US Coins

Sales of Breast Cancer Awareness set lukewarm

First-day sales Oct. 1 for the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Coin and Stamp set were lukewarm, with orders placed for just 1,760 sets out of 25,000 available.

The U.S. Mint imposed no household ordering restrictions for the sets, which are offered at $39.95 each.

Of that purchase price, $5 is a legislated surcharge imposed under Public Law No. 114-148 on the Proof 2018-S half dollar that is included in the set. Net surcharges, after the Mint recoups all of its production and associated costs, are to be paid to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in New York City, for the purpose of furthering breast cancer research funded by the Foundation.

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The 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Coin and Stamp set includes one Proof 2018-S Breast Cancer Awareness copper-nickel clad half dollar and one U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Research stamp. Designed by Ethel Kessler, the stamp features an illustration of a mythical “goddess of the hunt” by Whitney Sherman and includes the phrases FUND THE FIGHT and FIND A CURE.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who introduced the enabling legislation for the commemorative coin program, lauded the Mint Oct. 3 for its packaging of the Coin and Stamp set.

The stamp was originally issued July 29, 1998, but has been reprinted several times in modified versions. The stamp in the set is from 2014, offset printed by Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security products.

The initial stamps were gravure printed by Avery Dennison Security Printing Division in Clinton, South Carolina.

The coin in the set bears the common obverse and reverse for all three coins in the Breast Cancer Awareness program, which includes Proof and Uncirculated copper-nickel-clad half dollars, silver dollars and $5 half eagles struck in pink gold.

The coin designs were created by Emily Damstra, the U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist who won the Mint’s open design competition for the program.

Damstra’s common obverse design features two women. An older woman clasping her hands to her chest has a relieved expression on her face. The younger woman, with a scarf on her head, holds one hand over her chest and the other raised in a fist as if she is ready to fight. A butterfly flies above the two women.

The common reverse depicts a tiger swallowtail butterfly in flight, a symbol of hope. 

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