Favorite Everhart medal and coin designs, part 2: The Women Airforce Service Pilots Bronze Medal reverse

Campaign medals received by the Women Airforce Service Pilots program are displayed during the opening of the “Fly Girls of World War II” exhibit at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Arlington, Va., Nov. 14, 2008. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden

Part 2 of a five-part series. Click here to read part 1part 3, part 4, and part 5.

Don Everhart, the United States Mint’s senior sculptor-engraver, retired from his position in Philadelphia last week. This week I’m exploring some of my favorite Everhart medal and coin designs. Yesterday I looked at the remarkable 2006 State quarter for Nevada. Today: a commemorative medal honoring an important group of American women.

The Women Airforce Service Pilots Bronze Medal, 2009

Congress authorized this medal in 2009 to honor Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) of World War II for their pioneering military service, which led to reform in the U.S. Armed Forces. The WASP included the first women to fly American military aircraft. They flew more than 60 million miles in every type of U.S. aircraft and on every type of assignment flown by their male counterparts, except for combat. Thirty-eight WASP pilots made the ultimate sacrifice and died for our nation during these missions.

Don Everhart and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee member Heidi Wastweet discuss medallic design during a break at the June 21, 2017, CCAC meeting.

For the medal’s reverse, Don Everhart positioned three aircraft—an AT-6, a B-26 (Martin Marauder), and a P-51—along with the WASP wings emblem and several inscriptions as mandated. The design is exquisitely detailed, with a lightly textured field, and carefully balanced with a nice use of negative space. The positioning of the planes in foreground, middle-background, and background give the design a dramatic sense of movement, depth, and interaction. The text is also well balanced, a technical and artistic challenge with so much wording (THE FIRST WOMEN IN HISTORY TO FLY AMERICAN MILITARY AIRCRAFT and ACT OF CONGRESS 2009). Everhart made skillful use of the “canvas” available to U.S. medals, which are struck on mint presses different from those used for producing billions of circulating coins. Medal presses apply greater pressure and they strike larger planchets—the bronze versions of this Congressional Gold Medal, available for sale to the public, are up to three inches in diameter, much larger and thicker than any circulating U.S. coin. In Everhart’s design the wings of the AT-6, the dominant figure in the composition, fly off the sides of the medal as if the plane is about to leave its bronze surface and take to the air. The effect is dynamic and breathtaking.

The bronze version of the 2009 Women Airforce Service Pilots Congressional Gold Medal, designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.

In his book American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program, retired U.S. Mint chief engraver John Mercanti praised Everhart’s work on this medal and offered it as an example of good design: “Don Everhart’s perfectly balanced reverse design beautifully describes the story of the WASP fliers.”

The gold version of the medal was presented to surviving members of the WASP on March 10, 2010, with family members and other representatives also in attendance at a ceremony at the Capitol Visitor Center’s Emancipation Hall in Washington, D.C.

You can add the three-inch bronze version of the medal to your collection by ordering directly from the U.S. Mint.

Click here to read part 3, “The Statue of Liberty reverse, Presidential dollar series.”


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  1. David says

    What are your thoughts on how the EU set was released? Would you go as far to say it’s just like ticket scalping? When I see people on eBay with 500 of these for sale it really saddens me that so many won’t have a chance to get these at issue price because people like that buy them all up.

  2. Sturgeon says

    “The design is exquisitely detailed”—–The planes don’t seem to have any propellers

  3. says

    OT-in case there’s any doubt that the HHL should always be in place, look at this: 100-Pk 2017-S Silver Eagle Congratulations NGC PF69 ER/FR PCGS PR69 FS SKU47843 on the bay. They are dumping the 2017-S by the 100’s !!! “Includes an assortment of labels”. Of course it does, an assortment of nonsense labels. “Get your red-hot labels here!!!” Good, I’m so glad these guys get stuck, serves them right. The mint bows to the big guys. They want the quick, fast, large cash inflow from as few sources as possible. Less CC fees, less shipping costs, less handling costs. One day we’ll see a release of 250,000 of a product go to one buyer…….laugh…….its coming.

  4. Mint News Blog says

    Wow, neat coin, Louis!

    The eyeglass company Warby Parker is supposedly giving away free eclipse glasses in their stores from August 1 until the eclipse. We have one nearby, and I’m planning to stop in and pick up a pair.

    By the way, eclipse-watchers, don’t forget to look at the shadows on the ground, too. Those bright, circular dapples amid the leaf-shadows will become crescents as the sun goes from round to crescent-shaped.

  5. Buzz Killington says

    @David —

    If people don’t buy flips, sellers won’t flip.

    It looks like the 2017-S silver eagle was overbought, and I expect that this EU set is even more overbought.

    Those sets have got to go somewhere eventually. Patience is counseled.

  6. Michael says

    By far Everhart’s best work is what he did while working for the Franklin Mint both as a member of their studio and freelance in later years. No restrictions there on his creativity.

  7. My Preccciousss says

    Good article, Louis, but I have never been interested in buying coins with color added. I might make an exception for the “pink gold” which is a different sort of animal, IMO. And it would be good to throw some $$$ at breast cancer research.

  8. cagcrisp says

    @KCSO ,”The USM has gone all out again,

    With this packaging, prepare yourself…,

    Easily North of $200+”

    1. They are Medals
    2. They are 4 oz. of Silver
    3. They are 4 oz. of Silver Medals…

  9. Mint News Blog says

    Some Enhanced Unc sets are available as of 7:37 a.m. on August 3. At 7:38 they still have more than 100.

  10. Nick says

    Wow…just logged in a bought a couple sets that I was unable to get on issue day!
    …and I sent a scathing note Tuesday to the USM expressing my displeasure on the no HHL on limited quantity issues.

  11. Nick says

    I wonder if the Big Boys order in the thousands, cause a “sellout”, start selling on the seconday market at insane prices and make their money, and then return a significant amount back to the mint just before the secondary market prices begin to drop. Just an interesting theory.
    Orrrrrr….did the mint actually stop selling before they “sold out” and begin selling in smaller quantities after the fact?
    Well, at least I was able to get one for myself.

  12. Hidalgo says

    MNB – thank you for sharing the news about the availability of the 2017 Enhanced Uncirculated sets with us. Personally, I do not believe that a mintage of 225,000 will make this set rare or hard to find in the future. In the long run, I cannot see how this set will hold its value.

  13. Louis Golino, Author says

    I was going to get a couple more EU sets, but with prices now around $50 each, you will not end up with enough $ for your trouble unless you are doing big volume or grading and getting high grades. I will just keep my 3 sets.

    As for the medals, the packaging seems to be identical to the JFK sets but in a different color. I like it, but I agree price will be at least $200 and maybe even $250.

  14. Mint News Blog says

    The fact that more than 100 sets are still available at 8:30, an hour after they were first posted, does make one wonder whether a huge return has been processed. On the other hand, with people lining up more than 100 deep to get the sets at a markup in Denver, it would seem that the dealers stand to make more money simply by riding the current wave. Louis and others, what do you think? Was there a huge return of the sets to the Mint, or are collectors slow on the uptake this morning?

  15. bigguy says

    Guess all these people saying mint sets sold out do not understand the difference between unavailable and sold out, a lot of people on ebay were selling them as sold out. you can order them again

  16. Louis Golino says

    I don’t think these are returns. They simply did not sell all of them on Tuesday. Returns take time to be mailed and processed. This has happened many times. They did not sell out Tues., as I suggested then.

  17. Louis Golino says

    Also, the big boys will eventually have too much stock and will keep lowering prices.

  18. Gold man says

    The mint created hype at the ana by making the sets unavailable in 10 minutes on the website. They therefore were able to sell all the coins they had at the ANA. Kinda shady, but all those complains about the big boys buying up thousands at the ANA may have to admit that there is risk in buying that many.

  19. DOUG says

    I just picked up 10 sets of the 225 sets this morning. I fell for the hype but needed to get a couple pucks anyway so was already paying for shipping

  20. The Coin Doctor says

    Bought 5 around 8:20am in a mad rush following another late notification from the US mint and then decided to buy 5 more around 8:40am.

  21. Mintman says

    Could be mint limitation of big boys to 1000 sets as they did at the ANA
    Maybe those extra sets became available

  22. data dave says

    The price of the 4 piece silver medal set. Everyone is saying $200 or even more. The single medal in a big ass box was $60. All of the other one ounce silver products are priced between $45 and $54.

    So I am guessing between $180 and $215.

    I bought the single medal just because I wanted one. Paying $40+ over spot means it is a collectible and not bullion. Paying $100+ over spot for this set will require a little more thinking first. It would help if they put a reasonable limit on it but it will probably be unlimited.

  23. Tom says

    Love It! This morning, some of the dealers from the ANA Fair are complaining about the sets they may be stuck with. Returns likely.
    @ cagcrisp. The Mint rep.wpuld not specify how many they came with, buy told nearly 30,000 sold.

  24. JohnT58 says

    Thanks for the notice of the availability of the enhanced sets. My schedule did not permit me to log on at sale time on Tuesday but I was able to pick up a couple of sets for my collection today.

  25. cagcrisp says

    @Tom, Thanks. I had read on a different blog that there were Thousands available for Sale on Both Tuesday and Wednesday at the ANA and that they were some trying to sell raw OGP without ANY buyers…

  26. Goat says

    I have to ask how many will cancel their orders on E-Bay and buy at mint and save . Another POOR move at the mint for the collector !

  27. Mintman says

    It will me a mess for the mint if they played everyone with the unavailable signage.
    They will be processing returns from next week till Thanksgiving
    My opinion–I guess they limited sets to 1000, some orders may have been much larger

  28. Joe M. says

    I wonder if it’s available due to first day credit card sales denied or sets that didn’t sell at the show??
    Press release will be interesting.
    Sure is exciting 😉

  29. Mike S says

    Got EU 10 sets today at 10am. Missed out on Tuesday but not today. Sets still available..

  30. Dustyroads says

    A standard clad non-EU mint set with a mintage low of 225,000 would have made this set a key. Being that this set is non-typical (EU), I don’t see it as a key.

  31. says

    Oh man, this is the best. Sweet, sweet justice against all the flippers. What are all the flippers gonna do with the 100’s and probably 1,000’s of sets of EU’s they bought? All those postings for double and triple the price……and surprise……! Get them today at the regular, everyday list price. I love it.
    The mint has doled out some punishment…..maybe a wake up call.

  32. cagcrisp says

    “Be Careful. With the Initial Success of the 2017S , EVERYONE will be on this and the Nightmare will be Much faster than the 2017S”

    1. Nightmare for ALL those that got their panties in a bunch because the Mint did what they said 2 months ago and had no HHL
    2. Nightmare for ALL the dealers/flippers that will not be able to move 100-1000 set lots
    3. Nightmare for the Mint that received all the nasty comments, emails, FB posts, phone calls and snail mails
    4. Nightmare for the Mint to process ALL the returns/cancellations that they will be receiving
    5. Nightmare for ALL those that CHASED on the secondary market
    6. Nightmare for ALL the “Buy what you Like .I don’t care about the secondary market. I don’t look at the secondary market. I’m a collector” when it’s time to cash in or die…depending on which comes first
    7. Nightmare for ALL those that buy Graded examples to only find out there is No One that cares down the road for Clad coins…Especially contrived Gimmick coins
    8. Etc.
    9. Etc.
    10. Etc.
    11. Repeat.
    12. Repeat.
    13. Repeat.

    For Virtually everything that has come out of the Mint this year…

  33. cagcrisp says

    “For Virtually everything that has come out of the Mint this year…”


    OF EVERYTHING the Mint has put out this year, The American Liberty 225th Gold coin….Has Potential…Long Term…

    I have Not bought the American Liberty Gold coin, so I’m Not talking my book. It does Have Potential Long Term IF the Mint plays its Cards Correctly…

  34. KEITHSTER says

    What no one get the mailer from the mint? Free shipping on all President dollars . It also says this is the last year to get them so just maybe they will hide them in the vault with the rest of them for a later date? No such luck with the FS’s that’s till supply ends ? But with code till Aug. 31st’ on the dollars. Don’t think I need any but will crunch the #’s before the end ! Good Luck To All Looks Like We Need It”<"<"<"<"<"<"<"<"<"<"<"

  35. Donnie says

    The simple fact is these EU Sets are clad composition. I still believe that the EU finish should only be executed on precious metal coins.

  36. Brad says

    Thanks for the tip! I was able to order the 5 sets that I had planned to order on Tuesday, but forgot until 11:07 because I was engrossed in work and missed the boat the first time. I wasn’t about to pay scalper prices.

  37. DBR says

    I just appreciate all the comments because they reflect what motivates MNB readers to purchase or not. That may sound obvious to many here, but it still helps educate the readership from all backgrounds.

    We have the cool cucumbers here as well as those who are the emotional impulse buyers. Some view Mint offerings only as products while others see them as collectible art that has intrinsic value…even the clad.

    One thing seems certain, marketing works. Americans love marketing and its drilled into us from infancy onward. Being an impulse buyer myself, I appreciate and value the calm, analytical and even very opinionated views of our more rational, logical, dispassionate readers. They’ve saved me from buyer’s remorse and offered a dose of patience. All good.

    My parents taught me to say “Thank you” and I live from a place of gratitude so “Thanks” to Diana of MNB and all the readers and contributors.

    My order of two of the 225th EU S clad set shipped yesterday. I did see that Ebay listing with a series of photos of this set, and Wow! Looks real nice. I hope the EU finish remains rarely used so that the special nature of this set is preserved.

    Personally, I think a type set of all the Mint’s 225th Anniversary Products would be a handsome set to see all together and at once.

    Full disclosure: I used to work in sales and marketing so I’m a sucker for the packaging and hype as much as I am for a good, well-made product.

    Nurture/Nature….I think collectors of any sort are born not made. When I look at all the bizarre things I collected as a child, I know collecting is in my blood.

  38. Dustyroads says

    cagcrisp, When you say ” It does Have Potential Long Term IF the Mint plays its Cards Correctly…”

    I assume you mean not letting it “die on the vine”. Is that what you mean?

    We all know the USM will do just that.

  39. Dustyroads says


    DBR, When I was very young I had no shortage of abandoned structures to investigate. These were time capsules for the most part, still full of 50+ year old artifacts left behind by the market crash of 1929. It was those adventures that caused me to collect and display in my bedroom my collections, each of which had a unique story.
    One of which was a collection of books owned by a certain George Breese, who I have yet to track down any relatives of. The collection begins with a book inscribed “bought with money given by grandmother, 1852”, and ends with a recording of his wife being in attendance at the women’s club meeting of 1933.
    I amassed all kinds of things, but decided at some point that trying to collect and preserve is good, but has it’s limitations. I chose to step back and appreciate the days I have rather than what I can hold in my hands. I think that’s better, plus it’s free.
    As for preserving wealth…it’s a must.
    My point is I believe collecting was at least in my life something learned. So if I do it, I have very little remorse ever. It’s all good, but in my case I’m not a fan of anything clad.

  40. cagcrisp says

    @Dustyroad, “I assume you mean not letting it “die on the vine”. Is that what you mean?”. Nope. I will wait and see what they do before commenting Further.

    “We all know the USM will do just that.” Yep…

  41. drew s says

    Had a meeting on Tuesday and wasn’t around to make the purchase at noon.

    I now have 10 sets in my bag. Wondering if I should make the purchase, or just walk down to the D.C. Mint gift shop and see if they have a couple extra…

  42. NCM Collector says

    This set is such a value. Low mintage quarters and cents pay for the set.
    It is worth buying a few to hold and see how much they go for at Christmas. And you can alway give them as gifts.

  43. John Q. Coinage says

    Happened to go to mint site 1st, wow ’17-s EU on the board. Bought some & we’ll see. Big boys/ Flippers may get crushed if the remain on sale….hardee har har…….the nature of the beast & the US Mint…..

  44. dave says

    had a very important meeting on Tuesday the first time in a long time I had to miss an opening item and lo and behold first time I actually have no problem obtaining my 1 set after a so called sold out

    first time for everything so it seems and yes all I wanted was 1 set for my collection

  45. Tinto says

    Maybe that seller on eBay who dumped 1,000 sets yesterday knew something was coming …

  46. mintman says

    Well – lets see how many orders are “refused” at the doorsteps of the recipients. They will be returned to the USM and a refund will be given.
    And just think – no return shipping or hassle.
    The USM made a big blunder on this one. You cant tell me the unavailable is because product wasn’t ready…..BS…..

  47. earthling says


    I just put 99 of those EU Sets in my Cart, on the Mint website. What the …………… ? How the ………………?

    Dont want even 1. In ten years if I see some in a Yard Sale at around $5.00 each….? Nah…… I ‘ll just walk away. Junk is junk – at any price.


  48. earthling says

    Regardless of what happens with US Coins, classic, modern, contrived….

    I’ll always be lusting for a monster Pan-Pac $50 Octagonal. Will those ever crash down into my near poverty level exixtence? Maybe I better stock up on cases of Bush’s Baked Beans and Buffalo Vienna Sausages. One day after Nuclear Winter hits… maybe someone will be really hungry. 😱

  49. earthling says

    Marketing 101.

    – Offer something unlimited, anywhere, anytime – maybe people want it, maybe not. Maybe next week they’ll want it. Maybe next year? Maybe they just totally forget about it?

    – Offer something in a very “limited edition” – get it NOW before it’s gone …… then people want it. Even if they could care less about it. Well maybe Nephew would like it for Christmas.

    I checked the Mint website again. You can still buy those EU Sets. I put 100 in my cart this time.

  50. earthling says

    I think the US Mint has finally hit the magic target. Was it genius or did they just blunder into it? They got it all, quick sellout , slow sellout, or maybe no sellout? Limited product, unlimited product. Low price point, high price point. And best of all, Whiners got something to whine about.

    Those who thought they needed to get in, were happy, for a time. Those who sat on their hands , are / were happy.

    At different times, the Mint has come close to making everyone happy.

    Good Job, US Mint. Keep on doing whatever it is you do. If anyone ever figures all this out, I’m sure the World will read about it first on MNB.

  51. Tom P. - MA says

    I originally thought this would take days to sell out. I figured I would go to the Mint website noonish and place an order. 12:15, unavailable. OK, slightly upset but placed my name on the waiting list. After all this is a clad mint set which in some cases sells below face value on Ebay.

    Today 9 AM email, bad time, I place my order around 10 AM Still available … strange since this website noticed they were available around 8AM.

    This is a conspiracy theorists paradise. Were they trying to appease the big boys with the early false sell out? Were they trying to mess with the big boys by offering a lot only 2 days later?

    I only wanted 2 sets, I got those for $32.50 each and I’m happy.

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