On October 27, the US Mint announced the design selections for the 2012 Infantry Soldier Silver Dollar. The commemorative coin was authorized by Congress in 2008 to commemorate the legacy of the United States Army Infantry and the establishment of the National Infantry Museum and Solider Center.
The design requirements under the authorizing legislation call for the coins to be emblematic of the courage, price, sacrifice, sense of duty, and history of the United States Infantry.
The US Mint had initially provided 12 different obverse and 7 different reverse design candidates. The National Infantry Foundation, Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) were give the opportunity to review the designs and make recommendations. The final selections were made by the United States Treasury Secretary.
The design selected for the obverse features a modern infantry solider on rocky ground charging forward and beckoning troops to follow. This is intended to symbolize the “Follow Me” motto of the infantry. The obverse was designed by Joel Iskowitz and engraved by Michael Gaudioso.
This design selection matches the recommendation of the CFA, which favored the design “due to the strong and familiar pose of the infantry leader and the recognizable setting on a rocky base.”
The CCAC had recommended an alternative design depicting three Infantry soldiers courageously charging forward while engaged in battle. A measure was introduced and passed to recommend removal of the solider appearing near the right edge of the coin.
While several members of the CCAC had commented favorably on the design eventually selected by the Treasury Secretary, there had been some questions about the facial expression and hands of the soldier. One member also noted issues with the proportions and compared the solider image to a mannequin.
The design selected for the reverse features the crossed rifle insignia, the branch insignia for the Infantry. The reverse was designed by Ronald D. Sanders and engraved by Norman E. Nemeth.
Once again, the design selection matches the recommendation of the CFA, which cited the “simplicity and clarity” of the design. Initially, the denomination was expressed as “$1” under the crossed rifles. The CFA had recommended spelling out the denomination as “One Dollar.” This recommendation was followed.
The CCAC recommended an alternate design featuring the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, which had garnered the most votes by a wide margin.
All of the 12 different obverse design candidates and 7 different reverse design candidates can be viewed within the CoinUpdate.com articles covering the CFA’s recommendations and the CCAC’s review and recommendations.
The 2012 Infantry Solider Silver Dollar is expected to be available for sale from the US Mint in February 2012. The coin will be available in proof or uncirculated versions, with a maximum mintage of 350,000 across both versions.
Gold and Platinum Numismatic Price Increases
It seems likely that tomorrow, the US Mint will increase the prices of certain gold and platinum numismatic products. After a rapid series of price increases and decreases, the prices for these products have been stable since October 12.
The US Mint determines prices for certain gold and platinum numismatic products based on the average weekly London fix prices of the metal. Price tiers are established at $50 increments for gold and $100 increments for platinum. The weekly period runs from Thursday AM to Wednesday AM, and an additional requirement calls for the Wednesday PM price to agree directionally with any change.
The average market price of gold for the period (excluding the Wednesday AM price) is within the $1,700 to $1,749.99 range. In the most likely scenario, as long as the Wednesday PM is $1,700 or greater, then product prices will be increased proportionally by $50 for each ounce of gold content. Gold products which would have their prices increased include the 2011 Proof Gold Eagles, 2011-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle, 2011 Proof Gold Buffalo, First Spouse Gold Coins, and 2011 commemorative gold coins.
The average market price for platinum (excluding Wednesday AM price) is within the $1,550 to $1,649.99 range. As long as the Wednesday PM fix price is $1,550 or above, then the price of the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle will be increased from $1,792 to $1,892.
Price changes are usually made effective around mid-morning Wednesday.