US Coins

Obama getting two presidential medals by Mint

When the U.S. Mint strikes its first palladium bullion coin in 2016, the coin will bear the Winged Liberty Head dime's obverse design and the eagle reverse from the American Institute of Architects gold medal of 1907.

Winged Liberty Head dime image courtesy of Heritage Auctions; image of reverse of American Institute of Architects gold medal courtesy of AIA.

With just over six months remaining in his second four-year term, President Obama is going to receive medallic recognition from the U.S. Mint.

Proposed designs for two presidential medals, to be produced in bronze in 1.3125-inch and 3-inch versions, are to be reviewed June 27 by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The committee meeting is open to the public and is being held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar on the campus of Colorado College.

The CCAC meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Mountain Time in Gaylord Hall, on the first floor of the Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.

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CCAC members are also slated to review proposed designs for the five 2018 America the Beautiful quarter dollars; discuss the future palladium bullion coin program, for which no coins have yet been struck; and elect three CCAC members who will join three members of the Commission of Fine Arts and the Treasury secretary in a juried design competition for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program.

On June 28, CCAC Chairman Mary Lannin will attend a breakfast with ANA Summer Seminar participants for an informal discussion with anyone interested.

Obama medals

Some collector doubt had spread as to whether even one Obama Presidential medal, much less two, would be issued. The Mint has traditionally issued a medal for each president for each term in office, but until the Mint’s announcement of the June meeting agenda, it was uncertain whether any Presidential medal would be issued. No one from the Obama administration, including the president himself, had expressed an interest in the U.S. Mint’s production of a Presidential medal reflecting his first term, started in 2009.

Who may have initiated the process to have the Obama medal(s) produced was not announced.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said June 2 that each medal will feature a different obverse portrait of President Obama.

Reverses of Presidential medals produced by the U.S. Mint are traditionally inscribed with famous remarks attributed to the chief executive, along with a central device design and the date of inauguration of the specific term for which the medal is issued.

The Mint has produced Presidential medals of several different categories since the administration of Thomas Jefferson. 

The first broad category was the Indian peace medal, pieces presented to Native American leaders as offerings of goodwill; the last of that kind was issued during the administration of Benjamin Harrison. 

The second broad category of medals celebrates the president’s term or terms in office. For some presidents, a single medal was issued for all the honored party’s terms in office, as for the four terms of office for Franklin Roosevelt. For other presidents, a different medal was issued for each term, as was done for Obama’s immediate predecessor, George W. Bush.

2018 quarter dollars

CCAC members will also review and discuss candidate designs generated by the U.S. Mint’s engraving staff and U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artists for the 2018 America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

2018 is the ninth year in the 11-year program that will issue a total of 56 commemorative 25-cent coins — one for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.

The coins bear reverse designs that celebrate national parks or historic sites and are issued in the order the selected site was congressionally recognized by statute.

For 2018, the sites to be honored are:

??Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan.

??Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin.

??Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota.

??Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia.

??Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.

Palladium coin

The U.S. Mint is scheduled to produce a 1-ounce .9995 fine palladium bullion coin dated 2016.

The coin is mandated under provisions of the American Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 to replicate on its obverse sculptor Adolph A. Weinman’s obverse for the Winged Liberty Head dime introduced into circulation 1916 and, for the reverse, Weinman’s eagle design rendered for the reverse of the American Institute of Architects gold medal, first awarded in 1907.

The panel will review designs for the coin during the June meeting.  

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