US Coins

President signs into law commem coin and gold medal legislation

President Obama signed into law Dec. 16 legislation authorizing commemorative coins to honor World War I American veterans and to award a gold medal to golfer Jack Nicklaus.

According to the commemorative coin legislation, a prize of not less than $5,000 will be awarded for the winning design for commemorative silver dollars to mark the 2018 centennial of the end of World War I and America’s involvement in the conflict. 

The law sets production limits at a maximum of 350,000 silver dollars, with designs to be emblematic of the centennial, issued in Uncirculated and Proof quality and struck at only one United States Mint facility, from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018. 

H.R. 2366 was introduced in June 2013 by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.

The law mandates designs would be judged by “an expert jury,” chaired by the Treasury secretary, three members from the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and three members from the Commission of Fine Arts. Members of the CFA and CCAC would select their participants for the jury. 

The Treasury secretary will make the final design selection and also set the rate of compensation for the winner, “which shall be not less than $5,000,” according to the law. 

The law mandates that the Treasury secretary “may not accept a design for the competition unless a plaster model accompanies the design.” 

The price of the coins will include a surcharge of $10 per coin and surcharges would go to the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars, to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I.

Surcharges will not be paid out “until the total cost of designing and issuing” the coins is recovered by the U.S. Treasury.

Gold medal

H.R. 2203, introduced by Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi, R-Ohio, was approved by the House May 19, 2014, and the Senate on Dec. 1, 2014.

The medal would recognize Nicklaus’ service to the “nation in promoting excellence, good sportsmanship, and philanthropy,” according to the legislation.

Nicklaus, 74, is a world-famous golf professional, a highly successful business executive, a prominent advertising spokesman, a passionate and dedicated philanthropist, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, according to the legislation.

The legendary Nicklaus was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at the age of 34 in 1974.

The legislation directs that the design of the gold medal will be appropriate to recognize his service to the nation. The legislation also authorizes the striking and sale to the public of bronze duplicate medals.

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