US Coins

Coast Guard silver medal sales start Aug. 16

The United States Mint is scheduled to offer the 2.5-ounce .999 fine silver U.S. Coast Guard medal in a limited edition beginning at noon Eastern Time Aug. 16.

Priced at $160 per medal, the product is limited to a release of 10,000 medals, with orders restricted to one medal per household.

The medal is the second scheduled in a series of Matte Finish silver medals honoring the U.S. armed forces. The opening of sales of the U.S. Air Force medal, the first in the series, was rescheduled to July 13, after its two earlier sales launch dates were canceled.

The obverse of the 63.5-millimeter Coast Guard medal depicts a Coast Guard national security cutter at full throttle, speeding head-on toward the viewer. The inscriptions U.S. COAST GUARD and the Coast Guard motto, SEMPER PARATUS, meaning “Always Ready,” are arced around the top border, split by the boat’s antenna .

The hull number 753 identifies the cutter Hamilton, named for Alexander Hamilton.

The obverse was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Richard Masters and sculpted by now-retired U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Michael Gaudioso.

The medal’s reverse depicts two iconic symbols of the Coast Guard, a life preserver ring and the racing stripe mark, which is found on almost all Coast Guard craft.

The racing stripes are depicted with a heraldic hatching tradition to indicate color, with horizontal lines indicating the color blue and vertical lines indicating red.

The Coast Guard emblem, which is part of the racing stripe mark, is also in the center. Inscribed into the life preserver ring are the Coast Guard’s core values HONOR, RESPECT, and DEVOTION TO DUTY.

The reverse design was created by AIP artist Thomas Hipschen (a former bank note picture engraver with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing), and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Renata Gordon.

What would become the Coast Guard was created by the U.S. Congress on Aug. 4, 1790, at the request of Hamilton, as the Revenue-Marine. It is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States.

As secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties at U.S. seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service.

The modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service on Jan. 28, 1915, under the Department of the Treasury. In 1939, the U.S. Lighthouse Service was also merged into the Coast Guard.

As one of the country’s six armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every major U.S. war since 1790.

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