US Coins

Gold medal salutes Jan. 6 heroism of law enforcement at U.S. Capitol

Proposed designs for congressional gold medals recognizing law enforcement and others who helped protect and defend the U.S. Capitol from invading protesters on Jan. 6, 2021, were recommended by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

Original images courtesy of United States Mint.

The United States Mint will be striking four congressional gold medals to recognize U.S. Capitol Police and those who helped protect the Capitol when the building was stormed by protesters and supporters of lame-duck President Donald Trump Jan. 6, 2021.

The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee recommended proposed obverse and reverse designs June 14 that will be considered for striking each of the four medals.

The four gold medals are authorized under provisions of Public Law 117-32, signed into law Aug. 5, 2021 by President Biden. The enabling legislation was originally introduced in the House on May 19, 2021, as H.R. 3325 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

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

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

On June 14, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee considered each of the five proposed obverse designs and 12 reverse designs. The Commission of Fine Arts was scheduled to review the same designs at their June 16 meeting.

The CCAC’s recommendation for the obverse of the gold medals illustrates the Capitol dome with the Statue of Freedom on top, an American flag at half mast and the windows of the Capitol dome circling the border around the central devices.

The CCAC-recommended reverse is one of four variants of the same basic design.

The design recommended 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. Inscribed in four lines between the two badges is HONORING THE SERVICE / AND SACRIFICE OF THOSE / WHO PROTECTED THE / U.S. CAPITOL

The Treasury secretary, who has final discretion on the design selection, has the authority to direct the Mint to strike 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal for general sale after the gold medals are presented to the four designated recipients.

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