Arnold Palmer Bronze Medal

Today, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to golfer Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf. The medal was authorized under Public Law 111-65, enacted on September 30, 2009.

The obverse of the medal was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart and features an image of Palmer finishing his golf swing with the inscription “Arnold Palmer”. The reverse, designed by Phebe Hemphill and sculpted by Joseph Menna, features a pair of crossed golf clubs at center with a golf on a tee at the base. The inscriptions read “In recognition of his service to the nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship”, “92 Professional Gold Victories”, and “7 Major Championships”.

As they have done for past Congressional Gold Medals, the United States Mint has produced bronze reproductions which are offered for sale. The 3-inch medal is priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch medal is priced at $6.95.

Some background on the design selection: Three obverse design candidates and four reverse design candidates were originally provided to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for review and comment in October and November 2010. As the honoree, Arnold Palmer was also given the opportunity to express his preference from the design candidates. (See the original design candidates here.)

Arnold Palmer expressed his preference for the obverse and reverse design candidates shown above. The CFA supported the same alternatives, however they made some specific recommendations to refine the designs. For the obverse, they recommended that the overlap of Palmer’s hands and the text should be eliminated. For the reverse, they recommended removing the figural scene at the top and recomposing the remaining elements.

The CCAC had favored the same obverse design, however the alternate reverse design shown above was recommended. Even though members recognized Palmer’s preference for the other design, they felt that this one was a better choice artistically. The Chairman said, “when we reduce art to text, we have reduced the medal or the coin to a book,” moving from an object of beauty to be admired to an “item for reading.” In contrast, he felt the alternate design depicting a close up image of a golf club and ball as a “very striking, very focused setting.”

Ultimately, the final designs were chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into account the preferences and recommendations of the various parties. The CFA’s recommendation to recompose the reverse was followed, although no changes appear to have been made to the obverse.

As a final side note, the US Mint also continues to offer 3-inch and 1.5 inch bronze medals for Byron Nelson, another golfer who received the Congressional Gold Medal though an Act of Congress in 2006.

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  1. auxmike says

    I think that’s a neat medal and I don’t even follow golf! That man’s a houshold name. I might get one….

  2. simon says

    I’m thinking of getting the Aung San Suu Kyi medal when they release it – it will go well with my Mandela medal.

  3. Michael Minjack says

    As a ex caddy in the 50’s, I remember Arnie well—-He set up the “stage” where golf is now and the $$$$
    Nice job mint

  4. Jeremy says

    @CO, I suppose we’re not likely to see the cost of the ATB products come down any further now in light of the QE announcement. I would likely agree, if you’re interested in acquiring the ATBs there doesn’t seem to be much sense in waiting any further.

  5. george glazener says

    Not to mention gas prices what with the violence in the Middle East. I don’t know whether to buy gold or a 1,000 gal underground tank full of gas…

  6. EvilFlipper says

    Wow. Unlimited printing. They must be crapping their pants. Looks like I was wrong in thinking that gold would take a huge dump once more before lifting off. I honestly didn’t think they would do it this soon. So the question is- will there be a MASSiVE price explosion and will the mint freeze sales quickly if this gets volatile? Should I load up this evening and buy 10-20 gold eagles? 40? If this gets super volatile quick we may see cancellations or delays like in 2008. What does everyone think?

  7. Jeremy says

    @EF, Price adjustments for gold are done at weekly scheduled intervals while adjustments for silver can be made at any time while silver increases in price. If interested in purchasing mint silver products NOW is probably the most opportune time or at least the very near future. As for bullion purchases, I wouldn’t panic buy at these levels, silver has already gone from $28 to $34.5 so much of the QE has already been priced in by the insiders, at least in the short-term. Regarding gold mint products I wouldn’t expect any price adjustments downward from this level in the short to intermediate term, if at all ever again. lol

  8. says

    Evil Flipper,

    I’ve been thinking that if QE3 was going to happen this year, it would happen today. I believe the major factor influencing this decision that Romney has said he’s going to find a new Fed Chair, so if Bernanke wanted to keep his job, he was going to have to print and try to juice the economy before the elections. Today was the last possible day he could do it; if he waited until October it would be too late to save Obama. I don’t really like to discuss politics on a coin comment section but it’s unavoidable when talking about such a critical decision like QE3.

    The other things to watch out for that might cause gold to go crazy are if the South African mine strikes erupt into major violence/general strike, and if Israel decides it has to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. I’ll probably write more on my blog about this but if all three conditions are met, we could see gold $2000 and silver $50+ within a month or two. As it is, gold $2000 is practically guaranteed by QE3 as it is.

  9. EvilFlipper says

    I would argue that of ALL asset classes gold and silver did NOT have QE priced in. That’s why the explosive moves. It’s the volatility I’m concerned with. 2008 showed that a lot of unexpected things can happen. I’m just asking how likely is it that we have a repeat? It’s not panic buying if you think about the angles before you move. I’m playing chess with the mint and the markets. Just trying to see some moves ahead.

  10. Jeremy says

    @EF, Good Luck if you think you’re going to have an ability to anticipate ALL the moves that the economic cartel is capable of. However, we have a continual flow of federal reserve printing and pumping that was not in place during the ’08 debacle. At some point you can expect that there will be some sort of a reduction/decline/pullback, whatever you want to call it, to the stock market but I wouldn’t expect anything of significance. The market is likely to go up until the dollar is essentially and almost completely destroyed. Get ready for higher priced gas and expensive food!

    I believe a good bit of QE was already priced into the metals, I certainly would NOT recommend any purchases other than currently priced mint products at this point. If silver and gold continue to go up then at this point they would continue to do so w/o any renewed participation by me.

  11. RP says

    Off topic…The $5 UNC gold star spangled com. is on backorder at the Mint. Could they only have minted 5,000? Will they strike more? Any opinions? If that’s it, Nice lowball… WOW!

  12. Mint News Blog says

    In some cases (like with 2011 First Spouse Gold Coins) the backorders or delayed shipping dates have preceded a sell out. I do not think that is the case here.

    There is still plenty of time to strike more coins within the calendar year.

    Also, in the case of commemorative coins, they should always remain available until the pre-announced sales ending date in mid-December, unless the full maximum authorized mintage is sold. All commemoratives include a surcharge, payable to a beneficiary organization, who would not be very appreciative if the US Mint ended sales early for any reason.

  13. RP says

    Thanks Michael for the clarification! Just seems strange to be backordered for a month this early before December. Still can’t imagine they (the mint) would strike a huge amount this late in the ballgame. All speculation at this point but this one has winner written all over it.

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