Star Spangled Banner commem sales begin

Mint offering gold, silver coins in several options
Published : 03/06/12
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Sales for the two-coin 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Program were to begin March 5 following a formal ceremony staged at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Visitor Center in Baltimore by the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.

The 11 a.m. ceremony included attendance and remarks by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-Md.; Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md.; Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; Tina Orcutt, superintendent of the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine; and, representing the U.S. Mint, its chief counsel, Daniel P. Shaver.

The Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 111-232), signed into law by President Obama on Aug. 16, 2010, requires the Treasury secretary to mint and issue up to 100,000 gold $5 half eagles and 500,000 silver dollars in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Starting March 5, the U.S. Mint will offer the silver dollars in Proof and Uncirculated versions for 30 days at introductory prices. Regular pricing becomes effective when the introductory period ends at 5 p.m. Eastern Time April 5; regular issue prices will be in effect through mid-December 2012.

During the introductory period, the Proof and Uncirculated silver dollars will be offered for $49.95 and $44.95 respectively. After 5 p.m. April 5, the price of each coin will rise $5, to $54.95 and $49.95.

The Proof and Uncirculated half eagles will be market-priced weekly according to a gold-pricing grid based on the spot price of gold on the London market. The pricing grid will be used for all gold commemorative coin ordering options.

The initial pricing for the single Proof half eagle is $529.30 and for the Uncirculated half eagle, $519.30.

Later in the year, the U.S. Mint plans to offer a Star-Spangled Banner Bicentennial Silver Dollar set, limited to 50,000 sets. The set will contain a Proof 2012-P Star-Spangled Banner silver dollar packaged with other materials related to the bicentennial. The set will be offered at $53.95.

The configuration for the set is still under development, according to Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Public Affairs.

Also to be offered beginning March 5 is a two-coin Proof set containing a half eagle and a silver dollar. The set will be offered at an initial price of $579.30, with pricing to be adjusted weekly as necessary.

A limit of 50 two-coin Proof sets per household will be in effect for the first week of the program, and re-evaluated weekly to determine whether to extend, adjust or remove the ordering restrictions.

Surcharges included in the pricing for all options — $35 for each gold coin and $10 for each silver coin — are authorized, after the Mint recoups its production costs, to be paid to the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission in support of the Bicentennial events, outreach and preservation of War of 1812-related sites.

Sales at and by phone at 800-872-6468 were to begin at noon EST March 5.

A $4.95 shipping and handling charge will be added to all domestic orders to cover shipping and handling costs.


The gold and silver coin designs are emblematic of the War of 1812, particularly the Battle of Baltimore that served as the basis of the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” — the National Anthem.

The obverse of the half eagle features 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 reverse design depicts the first words of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” 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 half eagle’s reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculptured by Menna.

The silver dollar’s obverse features Lady Liberty holding aloft in a breeze the 15-star, 15-stripe Star-Spangled Banner flag with Fort McHenry in the background. The design was designed by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill.

AIP Associate Designer William C. Burgard III designed the silver dollar’s reverse, which depicts a wind-rippled modern American flag. U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II sculptured Burgard’s design.

Both the Proof and Uncirculated versions of the silver dollar are being struck at the Philadelphia Mint and bear the P Mint mark.

Both the Proof and Uncirculated half eagles are being struck at the West Point Mint and carry the W Mint mark. ■

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