US Coins

Congress presents gold medals for Jan. 6, 2021, heroism

The congressional leadership joined forces Dec. 6 to present four congressional gold medals in ceremonies in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to recognize U.S. Capitol Police, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police and others who risked their lives to protect the Capitol and members of Congress against rioters who stormed the facility to prevent Congress from certifying Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election, to keep lame duck President Donald Trump in power.

The Rotunda for the medal presentation ceremony was filled with hundreds of people, many from law enforcement,

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., introduced the enabling legislation, H.R. 3325, on May 19, 2021, which was signed into law Aug. 5, 2021, by President Joe Biden as Public Law 117-32 after quick passage separately by the House and Senate.

Pelosi was joined in the gold medal presentation by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Delivering remarks in addition to Pelosi were U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and Robert J. Contee III, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia.

Gold medals

Each gold medal reportedly costs in excess of $30,000 to produce, and each was produced without Mint mark at the Philadelphia Mint.

The medal’s obverse was designed and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist John P. McGraw. The medal’s reverse was also designed and sculpted by McGraw.

The obverse depicts the Capitol dome with the Statue of Freedom on top, an American flag at half staff and the windows of the Capitol dome circling the border around the central devices.

The reverse 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 representing the force’s year of founding. Bottom right is a badge of the Metropolitan Police of the District of Columbia with badge number 1861 indicative of that force’s year of founding.

Under provisions of the law, a separate gold medal each will be presented to the United States Capitol Police department, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Architect of the Capitol.

The medals for the two police departments are to be displayed at the agencies’ respective headquarters and be made available for research.

The Architect of the Capitol’s medal is to be displayed prominently in the Capitol and be made available for research.

The example presented to the Smithsonian is to be put on display and be made available for research. The medal is to further be made available for display outside the Smithsonian network of museums.

Bronze duplicates

The U.S. Mint is offering bronze duplicates of the gold medal, in two diameters with Matte Finish, bearing the same obverse and reverse designs as the gold version.

The bronze 1.5-inch version is offered for $20 per medal and the 3-inch version for $160.

The bronze medals are part of the Mint’s ongoing medals catalog.

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