US Coins

Will there be an official presidential inaugural medal in 2021?

Joe Biden will get his own official inaugural medal if 2020 election results stand. Biden appears on the obverse of the 2013 Obama, second term, inaugural medal.

Portrait image courtesy of Wood TV; medal image courtesy of Medalcraft Mint.

With the Nov. 3 presidential election remaining to be certified as of Nov. 13, if the results hold, Joe Biden will have among his tasks approving designs for an official presidential inaugural medal.

President Donald Trump nixed any proposed designs presented to him by Medalcraft Mint for a medal from the 2016 election, and there is no officially designated medal associated with the Trump inauguration. His was the first inauguration in decades without an official inaugural medal.

An official inaugural medal is issued by the presidential inaugural committee and not by the government. The medal bears designs usually selected by the committee’s medal design subcommittee from private submissions. An official inaugural medal is produced in various metallic versions by the firm that submits the approved designs.

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.

Medalcraft Mint executed the 2009 and 2013 inaugural medals for Obama. Jerry Moran, Medalcraft CEO, told Coin World Nov. 10 that a third party has contacted him seeking Medalcraft’s participation again. That intermediate firm expects Biden’s camp to contract with it to oversee generating the Biden inaugural medal.

Biden appears on the obverse of the 2013 Obama inaugural medal in celebration of Obama’s second term as president. Traditionally, second term medals issued by the inaugural committee depict both the president and the vice president.

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