Last month, to coincide with the release of the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollar Uncirculated Coin Set, the United States Mint also began offering John F. Kennedy Bronze Medals.
These medals are part of the Presidential Medal series, which have seen issuance for each President of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush. At various times in the past, the Mint has offered complete collections of the medals in 1-5/16 inch size. In recent years, the Mint has only offered the medals for recent Presidents and periodically revisited certain past presidents. Medals currently available include the most recent past five Presidential terms, as well as Jimmy Carter, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and now John F. Kennedy.
The obverse design of the medal features a profile portrait of President John F. Kennedy designed by United States Mint Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts. In preparing the medal, Roberts had met with President Kennedy in person to show him early models of the design and incorporated changes after meeting him. Following Kennedy’s assassination, Roberts would modify the bust used for the Presidential Medal to create the obverse design for the Kennedy Half Dollar.
The reverse design of the medal by Frank Gasparro features the Presidential Seal at center with the burning torches of liberty to each side. The inscriptions include “Inaugurated President” above and “January 20, 1961” below. A quote from the President’s inaugural address is also included: “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival of liberty. John F. Kennedy” Gasparro would modify the Presidential Seal included within the design to serve as the reverse of the Kennedy Half Dollar.
The United States Mint has available the 1-5/16 inch bronze version of the medal priced at $6.95 and the 3 inch bronze version of the medal priced at $39.95.