Coin Legislation Update

Back in November, I had taken a look at the schedule for upcoming commemorative coins that have been approved for the next few years. Since that time, there have been no additional commemorative coin programs approved, however a few bills have moved forward.

Most recently, a bill proposing silver dollars to celebrate the establishment of Mother’s Day was passed in the House on May 5, 2010. Yesterday, a bill seeking $5 gold, $1 silver, and clad half dollars to recognize 5-Star Generals was passed in the House.

Commemorative coin programs are authorized by Congress. The process begins when a bill is introduced in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. In order for the bill to become law, it must be passed in both the House and Senate, and then signed by the President.

Under current law, only two commemorative coin programs may be approved for each year. Two programs have already been approved for 2011. Only one program has been approved for each of the years 2012, 2013, and 2014, leaving one slot open for an additional program.

The table below shows all of the current commemorative coin proposals and approved programs for each year. The coins included in the program and current status are also included. For 2011, only the approved programs have been listed since the schedule for that year has been filled.

2011 Coins Included Status
United States Army $5 gold, $1 silver, half Signed into Law
Medal of Honor $5 gold, $1 silver Signed into Law
United States Infantry $1 silver Signed into Law
Star Spangled Banner $5 gold, $1 silver Passed House
National Future Farmers $5 gold, $1 silver Introduced
Girl Scouts Centennial $1 silver Signed into Law
5-Star Generals $5 gold, $1 silver, half Passed House
Mark Twain $5 gold, $1 silver Introduced
Gettysburg Campaign $5 gold, $1 silver, half Introduced
Ronald Reagan $5 gold, $1 silver Introduced
Civil Rights Act of 1964 $1 silver Signed into Law
Mother’s Day Centennial $1 silver Passed House
US Marshals Service $5 gold, $1 silver Introduced
James Monroe $50 gold, $1 silver, half Introduced

Some notes on a few of the programs:

The 5-Stars Generals Commemorative Coin proposal specifies that the designs of the coins shall include the portraits of Generals George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry Arnold, and Omar N. Bradley. I think that this would be a very challenging design to implement. A five headed coin?

The Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin proposal calls for a design of an American Eagle carrying an olive branch, flying above a nest with another eagle and hatchlings. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is the design which currently appears on the American Gold Eagle bullion coins.

The US Marshals Service Program calls for a $5 gold coin containing one ounce of gold. This would be unusual since one ounce gold coins issued by the US Mint typically carry a $50 face value. The legislation also calls for the gold coins to feature a design in high relief with edge lettering.

The James Monroe coin program seeks a one ounce gold coin with a $50 face value. This would be the highest denomination modern commemorative coin. The authorized mintages specified for the program are lower than typical. The $50 gold coins would be limited to 20,000, the $1 silver coins would be limited to 275,000, and the half dollars would be limited to 500,000.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I know the face values are only symbolic, but come on! $5 for a full ounce of gold? Ludicrous!

    I wonder if a mintage of only 20,000 would be low enough to prompt the would-be buyers to shell out the kind of dough necessary for a one-ounce $50 James Monroe gold coin?

  2. Anonymous says

    Wonder (really!) what the price for Au will be when the Monroe is released.

  3. Anonymous says

    Anyone think they will feature a Father on the Mother's Day commemorative?

  4. Anonymous says

    Hi!, How about the five star admirals, and General Pershing, as well? There are some forgotten events that seem to duck consideration: Spanish-American War; War of 1812; Mexican War (doubled the size of the U.S.); immigration; transcontinental railroad; could also do one with famous "unAmericans". e.g., Benedict Arnold & Jimmy Carter, on the same coin would work. Good Luck, Larry

  5. Tim says

    The commemoratives this year are lame. These are my impressions of upcoming coins/proposed coins:

    US Army: Meh
    Medal of Honor: Nice, as long as design isn't lame

    US Infantry: More exciting than Army
    Star Spangled Banner: Meh
    National Future Farmers: Is this seriously being considered? Lame.

    Girl Scouts Centennial: Another lame scout offering. Wee.
    5-Star Generals: If it was a set, with each getting their own coin with something unique on reverse, would be cool. You know, though, that it will end up being some monster coin of lameness.
    Mark Twain: Yay
    Gettysburg campaign: alright I guess
    Ronald Regan: Blech.

    Civil Rights Act: Most likely going to be picture depicting hand-holding lameness
    Mother's Day Centennial: Omg someone forgot to buy their mom flowers, and introduced this legislation. What's next? "Taco Night Centennial"?
    US Marshals Service: Please, please, please be Tommy Lee Jones chasing Harrison Ford on the obverse.

    James Monroe: Standard

  6. Anonymous says

    NASA. Aren't they now in charge of climate change/ global warming. Their coin will show a NASA scientist driving a Chevy Volt to the far north to install a solar powered air conditioner in a polar bear den because the bear is overheating due to global warming. The reverse will show the space shuttle being pushed into a compacter and shredded and used to make this coin.

  7. Anonymous says

    Not much exciting in that proposed lineup. Contrary— some of the proposals actually strike me as lame.

    I'm NOT a reagan fan at all— but I think a commom for him would actually work— i.e., would actually sell and generate some enthusiasm.

    Someone tell me if that Marshal's high relief coin passes (comes into law)— will take the legs out from underneath the 09 UHR's—- which by 2014 would have been going strong. Bastards.

    50th anniv of civil rights would actually be a good commomerative— with a decent design— I think it would sell well. I'm guessing Rand Paul won't make the back of this proposed coin.

    Mother's Day? Give me a break.
    Also, too many military and law enforcement themes for my liking.

    Other posters had better ideas like NASA, railroad to the west, Louisiana Purchase, etc.

  8. Anonymous says

    National Future Farmers?
    Are they like anticipating the
    Grid to like totally fail that year?(or sooner?)

  9. Anonymous says

    No,no, that would mean the teleprompters wouldn't work.
    So, no, that wouldn't be good at all. Of coarse then again if that happened, the big Oh could then just conveniently go on a long tour around the world using other country's teleprompters anyway.

  10. Anonymous says

    Nothing is gonna take the legs out from under the UHR. Its a classic design. The commems are just historical representations. It would have to be something pretty spectacular and I don't think the mint is up to it now. The UHR's probably won't go through the roof because there are too many of them and yellow metal is getting expensive. They will just continue to plod along doing okay.

  11. Anonymous says

    We will all be National Future Farmers in a couple years after the economy ends its collapse so why not have the coin. Get ready to grow your own food, so mint is very wise for this selection.

    We also will need a National Future Walking coin since we won't have money to buy gas, a National Future Homeless coin since we will be foreclosed on, and also a National Future Bankruptcy coin, that one speaks for itself.

  12. Anonymous says

    Reagan makes even Democrats "feel good" since it reminds us of better days when our country was truly great, and everything you owned wasn't made in China. Now we have Islamic clerics calling for all US military Muslims to make more Ft. Hoods, and we have no idea what to do about it. We miss you Ronnie! Reagan was the best leader we have had since Lincoln!

  13. JA says

    I have to agree with the comments indicating that the commemoratives are not the most exciting releases by the mint.

    The 'National Future Farmers' though, truly takes the cake. It seems like a bad SNL skit.

  14. Anonymous says

    There should be a General Motors and Chrysler commemorative coin since the gooberment now owns both cos.

  15. Anonymous says

    I just can't see a $50 James Monroe gold coin being the cornerstone of anyone's collection. Definitely not one of those "gotta have it" coins, especially with a mintage of 20,000!

  16. Michael says

    "Where is the NASA coin???"

    The NASA commemorative coin program, which would have included silver coins for each planet (and Pluto) and a gold coin for the sun, was first proposed in the 110th Congress. The coins would have been issued in 2008, the actual 50th anniversary of NASA. The bills never became law.

    Another bill was introduced in the 111th Congress, for the NASA coins to be released in 2011. However, since two commemorative coin programs have already been approved for 2011, I didn't include this as a current proposal.

  17. Anonymous says

    Yesterday a "Liberty" silver dollar dated 1794 sold for 7.85 million dollars… Let's hear it for low minted coins. Only 1578 coins were minted by hand of which 140 coins remain.

    Maybe there is hope for those low minted gold spouse coins after all.


  18. Anonymous says

    While the gold spouses will never command anywhere near a million dollars, they very well could provide a nice little windfall profit for those who buy them now at Mint prices. Just be sure to pay your capital gains tax to the IRS when you sell, not because you're afraid of getting caught if you don't, but because it's the right thing to do!

    As I've said before, keep an eye on the two Tyler coins to be even lower mintage than Anna Harrison. It appears the Mint might actually stick to the tentative June 3rd release date for Jane Pierce, so the end for at least Letitia Tyler should be drawing near.

    It could get interesting if the Mint also ends sales of the Julia Tyler coins on June 3rd as well. If many of the would-be last minute buyers are left out in the cold due to the unexpected disappearance of Julia, look for some very nice short-term profit potential in that coin.

    The Mint has already proven that they don't necessarily leave the coins available for an entire year, so don't trust them too far to be very predictable. If you haven't bought the Tyler coins yet, it's better to be safe than sorry. You shouldn't have to wait very long to be able to sell them at a profit.

  19. Anonymous says

    By the way, it appears likely that the prices of gold coins at the Mint will be falling this week (back to the $1,150-$1,199.99 tier), so save yourself a little money and wait until Thursday afternoon to buy.

  20. Anonymous says

    Believe it or not but some of the gold spouse coins might actually get to be valued at over a hunderd thousand – in about 200 yrs.

  21. Anonymous says

    Thought triggered by commenter above. The mint missed a golden (silvern) opportunity of doing a combined commemorative proof set with the proof Scout coin and a silver Kennedy proof. Kennedy being the first prez who was a scout. Maybe 20,000 or so sets. Instant sell out and generates some good publicity. Too late, too bad, so sad.

  22. Anonymous says

    In regards to the comment about the value of spouse coins in 200 years:

    See there, at least our heirs will be grateful we are buying the coins now. Think of it as a selfless act to take care of our future generations!

  23. Anonymous says

    To above commenter. Don't forget that a loaf of bread, a can of green beans, a lb. of hamburger, and a gallon of milk will also be $1900 in 200 yrs if not sooner.

  24. Anonymous says

    To the above posters… If you look at the consumer price index over the last 100 years, if you follow the same trend (from about $0.09 to $2.00), a gallon of milk would cost about $1000 by 2210 🙂

  25. Anonymous says

    Wow, think about how high our salaries will be by then, too!

    Yeah, it's all relative. We marvel at how cheap things used to be, but their salaries and wages were a lot smaller back then, too. My great-grandfather made $49 a month, and his was one of the richer families in the neighborhood.

  26. Anonymous says

    "what about a 50 year commemerative of Kennedy in 2014"

    Great idea! They can put him on a half dollar! Oh wait, duh, never mind.

  27. Anonymous says

    I wish Ronald Reagan was still alive. Then it would be easier to criticize his stupid policies, since he hasn't been dead long enough for sane analysis of his presidency that isn't tainted by nostalgia to occur. Our nation has had a lot of struggles getting economic policy correct, but he gave us that huge shove in the wrong direction of government spending and bloat that just keeps getting worse every year. Thanks for really getting the debt train going Ronnie!

  28. Anonymous says

    Whatever Reagan did that was wrong it was Bush's fault. Now I don't know if anyone wants to include the removal of the Berlin wall, a few missles up Ghadafi's shorts in Libya, bankrupting the old Soviet Union by out doing them in defense, release of the Iran hostages, and economic growth for 20 yrs. Not to mention all that friggin' spending was initiated in a Congress controlled by another party. Yea, Reagan was crap.

  29. Anonymous says

    The Soviet Union was falling apart from within. Reagan didn't do crap to topple it other than make everyone get saddled with tons of debt. What a great job.

  30. Anonymous says

    Of course we all know how much conservatives love to rewrite history to support their favorite figures and viewpoints. *cough* Texas *cough*

  31. Anonymous says

    Wait… so Reagan gets all of the credit for making the Soviets spend a ton on defense, but congress gets all of the blame for the money being spent over here (which is what made the Soviets spend money)? What the hell kind of double standard is that?

  32. Anonymous says

    Maybe this is why Obama is turning our country into the new Soviet Union. Payback for the good years.

  33. Anonymous says

    Let's go back to the Jimmy carter years, remember those? Probably not because the mind has no memory of pain.

  34. Anonymous says

    We could go back to LBJ, be with a Democrat majority, paid for the Vietnam War by taking money out of Social Security and replacing it with IOU's.

    They are all crooks,R and D, why would anyone what bigger government? Don't we have enough thieves, taking the taxpayer's money?

  35. CARLE' says





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