Montford Point Marines Bronze Medals

Yesterday, the Congressional Gold Medal was collectively awarded to the Montford Point Marines in recognition of their personal sacrifice and service to their country during World War II. The United States Mint is offering 3 inch and 1.5 inch bronze reproductions of the medal for sale to collectors.

In June of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order No. 8802 establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission and opening the doors for the very first African-Americans to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. The first African-American recruits were trained at Camp Montford Point in Jacksonville, North Carolina. More than 19,000 African-Americans would serve in the Marine Corps during World War II, including the landing on the island of Iowa Jima and the seizure of Okinawa.

The obverse design of the medal features three Montford Point Marines with a training scene included in the lower portion. The inscriptions include “Montford Point Marines” and the years “1942” and “1949”. This was designed and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.

On the reverse is a scene of Montford Point Marines in formation during training with the signature water tower in the background. The main inscription reads “For Outstanding Perseverance and Courage that Inspired Social Change in the Marine Corps” with “2011 Act of Congress” in the lower portion. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.

Originally, there had been six obverse design candidates and six reverse design candidates, which were provided to the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for review and comment. You can view the design candidates here. The CFA and CCAC each came up with different design recommendations, and in one case, the Secretary of the Treasury selected a design different than either recommendation.

The CFA had recommended an alternative obverse design created by removing a training scene and modifying portraits based on the selected candidate. For the reverse, they had recommended placing the removed training sequence on an alternative candidate. The CCAC had recommended the selected obverse candidate. For the reverse, they had recommended an alternative candidate featuring an eagle.

The Montford Point Marines 3 inch bronze medals are priced at $39.95 each, and the 1.5 inch bronze medals are priced at $6.95 each. This latest medal would make a nice accompaniment to the previously released Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II and Nisei Soldiers of World War II bronze medals.

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  1. Shutter says

    I have zero interest in replica medals, but I really liked this design (we need this guy to design coins). So I went back and looked through medals the Mint is currently selling. It’s amazing how mind numbingly boring most of them are.

  2. simon says

    I have ordered a copy as I have for all the other military issues. The Navajo Code Talkers is still available on the website.

  3. fosnock says

    For those of you complaining about the mint keeping its coins available forever, I just noticed that it looks like the U.S. Navy Bicentennial Bronze 3 has been available for 37 years. Please correct me if I’m wrong

  4. Samuel says

    off topic: on the SF set webpage, it says shipping date 9/28, while in my account, for orders placed before 6/20, it says in process, 7/27. so, no more guess!!! there are at least 2 batches!!! and i think we should receive the coins before end of july. even though i never had coin graded, it seems if i dont get them graded for the stupid fr/er label, it will be a waste.

  5. KC says

    The sale of S-ASE is already heating up. It is 175K as of 3 pm today. Will find out on Monday before deciding to order more.

  6. Jack in N.E says

    I also noticed under upcoming products page a listing for the Chaco Canyon S quarter bags & rolls will be available on July 12th

  7. saucexx says

    I’m still expecting sales to beat the 20th anniversary set. I’ll be happily disappointed if it doesn’t.

    As info MCM has PF70 presales for $229.

  8. Shutter says

    it seems if i dont get them graded for the stupid fr/er label, it will be a waste.
    Can you explain what you mean?

  9. DCDave says

    MCM are pros. They must know these will not have large premiums if they are taking credit cards for NGCPF70s for $229.
    I’ll keep my set in OGP for me only.

  10. Hidalgo says

    The US Mint has an annual set of First Spouse bronze medals.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the US Mint had an annual set of commemorative bronze medals? The annual set would consist of all 1.5 inch bronze medals issued during the year.


  11. ED says

    Wonder if the Mint is promoting the sets at the Baltimore coin show ?? Monday tally might reach 25,000 or more, for the last weekend.

  12. VABEACHBUM says

    Back to the topic for sec….

    Come to find out earlier this year that one of my good friends, from another extra-curricular interest, is the son of a Montford Point Marine. Met his Dad once; GREAT human being!! Unfortunately, he passed two months prior to the ceremony, so my friend and his mother attended on his behalf.

    In reading about the CFA / CCAC and the selection process for this medal (and other projects), I’ve never understood why the entity / organization being recognized didn’t have more say as to what their group thought best represented their accomplishment, efforts, struggles, etc. For example, in one of the previous Code Talker threads, either the CFA and/or CCAC had refused to use a design that was extemely pleasing to the representative tribe. In the end, who has the vested interest??

    Lastly, CBS Evening News and the other outlets ran some pretty good pieces on the Montford Point Marines and the Medal ceremony. However, I was extremely disappointed to learn that the award resulted in the issue of One Congressional Gold Medal for the Unit, to be housed at the US Marine Coprs Museum in Quantico, VA, while the individual members each received a bronze copy. Seriously? They couldn’t find a way to give each member a smaller diameter version, say 1.5 inches, in gold? Instead, they received versions that each of us can acquire through the Mint’s website. While I’m sure the Montford Point Marines appreciated the award, the recognition and the ceremony, I thought they might have deserved a little bit more.

  13. Mercury says

    Thanks CFA and CCAC! For this Beautiful Bronze Metal!! Very nice choice of designs!!! A Must have for any and all collectors!!!! Awesome!!!!!

  14. guama says

    Hey Ed…I was at the baltimore show yesterday and going back tomorrow. I didn’t see the mint’ s booth. I will wear a name tag that says ” guama”

  15. guama says

    So…ill let you guys know if I see them and if they are taking orders. I am also going to the philly mint this week. Ill see if you can reorder them too

  16. VA Bob says

    DCDave – I’m with you. Keeping mine in OGP. If stored properly a PF70 today will still be a PF70 in the future. Some folks act as if the grade has a shelf life. Since I don’t prescribe to the “First Strike” scam/fad, and don’t plan on selling to an uninformed “collector”, or anyone else in the foreseeable future, there is absolutely no reason for me to throw good money away. I do encourage people to get their stuff graded though, as over time they tend to loose COA’s and Mint packaging, only making the OGP, in good condition, more desirable and rare. A 57 Chevy with a flaming paint job, blower sticking out of the hood, and a host of other “custom” parts might look cool and be a hoot to drive, I’d take a pristine “original” any day of the week.

  17. chris says

    VA Bob : If stored properly a PF70 today will still be a PF70 in the future

    I have had the experience of sending pristine coins from my collection to PCGS which were returned to me coated in lacquer within their slabs. These coins, dated from the late 80’s and 90’s, were in OGP for tens of years and nothing happened to them when encased in mint-original capsules.

    Strong Caution is Advised !!!

  18. gumbyen says

    I get the “better” issues graded just because they are easier/smaller to store. The mint packaging can be a bit overwhelming.

  19. VA Bob says

    Chris – Sorry, I meant to say, “an OGP PF70 today will still grade PF70 at a TPG in the future”. Which basically means if you have a perfect coin… sending it to a TGP won’t make it more perfect, and as you pointed out, can be dipped by the TPG. I’ve heard others mention this as well. Your caution is well taken. Coins often don’t remain in their TPG stabs for many reasons.

    Hope my clarification makes better sense now.

  20. chris says

    VA – thanks for the clarification. Yes, I too follow the same practice ( since my 2005 experience with PCGS ). IMHO, OGP is by far the most satisfying, and a prefect coin in OGP is the best option. Scanning is easy (and fun) with a 10x loupe.

  21. VA Bob says

    gumbyen – I understand and appreciate your predicament in regards to storing the OGP, which can be overwhelming. But, wouldn’t a cheaper solution be for one to leave the coin in its Mint capsule and discard the OGP? I don’t believe there has been a US Mint released coin that hasn’t come in a capsule or for mint sets a mylar sheet (granted the resent mint sets are bulky). Even for the rare cases, there are relatively cheap Air-tights available.

    The UHR had, in my opinion the bulkiest, but beautiful OGP. As for “Coins and Chronicles” type sets, well the package is part of the draw, although it’s surprising, and IMO sad that you find coins from these sets “slabbed” as well. Why buy the car if you just wanted the motor. I’m sure someone can justify that, and that’s their choice. Just something I would never personally do.

  22. chris says

    In recent years the OGP dimensions have been reduced. They are approximately half the size of the “old style” and I have no issue with storage. The slabs are actually less convenient if you want to focus on the coin. Many of them are unwieldy, hard to handle, have a multitude of coarse marks which mask details on the coin, and do not show the edge well even in the modern holders. The OGP capsules are very nice to handle since they are sized to the coin, and avoid all the above TPG holder problems since they are always in excellent condition, can be wiped easily, and are air tight. If OGP size is a problem one can always remove the capsuled coin from the package and store them separately. However, I would not totally discard the OGP and the COA. There is a reseller premium for these and a coin just in a capsule without OGP may well achieve less.

  23. gumbyen says

    I keep the OGP and the COA when I have coins graded. After I get the coins back from TPG I even put them in little baggies to avoid scratches. All rather odd I agree. And I go for the “Early Release” when possible. Not because I believe in it (how could you?) but because it seems to make sense. There is quite a jump in value ($1000) for a UHR ms70 that has the first release label. Glad I sent it in! Ultimately it will make things easier for my heirs to deal with….

  24. Don says

    I have posted repeatedly that OGP works for me. I have never sent a single coin to a grading company. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors at these places. How are the coins handled? Do you know if you are getting the same coin(s) back, especially modern issues that pretty much all look the same. Once I receive a coin or coin set from the Mint, it stays with me. I don’t pack it back up and ship it out–too many things can potentially go wrong.

  25. chris says

    Don : ” Who knows what goes on behind closed doors at these places. How are the coins handled? ”

    You will be amazed ! coins get dropped, dragged, etched, polished, ultrasonically cleaned, and yes I have evidence in the from of photographs.

    I have posted in one of the forums that one should be very-very careful
    to document a precious coin before sending it to a TPG for grading.

    One of my hobbies is macro photography, and I am planning to document
    all my coins now that digital cameras are readily available in 16 Mp sizes.
    These could also be provided to a potential customer in case of a sale.

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