U.S. Mint offers American Veterans bronze medal
- Published: Nov 11, 2022, 8 AM
A bronze version of the American Veterans silver medal issued in 2019 as part of the American Legion commemorative coin program is now part of the U.S. Mint’s ongoing medals catalog.
The 1.5-inch medal, composed of an homogenous alloy of 95% copper and 5% zinc, is available for $20 per medal. The medal has no production limits since it is part of the Mint’s ongoing medals catalog.
The medal’s obverse was designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program designer Benjamin Sowards whose designer’s initials BS appear in the lower left of the design on one of the bald eagle’s left wing feathers. The design, according to the U.S. Mint’s narrative, “portrays a bald eagle spreading its wings as it prepares for flight, suggesting the initiative, determination, and personal courage required by those who choose to serve in our nation’s armed forces.”
The five five-pointed stars reflect five branches of the armed forces — U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force.
Sowards’ design was sculpted by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Joseph F. Menna, whose initials JFM appear just above the first E in VETERANS.
The medal’s reverse design is by AIP designer Richard Masters, whose initials appear at bottom left of the first star. The design was sculpted by U.S. Mint Medallic Artist Renata Gordon, whose initials appear at bottom right of the last star in the bottom row.
The reverse design “depicts a field of stars symbolizing all American veterans — past, present, and future,” according to the U.S. Mint’s design narrative. “A lone incused star below the field represents the veteran who has made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our country. The absence of this star in the field conveys the supreme sense of loss to the nation.”
Selecting the designs
Design selection for the two medals did not come easy. During its Nov. 14, 2018, review of the designs, members of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee deadlocked on the selection of the obverse.
For the medal, the CCAC considered a total of 35 proposed designs, 15 obverses and 20 reverses.
During the first round of votes for the obverse, none of the 15 proposed obverse designs received the requisite number of votes to obtain the panel’s recommendation. Each design could receive 0, 1, 2 or 3 points from each of the 11 panel members, meaning 33 points is the maximum any design could receive.
To receive the recommendation, a minimum of 17 points were needed.
The CCAC members agreed then to cast one vote each between the top two designs, which had received 16 and 15 points, respectively, in the initial round of voting. The group’s second vote, however, ended in a tie, as one member abstained. As a result, the panel forwarded its recommendations of two obverse designs, including the one ultimately chosen. The second obverse favored by the CCAC depicted a winged allegorical figure representing dignity, glory, and honor, presenting a crown of admiration, according to the Mint’s narrative from 2018.
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