With the 2012 presidential election now history and President
Barack Obama elected to a second four-year term, one of many tasks his
Presidential Inaugural Committee will be addressing is the issuance of
an official inaugural medal.
At least two private mints, including the firm that produced the
2009 Obama inaugural medal, already have designs ready to contend for
the 2013 official inaugural medal.
The official inaugural medal is issued by the Presidential
Inaugural Committee and not by the government. The medal bears designs
selected by the committee’s medal design subcommittee from private
submissions. The official inaugural medals are produced in various
metallic versions by the firm that submits the approved designs.
The official inaugural medals should not be confused with similar
medals produced by the U.S. Mint. For more than a century, the Mint
has traditionally produced a medal for each president, with that medal
simply referred to as a presidential medal. The U.S. Mint did not
produce a presidential medal for President Obama’s first term since
the bureau received no direction from the White House to proceed with
executing proposed designs.
U.S. Mint officials have given no indications that a first-term
presidential medal will ever be struck, nor that one will be struck
for the second term, either.
At least two major private mints have plans to submit designs for
consideration for the official second-term inaugural medal.
The Medalcraft Mint Inc., which executed President Obama’s first
inaugural medal in 2009 at its Green Bay, Wis., facilities, is one of
the firms. It already has produced Proof lead strikes featuring four
sets of proposed obverse and reverse designs the firm plans to submit
to the PIC’s medal design subcommittee, once one is established, Jerry
Moran, Medalcraft’s chief executive officer, told Coin World Nov. 7.
Medalcraft struck the 2009 medal in gold, silver and bronze
versions. Medalcraft also produced 2001 first-term and 2005
second-term inaugural medals for President George W. Bush.
Moran said the proposed designs for the 2013 inaugural medal will
subsequently be struck in bronze, with those struck bronze prototypes
submitted to the PIC’s medal design subcommittee.
Unlike the first-term inaugural medal, which just depicts
President Obama, the second-term medal’s obverse design will feature
joint portraits of the president with his vice president, Joe Biden,
as is traditional.
Three different artists and an in-house team at Medalcraft each
executed one proposed obverse and one proposed reverse for the 2013
medal, according to Moran. The artists are Marc Mellon of Connecticut,
who designed the 2009 Obama medal obverse; Amy Kann, of Narberth, Pa.;
and Peer Hansen, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Moran said Hansen and the in-house team also each produced single
obverse and reverse designs for a Mitt Romney first-term medal in case
the Republican contender won the election.
Northwest Territorial Mint
Ross Hansen, founder of Northwest Territorial Mint in Auburn,
Wash., which acquired Medallic Art Co. in Dayton, Nev., in July 2009,
said Nov. 7 he also plans to vie for the contract to produce the 2013
Obama inaugural medal, under the MACO banner.
Hansen said two outside artists and one in-house artist executed
design sketches for six to eight obverses, and two to three reverses
for the Obama second-term medal.
Hansen did not identify the artists.
The same three artists also sketched three obverses and two
reverses for proposed Romney medals, Hansen said.
Hansen said while the firm is currently extremely busy with
various projects, he believes the firm can improve on past adopted
designs, specifically the 2009 Obama medal obverse.
Hansen said this would be his first effort in securing an
inaugural medal contract. Northwest Territorial Mint did not compete
for the 2009 medal, he said, and he did not own Medallic Art Co. at
the time. Medallic Art Co., then owned by Robert Hoff, submitted
proposed designs for the 2009 medal.
Medallic Art Co., founded in New York in 1903, has a history of
producing official inaugural medals. The firm is responsible for the
➤ Calvin Coolidge (1925).
➤ Herbert Hoover (1929, MACO dies, struck at Philadelphia Mint).
➤ Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933, MACO dies, struck at Philadelphia
➤ Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953, 1957).
➤ John F. Kennedy (1961).
➤ Lyndon B. Johnson (1965).
➤ Richard M. Nixon (1969).
➤ Gerald R. Ford (1974).
➤ Ronald Reagan (1981, 1985).
➤ George H.W. Bush (1989).
➤ William J. Clinton (1997).
The official inaugural medals are generally offered to the public
for purchase. The medals are often offered in multiple compositions
and sizes. ■