Muhammad Yunus receives his congressional gold medal
- Published: May 16, 2013, 8 PM
Professor Muhammad Yunus, father of the concept of making small “microcredit” loans to the very poor and the founder of Grameen Bank, was presented his congressional gold medal April 17 in a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.
Yunus was recognized for contributions to the fight against global poverty and the effort to promote economic and social change.
The model developed by Grameen Bank has been emulated across the world. Yunus’ work has had a particularly strong impact on women and their families, as more than 95 percent of microcredit borrowers are women.
Yunus is also a recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Bronze duplicates of the gold medal in 1.5-inch and 3-inch sizes are now available from the United States Mint. The 1.5-inch medal is available for $6.95 and the 3-inch is priced at $39.95. The medals are struck at the Philadelphia Mint, but bear no Mint mark.
The obverse of the medal was designed by Donna Weaver, a master designer with the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program and retired U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver. The design was sculptured by U.S. Mint Medallic Sculptor Jim Licaretz.
The obverse features a portrait of Professor Yunus with a traditional Bengali jamdani fabric design appearing in the upper background, reflecting his optimistic and cheerful demeanor. Jamdani is a Bangladeshi hand-woven fabric made of cotton, historically referred to as muslin.
Licaretz also sculptured the reverse, which was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters.
Masters’ design depicts a lotus open in full bloom, rising above the water and cradling the world in its petals, symbolizing Yunus’ dream to end world poverty. The design is partially framed by the inscription BANKER TO THE POOR, a common reference to Yunus. The Bengali translation for “Let us send poverty to the museum” is inscribed on the globe.
Yunus’ gold medal is authorized under Public Law 111-253.
Collectors may order the bronze duplicate medals online via www.usmint.gov/catalog.
Orders will also be accepted by phone at 800-872-6468. Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 888-321-6468. ¦
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