2011 Medal of Honor Gold and Silver Coin Designs

The United States Mint has announced the final design selections for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coins. The program was authorized to recognize and celebrate the establishment of the Medal of Honor and its recipients with the issuance of $5 gold coins and silver dollars.

The Secretary of the Treasury had the final authority to select designs for the program, following consultation with the Boards of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC).

Mint News Blog previously provided a look a the leading candidate designs following the reviews and comments of the CFA and CCAC. Interestingly, the final design selections are in full agreement with the recommendations of the CCAC. The CFA had favored alternate designs for the reverse of the $5 gold coin and the obverse of the silver dollar, and declined to provide a recommendation for the reverse of the silver dollar.

The obverse of the 2011 Medal of Honor $5 Gold Coin, designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna, features a depiction of the original Medal of Honor, authorized by Congress as the highest personal decoration of the Navy. Inscriptions include “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “Medal of Honor”, and the dates “1861” and “2010”.

The reverse of the gold coin includes the full figure Minerva, who is included within the central image of the original Medal of Honor. She holds a shield and the union flag with a cannon and munitions behind her. The inscriptions read “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum” and the face value “$5”. The reverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.

The 2011 Medal of Honor Silver Dollar obverse, designed and sculpted by Jim Licaretz, features a depiction of the three modern Medals of Honor for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Inscriptions include “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “Medal of Honor”, and “1861-2011”.

The reverse of the silver dollar features a scene of an Army infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety under enemy fire. The image is intended to represent the courage, selfless sacrifice, and patriotism of the Medal of Honor recipients. Inscriptions read “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, and “One Dollar”.

Coin Legislation Update

In the past two days there has been progress for a number of bills related to coins. I have covered each of the bills in more depth on Coin Update, but I will summarize here.

H.R. 1177 was passed in the Senate. This bill will authorize the 2013 commemorative coin program honoring the U.S. Army’s 5-Star Generals. With the President’s signature, the bill will become law.

H.R. 6166 was passed in the House. This bill would authorize one ounce American Palladium Eagle bullion and collector coins featuring designs by Adolph A. Weinman. To become law, the bill must also pass in the Senate and then receive the President’s signature.

H.R. 6162 also passed in the House. This bill directs the Secretary of the Treasury to perform research and development related to the metallic compositions of circulating coins for the purpose of making recommendations to Congress. Other portions of the bill seek to amend existing law to facilitate the production of Proof Gold and Silver Eagles, as well as change the specifications for America the Beautiful silver bullion coins.

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  1. Mint News Blog says

    The $5 gold has the specifications of the half eagle.

    90% gold, 10% copper. weight 8.359 grams, diameter 0.85 inches.

    gold content .24187 troy oz.

  2. vaughnster says

    The gold design looks great and I will definitely buy it. Not so sure about the silver design. Again, the Mint literally tries to show something instead of being more symbolic. I mean, a comic book can show a courageous soldier better than this design.

  3. Anonymous says

    Gold coin is pretty impressive design. The silver commemorative although quite honorable in intent is sadly lacking and I will not buy it. Would buy if it had the same design as the gold one. Same poor literal design caused the disabled vet coin sales problems. Great intent combined with poor design still equals poor sales.

  4. Anonymous says

    Just received this information in an email from APMEX

    "The U.S. Mint announced today that it is significantly raising the premium on all Silver American Eagle coins. Obviously, every dealer will have to increase their premiums on Silver American Eagle coins."

  5. Anonymous says

    It would be nice if the Mint could get away from the militaristic themes for its commems. It's generals, medals, the infantry, etc. through 2014.

  6. Anonymous says

    Anybody else getting sick of the president and military themes on our coins? It does fit our times, given how controlling our government has become. I am not too sure our ancestors would be pleased so many presidents have been slobbered all over our coins, even if they are former presidents. They probably wouldn't be pleased that we have fiat money either.

  7. VABEACHBUM says

    Michael – Has their been any discussions on types and distributions: PR, UNC, 2-coin and/or 4-coin sets? Given that the precious metals continue to climb, we may need to identify those one or two options now and start planning for the purchase.

    I do have to agree with the majority of the posts so far. The committees went 3 for 4 with their selections, with the Silver reverse coming in last. If done well, I think both the Gold and Silver obverses in a PR finish will be amazing as they "float" above the field.

    As for alternative commemorative coin programs, I had recently been thinking about a series that would celebrate the artistic creativity of our coin heritage and the respective masters: The different liberties and liberty heads, other relevant obverses and reverses from St. Gaudens, Weinman, etc. Sort of an expanded – but affordable – version of the liberty subset.

    Unfortunately, a program like this will never receive the political support required, and would have to rely upon the Mint's current artistic assets to accurately re-create those numismatic classics. I guess we can dream, though.

  8. Anonymous says

    I usually don't like literal designs either, but I might make an exception with the silver reverse in this case. If the design is to reflect the courage and self-sacrifice of our MOH recipients, then depicting the brutal reality of an act of heroism on the battlefield seems appropriate. I've asked some friends who saw combat and they agree — symbolizing true courage runs the risk of sugarcoating it.

  9. Anonymous says

    I really like the gold, but I can't afford that. I will probably buy the silver because I can't afford the gold. The designs are lacking. I wish that if the Mint can't come up with better designs for a coin, that they would turn to the American public. Out of the tens of millions of artists out there, someone will have to be able give us something. The Mint shouldn't settle on bad designs just to stay on schedule. I also like the "militaristic" themes. It is a part of our past. We would not be who we are today without the wars we have fought, and people are starting to forget. I graduated high school a few years ago and a fellow Senior asked me if we had won World War II. And not to many people around that student could answer. I couldn't believe they didn't know. Even if not everyone sees these coins, we can at least try to incorporate it into society that there is a significant amount of citizens that did quite a lot for us. And these people are not just names on a piece of paper, they are our ancestors, our family. Many people complain that much comem coinage is driven by 'political correctness', so let us not be politically correct. Support our troops and military history. We have to remember. We owe it to them for who we are today.

  10. Anonymous says

    Hey man, I did my two tours in Iraq, and "honoring the troops," or whatever is great, but it mnakes for boring commemeratives. America has far more heritage to celebrate than just our wars and our military and our generals. How about coins featuring abstract American symbols of liberty or freedom, you know, like the ones that grace our greatest coins. How about artistically accomplished and numismatically interesting coins that celebrate the natural beauty of the country, uniquely American artistic motifs, or Native American designs, or anything other than poorly designed coins featuring boy scouts (?!?) and the military.

    Nick, "Anonymous at 1:53am"

  11. Anonymous says

    I should add that I think the designs on both of the MOH coins are actually quite nice, I just think we need some thematic variation in our commems.


  12. Anonymous says

    I heard that a group of Medal of Honor recipients was actually in on the design selection process. If so, that means they like these designs the best and if that's true, I think we collectors should respectfully defer to these true American heroes.

  13. Anonymous says

    For Anon at 7:40 AM.

    As indicated in the article, the use of "Minerva" is based on the original, Navy Medal of Honor, wherein Minerva had been incorporated into the centerpiece of the medal's design.

    Minerva was the ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and war. Her areas of patronage included crafts, poetry, medicine, and music. As the patron of the arts, Minerva's domain was interpreted to included warfare which, in the days of the Roman and Greek dieties, also was considered to be an art-form. In many of the artistic renderings, Minerva has come to be represented as wearing a flowing robe while bearing a weapon and armour. (Credit – New World Encyclopaedia)

  14. Anonymous says

    To Anonymous @ 0830
    "I really like the gold, but I can't afford that. I will probably buy the silver because I can't afford the gold."

    It is 2010 and this coin goes on sale sometime in 2011. I have one word for you. Save! I believe the Gold MOH coin is going to be beautiful. I hope to purchase at least 1 of each, and yes I'm going to start saving now because the price of gold being what it is.

  15. Anonymous says

    Just don't waste your money on those overpriced, hideous junk annual proof and mints sets (which 99% of the time fall in value) and save your money for the 2011 gold commem.

  16. Anonymous says


    All of those ideas are great. Those ideas are the ones we need at the Mint. But let's not be so quick to dismiss others because they commemorate military history. Coins commemorating military history could look amazing coming from the right artist. Those are great ideas especially the one about America's natural beauty, which is why I like the National Park quarters. Let's just hope the future designs for those are representative of their parks and not a flop. Our coinage needs a wide array of everything this country offers, not excluding military history. I just hope the commemoratives through 2014 don't turn out to be flops as well.

  17. Anonymous says

    I actually like both designs, I sure wish it was a two coin silver set with both of those designs on silver.

  18. Anonymous says

    Enjoy it while you can. Future military commems will have a guy sitting behind a terminal, controlling a predator strike.

    Personally, I would have preferred to see offensive heroism (instead of defensive). Maybe a machine gun team mowing down the enemy trying to overrun their position. I know not PC enough.

  19. Anonymous says

    "I really like the gold, but I can't afford that. I will probably buy the silver because I can't afford the gold."

    Can you afford to flush all your money down the drain? If you can't, then you CAN afford gold, because right now it is practically free. When it becomes the global reserve currency, think $50,000 per oz. It IS coming.

  20. Anonymous says

    AGE offered at record high prices, yikes!
    Buchanan Liberty $25 bucks cheaper this week than next. These "one timers" should out perform in the long run. Very interested to see uptick in gold liberties sold before next Wed. price increase.
    Government happy next Thurs AGE release will be at record high.

  21. Anonymous says

    Anon 5:27, it seems to me that the yuan will probably become the global reserve currency before gold. Just a thought.

  22. Anonymous says

    America is no longer a superpower, sad to say. The dollar is a fading power currency. Look East for rising stars…

  23. Anonymous says

    Buy gold now! Just like buying Vagas condos a few years ago when everyone thought "limited" real estate would always go up!


  24. vaughnster says

    From the beginning of time Gold has always been coveted by all cultures. I don't see that ever changing. Yes the price may fluctuate, but it always stands on its own in value.

  25. Anonymous says

    Just a memory…

    When Nixon was in the White House and the Vietnam War was at it's peak, veterans got together to protest the war.

    They collected thousands of medals from fellow veterans and threw them over the gate at the White House. Nixon later said when he saw that "medal of honor" laying in the grass with thousands of other medals he knew it was time to stop the War.

    True Grit

  26. Anonymous says

    Should I order the proof gold eagle set for around $3000, or buy a few dozen homes in Detroit?

  27. Anonymous says

    Ummmm, I am not 2 smart, but what is palladium? I never heard of this stuff before. And why should i spend $100s for something i never heard of before?

  28. Anonymous says

    To Anonymous – October 1, 2010 12:50 PM.

    Why are proof and mint sets so popular? For those who collect coins and keep them (rather than flip them), I have noticed too that values tend to go down. Sure, there are exceptions, but the exceptions don't justify buying the other sets which will result in a loss of our hard earned money.

    I feel the same way about buying and gold coins. I don't flip coins. I do believe the world economy will improve with time and that means that gold values will go down. So if I spend $3,000 no a set today, I will likely lose big bucks in the future.

    It's the bullion value that is keeping the price so high…

  29. Anonymous says

    I agree completely. Seems like a lemming mentality to buy precious metal products (especially "collector" precious metal items that have a large mark-up over spot) when we are at an ALL TIME HIGH!!!

    You be a fooool to buy the AGEs with gold at an all time high on Thursday. Not likely $1600/oz will be a great investment!
    Of course an overpriced SILVER eagle would be nice since most of us couldn't care less if we lost $10 or so on a coin but buying "collector" version gold coins now is really a big gamble!

    Exceptions to the gamble will be one time issues like the Spouse Liberties or the UHR (IMHO!).

  30. Anonymous says

    If you are a pure collector of proof gold eagles and you can afford to collect proof gold eagles then the answer is obvious. You buy the 2010 proof gold eagles. If you are a pure investor or flipper then as they say you pays your money and you takes your chances. Pure investors usually are better off buying the bullion version anyway. Flippers are just another version of gamblers. Many collectors are a hybrid collector/investor with a little dab of flipper in us. We collectors want our collection's value to increase as an investment and also are not opposed to flipping on occasion if the opportunity arises.

  31. Anonymous says

    Maggie Taylor may end up with lower mintages than the Julia Tyler, anyone think that would translate to the J Tyler premiums?

  32. Anonymous says

    Regarding the Margaret Taylor mintage, the Uncirculated coin has already sold more copies than the Julia Tyler, and I would bet that the proof coin will end up with a slightly higher mintage as well. With about 9 weeks of sales time left, the coin only has to average sales of 49 per week to reach the Tyler level. With the higher sales every other week from those trying to beat the non-stop price increases, I can see it happening.

  33. Anonymous says

    Whoever buys those 2010 Proof Gold Eagles had better hope that the price of gold does indeed keep rising as "experts" are predicting! With the kind of limits the Mint is imposing for those products, they certainly won't be secondary market winners if the price of gold FALLS! A total of 64,000 one ounce coins? Give me a break!

  34. Anonymous says

    Proof Gold Eagles must not be in tremendous demand anyway, or else the 2006 20th Anniversary set would be priced through the roof! The gold content of those coins alone is now $3,945 at the time of this writing, but the value of the entire set is hovering around $4,500-$4,600. Not much numismatic premium for an awesome set with only 10,000 made, including the one-of-a-kind Reverse Proof coin.

    Those sets are extremely tough to locate in their original state. They are almost always graded when offered for sale. I've NEVER seen one for sale in person, only online. I wonder how many original untampered or graded sets are left intact?

  35. Anonymous says

    The proof AGEs may, in fact, have very low mintages if folks are turned off by high gold prices. Numbers quoted are max mintages and most years actual < max.

    Look for spike in proof Liberties and Buffalos before the price increase.

    Not sure about the proof "Maggie" Taylors. May be a premium for such a low mintage coin, but not such a pretty coin to look at.

    If you want a Maggie, buy one today or tomorrow before the price increase.


  36. Anonymous says

    I do have a set of the 2006 20th anniversary AGE. I did have them graded – all of them came out at 70. And I have saved all the original mint packaging with COA

  37. Anonymous says

    I don't know why they don't bring back buffalo fractionals. That's the one and only gold coin set I'd buy and in a heartbeat.

  38. Anonymous says

    I thought the gold proof buffalo fractionals were gonna be winners for a long time. The mint messed up that theory along with metal prices. They may have created somewhat of an artificial desire now as human nature always wants something it can't get. Two competing gold proof sets especially with metal prices as they are maybe also caused some problems. The solution would be to do a silver buffala proof set like they do the Libertads from Mexico. I think that would sell out year after year and every one could afford a silver buffalo set. The aftermarket and grading services could take care of breaking up the sets for individual fractional sales so the mint wouldn't have to mess with that. No that wouldn't work either. It would kill off the carnival token sets now sold by the mint.

  39. Anonymous says

    The reason why the mint is reducing affordable gold coins is because they don't want to encourage the ownership of gold. It works against the agenda of the powers.

  40. RICH says


    One-Ounce Silver Proof Coins To Go On Sale November 19th

    Washington, DC-The United States Mint announced today that 2010-dated one-ounce American Eagle Silver Proof Coins will be made available for sale on November 19. Orders for the popular numismatic coin can be placed starting at noon Eastern Time (ET) on that date. Order fulfillment will begin by December 1. The price of the coin will be $45.95 (one ounce of pure silver is approximately $22 in the world marketplace). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.

    Household orders will be limited to 100 units.

  41. Anonymous says

    My apologies to the mint. They came through on the proof ASE. Just to play it safe in case they don't issue one next year I am going to order 50,000. Don't forget Christmas is just around the corner.
    "It is not the function of our government to keep
    the citizen from falling into error;
    it is the function of the citizen
    to keep the government from falling into error."
    U.S. Supreme Court in American Communications Association v. Douds

  42. Anonymous says

    Have they announced how many they are going to make yet? I'll base my decision on how many to buy (above the one I need to keep the set complete) when I know THAT number.

  43. vaughnster says

    Well, for all the bashing Mr. Moy has received, he gets an
    "atta boy" for coming through, even though it's his job to do so. An early Christmas gift for numasmatics….

  44. Anonymous says

    Ya know, I don't collect those things but I'm happy for all of you that do! Maybe the atmosphere on all these coin forums will change a bit.

  45. Anonymous says

    I'm waiting for the same people that complain that gold coins are out of the reach of "Joe Collector" to start complaining that the Silver Eagles are too.

    Whereas I do think they are a little overpriced it is a cost that can be managed for most collectors.

  46. Anonymous says


    The United States Mint will not offer the following products in 2010: the one-ounce American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin; the one-ounce American Eagle Gold Uncirculated Coin; and the United States Mint Annual Uncirculated Dollar Coin SetTM, which would have included a one-ounce American Eagle Silver Uncirculated Coin.

  47. Anonymous says

    Glory be! Hot diggity dog! Oooooo eeeeee! Ol' Moy is gonna throw some proof silver eagles out the front door. Put on your purdiest dress, Mable, cuz I am hitchin' up the wagon and we is goin' into town tonight to celebrate. We gonna paint the town startin' off with a few brews down at the Hitchin' Post. Oooooo eeeeee!!!!!

  48. Anonymous says

    While many will be happy to see it available this year, the proof silver eagle doesn't seem like a good value for the money. A sales price that is more than TWICE the metal value? Even the First Spouse gold coins aren't marked up THAT much!

    However, now that I think about it I guess the markup was pretty high before as well. I don't remember it being twice the metal value, but maybe it was. Does anyone know?

  49. Anonymous says

    In 2008, the Proof silvers were $31.95. Inflation? Rise in silver metal futures? Yup, and other factors as well. $46 will help some backwater bank with taxpaper money.

    I still think Moy should be hung in effigy for not offering a double set (2009 & 2010) helping the collector to catch up he sets.

  50. Anonymous says

    Shouldn't the missing '09 silver eagle be called a hole in the sequence rather than a hole in anyones set? A hole in the set is a set missing a coin that was produced.

  51. Anonymous says

    Silver proof eagles…

    KA-CHING !!!!!!

    Flipping for profit$ brings music to my ears.


    How else can a redneck make a fast buck? By ripping others off!

  52. Anonymous says

    First Spouse Margaret Taylor reverse depicts numismatist learning the new pricing on USMint gold offerings!

  53. Anonymous says

    I sure hope the 2010 ASE Proofs have a nice low mintage but I doubt it with a 100 per household limit.

    Also I agree they should of made a 2009/2010 dual set. The dies were produced, why not use them.

  54. Anonymous says

    A 2009 dated coin made in 2010 would feel like cheating though, wouldn't it? I know not all of the bullion versions were minted in the year stamped on them, but the proofs probably were, since they always went on sale later in the year.

  55. Anonymous says

    what's going on with gold prices?
    Bubble or reaching $1500 by year end?
    Guess price increase tomorrow for sure!

  56. Anonymous says

    You be a fooool to buy the AGEs with gold at an all time high on Thursday.

    I bought gold when it was at an all time high of $900 and the way the government is printing money I couldn't be happier. You just keep all those soon to be worthless dollars in your bank account earning zero interest!

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