US Coins

Olympics Games handover medal designs reviewed by CFA

The Commission of Fine Arts recommended Nov. 16 the above proposed designs for the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics 3-inch silver handover medal.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

The Commission of Fine Arts Nov. 16 recommended proposed obverse and reverse designs for a 2024 Paris Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games 3-inch silver handover medal.

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. Traditionally, the two host nations exchange a coin or medal celebrating the “handing over” of the Games

CFA recommendations

According to Mint officials, candidate designs for the national medals to be used as Olympic Handover Medallions are designed for a 3-inch planchet.

“There are no specific design requirements, but the final medals will likely feature an official LA28 Olympics/Paralympics emblem, a redacted placeholder for which is featured on some designs,” according to United States Mint officials.

Design elements on the proposed designs for the national medals 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, for example, the torch.

For the obverse of the U.S. national handover medal, Commission of Fine Arts members has recommended a proposed design illustrating a modernized reflection of Nike, Goddess of Victory, with a torch extended from her right hand, with an open wreath in her left, as she stands atop the sun with its rays projecting behind.

In the lower left is the LA28 logo with the five Olympic rings, with PARIS 2024 to the right of Nike.

The CFA-recommended reverse depicts the Arc de Triomphe in the foreground, with the entrance to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the 2028 Games, in the background, and the LA28 logo above the coliseum entrance.

The CFA recommends using the official Paris Olympics logo on the recommended obverse, then removing the LA28logo from the reverse and scaling back the devices to show more of the coliseum and Arc de Triomphe landmarks.

About the tradition

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. In addition, 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.

Authority sought

The bureau is currently seeking authorization from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for the U.S. Mint to strike national 3-inch silver medals that will be provided to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Properties 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. The Mint has proposed 14 designs from which the CFA and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will make recommendations in anticipation of Yellen’s authorization.

The medals will likely be produced at the Philadelphia Mint on a special coinage press that was previously dedicated to the output frp, 2010 through 2021 of the 5-ounce, 3-inch .999 fine silver Uncirculated and bullion America the Beautiful quarter dollars.

The same press has been used since then to strike 3-inch silver dollars for a few U.S. commemorative coin programs.

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