US Coins

Collectors can order Lew Treasury secretary medal

The bronze medal honoring Jacob J. Lew’s service as the 76th secretary of the Treasury is now available from the United States Mint.

The medal is offered only in a 3-inch version for $39.95. The medal was placed on sale at on Jan. 18.

Lew, who was sworn into office as Treasury secretary Feb. 28, 2013, was presented an example of the medal during private ceremonies Jan. 12 at the main Treasury Building,  preceding the unveiling of the approved designs for the 1792–2017-W American Liberty gold $100 coin.

The obverse portrays a front-facing Lew backed by a billowing American flag, with JACOB J. LEW inscribed above. The inscription 76TH SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY is inscribed on a ribbon below the portrait.

The medals’s obverse was designed and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II, lead sculptor on the U.S. Mint’s engraving staff. The design is a slightly modified version of the one the Commission of Fine Arts, Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and Lew himself favored.

The medal’s reverse, designed by Everhart, was sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph F. Menna.

The reverse design features a rendition of the Statue of Liberty, clutching in her left hand a tablet of law on which appears the date July 4, 1776, using Roman numerals for the day and year, reflecting the date of American independence.  In the background is the Administration Building on Ellis Island. Inscribed in the upper right field is I LIFT / MY LAMP / BESIDE / THE / GOLDEN / DOOR, the final line in the closing stanza of poet Emma Lazarus’ 1883 poem, “The New Colossus.”

The complete poem is inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The plaque was installed in 1903, a decade and a half after Lazarus’s death.

EMMA / LAZARUS is inscribed in the bottom right field of the reverse of the Lew medal.

While the reverse devices are from the design recommended by the CFA and CCAC and favored by Lew, the excerpt from Lazarus’ poem is substituted for a quote from abolitionist Harriet Tubman, which read I WOULD FIGHT FOR LIBERTY SO LONG AS MY STRENGTH LASTED.

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