U.S. Mint customers who ordered the World War I silver medals will
still have to wait until late May before deliveries begin, but even
before that happens, the number of orders for them have shrunk a bit.
Buy the book before the note? That’s
right Wendell Wolka explains why investing in a library
is essential for paper money collectors. Also in this issue, we
check in on the progress being made in the battle against counterfeits.
Order cancellations for the five medals, one for each military
branch serving in the war, have resulted in lower “mintages.” U.S.
Mint officials say final tallies will not be determined for some time, yet.
The medals were offered to Mint customers from Jan. 17 to Feb. 30,
and will be struck to order. As of April 8, here are the sales for
each medal, compared to their Feb. 21 totals immediately after sales
U.S. Army, 15,105, down from 15,609; U.S. Navy, 11,941, down from
12,223; U.S. Air Service, 12,066, down from 12,495; U.S. Marines
Corps, 12,194, down from 12,631; and U.S. Coast Guard, 9,401, down
The medals were offered only in sets that were priced at $99.95
each. Each set pairs one of the Proof .999 fine silver medals with a
Proof .900 fine 2018-P World War I American Veterans Centennial silver
dollar. A customer ordering all five medals will receive five of the
Each of the medals bears designs reflective of the military branch’s
services in the war. Here are the U.S. Mint’s descriptions for each medal.
➤ United States Army: Medal to be struck at West Point Mint with the
W Mint mark. The Army medal design depicts a soldier cutting through
German barbed wire, while a second soldier aims a rifle amid a
shattered landscape of broken trees and cratered earth. A shell
explodes in the distance. The medal’s reverse design features the
United States Army emblem, which was also in use during World War I,
with the inscriptions OVER THERE!, CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I, 2018,
and UNITED STATES ARMY.
The Army medal obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic
Infusion Program Designer Emily
Damstra and sculptured by now retired United States Mint
Sculptor-Engraver Donald Everhart II, who also designed and sculpted
➤ United States Navy: Medal to be struck at the Philadelphia Mint
with the P Mint mark. The obverse design of the Navy medal depicts a
U.S. Navy destroyer on escort duty after deploying a depth charge in
defense of a convoy. Above the destroyer, kite balloons provide Navy
personnel a platform to spot submarines and other dangers. The
inscription OVER THERE! appears at the bottom of the design. The
medal’s reverse design features an officer’s cap device used in World
War I. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES NAVY, 2018, and CENTENNIAL OF
WORLD WAR I. (Note: An officer's cap device was chosen since an
official uniform seal of the United States Navy had not been adopted
at the time of World War I.)
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The obverse was designed by Chris
Costello and sculptured by Michael
Gaudioso, while the reverse was designed and sculptured by United
States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
➤ United States Marine Corps: Medal to be struck at San Francisco
Mint with S Mint mark. The Marine Corps medal’s obverse design depicts
the aftermath of the Battle of Belleau Wood. One Marine stands guard
as the other kneels to pay respect to the fallen. The inscription
quotes a report to the American Expeditionary Force: WOODS NOW U.S.
MARINE CORPS ENTIRELY. The medal’s reverse design features the World
War I-era version of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor emblem with the
inscriptions CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I, 2018, OVER THERE!, and BATTLE
OF BELLEAU WOOD.
The obverse was designed by Costello and sculptured by Gaudioso. The
reverse was designed and sculptured by United States Mint
➤ United States Air Service: Medal to be struck at the Denver Mint
with the D Mint mark. The obverse of the Air Service medal design
depicts the iconic SPAD S.XIII, a World War I fighter flown by many
Americans and valued for its speed, strength, and firepower, viewed
from the top and side. The inscription SPAD XIII identifies the
aircraft. The medal’s reverse design features the Military Aviator
Insignia with the inscriptions CENTENNIAL OF WORLD WAR I, 2018, OVER
THERE!, AIR SERVICE, and AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES.
This obverse was designed by AIP Designer Ronald
D. Sanders and sculptured by Menna, who also designed and
sculptured the reverse.
➤ United States Coast Guard: Medal to be struck at the Philadelphia
Mint with the P Mint mark. The obverse of the Coast Guard medal
depicts a lifeboat from the Coast Guard Cutter
USCGC Seneca heading out in heavy seas toward the torpedoed
steamship Wellington. The reverse design features the World War
I-era Coast Guard emblem, with the inscriptions CENTENNIAL OF WORLD
WAR I, 2018, and OVER THERE!
Both the obverse and reverse of the Coast Guard medal were designed
and sculptured by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.