Mint preparing silver Olympic handover medals
- Published: Nov 18, 2023, 9 AM
Thirteen proposed designs for the obverse of the “handover” 3-inch .999 fine silver medal associated with the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles were being scrutinized Nov. 16 by the Commission of Fine Arts and set for Nov. 28 review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
According to the U.S. Mint’s design narratives, “The United States Mint is currently seeking Secretary of the Treasury authorization to mint silver national medals that will be provided to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Properties (USOPP) for the purpose of presentation as ‘handover’ medallions to their French counterparts in conjunction with the closing ceremonies of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.”
In 2024, France is hosting the Summer Olympics in Paris, and in 2028, the United States will be hosting the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
According to U.S. Mint officials, “At the conclusion of each Olympic and Paralympic Games, the presiding host country and the host country of the next Olympic and Paralympic Games participate in an Official Handover of the Games.
“During the closing ceremonies, typically the mayors of the host cities join the International Olympic Committee or International Paralympic Committee presidents on stage, and the flag of the games is lowered and passed from mayor to mayor as a symbolic highlight.
“Each host nation has typically provided an official gift, typically a coin or medallion, as part of an Official Handover for the games, serving both as an expression of goodwill between nations and a signal of a major milestone in the Games itself, the Handover Coin or Medallion marks the hand-off of the Games and celebrates the two cities/countries hosting them.”
U.S. Mint officials explain the candidate designs for the national medal to be used as Olympic Handover medallions are designed for a 3-inch planchet, with production likely executed on the special press at the Philadelphia Mint that struck the 5-ounce silver bullion quarter dollars for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program and a number of commemorative silver dollars.
There are no specific design requirements, but the final medals will likely feature an official LA28 Olympics/Paralympics emblem, which is yet to be published. A placeholder or redaction for it appears in some of the designs.
Design elements include visual references to Los Angeles and Paris (including skylines and famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and the Hollywood sign); depictions of Nike (goddess of victory), Nike’s wings, and The Winged Victory of Samothrace; and other references to the Olympics, such as the torch.
The Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 (H.R. 1923, Pub.L. 116-330) authorizes the Mint to produce the 2028 Games award medals.
Separate bills introduced in both chambers of Congress — H.R. 1794 in the House and S.2311 in the Senate — seek commemorative $5 gold coins, .999 fine silver dollars and copper-nickel clad half dollars to recognize the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
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