Medalcraft Mint wins contract to produce Trump committee’s official presidential inaugural medal

Fifth consecutive inaugural committee contract for Green Bay, Wis., firm
By , Coin World
Published : 01/20/17
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The Donald J. Trump official presidential inaugural medal will be the fifth consecutive presidential inaugural medal struck by the Medalcraft Mint.

Medalcraft Mint President Jerry Moran said late Jan. 19 he was awaiting final approval to begin production of the Trump official presidential inaugural medal in individual 2.75-inch bronze, 2.75-inch .999 fine silver, and 2.75-inch 24-karat gold versions. A 1.25-inch, 14-karat gold medal will also be struck, for inclusion in a three-medal set that will also include the bronze and silver medals.

Exact weights of each medal won’t be known until Medalcraft strikes the first samples, Moran said. “Because of the relief in the portrait, we will be splash minting the pieces,” Moran said.

Splash minting uses higher than normal striking pressure and a thicker planchet to force metal into high relief dies. If no collar is used, the technique allows the edge to become somewhat irregular. This can be resolved by grinding off the excess metal, which reduces the weight of the finished piece compared to the initial weight of the incoming planchet. 

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Medalcraft Mint is also striking two separate bronze medals associated with the inauguration, one on behalf of the Ohio Republican Committee and the other for the Republican National Committee. Those two medals incorporate different obverse portraits of Trump; the designs were proposed to the Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee for the Trump official presidential inaugural medal, but not approved.

Medalcraft Mint is also producing a 24-karat gold-plated brass medal of yet a different design for sale as an inaugural souvenir for Ace Specialties, the Lafayette, La., firm selected to arrange for the production and marketing of Trump inaugural memorabilia, including medals, clothing and more.

Donald Trump Inauguration dollarLiberty Dollar creator marks Trump inauguration with a new series:
The Inaugural Trump Dollar marks the Jan. 20, 2017, inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Ace is reported to be responsible for the marketing and sales of the Trump official presidential inaugural medals as well. Possibly Presidential Coin & Antique Company in Clifton, Va., whose founder H. Joseph Levine has been selling official presidential inaugural committee medals for more than 40 years, will be also be involved in sales of the Trump medals.

With the Trump contract confirmed, Medalcraft Mint, located in Green Bay, Wis., continues a long tradition; it also received the contracts from the presidential inaugural committees to strike the official medals for the first and second terms, respectively, for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Almost no medal

There almost wasn’t going to be a Trump official presidential inaugural medal until Jimmy Hayes, a longtime collector, lobbyist for the Industry Council for Tangible Assets and former Louisiana congressman, stressed to Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee members the historical importance of maintaining the longstanding tradition.

Hayes provided the committee with images of official presidential inaugural medals from his own collection.

As part of the pitch to gain the contract, Moran said Medalcraft Mint’s engraving staff initially executed five proposed obverse and three proposed reverse designs, none of which were selected for the Trump official presidential inaugural medal.

The obverse design that was awaiting final approval was presented for consideration to the Trump family by Christl Mahfouz, president and founder of Ace Specialties in Lafayette, La. 

Hayes said the image of Trump from which Medalcraft rendered a proposed obverse design was presented to Mahfouz by someone associated with the Trump campaign.

The obverse that was awaiting final approval Jan. 19 portrays Trump superimposed over cropped images of an American flag and the White House. It is to be paired with a Presidential Seal reverse. 

Charges for the Trump official presidential inaugural medal are considered donations, with the proceeds to help offset the Trump presidential campaign debts with the Republican National Committee and Donald J. Trump for President Inc., but not for offsetting the costs of staging the Trump inauguration.

Other medals

James Dicke II, chairman of the Ohio Republican Committee and Ohio’s national committeeman to the Republican National Committee, commissioned Medalcraft Mint on behalf of the ORC to strike 500 bronze Trump medals using an obverse design proposed for the official presidential inaugural medal but rejected by the Trump committee, paired with a reverse bearing a rendering of the Presidential Seal. The bronze medals are 2.75 inches in diameter.

The medals, according to Dicke, will be distributed to Ohio donors, volunteers and campaign workers for the Trump campaign.

Dicke also served as chairman of the Medals Committee for the two George W. Bush official presidential inaugural medals.

Moran said Robert Paduchik, deputy co-chairman of the RNC, placed an initial order for 325 bronze medals using a different Trump portrait from among the five Medalcraft proposed and the Trump committee rejected. The portrait is to be paired with a slightly different rendering of the Presidential seal on the 2.75-inch bronze medals.

Paduchik subsequently placed a second order, Moran said Jan. 16, for an additional 600 of the bronze medals for the RNC.

Medalcraft Mint also provided the artwork for the 25-millimeter gold-plated brass Trump medal struck by the firm and being offered by Ace Specialities for $60.

The obverse design of that medal features in a central circle a large number 45, with PRESIDENT / DONALD J. TRUMP in two lines above and VICE PRESIDENT / MIKE PENCE in two lines below. In a vertical arc to the left of the 45 is inscribed INAUGURATED and to the right, JANUARY 20, 2017.

Around the border are 45 five-pointed stars, with the top star larger than the remaining 44.

The reverse design depicts as its central device the U.S. Capitol with the inaugural stage at which Trump takes the oath of office in the front. A total of 50 small stars, 25 left and 25 right, appear in the field flanking the Capitol. Inscribed within a ring around is INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT.

Circling the border are 45 small stars.

The website notes the website is “Paid for by Trump Make America Great Again Committee, a joint fundraising committee authorized by and composed of Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.”

Avoid confusion

The official presidential inaugural medal is not to be confused with the bronze Presidential medal struck by the U.S. Mint. The official presidential inaugural medal is the medal chosen by the incoming president’s Presidential Inaugural Committee or designated Medals Committee. The Presidential medal is struck by the U.S. Mint with designs approved by the seated president and from designs executed by a member or members of the U.S. Mint’s engraving staff. President Obama’s medals were released during his last week in office.

The Presidential medals struck by the Mint are produced in 1.3125-inch and 3-inch bronze sizes.

Assorted previous Presidential medals are currently being offered in the same diameters by the U.S. Mint, priced at $6.95 and $39.95, respectively.

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