Dignitaries including Dr. Peter Salk, the eldest son of polio vaccine
pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk, ceremonially struck examples of
the Proof 2015-W March of Dimes silver dollar, March 11 at the West Point Mint.
The obverse of the coin features conjoined profiles of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dr. Jonas Salk. The
reverse depicts a baby cuddled in the hands of a parent.
Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes in 1938. Dr. Jonas Salk
developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine, which was
introduced in 1957.
The Uncirculated 2015-P silver dollar and the Proof 2015-W March of
Dimes silver dollar went on sale March 13 from the United States Mint.
The West Point Mint is also producing the Proof silver 2015-W
Roosevelt dime, one of three coins to be included in the 2015 March of
Dimes Special Silver set scheduled to go on sale May 4.
Limited to 75,000 sets, the three-coin set will also include a
Reverse Proof 2015-P Roosevelt dime.
The two dimes and both versions of the March of Dimes dollar are
struck in .900 fine silver.
Formal production for the March of Dimes coin program began in
February at the Philadelphia and West Point Mints.
Before the ceremonial strikes March 11, remarks about the coins and
the March of Dimes’ efforts to fight birth defects were delivered by
Dr. Salk, president of the Jonas
Salk Legacy Foundation; March of Dimes President Dr. Jennifer L.
Howse; U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios; West Point Mint Plant
Manager Ellen McCollum; Rhett Jeppson, principal deputy director of
the U.S. Mint; and the mother of Aidan Lamothe, the March of Dimes
national ambassador for 2014.
Aidan Lamothe, Dr. Salk, Dr. Howse and Rios struck examples of the
Proof March of Dimes dollar.
Adam Stump, deputy director for the Mint’s Office of Corporate
Communications, said the March of Dimes may purchase the four
ceremonial strikes if it so chooses. Stump said the price for each
coin would be the $46.95 introductory price, which is in place for a
30-day period from the March 13 launch of public sales of the Proof
Todd P. Dezen, the March of Dimes’ associate director for national
media relations, said the organization would likely take advantage of
the opportunity to purchase the four ceremonial strikes. Dezen said
the organization planned to purchase several hundred Proof March of
Dimes dollars to give to volunteers.
Details of the striking
For the Proof 2015-W silver dollars, with the simultaneous
activation of two buttons on the Gräbener coinage press, the safety
window closes, engaging the press to strike the planchet three times,
with 212 tons of pressure delivered at each strike of the dies.
The Proof 2015-W Roosevelt dimes are being struck on a Gräbener
press with two strikes at 37 tons per strike.
At the Philadelphia Mint, the Uncirculated 2015-P March of Dimes
silver dollar is being produced on a Gräbener press with three strikes
at 210 to 220 tons per strike, and the Reverse Proof 2015-P Roosevelt
dime is struck twice at 55 tons per strike.
The dies for the two March of Dimes dollars and the two Roosevelt
dimes are oriented horizontally in the coinage presses.
The upper, or hammer die in each case is the obverse and the lower,
or anvil, die is the reverse.
The planchet on which each dime or dollar is struck is manually
placed, one at a time, inside the coinage chamber between the coinage
dies using tongs.
For the Proof Roosevelt silver dimes, the San Francisco Mint supplied the blanks, which it
also annealed to soften the blank, and formed the raised proto-rim
through the upsetting process. The West Point facility then burnished
the blanks before striking.
For the Reverse Proof silver dimes, the San Francisco Mint supplied
the blanks, which it also annealed, upset and burnished.
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