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2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Designs Unveiled United States Mint

New commemorative coin marks 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Medal of Honor

United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart unveiled designs for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program today at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s annual convention in historic Charleston, S.C. The bureau is minting and issuing the commemorative coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, as authorized by Public Law 111-91, the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009. Options will include gold $5 coins and silver $1 coins in proof and uncirculated qualities.

The obverse (heads side) of the gold coin, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna, depicts the original Medal of Honor, authorized by Congress in 1861, as the Navy’s highest personal decoration. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, 1861, 2011, IN GOD WE TRUST and MEDAL OF HONOR. The coin’s reverse (tails side) was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The design features Minerva, based on the common central image on both the original Navy and Army Medals of Honor. Minerva, standing with a shield representing the Army and Navy in her right hand and the Union flag in her left hand, is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $5 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The obverse of the silver coin, by Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz, depicts the three current Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honor, left to right. The ribbon with field of stars in the center is the common feature of all three medals, reflecting the joint nature of modern era warfare and that the Medal of Honor is the only U.S. military medal worn around the neck. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, MEDAL OF HONOR and 1861–2011. The coin’s reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts a modern-day infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety under enemy fire, reflecting the courage and self-sacrifice of all Medal of Honor recipients. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Mintages for the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program are limited to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins. Surcharges collected from coin sales—$35 for each gold coin and $10 for each silver coin—are authorized to be paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to help finance its educational, scholarship and outreach programs.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is presented to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. The medals are presented by the President in the name of Congress.

“The men and women of the United States Mint are honored by the role we will play in connecting America to the values and qualities of courage, sacrifice and patriotism through the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative $5 Gold and Silver Dollar Coins,” said Deputy Director Brunhart.

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