Order cancellations drive sales of World War I silver medals lower

Deliveries of the medals, which are being struck to order, are set to start in late May
By , Coin World
Published : 04/13/18
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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.


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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 had ended: 

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 from 9,815.

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 identical coins.

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 the reverse.

➤ 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 Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna.

➤ 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.

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