US Coins

Marine Corps coins measure gets final approval for 2025

The first Marines were ordered into battle during the American Revolutionary War by the Second Continental Congress.

Historic image courtesy of the National Park Service, emblem courtesy of the United States Marines Corps.

President Biden signed into law July 26 legislation authorizing a three-coin commemorative coin program for 2025 to recognize the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marine Corps.

H.R. 1096 was originally introduced in the House on Feb. 17, 2023, by Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and passed by the House on July 11 before moving to the Senate the following day for that chamber’s consideration. The Senate passed H.R. 1096 by unanimous consent on July 20.

A separate bill seeking the same three-coin program, S. 305, was introduced in the Senate on Feb. 7, 2023, by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and approved by the Senate on June 13 before moving to the House. No further action was taken on Blumenthal’s version of the commemorative coin legislation.

The new law, Public Law 118-10, authorizes the U.S. Mint to produce and release, in Proof and Uncirculated versions, combined totals of up to 50,000 $5 coins in .900 fine gold; 400,000 silver dollars in .999 fine silver; and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half dollars.

The purchase price for each $5 coin will include a $35 surcharge, with a $10 surcharge on each dollar and $5 surcharge on each half dollar.

Net surcharges, after the U.S. Mint has recouped all of its production and associated costs — “the cost of designing and issuing the coins (including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, overhead expenses, marketing, and shipping) — will be distributed to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation “and shall only be used for the purposes of supporting the mission of the Marine Corps Heritage Center.”

According to the USMC, “The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the centerpiece of a complex of facilities called the Marine Corps Heritage Center. This multi-use, 135-acre campus includes the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park and Chapel; a demonstration area with parade grounds; hiking trails and other outdoor recreational offerings.” The complex is situated in Triangle, Virginia, in Prince William County, and is bounded to the south by the Marine Corps Base Quantico, which surrounds the town of Quantico.

The designs for the respective coins are to be selected by the Treasury secretary after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts, the commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Marines Corps Heritage Foundation and reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. 

The United States Marines was established during the American Revolutionary War.

Meeting in Philadelphia on Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution was mandating that “two Battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces with the American naval fleet.

The resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.

Serving on land and at sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations, including their first amphibious raid into the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of Captain and soon to become Maj. Samuel Nicholas.

As the first commissioned officer in the Continental Marines, Nicholas remained the senior Marine officer throughout the American Revolution and is considered to be the first Marine commandant.

According to the Marine Corps University website, “The Treaty of Paris in April 1783 brought an end to the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines went out of existence.

The U.S. Marine Corps was formally re-established by Congress on July 11, 1798.

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