US Coins

Medal presentation recognizes ‘Rosie the Riveter’

This gold alloy congressional gold medal was awarded April 10 on behalf of Congress to recognize the World War II contributions of women working in the defense industries, known collectively as Rosie the Riveter.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

A congressional gold medal was presented April 10 in Emancipation Hall of the Capitol Visitor Center to recognize the World War II efforts of women who toiled between 1942 and 1945 as manufacturing workers, collectively known as “Rosie the Riveter.” They provided the aircraft, vehicles, weaponry, munitions and other critical components to help win the war.

The gold medal was authorized under provisions of Public Law 116-195, signed Dec. 3, 2020, by then-President Donald Trump.

According to the enabling law, “More than 6 million women answered the call then, entering the workforce during World War II and providing the equipment, weaponry and ammunition to achieve final victory and end the war. These women left their homes to work or volunteer full-time in factories, farms, shipyards, airplane factories, banks, and other institutions in support of the military overseas. They worked with the United Service Organizations and the American Red Cross, drove trucks, riveted airplane parts, collected critical materials, rolled bandages, and served on rationing boards.”

The proposal was originally introduced March 14, 2019, as H.R.1773 by U.S. Rep. Jackie, Speier, D-California.

The Matte Finish gold alloy medal, with 3-inch diameter, 0.3125 inch thick, was struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

Three-inch and 1.5-inch diameter Matte Finish bronze duplicates of the gold medal are struck at the same production facility for collector sales.

The 3-inch bronze duplicate medals, composed of 90% copper and 10% zinc, are offered at $160 per medal.

The 1.5-inch bronze duplicate medals, composed of 95% copper and 5% zinc, are offered for $20 per medal.

Each is struck with a plain edge, without Mint mark.

The bronze duplicate medals went on sale immediately after the April 10 ceremony.

The obverse design of the medal was rendered by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Beth Zaiken and sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist John P. McGraw.

The design illustrates a Rosie, adorned with a kerchief securing her hair, with a wrench casually resting on her shoulder and a rivet in her other hand. A Liberty ship and M4 tank travel behind her, and a B-17 bomber flies above, representing the variety of equipment built by the Rosies. A ring of rivets frames the design with Act of Congress 2020 centered on the top border and 1942-1945 at bottom center.

Zaiken also designed the medal’s reverse, which depicts the conjoined portraits facing left of five Rosies of different ages and different ethnic origins to reflect the diversity of women in the war effort. Zaiken’s reverse design was sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Eric David Custer.

According to Public Law 116-195, the gold medal, following presentation, would be forwarded to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to be made available for sale and research. The museum may make the gold medal available for display and research at other appropriate locations associated with Rosie the Riveter.

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