While browsing the United States Mint’s online catalog, I noticed that the Mint is offering Nelson Mandela Bronze Medals. These had originally been offered for sale back in September 1998, and were apparently brought back on December 12, 2013.
These medals are bronze reproductions of the Congressional Gold Medal authorized under Public Law 105-215 enacted July 29, 1998 and awarded to Nelson Mandela at a ceremony held at the U.S. Capitol Building’s Great Rotunda on September 23, 1998. The medal was awarded in recognition of his lifelong dedication to the abolition of apartheid and the promotion of reconciliation among the people of the Republic of South Africa. Nelson Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.
The obverse contains a portrait of Nelson Mandela designed by T. James Ferrell. Inscriptions within an outer ring surrounding the portrait include PRESIDENT NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA and SOUTH AFRICA.
The reverse design by Thomas D. Rogers contains the central inscription PRESIDENT MANDELA DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO THE VICTORY OF DEMOCRACY OVER APARTHEID with compass points and the sun logo of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund above. A semi-circle of children holding hands and overlapping branches complete the image. The inscription BY ACT OF CONGRESS 1998 appears at the base.
The US Mint offers a 1.5-inch version of the medal priced at $6.95 and a 3-inch version of the medal priced at $39.95.
It is uncertain how long these medal may remain available. The authorizing legislation which allows the Secretary of the Treasury to strike the bronze duplicates does not provide a specific end date for sales or production. Typically, the Mint has offered the bronze duplicates immediately following the award of the Congressional Gold Medal. After that point, availability of the bronze medals is often sporadic. Some issues remain available for years, others go off-sale, and sometimes older medals are brought back.
For now, the medals can be found on this page of the US Mint’s website.