From 1976 through 1984, Mel Wacks designed and counterstamped more
than 10,000 coins for more than 20 occasions including the Los Angeles
Olympics, President Reagan’s Inauguration, Freedom for the American
Hostages, Pope John Paul II’s visits to Mexico and the USA, and more.
A catalog of these counterstamped coins was published in the TAMS
Journal (March-April 2011) and appears online; the pieces are sometimes offered for sale
Now, for the first time in more than 30 years, Wacks is producing
new counterstamped coins. These will commemorate Pope Francis’
historic first trip to the United States, from Sept. 22 to 27, when he
will visit Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia.
In a letter accompanying the first counterstamped coin sent to Pope
Francis, Wacks wrote, “I have been inspired by your messages in behalf
of the earth and the poor. A portion of the profits will be given to
an appropriate Catholic charity.”
A maximum of 500 Brilliant Uncirculated 2015 Kennedy half dollars
(from both Philadelphia and Denver Mints) will be counterstamped with
the coat of arms of Pope Francis with his personal motto below:
MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO (Latin for “By giving mercy and by choosing”).
Pope Francis’ coat of arms displays three emblems. In reference to
Francis being a Jesuit, the uppermost emblem — a radiating sun, within
which is the IHS christogram (a monogram of the holy name of Jesus) —
is that of the Society of Jesus. Below the Jesuit emblem is an
eight-pointed star, which is a long-standing symbol of the Virgin
Mary, and a spikenard (or nard flower) representing Saint Joseph.
External ornaments include the Papal miter above and the crossed keys
of Saint Peter with cords.
The circumferential inscription reads: POPE FRANCIS VISITS USA/SEPT.
22-27, 2015. Mel Wacks’ initials MRW are below the shield. Examples of
these limited edition Pope Francis counterstamped Brilliant
Uncirculated 2015 Kennedy half dollars are available for $39.50
postpaid from Mel Wacks, 5189 Jeffdale Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91364
or by telephoning him at 818-225-1348.
Mention that you read about it in Coin World and take a 25
percent discount. For further information email Wacks.
More from CoinWorld.com:
the modern coin grading third-party-graded market is
to return millions of dollars in Liberty Dollar seized by
authorities in 2007
of the £1.3 million Anglo-Saxon coin hoard discovered in 2014
going on display: Coin World Buzz
Uncirculated 2015-W Native American dollar in 2015 American $1
Coin and Currency set
collectors keep coins in original packaging?
Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by
up for our free eNewsletters
liking us on Facebook
us on Twitter
. We're also on