with Fort
McHenry in the background. The obverse was designed by AIP Master
Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor
The reverse — designed by AIP Associate Designer William C.
Burgard III and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald
Everhart II — is emblematic of the theme “The Star-Spangled Banner”
(the flag). It depicts a waving modern American flag.
Check the U.S. Mint website at www.usmint.gov for updates on a
release date and pricing for the Star-Spangled Banner commemorative