A first-strike ceremony for the first U.S. commemorative coin struck
in pink gold, the Breast Cancer Awareness gold $5
coin, was held Jan. 12 at the West Point Mint in New York.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, author of the bipartisan legislation
that became the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 148), joined Breast Cancer Research
Foundation President Myra Biblowit, foundation scientific director Dr.
Larry Norton, and several breast cancer survivors to strike the first
Breast Cancer Awareness commemorative coin at the West Point Mint
before the program goes into full production.
During the 19th century, Freedom and Liberty
often took center stage on American money.
Also inside this issue, we look at a long-running series of
auction catalogs that set a high standard for competitors.
Development of the pink gold required under the act produced a
composition of 85 percent gold, 14.8 percent copper and 0.2 percent
zinc. The coins go on sale March 15 by the U.S. Mint.
World Jan. 10 that the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,
which is the legislated recipient for net surcharges from coin sales,
is heavily promoting the commemorative coin program through collector
and noncollector outlets.
Making gold ‘pink’
When the enacting legislation was being developed, factors that
would attract both collectors and noncollectors alike were considered,
which included the idea of a coin whose composition would result in a
hue of pink, the recognized color for the breast cancer awareness
movement, Maloney said. Maloney said U.S. Mint officials were
consulted as to the feasibility of the bureau being able to produce a
coin in pink gold. She said Mint officials embraced the initiative,
which became part of the legislation eventually passed by Congress and
signed into law. The Proof and Uncirculated 2018-W pink $5 coins are
limited to a combined authorization of 50,000 coins. Composition is 85
percent gold, 14.8 percent copper and 0.2 percent zinc.
The act also calls for the combined production of up to 400,000
silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars in Proof
and Uncirculated versions. The silver dollars will be struck at the
Philadelphia Mint. The copper-nickel clad half dollars will be
produced at the Denver Mint. Both denominations will bear the
respective Mint marks of the facilities that produce them.
All three coins will bear a common obverse and reverse, selected
through a juried design competition. Emily Damstra, a U.S. Mint
Artistic Infusion Program artist, was the winning designer.
The obverse features two women. The older woman has her hands
clasped to her chest, a relieved expression on her face. The younger
woman, wearing a scarf on her head, holds one hand to her chest and
the other raised in a fist as if she is ready to fight. A butterfly
flies above the two women. Damstra’s obverse design was sculptured by
U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. Damstra’s winning reverse
design depicts a tiger swallowtail butterfly in flight, a symbol of
hope. The design was sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
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The coin designs were unveiled Oct. 23 by Maloney at an event at
Breast Cancer Research Foundation headquarters in Manhattan.