With no new US Mint product releases scheduled until later next week, I wanted to take a post to explore some distant future coin releases. Specifically, this will include commemorative coin programs which have already been approved for the years 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Commemorative coins are authorized by Congress. Under current law, Congress may only authorize two commemorative coin programs per year. In general, each program includes one to three different coins, with stated maximum authorized mintages. Legislation frequently includes specific requirements related to the design, inscriptions which will appear on the coins, mint facilities to be used, and the period of minting or issuance. The beneficiary of the surcharges raised from each program is also specified.
Two programs each have been approved for 2012 and 2013. One program has been approved for 2014.
2012 Commemorative Coins
The first program will commemorate the legacy of the United States Army Infantry and the establishment of the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. Silver dollars will be issued with a maximum mintage of 350,000 coins in proof and uncirculated versions.
Designs for the silver dollar “shall be emblematic of the courage, pride, sacrifice, sense of duty, and history of the United States Infantry.” The legislation recommends that the coins be struck at the West Point Mint.
A separate program will mark the bicentennial of the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the United States of America. This program will include silver dollars with a maximum mintage of 500,000 and $5 gold coins with a maximum mintage of 100,000.
The authorizing legislation provides that the designs “shall be emblematic of the War of 1812 and particularly the Battle for Baltimore that formed the basis for the Star-Spangled Banner.” Only one US Mint facility may be used to strike any particular quality of the coins, meaning at least two different facilities will be used.
2013 Commemorative Coins
The first program authorized for this year will commemorate the centennial of the establishment of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Only silver dollars will be issued, with a maximum mintage of 350,000 coins.
Minimal guidance with regards to design is provided within the legislation, which states that designs “shall be emblematic of the centennial of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.”
During the same year, commemorative coins will be issued to recognize the five United States Army 5-Star Generals, George Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Arnold, and Omar Bradley. The program will include $5 gold coins with a maximum mintage of 100,000, silver dollars limited to 500,000, and clad half dollars limited to 750,000.
The designs may prove somewhat unusual, as the legislation requires that “the design of the coins shall include portraits of Generals George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry “Hap” Arnold and Omar N. Bradley.” If all five portraits must appear on each coin, this will make for a crowded design.
2014 Commemorative Coins
So far only one commemorative coin program has been approved for 2014. The subject of commemoration is the semicentennial of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The program includes silver dollars issued in a quantity of up to 350,000.
Designs “shall be emblematic of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its contribution to civil rights in America.”
Within the 112th Congress, there have been two bills introduced for proposed commemorative coin programs. One would mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan (which occurred in 2011) with silver dollars issued in 2017.
The other would commemorate the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the United States Marshals service (which occurs in 2014) with $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and half dollars issued in 2015.
Bills for similar programs were introduced previously, but did not become law.
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