US Coins

Fiipino veterans to get gold medal in October

Philippine Scout Sgt. Jose Cabalfin Calugas Sr. salutes the officer who presented him the Medal of Honor for gallantry on Bataan on Jan. 16, 1942, becoming the first Filipino to receive the highest award of the United States. Calugas passed away Jan. 18, 1998, at the age of 90.

Image courtesy of the National Archives.

Presentation of the congressional gold medal recognizing the Filipino Veterans of World War II is set to take place Oct. 25 in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center.

The medal is authorized under provisions of Public Law 114-265. Designs approved for the medal by the Treasury secretary, or whomever he delegates that decision to, won’t be disclosed until the medal’s presentation.

Use of Emancipation Hall by the congressional leadership for the medal’s presentation was enabled by a concurrent resolution agreed to in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Sept. 12.

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The enabling legislation authorizes presentation of the gold medal to recognize that “the loyal and valiant Filipino Veterans of World War II fought, suffered, and, in many instances, died in the same manner and under the same commander as other members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II.”

The medal collectively honors the more than 260,000 Filipinos who lent their efforts on behalf of the United States during WWII. Fewer than 16,000 of those soldiers are alive today.

Following the medal’s presentation, the congressional gold medal is to be turned over to the Smithsonian Institution for display and research.

The U.S. Mint provided the following specifications for the gold version of the medal, whose precious metals value alone at current market prices is more than $29,000:

?? Composition: 99.95 percent gold minimum by weight.

??Approximate Thickness = 0.275 inch (some variance due to height of relief in design).

??Approximate Diameter = 3.0 inches (some variance due to the manufacturing process).

??Approximate Weight = 21.69 ounces (some variance due to the manufacturing process).

The gold medal is struck three times at 350 to 375 metric tons of pressure per strike on a S & K Hydraulic Press with the dies oriented vertically.

The medal’s reverse is the upper, or hammer die, and the obverse is the lower, or anvil die.

Bronze duplicates of the gold medal are authorized under the legislation to be struck by the U.S. Mint and sold to the public.  

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