US Coins

CFA recommends gold medal designs for law enforcement

On June 15, the Commission of Fine Arts recommended the proposed designs above for congressional gold medals to recognize U.S. Capitol Police, additional law enforcement and others who helped protect the Capitol building during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault by protesters in Washington, D.C.

Medal design images courtesy of the United States Mint.

The Commission of Fine Arts during its June 15 meeting considered designs for four congressional gold medals to recognize those who protected the U.S. Capitol from insurrectionists Jan. 6, 2021. The design recommendations will be sent to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for her consideration.

CFA members considered five proposed obverse designs and 12 proposed reverse designs rendered by medallic artists with the United States Mint’s engraving staff.

The U.S. Mint’s medallic artists were asked to develop obverse and reverse designs honoring the service and sacrifice of those who protected the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021.

According to the Mint’s design narrative, the “concepts, identified by the program liaison, represent some of the core characteristics of the U.S. Capitol and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Officers and civilians who went above and beyond the call of duty to uphold and protect our democratic process.

“In developing the portfolio, the Mint worked closely with primary liaison Lieutenant Michael Weight from the U.S. Capitol Police.”

The authorizing legislation, Public Law 117-32, calls for the presentation of four gold medals, one apiece to present to the United States Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Architect of the Capitol.

The act originated in the House by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who introduced H.R. 3325 on Aug. 5, 2021.

As described in the Public Law Findings, on Jan. 6, 2021, a mob of insurrectionists forced its way into the U.S. Capitol building and congressional office buildings, engaged in acts of vandalism and looting, and violently attacked Capitol Police officers.

The sacrifice of heroes, including Capitol Police officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, Metropolitan Police Department officer Jeffrey Smith, and those who sustained injuries, as well as the courage of Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, exemplifies the patriotism and the commitment of Capitol Police Officers and members of other law enforcement agencies who risk their lives in the service of our country, according to the legislation.

Several Americans died following this violent attack, and more than 140 law enforcement officers suffered physical injuries, including 15 officers who were hospitalized.

On April 2, 2021, officer William “Billy” Evans was killed while protecting the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol. Evans was a distinguished member of the First Responders Unit and an 18-year veteran of the United States Capitol Police.

Design recommendations

The CFA recommends a different obverse than that recommended June 14 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The CFA’s recommendation illustrates a view of the U.S. Capitol from the west surrounded by a cloud-filled sky with, inscribed around the raised border, the date JANUARY 6, 2021.

The reverse the CFA recommends is the same proposed reverse design the CCAC favors. The design illustrates an unfurled American flag draped at left. At the top is a rendition of a U.S. Capitol Police badge bearing the number 1828, the force’s year of founding. Bottom right is a badge of the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia with badge number 1861, that force’s year of founding. Inscribed in four lines between the two badges is HONORING THE SERVICE / AND SACRIFICE OF THOSE / WHO PROTECTED THE / U.S. CAPITOL

Treasury Secretary Yellen has the discretion to direct the United States Mint, following the presentation of the gold medals, to strike and offer for sale to the public 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal.

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