US Coins

U.S. Mint unveils American Legion commem designs

Designs approved by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for the three-coin 2019 American Legion 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Program were unveiled Aug. 29 in Minneapolis.

The designs were unveiled in conjunction with the American Legion’s 100th national convention.

The enabling legislation, Public Law 115-65, calls for the production and release of up to 50,000 gold $5 half eagles, 400,000 silver dollars and 750,000 copper-nickel clad half collars.

The American Legion was founded in Paris, France on March 15, 1919, by members of the American Expeditionary Force occupying Europe after World War I, who were concerned about the welfare of their comrades upon their return to the United States.

The half eagle obverse, designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Chris Costello and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, commemorates the inception of the American Legion and its mission to serve America and its war veterans. The outer geometric rim design from the American Legion emblem, the Eiffel Tower, and V for victory represent the formation of the organization in Paris in 1919 at the end of World War I.

The reverse for the gold coin, by AIP designer Paul C. Balan and sculptured by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna, depicts a soaring eagle, a symbol of the United States during times of war and peace alike. The American Legion emblem is depicted above the eagle.

The silver dollar obverse is also by Balan and sculptured by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon. The design depicts the American Legion emblem adorned by oak leaves and a lily, commemorating the founding of the American Legion in Paris. The silver dollar reverse by AIP artist Patricia Lucas-Morris, sculptured by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso, represents the founding of the American Legion in Paris in 1919. Above the crossed American and American Legion flags is a fleur de lis and the inscription 100 YEARS OF SERVICE.

The copper-nickel clad half dollar obverse executed by AIP artist Richard Masters and sculptured by Hemphill, depicts two children standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the little girl proudly wearing her grandfather’s old American Legion hat. The reverse, also by Masters, and sculptured by Menna, completes the phrase from the obverse “I pledge allegiance to the flag … of the United States of America.” The design depicts an American flag waving atop a high flagpole as seen from the children’s point of view from the ground below. The American Legion’s emblem is featured just above the flag. 

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