The United States Mint revealed obverse and reverse designs for the
three-coin 2013 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Program on Oct. 18.
A gold $5 half eagle, silver dollar and copper-nickel clad half
dollar will be issued in 2013 in the program.
The three commemorative coins authorized under the program will
recognize the five U.S. Army officers who attained the five-star
general rank — Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, Henry “Hap”
Arnold, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar N. Bradley.
The enabling legislation did not specify which generals would
appear on which coins in the program. That decision was made by U.S.
The three obverse and three reverse coin designs were approved
Sept. 7 by Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal S. Wolin. Treasury Secretary
Timothy F. Geithner delegated his authority to select the coin designs
to Wolin, according to U.S. Mint officials.
Unveiling the designs
The approved designs were put on public display Oct. 22 through 24
at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and
Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in
Washington, D.C. The designs were exhibited at the United States Army
Command and General Staff College Foundation’s booth.
Wolin selected the designs after consultation with the foundation
and the Commission of Fine Arts, and after the designs were reviewed
by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Gold $5 designs
The obverse of the gold coin features a portrait of Gen. MacArthur
with the five-star insignia on the right side of the design. The
design, created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program
Associate Designer Ronald D. Sanders, will be sculptured by U.S. Mint
Medallic Sculptor Michael Gaudioso.
The approved obverse had been recommended by the CFA at its June
21 meeting. The CCAC, at its June 26 meeting, recommended a different
obverse, showing MacArthur facing slightly to his right instead of
left, and wearing glasses.
The Command and General Staff College Foundation had recommended a
portrait of MacArthur in World War II from a chest-high view for the obverse.
The gold half eagle’s approved reverse depicts the Leavenworth
Lamp, the symbol of the Command and General Staff College. AIP Master
Designer Barbara Fox designed the reverse. Fox’s design will be
sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Joseph F. Menna.
The approved reverse design was not the choice of either the CCAC
or the CFA.
The CCAC recommended a design similar to the approved reverse,
with the panel’s choice showing three five-pointed stars in an arc
above the lamp and single stars to either side of the lamp’s base (no
stars appear on the selected design).
The CCAC’s reverse choice had been designed as a contender for the
The CFA recommended a $5 reverse design depicting a soldier
storming a Pacific Island Beach.
CCAC members had recommended that the designs for all three coins
be more directly linked to the CGSC.
Silver dollar designs
Portraits of Gens. Marshall and Eisenhower against a striped
background with the five-star insignia above their heads will appear
on the obverse of the silver dollar.
AIP Master Designer Richard Masters designed the obverse. Menna
will sculpture the reverse.
The CCAC recommended the design approved for the obverse. The CFA
had recommended a similar design, sans the striped background and with
a slightly different placement of the portraits, which were more
The coin’s reverse design features the Leavenworth Lamp and an
inscription referencing the college below. Fox designed the reverse,
with Menna assigned to sculpture the design.
Both the CFA and CCAC recommended completely different reverses
from the one chosen for the coin.
The CFA recommended a silver dollar reverse design taken from the
World War II Victory Medal showing the allegorical figure Nike
standing victorious with a broken sword in her hand.
The CCAC recommended a reverse design depicting an eagle with a
shield that had been originally submitted as a half dollar reverse.
Half dollar designs
The copper-nickel clad half dollar obverse and reverse designs
were both created by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill, who
will also sculpture her own designs.
The half dollar obverse design selected features the portraits of
Gens. Arnold and Bradley with the five-star insignia above their heads.
The CFA recommended the same obverse design. The CCAC made no
recommendation for the half dollar obverse.
The approved reverse design features the heraldic crest of Fort Leavenworth.
Both the CFA and CCAC recommended the same reverse design as the
The foundation’s choice for the half dollar reverse design was the
design eventually adopted for the reverse of the silver dollar.
The designer’s initials of both the artist and member of the
Mint’s engraving staff assigned to sculpture each design will appear
on each side of each of the three commemorative coins.
The 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coin Act became Public Law
111-262 when the bill was signed into law Oct. 8, 2010, by President Obama.
The United States Mint expects the coins to be available for
purchase early in 2013.
The 2013 release of the three coins coincides with the celebration
of the 132nd anniversary of the founding of the United States Army
Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kan. The honored
generals either attended or taught at the college.
The enabling legislation authorizes production and issuance of up
to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000
copper-nickel clad half dollars combined in Proof and Uncirculated versions.
Customer demand will determine the ratio of Proof to Uncirculated
coins produced within the authorized mintage limits.
The U.S. Mint is still in the process of determining which of its
production facilities will strike which coins for the 2013 Five-Star
Generals Commemorative Coin Program, according to Mint spokesperson
The coins in the program will carry surcharges to be distributed
to the beneficiary organization, after the U.S. Mint has recouped its
combined production costs.
In the 5-Star Generals program, the purchase price of each gold
coin will carry a $35 surcharge; each silver dollar, a $10 surcharge;
and each copper-nickel clad half dollar, a $5 surcharge.
Surcharges are to be paid, per the enabling legislation, to the
Command and General Staff College Foundation to help finance its
support of the Command and General Staff College. ■