During a ceremony held yesterday at the US Capitol Rotunda, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to world-renowned golfer Jack Nicklaus. The medal was authorized to be awarded under Public Law 113-210 in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence, good sportsmanship, and philanthropy.
The United States Mint had previously prepared five different obverse and four different reverse design candidates for the medal, which were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Image of all of the candidates can be found here. The final designs selected under the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury are shown below.
The obverse design of the medal features a portrait of Jack Nicklaus, his signature, and the inscriptions “120 Professional Victories” and “18 Major Championships”. The obverse was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.
The reverse features a pair of laurel leaves and arrangement of six stars, representing his five children and his wife Barbara. An inscription at the center reads “Excellence in sport, promoting integrity and sportsmanship, and dedication to philanthropy and children’s healthcare, with a lifelong commitment to family” and “Act of Congress 2014”. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
These final designs matched the recommendations offered by the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
The United States Mint has made bronze duplicate versions of the Jack Nicklaus Congressional Gold Medal available for sale. A 3-inch version of the medal is priced at $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version of the medal is priced at $6.95. Both medals are struck at the Philadelphia Mint.
The Congressional Gold Medal has been awarded to seven professional athletes. This category has been disproportionately represented by golfers. The recipients have included boxer Joe Louis, track and field Olympic champion Jesse Owens, two baseball players Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson, and three golfers Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus.